The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program is responsible for CourtHelp, the New York State court system's website for unrepresented litigants. CourtHelp (www.nycourthelp.gov) is designed to provide easy to understand legal and procedural information and instructions to assist the ever increasing numbers of litigants who come to court without a lawyer. CourtHelp was first launched in 2003, and underwent a major redesign in 2014.
CourtHelp is the main portal for the DIY Form programs, as well as a place to find topical legal information, court forms, general court system information, and helpful links. CourtHelp’s design and features facilitate the delivery of information to the public in a visually appealing and simple to understand “plain language” format.
Features and Highlights of the CourtHelp website include:
- Information sections on court case basics and legal topics where unrepresented litigants have the most questions. This includes money problems, foreclosures, family, housing and appeals;
- Icons to the Access to Justice Program’s Twitter, YouTube and DIY Form pages;
- Helpful quick links on every page, including Find a Lawyer, Help Centers, a complete plain-language glossary and a link to LawHelp (www.LawHelp.org/NY) where litigants can find legal advice;
- A court locator box on every page allowing users to find their court’s address, phone number and website;
- Additional ways to look for information on every page, including a search button and Topics A-Z index;
- Mobile-device friendly since studies show that each year more and more litigants own a mobile device and use it as their primary access to the internet; and
- Related information boxes on the bottom of topical pages containing tailored links that direct a litigant to other pages on similar topics.
- LiveChat available on some pages.