Upcoming clinics offer free legal advice | SteamboatToday.com

Upcoming clinics offer free legal advice

— A series of upcoming free legal clinics will offer an opportunity for people to receive advice they might not otherwise be able to afford.

The clinics are the result of the Access to Justice committee, chaired by Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner. The group’s goal is to inform and offer resources to people with low incomes who find themselves facing a civil case.

In the 14th Judicial District, which encompasses Routt, Moffat and Grand counties, 75 percent of the people involved in domestic relation cases represented themselves in district court during fiscal year 2014. In county court, 98 percent of people handled their civil cases without attorney representation. Throughout all Colorado county courts, 180,000 people represented themselves.

A clinic on small claims cases will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Bud Werner Memorial Library.

The presentation will provide an overview of the small claims process and cover what to consider before filing a case; the possibility of a settlement; starting a small claims case; what to do when served with small claims paperwork; preparing for trial; and options after a trial. Interpreters will be available.

Small claims courts resolve disputes involving up to $7,500, offering resolution of matters without hiring an attorney.

On Wednesday, ask-a-lawyer clinics will begin. The clinics will offer people the chance to have one-on-one, 15-minute meetings with a volunteer lawyer.

Clinics will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month.

The clinics are only for civil matters, including divorce, custody, protection orders, landlord-tenant problems, foreclosures and bankruptcy and debt problems.

Interpreters will be available.

The clinics will be held at the Grand County Judicial Center at 307 Moffat Ave. in Hot Sulphur Springs, the Moffat Combined Court at 221 W. Victory Way in Craig and at the Routt Combined Court at 1955 Shield Drive in Steamboat Springs.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the respective clerk’s offices: 970-725-3357 for Grand County, 970-824-8254 for Moffat County and 970-879-5020 for Routt County. Walk-ins will be served as time allows.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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