Friday, July 15, 2005

A day in the life of phone reference @ DCLRC

When court staff write reports highlighting our services, we're always asked to provide some typical questions we get from our patrons. Here are some actual questions received at DCLRC in one day from patrons who phoned (calls not received in this order):
  • We won our small claims judgment, but the person's not paying. What can we do?
  • Could you renew a book for me?
  • Are there any lawyers in the courthouse who give free legal advice?
  • I won an eviction and got the tenant out, but he left his stuff and now has been breaking in at night to retrieve it. What can I do with his stuff?
  • I need to provide financial information to the Family Court Commissioner's office, but I can't get ahold of my CPA to get a copy of my W2's. Can I delay sending the information until I receive a copy?
  • Are the court rules on the website up to date?
  • Can I get a motion online?
  • Where can I buy law books--like the statutes?
  • I feel all the women in the court system are biased against me. Is there a man there I can talk to?
  • Did I leave an umbrella there yesterday?
  • Does Dane County accept court forms via email?
  • Are your forms good for all counties?
  • Can you look up what time my hearing is next week?
  • Do you know the cut-off income is for the Public Defender? What if I make over the amount, do I have to hire my own attorney? I can use a public defender in divorce cases, right?
  • My wife won't let me see my kids. Can I hold her in contempt?

As you can see, we get a wide variety of questions to answer or re-direct. Using the resources in our library, the courthouse, or online, we attempt to provide useful information without giving legal advice in the most cost-efficient manner.