Court services expand in South County


Greenfield Self-Help Center adds new day

SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey County Superior Court continues to expand its self-help services in South County, with the Greenfield Self-Help Center preparing to operate on an additional day to assist residents seeking legal information.

The Greenfield Self-Help Center — established last year — currently operates on the fourth Friday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the City Council Chambers at the Greenfield Civic Center, 599 El Camino Real. Beginning March 12, it will now be open twice per month, with the addition of the second Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Self-Help Center provides information and assistance to individuals who do not have a lawyer and explains options without giving legal advice or representing any party. Services are available in family law, child support, custody and visitation, small claims, unlawful detainer (landlord/tenant) as well as to answer general questions in both English and Spanish languages.

According to the Monterey County Superior Court, the expansion of self-help services to Greenfield has “provided greater access to South Monterey County residents who are acting as self-represented litigants and are in need of assistance.”

The Greenfield Self-Help Center services mirror those provided in both Monterey and Salinas, where legal and support staff guide self-represented litigants with document preparation and review. Group clinics and workshops will likely be arranged in the future based on the needs of the community, the court said.

“We are grateful for the cooperation of the City of Greenfield,” said Presiding Judge Lydia M. Villarreal in a news release. “Because of the City’s dedication to serving the South County population, we are able to provide these services.”

The court said the response to services on the fourth Friday of the month has been “robust,” with a fully booked calendar of appointments for South County residents, who would otherwise need to travel up to 100 miles roundtrip to receive in-person assistance.

The court plans to continue exploring new services that can be provided in South County, and with an increased budget from the state legislature, there are funds to hire additional staff, the court said.

Self-help services continue to be offered in the Monterey Courthouse on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and in the Salinas Courthouse on Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the fourth Friday of the month when staff is in Greenfield. The public is encouraged to make an appointment to ensure service.

For more information on self-help services or to set up an appointment, visit the court’s website www.monterey.courts.ca.gov/SelfHelp/.


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