Information for Pro-Se Litigants
The Massachusetts Trial Court has advised the Barnstable County Probate and Family Court employees of things that the Court staff Can and Cannot do for you. We are here to help you in any way that we can. However, we are allowed to help you only in certain ways, since we must be fair to everyone involved in your case.
Many Probate and Family Law matters involve complex and valuable legal rights. You should always speak with an attorney before filing papers. Please ask court staff for a list of local lawyer referral services and legal aid agencies.
Below is a list of some of the things the Court staff Can and Cannot do for you. Please check out this list carefully before asking for help.
|WE CAN||WE CANNOT|
|Give you a list of lawyer referral services and legal service agencies (||Recommend a lawyer or give you legal advice. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.|
|Provide you with a list of law libraries which are open to the public.||Provide Legal Research.|
|Explain and answer questions about how the court works||Tell you what words to put on forms.|
|Tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court||Tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.|
|Give you some information from your case file.||Tell you what to say in court.|
|Provide you with court forms to begin a case||Give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.|
|Provide you with basic direction on how to fill out the forms.||Give you any information that we would not give to the other person in your case.|
|Check forms for completeness.||Talk to the judge for you about what might happen in your case|
|Usually answer questions about court deadlines, rules, procedures and practices.||Tell you a judge’s decision until it is issued by the judge.|
|Tell you how to get a case scheduled||Let you talk to the judge outside of court.|
|Change a judge’s order.|