Assistance for Litigants without Lawyers
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has developed a district court Self-Help Resource Center designed and operated to achieve the following goals:
- To identify and distribute information resources that improve access to the federal court for any person with a law-related problem who may lack the ability to retain an attorney; the scope of services shall include dissemination of publications by The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the American Bar Association and The Missouri Bar designed to acquaint the public with substantive law topics;
- To inform self-represented litigants and prospective filers about government, nonprofit and community-based agencies and programs that may provide alternative services or interventions related to a dispute for which federal judicial relief may be unavailable;
- To develop and deliver web-based guidance and on-site information about federal court jurisdiction, requirements for initiating a case, sample forms for use in a civil case and a simplified description of procedures required by local district court rules;
- To enhance understanding and knowledge of the civil legal process for unrepresented filers and prospective self-represented litigants so that claims and defenses are prepared and presented more effectively and with better clarity in the pretrial and trial stages of litigation in the district court;
- To cooperate with area bar groups and the legal community in promoting bar-sponsored attorney referral and low cost advisory services for self-represented litigants and others who, without access to these programs, may otherwise be considering initiating a civil complaint in the district court without legal counsel.
The Center is located on the third floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse, St. Louis, Missouri. It is reached through the main entrance of the Office of the Clerk of Court in Room 3.300. The Center is open to the public each business day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please contact the Clerk’s Office at 314-244-7900 for additional information.