FAQ

Self Help

What does the Civil Self Help Center do?

The purpose of the Civil Self-Help Center is to provide general information and basic assistance to individual self-represented litigants. If you have a lawyer, or if you represent a business, we cannot help you. Services are for Sacramento County residents or people with cases in Sacramento County Superior Court that fall within our scope of services only. Please read  “Issues the staff CANNOT assist you with” below, for cases that fall outside of the scope of our services.  All of our services are free of charge. (more…)

Consumer Law

Free credit reports now available weekly

Until April 2021, you can access your free credit reports once per week instead of once per year.

You have the right to check your credit reports for free once time per year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can request your free reports from the three major credit report agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) at annualcreditreport.com(What is a credit report?)

If your lender OKs a delayed payment, it cannot show as “late” on your credit report

Now, you can request a free credit report once per week. This lasts until April 2021. The reason: Because of COVID-19, Congress passed temporary consumer protections (the CARES Act). One part of the law protects your credit report. If you and your creditor agree that you can delay or modify payments (“forbearance”) because of COVID-19, your credit report cannot show it as a “late payment.” Late payments hurt your credit score. (more…)

Name Change

Can children over 18 be included in a family name change?

According to Robyn B at the Self Help Services at 813 Sixth St., the court will accept family name changes which include over-18 children who are domiciled with the parents.

Probate and Guardianship

Extra requirements when notifying interested parties in probate and guardianship

If you are the petitioner in a probate or guardianship case, you must serve a special Zoom videoconference notification along with the standard paperwork.

Because of COVID-19, the court is currently holding all hearings over Zoom videoconferencing. If you can’t use video, you can participate by telephone.

Whenever the court schedules a probate hearing, the person asking for the court order (petitioner) must notify certain people. Now, there is a new Zoom service requirement in probate as well. (more…)

Civil Procedure

Scheduling law and motion hearings during COVID-19

Call ahead to schedule hearing date

Moving parties must call to reserve court dates for law and motion hearings in Sacramento for now. This change is due to the court’s pandemic shut-down.

You should also email the department at Dept __@ saccourt.ca.gov to request and reserve a hearing date.

(more…)

Tentative rulings — trap for pro pers

Meant to save time and money, the tentative ruling system can create an unpleasant surprise for self-represented litigants (aka “pro pers.”)

Sacramento County uses a “tentative ruling” (sometimes called “tentative decision”) system for most types of hearings in civil and probate court. Most courts in California do the same.

On the court day before a hearing, the judge writes a tentative ruling based on the paperwork the parties submitted. The court posts the tentative rulings on the Internet by 2 p.m., and the parties are expected to read them. (more…)

Cats

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Here’s Max, helping me work from home.

All Articles

Tentative rulings — trap for pro pers

Meant to save time and money, the tentative ruling system can create an unpleasant surprise for self-represented litigants (aka “pro pers.”)

Sacramento County uses a “tentative ruling” (sometimes called “tentative decision”) system for most types of hearings in civil and probate court. Most courts in California do the same.

On the court day before a hearing, the judge writes a tentative ruling based on the paperwork the parties submitted. The court posts the tentative rulings on the Internet by 2 p.m., and the parties are expected to read them. (more…)

Extra requirements when notifying interested parties in probate and guardianship

If you are the petitioner in a probate or guardianship case, you must serve a special Zoom videoconference notification along with the standard paperwork.

Because of COVID-19, the court is currently holding all hearings over Zoom videoconferencing. If you can’t use video, you can participate by telephone.

Whenever the court schedules a probate hearing, the person asking for the court order (petitioner) must notify certain people. Now, there is a new Zoom service requirement in probate as well. (more…)

What does the Civil Self Help Center do?

The purpose of the Civil Self-Help Center is to provide general information and basic assistance to individual self-represented litigants. If you have a lawyer, or if you represent a business, we cannot help you. Services are for Sacramento County residents or people with cases in Sacramento County Superior Court that fall within our scope of services only. Please read  “Issues the staff CANNOT assist you with” below, for cases that fall outside of the scope of our services.  All of our services are free of charge. (more…)

Free credit reports now available weekly

Until April 2021, you can access your free credit reports once per week instead of once per year.

You have the right to check your credit reports for free once time per year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can request your free reports from the three major credit report agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) at annualcreditreport.com(What is a credit report?)

If your lender OKs a delayed payment, it cannot show as “late” on your credit report

Now, you can request a free credit report once per week. This lasts until April 2021. The reason: Because of COVID-19, Congress passed temporary consumer protections (the CARES Act). One part of the law protects your credit report. If you and your creditor agree that you can delay or modify payments (“forbearance”) because of COVID-19, your credit report cannot show it as a “late payment.” Late payments hurt your credit score. (more…)

Can children over 18 be included in a family name change?

According to Robyn B at the Self Help Services at 813 Sixth St., the court will accept family name changes which include over-18 children who are domiciled with the parents.

Scheduling law and motion hearings during COVID-19

Call ahead to schedule hearing date

Moving parties must call to reserve court dates for law and motion hearings in Sacramento for now. This change is due to the court’s pandemic shut-down.

You should also email the department at Dept __@ saccourt.ca.gov to request and reserve a hearing date.

(more…)

I love cats

Here’s Max, helping me work from home.