Taking a case to court without legal advice
If you can't get legal help or advice, you may have to take your case to court or defend yourself in court on your own.
A person who represents themselves in court is called a 'litigant in person'.
What to think about before taking legal action
Before starting a case, you need to be realistic about what you may be able to achieve in court and whether it will be worth it. You can find a useful guide about alternatives to court on the AdviceNow website.
- More about alternatives to court at www.advicenow.org.uk.
Free or affordable legal help
You may be able to get free or affordable legal advice and representation with your case.
Representing yourself in court
If you're considering taking your case to court and you can't get suitable legal advice, you could consider representing yourself in court. You may have a lay representative who can help and support you in court sometimes known as a McKenzie friend.
A McKenzie friend can give you moral support, take notes, help you with case papers and advise you on court procedure. A McKenzie friend cannot address the court or examine witnesses unless the court agrees.
There a number of useful guides available online to help you if you are representing yourself in court.
Help from the Personal Support Unit at court
If you're attending court without legal representation, you may be able to get some practical non-legal help from the Personal Support Unit (PSU). For example, they help with your paperwork, take you to the right office and sit with you in court.
- More about the PSU at www.thepsu.org