November/December 2006 issue

E.D. of Missouri Opens Pro Se Self-Help Center

In November 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri opened a self-help resource center in the Clerk’s office of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis. The center consists of a small room with a few desks and brochures about legal and public resources in the community. The center also offers information about Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as well as programs offered by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for those litigants who might qualify. For more in-depth research into statutes and case law, litigants are referred to the library.

Using a grant from the AO, the court’s IT department is also working on creating a software program called E-ProSe that will assist pro se litigants in writing legal complaints. Eventually the program will be loaded onto a computer in the center. The Clerk’s office expects that a prototype of the software will be ready to go by Fall 2007.