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Lee County courts launch new legal self-help center: Web site provides help to those who can’t afford an attorney

DIXON – Need legal help but just can’t afford an attorney?

The Lee County Court system is here to help, with its new Lee County Self-Help Center, an Internet site that offers a variety of information and forms.

“It would be ideal if every litigant who comes to court could have an attorney to represent him or her,” Lee County Circuit Judge Ron Jacobson said in a news release. “The legal self-help center should be particularly helpful to these people who previously had nowhere to turn for help.”

The site, lee.illinoislegalaid.org, is linked to the Illinois Legal Aid Web page.

People who don’t have a computer can use those at the Dixon Library, 221 S. Hennepin, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A computer also is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Lee County Circuit Clerk’s Office, 309 S. Galena Ave.

The center does not provide legal advice, but will help citizens answer a variety of questions, such as how to get a divorce in Illinois and how to sue someone for $10,000 or less. There are commonly asked questions, videos, legal forms and letters, and contacts for further assistance.

The Lee County legal self-help center is the 34th center launched since 2007. Ogle County set up its legal center last year, and Carroll County also has a site. Just substitute those counties for ‘lee’ in the Internet address.

Much of the same information also can be found at illinoislegalaid.org, the Legal Aid site itself.

For more information, call 815-979-0880.

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