Representing Yourself
Quick Links
Court Service Centers
Public Information Desks
Self-Help
Videos and Slidecasts

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Can I get some general information on representing myself?
  2. What are some tips for representing myself?
  3. Can I look at my court case?
  4. Where can I find out about court resources and forms?
  5. What should you do to get ready for a court hearing?
  6. What is limited scope representation?
  7. Common Legal Words

1. Can I get some general information on representing myself?
  • You have a right to represent yourself in all court cases. When you represent yourself, you are called a “self-represented party.”
  • In some cases, like landlord/tenant and family, the court has developed easy-to-read court forms to help non-lawyers. Simplified court rules help non-lawyers in other cases, like small claims cases.
  • The Self-Represented Parties Information Series contains easy-to-follow videos developed by the Branch to help non-lawyers.
  • Before deciding to represent yourself, you may want to consult a lawyer. Many lawyers offer free or inexpensive initial consultations.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Lawyers
2. What are some tips for representing myself?
  • You must file an "Appearance" Form (JD-CL-12) with the court clerk's office. It includes your name, address, telephone number, and signature. It tells the court that you are representing yourself. Filing it allows the court to contact you about all court events in your case. There is a How-To Video on Filling out Appearance Form JD-CL-12.
  • You must follow the same court rules as lawyers. Connecticut court rules are described in the Connecticut Practice Book. It is available on this website at Court Rules, at all Court Service Centers, and in all courthouse Law Libraries.
  • Court clerks can give you information only. They cannot give you legal advice, such as telling you what you should do or what option makes the most sense in your particular case.
  • Courthouse law librarians can show you how to research a legal question or issue, or where to find a particular case or court form.
  • You may want to talk to a lawyer about your case before deciding to represent yourself.
3. Can I look at my court case? 4. Where can I find out about court resources and forms?
  • The Superior Court has booklets and informational materials for the person who wants to represent himself or herself. These materials are available at court clerk's offices or Court Service Centers.
  • Some court forms have been designed especially for self-represented people:

The courthouse Law Libraries maintain self-help materials and aids for persons representing themselves. The Law Libraries’ Research Guides and Law by Subject pages give you a broad overview of a topic and a starting place for your research. You can view these self-help materials online or ask a librarian if there is a Research Guide or Law by Subject page on your topic.

5. What should you do to get ready for a court hearing?
This video produced by the CT Network for Legal Aid External Link covers things you need to know about getting ready for a court hearing, including what to wear, who to bring with you and what happens when you see the judge.

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