The state Judicial Branch officially announced its Legal Self-Help Portal on Tuesday.
The Legal Self-Help Portal is a dedicated section of the state court system’s website where the public can access free legal resources, according to a news release from the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
A collaboration between the Kentucky Court of Justice and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, the portal is designed to help people who are handling their own legal matters rather than using an attorney, said the release.
Explore the portal’s resources at kcoj.info/SelfHelpPortal.
The self-help portal features an interactive program that assists users in completing forms for common legal situations including uncontested divorce, probate, child support, small claims, name change, expungement and more. The program – A2J Guided Interviews® – walks users through a series of questions and uses the responses to fill out legal forms that can be filed with the courts.
The portal also provides links to legal information categorized by topic on kyjustice.org, the online legal advice clinic ky.freelegalanswers.org, lawyer referral services and Kentucky’s regional civil legal aid programs. These legal aid programs provide free legal assistance to eligible individuals in civil legal matters. The Administrative Office of the Courts legal forms library is also available through the portal. Here, users will find an array of standardized legal forms, including the recently developed forms packet for uncontested divorces involving no children.
In addition to being accessible from any internet-connected device, the portal can be accessed at public computer workstations the AOC is installing in judicial centers/courthouses across the state. These workstations are now available in Offices of Circuit Court Clerk in 48 counties and will be in most of Kentucky’s other 72 counties by June, said the release.
A public computer workstation is in the Henderson Judicial Center.
“The resources, their centralization into a self-help portal and the workstations are major steps toward our continuous goal to improve access to justice for everyone,” Chief Justice of the Commonwealth Laurance B. VanMeter said. “For non-attorneys, the legal system can be a mystery. A one-stop shop with user-friendly technology is our solution to this challenge. The portal makes it far easier for the many people who can’t afford an attorney or choose to handle their own everyday issues.”
Supreme Court Justice Michelle M. Keller chairs the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission. “I’m proud of the work of the courts and the commission to bring the portal to life. With it, we’re breaking down barriers to justice and making it possible for people to handle their court business in an easier and more efficient manner.”
Since going live as a soft launch March 31, 2023, the portal has been visited by nearly 107,000 different users, said the release.