Access to Justice center hailed as legal aid game-changer
Four out of five local residents who at some point in their lives wind up in family or small claims court, either as plaintiffs or defendants, go to court without the aid of a lawyer, according to Clerk of Court Ryan Butler.
To assist these self-represented litigants – regardless of their income level – the Jeffrey R. Smith Access to Justice Self Help Center officially opened last week on the first floor of the Indian River County Courthouse.
The program, named for Smith, the former long-time Clerk of the Court who retired earlier this year, enables people to access legal forms at the self-help center, where staff can help them navigate the process, or via its website. Attorney consultations are also available in certain circumstances, at a very minimal cost.