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Services offered at the Self-Help Center and Family Law Facilitator's Office


If you do not have an attorney, the Self-Help Center and Family Law Facilitator staff and volunteers can assist you with procedural information and instruction on completing forms depending on your matter. 

Assistance is available by live chat, telephone, video or phone appointment (after screening), by writing us, and in person for help with Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)

Services during the TROclinic hours vary in scope. You may be assisted the same day, scheduled for an appointment or asked to return a different day. 

Please arrive early. We may have long wait times and if we are at capacity, you may be asked to return another day. 

What Kinds of Help We Offer: 

We can:

  • Give you tools to represent yourself In court.
  • Explain general court rules and procedures to help you understand the steps to bring your case to a resolution. 
  • Explain your legal options. 
  • Determine what court forms you may need and instructions on how to complete them (limited to areas of law covered by our services). 
  • Provide appropriate information from your court file. 
  • Make referrals to other legal aid and community resources that may be able to help you. 

NOTE: We can only provide information and assistance with matters in California, and sometimes only in Alameda County. If you have a case in another state, we cannot assist you with that case. 

What We Cannot Do:

We cannot give legal advice. What does this mean? It means we cannot

  • Tell you if you should file a court case or not. 
  • Tell you what to write on your court forms or papers. 
  • Tell you what to say in court or represent you in court. 
  • Talk to the judge for you, or tell you what a judge is likely to do. 
  • Change an order the court has made. 
  • Give you an opinion about what you should or should not do or say, or what may happen if you file an action, or at your hearing or trial. 
  • Assist you If you are being represented by an attorney, or have an attorney of record. 
  • Assist with a case that you are not a party of. 
  • Help with criminal or juvenile cases, traffic, contempt, immigration, bankruptcy, appeals (unless small claims), discovery, and certain civil cases. 


Civil Law

  • Small Claims (and Small Claim appeals and collections)· 
  • Restraining Orders: Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Civil Harassment 
  • Name Changes 
  • Gender Changes 
  • Eviction Defense 
  • Debt Collection (limited assistance)
  • Guardianship of the Person 
  • Limited Conservatorship
  • Establishing Fact of Birth, Death, or Marriage 

Family Law

  • Dissolution of Marriage/Domestic Partnership 
  • Legal Separation 
  • Annulment/Nullity of Marriage 
  • Financial Disclosures and Judgment of Dissolution (For those who qualify) 
  • Establish Paternity/Parental Relationship 
  • Child Support 
  • Spousal Support 
  • Child Custody and Visitation 
  • Petition for Grandparent Visitation 

Workshops available (Currently suspended until further notice)

  • Divorce/legal separation/annulment proceedings 
  • Guardianship of the Minor 
  • Beginning a Small Claims case

* Workshops and appointments available for those who need Language Assistance. *

Please call (510) 272-1393, Monday -Thursday 2:00 PM -4:00 PM to be screened and scheduled for a workshop or appointment. 

PARTNER CLINICS (by appointment only) 

Clinics held by East Bay Community Law Center call (510) 548-4064 

  • Consumer Debt Clinic 
  • Eviction Defense 

Clinics held by Legal Access Alameda call (510) 302-2222 

  • Low Income Landlord 
  • Bankruptcy 
  • Family Law 
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