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Self-Help form and sample packets

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Each form packet below has an instruction sheet and a sample packet to guide you page-by-page through the forms. If you are not sure which packet is best suited to your issues, please contact the Self-Help Center. Once you have completed forms, you may scan and email them to the Self-Help Center for review at .

For review of forms to start a divorce, parentage case and Limited Conservatorship for Dependent Adults, please see instructions on our workshop pages.

Restraining Order forms may be reviewed at the Restraining Order Help Center located on the first floor of 201 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

Review not offered for Small Claims forms at this time. Click here for information about Small Claims.



Form and Sample Packets:



CIVIL

CIVIL LAWSUIT FORMS

Filing a Limited Jurisdiction Civil Lawsuit:

  • If your case is worth more than $10,000 but less than $25,000, you have a limited jurisdiction case.

  • If your case is worth $10,000 or less, you may file in Small Claims court.

  • The Self-Help Center only assist with two types of limited jurisdiction cases:
    • Breach of Contract
    • Motor Vehicle Accident – Property damage or person injury
  • If you would like to start a different type of Civil Case, you should seek legal advice from a private attorney. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • Breach of Contract – Limited Jurisdiction
    Motor Vehicle Accident – Limited Jurisdiction

    Responding to a Limited Jurisdiction Civil Lawsuit:

  • A Limited Jurisdiction Civil Lawsuit can be for any amount up to $25,000.

  • The Self-Help Center only assist with two types of limited jurisdiction cases:
    • Breach of Contract
    • Motor Vehicle Accident – Property damage or person injury
  • If you were served with a Limited Jurisdiction Lawsuit for breach of contract, you must check to see if the paperwork includes a verification. This is a statement that the Plaintiff verifies the statements in the Complaint are true based on their own knowledge.
    • If the Complaint is verified, then you must use the packet for verified Complaints.
    • If the Complaint is not verified, then you may use the packet for unverified Complaints.
    • If you are not sure, then please contact the Self-Help Center or private attorney for assistance.

  • Answer to a Verified Breach of Contract – Limited Jurisdiction Case
    Answer to an Unverified Breach of Contract – Limited Jurisdiction Case
    Answer to a Motor Vehicle Accident – Limited Jurisdiction – Personal Injury or Property Damage

    UNLAWFUL DETAINER (EVICTION) FORMS

    Eviction Notices:

  • The Self-Help Center only assists with three types of eviction notices:
    • 30 day notice – This can be used when the tenant has lived in the property for less than 1 year.
    • 60 day notice – This must be used when the tenant has lived in the property for more than 1 year.
    • If you are not sure which notice to use, you may contact the Self-Help Center or a private attorney.
  • Due to changing laws and temporary moratoriums on evictions in some areas, you may wish to seek legal advice from a private attorney regarding your case. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit
    30 Day Notice
    60 Day Notice

    Starting an Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) case:

  • Due to changing laws and temporary moratoriums on evictions in some areas, you may wish to seek legal advice from a private attorney regarding your case. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • This form packet is for use after the tenant has been served with the proper eviction notice and their time to move out is over.

  • Starting an eviction (Unlawful Detainer)

    Responding to an Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) case:

  • Due to changing laws and temporary moratoriums on evictions in some areas, you may wish to seek legal advice from a private attorney regarding your case. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • This form packet is for use when you have been served with a Summons and Complaint for unlawful detainer (eviction). If you do not file an Answer, the landlord may proceed by default and have you evicted.

  • Responding to an eviction (Unlawful Detainer)

    Requesting a trial in an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) case:

  • If you have file an Unlawful Detainer and the defendant (tenant) filed an Answer, you must file a Request for Trial to move your case forward.

  • Requesting a trial in an eviction (Unlawful Detainer)


    COURTWIDE

    FEE WAIVER FORMS

    Requesting a Fee Waiver:

  • Many forms require a filing fee, you may use the following forms to request a fee waiver if you cannot afford the filing fee.

  • Fee Waiver forms – complete both forms


    MISCELLANEOUS FORMS

    Changing your address or other contact in your case:

  • If you started a case want to dismiss it, you may be able to use this packet.

  • Not all cases can be dismissed for example, please read the instructions provided in the packet for more information.

  • Change of address or other contact information

    Dismissing a case you filed:

  • If you have or are going to move, you may use this packet to let the court know your new mailing address and any other changes to your contact information.

  • Depending on the type of case you have, this document may be visible to the public. You should make sure to use contact information that is safe for anyone to see, including the other party in your case.

  • If you need help determining whether your case can be dismissed, please contact the Self-Help Center.

  • Dismissing a case you filed


    FAMILY

    DIVORCE, LEGAL SEPARATION OR NULLITY CASE FORMS

    Starting a Divorce Case:

  • These packets may also be used for filing a legal separation. When you receive a Judgment for Legal Separation, you and the other party are still married. If you want to be divorced you must file a divorce case.

  • If you wish to file for nullity, please contact the Self-Help Center or a private attorney. In order to get a nullity of marriage, you must meet specific requirements which must be proven through a court hearing.
  • Parties do not have minor children together
    Parties have minor children together
    Parties have minor children and you want a hearing for custody/visitation
    Parties have minor children and you need emergency custody/visitation orders
    Complete this form if you are asking for a hearing and marked the box for child support or spousal support

    Summary Dissolution: Married less than 5 years, have no children together and very little assets or debts


    Responding to a Divorce Case:

  • If you were served with a Summons and Petition for divorce, legal separation or nullity and you wish to participate in the case, you should file a Response.

  • If you do not file a Response within 30 days, the other party may proceed by default and will be able to ask the court to grant the requests made in the Petition.

  • Parties do not have minor children together
    Parties have minor children together

    Mandatory Financial Disclosures:

  • The Preliminary Financial Disclosure forms are required for every divorce and legal separation case in California.

  • The Self Help Center offers an online workshop to assist with these forms. Click here for more information.
  • Complete within 2 months of filing Petition or Response


    PARENTAGE FORMS

    Starting a Parentage Case:

  • If you have a minor child with someone and you are not married to each other, you may file a Parentage case to:
    • Establish parentage
    • Request custody and visitation orders
    • Request child support
  • If the mother of the child was married to someone else when the child was born, you should contact the
    Self-Help Center or a private attorney for more information about how to proceed. Please see our
    “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.
  • Establish parentage only
    Establish parentage and you want a hearing for custody/visitation
    Establish parentage and you need emergency custody/visitation orders
    Complete this form if you are asking for a hearing and marked the box for child support

    Responding to a Parentage Case:

  • If you were served with a Summons and Petition for a parentage case and you wish to participate in the case, you should file a Response.

  • If you do not file a Response within 30 days, the other party may proceed by default and will be able to ask the court to grant the requests made in the Petition.
  • Respond to parentage case only
    Respond to parentage case and you want a hearing for custody/visitation
    Respondent to parentage case and you need emergency custody/visitation orders

    REQUEST FOR ORDER IN A FAMILY LAW CASE

    Asking for court orders:

  • You must already have an open family law case to use these packets. If you do not have an open case, you must first file the appropriate Summons and Petition.
    • If you are married to the other parent, click here.
    • If you are not married to the other parent, click here.
  • If the orders you are requesting, (for example, change venue, move away, set aside etc.) are not covered by the preprinted language, you may use the “Other Orders” box to make your request.
  • The sample forms cannot cover all topics, if you need help determining how to make your request, please contact the Self-Help Center.
  • Requesting custody and/or visitation orders
    Request emergency custody/visitation orders
    Request for orders (not custody/visitation)
    Simplified modification of support
    Complete this form if you are asking for a hearing and marked the box for child support

    Responding to a Request for Order:

  • If you were served a Request for Order (form FL-300), you should file a Response to let the court know whether you agree or disagree with the request.

  • If you were also served with a Petition for Divorce/Legal Separation/Nullity or a Petition to Establish Parentage, you should file a Response to those forms as well. They are available on this page.
  • Response to a request for custody and/or visitation orders
    Response to a request for custody/visitation orders and support orders
    Response to a request for other orders
    Complete this form if you are responding to a request for support orders

    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES/CHILD SUPPORT FORMS

    Answer to a DCSS Child Support Case:

  • You should use this packet when you have been served with a Summons and Complaint from the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS).

  • If you do not file an Answer within 30 days of service, DCSS can ask the court to grant the requests made in the Complaint.

  • Response to a request for custody and/or visitation orders

    Request a Release of a Suspended License:

  • You should use this packet if your license has been suspended and DCSS has refused to release it.


  • Request to Release License


    PROBATE

    GUARDIANSHIP FORMS

    Requesting a Guardianship of the Person:

  • We highly recommend using Odyssey Guide & File  to complete the Guardianship forms as the form packet is quite extensive to complete by hand.

  • A Guardianship may be filed when a child is living with an adult who is not a parent, and the adult needs the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. In a Probate Guardianship, the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child.

  • If you believe you have an emergency and need an expedited temporary guardianship, please contact the Self-Help Center.

  • If you need a Guardianship of the Estate, please contact a private attorney for legal advice. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • Guardianship of the Person

    Requesting Visitation in a Guardianship Case:

  • If there is a guardianship in place, a parent or other relative may file a request for visitation with the minor child.

  • There is no fee for the child’s parent to file this request, however there is a fee for all other relatives.

  • Request for Visitation in a Guardianship Case

    Request to terminate a guardianship:

  • The following people can ask the Court to end the guardianship:
    • The child, if they are 12 years old or older
    • The parent(s) of the child
    • The guardian
  • Request to Terminate a Guardianship


    CONSERVATORSHIP FORMS

    Requesting a Limited Conservatorship:

  • A limited conservatorship is a type of probate conservatorship for adults who are developmentally disabled. Developmentally disabled people can usually do many things a conservatee cannot do. So, the Court limits their conservators’ powers. Read more about limited conservatorships.

  • We highly recommend using Odyssey Guide & File  to complete the Limited Conservatorship forms as the form packet is quite extensive to complete by hand.

  • We assist with Limited Conservatorships through a workshop. Click here for more information.

  • Requesting a General Conservatorship of the Person:

  • A General Conservatorship should be used for an adult who is unable to care for themselves for a reason other than a developmental disability (for example, dementia).

  • A conservator of the person cares for and protects a person when the judge decides that the person (called the "conservatee") can’t do it.

  • If you believe you have an emergency and need an expedited temporary conservatorship, please contact the Self-Help Center.

  • If you need a conservatorship of the estate, please seek legal advice from a private attorney. Please see our “Do-It-Yourself Resources”  for help finding low to no cost legal advice.

  • Requesting a General Conservatorship


    NAME and/or GENDER CHANGE FORMS

    Filing a name and/or gender change:

  • If you are an adult, you may file a name and/or gender change with the court.

  • If you are a minor, your parent or guardian must file the name and/or gender change with the court for you.

  • Name change only - Adult
    Name and Gender Change - Adult
    Name change only - Minor


    RESTRAINING ORDERS

    CIVIL HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDER FORMS

    Requesting a Civil Harassment Restraining Order:

  • You may apply for this type of restraining order if:
    • there has been violence, threats of violence or a pattern of harassment and
    • you and the other party are not closely blood related
    • you and the other party are not and have never been in a dating relationship

  • Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

    Responding to an Civil Harassment Restraining Order Request:

  • If you have been served with a Civil Harassment Restraining Order Request, you may use these forms to let the Judge know your side of the story and where you agree or disagree with the request orders. You may also give your response verbally in court.

  • Pending criminal case: If you have a pending criminal case, you should speak to your lawyer or public defender BEFORE completing the Response forms. Anything you write in your Response or say at the court hearing can be used against you in your criminal case. When you go to court, let the Judge know there is a pending criminal case related to the issues in this case.

  • Response to a request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER FORMS

    Requesting a Domestic Violence Restraining Order:

  • You may file a request for Domestic Violence Restraining order, If you and the other party:
    • a close relationship (married, divorced, separated, dating or used to date, live together or used to live together as a couple)
    • are related within 2 degrees of consanguinity by blood or marriage (as long as the marriage remains intact) which includes parents, grandparent, children, grandchildren, siblings
    • AND
    • There has been physical violence, a verbal threat of physical violence or a pattern of harassing behavior towards you by other party
  • If you and the other party have a child(ren) together and you have never been to court about custody/visitation, you may:
    • use a standalone packet which includes a request for custody/visitation or
    • file a packet that includes a Summons and Petition
      • If you are married, you may use the packet that includes divorce/legal separation forms
      • If you are not married, you may use the packet the includes parentage forms
  • If you and the other party have a child(ren) together and you have been to court about custody/visitation, you will use the standalone packet and file it into your open case.

  • No Minor Children: Use if you and the other party do not have minor children together
    No Minor Children and Start Divorce: Use if you and the other party do not have minor children together, are married and you want to file for divorce as well
    With Minor Children: Use if you and the party have a minor child(ren) together
    With Minor Children and Start Divorce: Use if you and the other party have a minor child(ren) together, are married and you want to file for divorce as well
    With Minor Children and Start Parentage Case: Use if you and the other party have a minor child(ren) together, are not married, do not have a custody case and you want to start a parentage case
    Complete this form if you asked for child support, spousal support, debt payment, or attorney’s fees in your request

    Responding to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Request:

  • If you have been served with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Request, you may use these forms to let the Judge know your side of the story and where you agree or disagree with the request orders. You may also give your response verbally in court.

  • If you were also served with a Petition for Divorce/Legal Separation/Nullity or a Petition to Establish Parentage, you should file a Response to those forms as well. They are available on this page.

  • Pending criminal case: If you have a pending criminal case, you should speak to your lawyer or public defender BEFORE completing the Response forms. Anything you write in your Response or say at the court hearing can be used against you in your criminal case. When you go to court, let the Judge know there is a pending criminal case related to the issues in this case.

  • Response to request for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
    Complete this form if the other party asked for child support, spousal support, debt payment, or attorney’s fees in their request

    ELDER ABUSE/DEPENDENT ADULT RESTRAINING ORDER FORMS

    Requesting an Elder Abuse/Dependent Adult Restraining Order:

  • This type of restraining order may protect you, if you are being abused and you are:
    • 65 years old or older or
    • A dependent adult
  • The person applying for this order may be:
    • The elder or dependent adult
    • The conservator for the elder or dependent adult
    • The “attorney-in-fact” for the elder or dependent adult

  • Request for Elder Abuse/Dependent Adult Restraining Orders

    Responding to an Elder Abuse/Dependent Adult Restraining Order Request:

  • If you have been served with an Elder Abuse/Dependent Adult Restraining Order Request, you may use these forms to let the Judge know your side of the story and where you agree or disagree with the request orders. You may also give your response verbally in court.

  • Pending criminal case: If you have a pending criminal case, you should speak to your lawyer or public defender BEFORE completing the Response forms. Anything you write in your Response or say at the court hearing can be used against you in your criminal case. When you go to court, let the Judge know there is a pending criminal case related to the issues in this case.
  • Response to request for Elder Abuse/Dependent Adult Restraining Orders

    GUN VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS

  • If you are afraid that a close family member may harm themselves or another person with a gun, you can ask for a Gun Violence Restraining Order.

  • If you are a law enforcement officer, you may file a Gun Violence Restraining Order if you are afraid a person may use a gun to harm themselves or others.

  • To get a Gun Violence Restraining Order, you must fill out the correct forms. You may obtain more information by going to the Judicial Council’s Self-Help  page. You can get them online at the Judicial Council Gun Violence forms page. You will also want the Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application for Orders (Local Form FM-1013 ). The completed forms may be filed in the Civil Division at the Downtown Superior Court.

  • WORKPLACE VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS

  • If you are an employer or you work in a place where there has been violence or threat of violence against employees, fill out and file Workplace Violence forms.

  • To get a Workplace Violence Restraining Order, you must fill out the correct forms. You can get them online at the Judicial Council Workplace Violence forms page. You will also want the Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application for Orders (Local Form FM-1013 ). The completed forms may be filed in the Civil Division at the Downtown Superior Court.


  • SMALL CLAIMS

    SMALL CLAIMS FORMS

    Starting a Small Claims case:

  • If you wish to sue someone for $10,000 or less, you may file a claim in Small Claims Court.


  • Staring a Small Claims case

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