Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Self-Help Center
Photos by Adam Stewart
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Point Arena - Photo courtesy of Bernardo Hurtado


The Self-Help Center in the Ukiah and Fort Bragg courthouses is closed to in-person services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until further notice.

We are available by telephone and email on: Monday through Thursday 9:00 to 12, and 1:00-4:00, by email at, or by phone at (707) 468-2020 (if busy or you reach the recording, please call back).

We also provide some limited in-person appointments for help with restraining orders only. And we can review documents if you would like to have someone check them before filing them.

  • To schedule one of these limited appointments, call or email us and we will let you know if we can make you an appointment.

  • If you would like your paperwork reviewed before turning it in to the court, slide your papers under the door in Room 304 of the Ukiah Courthouse, or the door slot at the Clerk’s Window of the Ten Mile (Fort Bragg) Courthouse. In Ukiah, restraining order paperwork will be reviewed daily. In Fort Bragg, only Mondays and Wednesdays. Other paperwork, as long as related to the case types our center assists with, will be reviewed every Monday, so you may have to wait up to a week for the review. 

If you leave papers for us to review, make sure you leave your phone number so we may contact you, and your voicemail is set up and able to receive messages. We will only be able to call you back once to let you know about your paperwork.

YouTube Videos

Check out our growing collection of YouTube videos produced by the Mendocino County Self Help Center.


Do you have a simple question?

If you have a simple question that we can handle by email, email us at We will respond within 5 business days. Do NOT email us if you need help right away or have an emergency.

How we can help you

The Self Help Center helps with:

  • Restraining Orders
  • Divorce and Legal Separation
  • Parentage
  • Custody / Visitation
  • Name Changes
  • Gender Recognition
  • Guardianship Petitions
  • Other Guardianship Issues
  • Small Claims
  • Referring you to other agencies for help

We cannot help you with criminal cases, bankruptcy, immigration, appeals, and general civil cases (except we may be able to explain legal processes to you).

Click here for immigration resources

The Self-Help Center can give you legal information. We are not your lawyer. We can help both parties in a case. There is no confidentiality or attorney-client privilege with the staff of the Self-Help Center. We cannot help you if you have a lawyer in your case. And we cannot go with you to court.

If you want legal advice about what you should do or how to manage your case, consult with your own lawyer. Also hire a lawyer if you want to have a confidential conversation or to be represented by a lawyer in court.

Click here for help finding a lawyer

We have packets of information and court forms available at the Self-Help Center. We also have videos, books and binders with useful legal information. And we have a limited number of computers you can use to fill out court for


Help in Your Language

If you do not speak English well or are more comfortable in another language, we have staff that speaks Spanish. If you speak another language other than Spanish it is best to bring another adult (someone at least 18 or older) who can translate for you.


Children and the Court

Please do not bring children to the Self Help Center. Children are not allowed to come to court hearings, with very limited exceptions, so when you come to the court, please ask someone to care for your children.




If you need help with a domestic violence restraining order or a restraining order against someone who sexually assaulted, or if you need emergency shelter, counseling, or help going to court, contact Project Sanctuary at:


Inland Office
564 South Dora Street
Ukiah, CA  95482
(707) 462-9196


Coastal Office
461 North Franklin Street
Fort Bragg, CA  95437
(707) 961-1507



The Self-Help Center can also help you with a restraining order. We cannot go with you to court.

If you need an emergency restraining order and Project Sanctuary or the Self-Help Center is closed, call the police or sheriff and ask for an Emergency Protective Order or EPO. An EPO lasts from 5 to 7 days, and gives you time to go to court and ask a Temporary Restraining Order.

Click here to find out more about domestic violence restraining orders
© 2020 Superior Court of Mendocino County