Free Self-Help Legal Access Center Opens at the Long Beach Courthouse

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will join Superior Court leaders this Friday afternoon to commemorate the much-anticipated Grand Opening of the Self-Help Legal Access Center at the Long Beach Courthouse.

On August 2, 2005, with the support of Supervisor Knabe, the Board of Supervisors approved the funding for this center, which will be the Fourth District’s first such Self-Help Center. There are currently four other Self-Help Centers like this one located throughout the County. Since the first facility opened in the Van Nuys Courthouse in 2000, these centers have combined to serve over 100,000 Los Angeles County residents.

The new Self-Help Center will be staffed with an attorney, paralegal and trained volunteers, and will be managed by Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS). While the employees and volunteers of the center will not be able to provide legal advice or offer direct representation, staff members will be able to provide information on preparing forms, courtroom procedures and appropriate courtroom demeanor.

"Opening this center is another landmark in our continuing campaign to enhance our outreach into the community," said Superior Court Presiding Judge William A. MacLaughlin. "We believe this center will provide critically needed services to people in the Long Beach area. Supervisor Knabe is to be commended for securing the necessary financial support to make this possible."

I am thrilled that we finally have this highly-successful program in the Fourth District, said Supervisor Don Knabe. This Self-Help Center will provide our residents, who maybe do not have the ability to pay for an attorney, with free access to basic legal resources and information.

All residents of Los Angeles County with business at the Long Beach Superior Courthouse are eligible to access the Self-Help Legal Center, regardless of income. The new hours of the center which will be located inside of the Law Library are as follows: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Grand Opening and Open House is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21st. The Long Beach Courthouse is located at 415 West Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.