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Self Help Information

General Notes

  • Any form subbmitted to the Court must be completed in English


Self-Representative Litigant Coordinators

The Statewide List of Sherlocks provides the address and also contact information for the Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator (Sherlock) for every county in the state of Colorado. Every district has a Self-Help Center that is staffed by one or more "Sherlock". They provide assistance to people needing help navigating through the court system.                                                                   

 Chief Justice Directive 13-01 provides information on what court staff and Sherlocks can and cannot do.


The “Can Do’s”

  Basic Services.  Self-Help Personnel may provide the following services:

  1. Provide general information about court procedures and logistics, including requirements for service, filing, scheduling hearings and compliance with local procedure;


  1. Provide, either orally or in writing, information about court rules, terminology, procedures, and practices;


  1. Inform Self-Represented Litigants of available pro bono legal services, low cost legal services, unbundled legal services, legal aid programs, alternative dispute resolution services including mediation and services offered by the Office of Dispute Resolution, lawyer referral services, and legal resources provided by state and local libraries;


  1. Encourage Self-Represented Litigants to obtain legal advice without recommending a specific lawyer or law firm;


  1. Explain options within and outside the court system, including providing information about community resources and services;


  1. Provide information about domestic violence resources;


  1. Offer educational sessions and materials, as available, and provide information about classes, such as parenting education classes;


  1. Assist Self-Represented Litigants in selecting the correct forms, and instructions on how to complete forms, based on the Self-Represented Litigant's description of what he or she wants to pursue or request from the court, including, but not limited to, providing forms for the waiver of filing fees. Where no form exists to accomplish the Self-Represented Litigant's request, Self-Help Personnel should inform the litigant of that fact;


  1. Record information provided by the Self-Represented Litigant on approved forms if that person cannot complete the forms due to disability, language, or literacy barriers;


  1. Assist Self-Represented Litigants to understand what information is needed to complete filling in the blanks on approved forms;


  1. Review finished forms to determine whether forms are complete, including checking for signatures, notarization, correct county name, and case number;


  1. Assist in calculating child support using the standardized computer-based program, based on financial information provided by the Self-Represented Litigant;


  1. Answer general questions about how the court process works;


  1. Answer questions about court timelines;


  1.      Provide docket information;


  1. Provide information concerning how to get a hearing scheduled;


  1. Inform Self-Represented Litigants of the availability of interpreter and sign language assistance and process requests for such services;


  1. At the direction of the court, review Self-Represented Litigants’ documents prior to hearings to determine whether procedural requirements have been met;


  1. Assist Self-Represented Litigants with preparation of proposed court orders based upon the parties’ agreement or stipulation for signature of judge or magistrate;


  1. Answer questions about whether an order has been issued, where to get a copy if one was not provided, and read the order to the individual if requested;


  1. Provide a Self-Represented Litigant with access to information from a case file that has not been restricted by statute, rule or directive, including CJD 05-01;


  1. Provide assistance based on the assumption that the information provided by the Self-Represented Litigant is accurate and complete;


  1. Provide the same services and information to all parties to an action, as requested;


  1. Provide language and/or citations of statutes and rules, without advising whether or not a particular statute or rule is applicable to the situation;


  1. Provide other services consistent with the intent of this Chief Justice Directive and the direction of the court, including programs in partnership with other agencies and organizations.


The “Can’t Do’s”

  1. Prohibited Services.  Self-Help Personnel shall not:

       1. Recommend whether a case should be brought to court, 

       2. Give an opinion about what will happen if a case is brought to court;

  1.  Represent litigants in court;

      4. Tell a Self-Represented Litigant that Self-Help Personnel may provide legal advice;

.     5.  Provide legal analysis, strategy, or advice;

      6.  Disclose information in violation of a court order, statute, rule, chief justice directive, or case law;

      7.  Deny a Self-Represented Litigant access to the court;

      8. Tell the Self-Represented Litigant anything Self-Help Personnel would not repeat in the presence of the opposing party, or any other party to the case;

      9 . Refer the Self-Represented Litigant to a specific lawyer or law firm for fee-based representation.



COURT CASELOAD STATISTICS: Each fiscal year the Colorado Judicial Branch Annual Statistical Report is issued to provide information about Colorado state courts. Profiled in the reports are caseload statistics for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, County Court, Water Court, and Probation, as well as summarized financial information for the Judicial Branch. Unless specified otherwise, all references to years in the reports refer to fiscal years (July 1 through June 30).


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