Proceeding Without an Attorney
“pro se”: One who represents oneself in a court proceeding without the assistance of a lawyer. This is also called self-representation.
Pro Se Litigants Clinic (Self-Help Clinics)
*Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Pro Se Litigants Clinic will be conducted virtually for 2021. Please click here for additional information. Please see the online access information for direct access to forms and other information related to self-representation.
Pursuant to the Court’s Local Rules, the Court recommends pro se litigants (self-represented) in all Domestic Relations matters (Divorce, Dissolution Post – Domestic) and in all Juvenile matters (Paternity, Allocation of Parental Rights, Child Support) attend a free clinic before filing any documents with the Clerk of Courts. To sign up for the clinic or to apply for free legal help, contact Legal Aid at (888) 534-1432 (toll free) or online at www.LegalAidLine.org.
The pro se clinic is a training session between Legal Aid of Western Ohio and the participant. The purpose of the clinic is instructional and educational and is not intended as an agreement to retain legal services. The relationship between the parties is that of student and teacher and is not that of attorney and client. The instructions and materials provided relate to Williams County Common Pleas Court and may not be appropriate for use in other Courts. The participant will be required to review and execute an agreement for litigants representing themselves in Court prior to the start of the session.
In the event a participant misplaces the materials provided to them during the pro se clinic, the same are available online. For additional information on representing yourself, please refer to the attached brochure provided by the Ohio Judicial Conference "Representing Yourself (PDF)."
Criminal Case Procedures
Rules of Criminal Procedure 5: The defendant has a right to counsel and the right to a reasonable continuance in the proceedings to secure counsel, and, pursuant to Crim.R. 44, the right to have counsel assigned without cost if the defendant is unable to employ counsel.
A Juvenile and an Adult appearing in the Juvenile division of the Common Pleas Court have the right to court appointed counsel, if the eligibility requirements are met. Please contact the Court to obtain the Financial Disclosure/Affidavit of Indigency form (or see below to print the form)
Unable To Afford Counsel/Indigency in Criminal Cases
Pursuant to the Ohio Office of Public Defender
1. An applicant's indigency or eligibility for a reimbursement, recoupment, contribution, or partial payment program shall be determined by the courts.