Citizen Services (Filing Without an Attorney)

Court Services


Manager
Kristina Coen, Attorney at Law
937.496-7808
KCoen@mcjcohio.org

Pro Se (Acting As Your Own Attorney)

The Montgomery County Juvenile Court is committed to providing our clients and the community with the best possible customer service. The information and the forms contained on this page are meant as a guide to assist you in filing certain types of cases “pro se”, or acting as your own attorney. While our office is here to assist you in preparing your pro se filings, please note, throughout the court process, you will be held to the same standards, rules, requirements, and procedures as an attorney who is properly licensed and registered to practice law in the State of Ohio. Please read the document “Information and Resources for Pro Se Filers” for more information.

Information and Resources for Pro Se Filers

Citizen Services

All pro se filings must be reviewed and approved by Citizen Services prior to filing. Citizen Services is located on the lower level of the Juvenile Justice building. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Citizen Services operates on a walk-in basis, so some delays may occur during periods of high volume. We ask that you please plan accordingly and appreciate your patience.”

History

Citizen Services is a small branch of the Juvenile Court Clerk’s office which assists those who cannot afford an attorney in representing themselves pro se in civil matters.  Citizen Services began in February 2014. At that time, pro se filings were being dismissed at a high rate due to inaccurate or incomplete filings. These dismissed cases were a drain on the time and resources of both the pro se litigants and the court.  Pro se litigants were paying unnecessary filing fees, clogging judicial dockets, and causing long lines at the clerks’ windows. Citizen Services was created to improve the way pro se filings were being initiated, reviewed, and filed, in order to reduce the number of dismissed pro se civil cases, streamline the pro se filing process, and conserve judicial time and resources.

Who Qualifies

Any person who wishes to proceed without an attorney, regardless of their financial situation

Assistance Provided

Citizen Services is available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Pro Se litigants are provided with packets containing all of the paperwork required for filing, as well as general instructions for completing the forms. Upon completion, the forms are reviewed and corrections are made as needed. Each pro se litigant then meets with the Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney does not represent the pro se litigant, and will not appear in court. The Staff Attorney may, however, answer the filer’s general questions and provide information about court proceedings, witnesses, evidence, the rules of court, and other general information the pro se litigant may need in order to litigate his or her case.

Types of Issues / Cases

The vast majority of Citizen Services filings relate to civil matters, though there are occasionally filings in delinquency, or abuse, neglect, dependency cases. The main types of cases filed through Citizen Services are:

  • Custody
  • Parenting time / visitation
  • Child Support matters
  • Paternity
  • Contempt of Court
  • Objections
  • Continuances
  • Requests for In Camera interview, CASA, or GAL
  • Service (reissue or publication)
  • Grandparent Power of Attorney
  • Grandparent Caretaker Authorization