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State increasing public access to legal information and courts

To promote public access to the courts, the Minnesota Judicial Branch is installing public access computer workstations in most courthouses in the state.

The computer workstations are already available in Goodhue, Wabasha and Olmsted counties, along with 54 others across the state.

The workstations provide access to a Virtual Self-Help Center on the Judicial Branch Web site. The service provides legal information, court forms, lawyer referral resources, tutorials, and videos on various legal actions, including divorce, child support, child custody, landlord-tenant disputes, car title issues and more.

The courthouse workstations include a printer and a phone that connects the user to a court support person. Phone calls are answered by court employees from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, except for legal holidays. While court employees are not able to give legal advice, they can assist callers with general questions about court forms, procedures and legal resources. Bilingual staff are available to provide services in Spanish.

E-mail support is also available via link on the Web site. A grant from the State Justice Institute supports this project.