computer monitor with smartphone illustration with chat icons


Live Chat for Online Self-Help

Jul 23, 2020

(The information below is based on a news release from the Santa Clara Superior Court)

To continue providing services for self-represented litigants safely and responsibly, following temporary COVID-19 protocols and as an alternative to in-person assistance, the Santa Clara Superior Court’s self-help center has introduced Live Chat.

Live Chat is a two-way chat feature that allows self-help center staff to answer questions in real-time and review documents from self-represented litigants remotely. Live Chat is one of the various alternatives to the regular self-help walk-in services available at the Family Justice Center Courthouse; other options include email, phone calls, and video conferencing.

The Live Chat function will be available during regular self-help center business hours, as staffing permits.

“Our Court has undergone numerous changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of these changes allow court customers to do their business without having to appear in person. The Live Chat function, adopted by our self-help center, provides our customers with the added convenience of remote assistance while promoting proper social distancing during this pandemic,” said Presiding Judge Deborah A. Ryan. “Our self help center staff remains committed to assisting self-represented litigants through these difficult and challenging times.”

Santa Clara’s Live Chat tool is available by visiting the court’s self-help website.

Other Superior Courts Offering Live Chat for Self-Help Services

Alameda court live chat self help

Alameda County

San Francisco court live chat self-help

San Francisco County

San Mateo court live chat self help

San Mateo County

(Additional superior courts and the California Court of Appeal self-help website offer intelligent chat; unlike live chat tools where litigants correspond online with a real person, intelligent chat is an automated tool that answers questions based on pre-scripted responses)