About Us

Mission

Improve equal access to the courts for the public and self-represented litigants by identifying and reducing barriers to court access.

What kind of information and assistance are available?

The Idaho Court Assistance Office (CAO) provides resources, court forms, document review, and legal information for people who want to represent themselves in court, or who are unable to afford an attorney and would otherwise be unable to get their day in court.

When possible, the first priority of a Court Assistance Office (CAO) is to help connect individuals representing themselves in court with a lawyer. Court Assistance Officers cannot provide legal advice but they can explain the legal process, what to expect in court, and the risks and responsibilities of representing yourself in court. Additional services provided include: assistance with calculating child support and completing a parenting plan, and

Referrals To:

  • Idaho State Bar Lawyer Referral Service, for a list of attorneys and the types of services they can provide.
  • Domestic Violence, Fair Housing, and Senior Citizen hotlines, operated by Idaho Legal Aid Services.
  • Resources to protect children in high-conflict cases, e.g. visitation supervisors, certified court interpreters, and mediators.
When should I consider talking to an attorney?

It is always advisable to talk to a lawyer before proceeding on your own. The materials and assistance you receive on this web site or in your local Court Assistance Office are no substitute for talking with a lawyer. Laws and court rules are very complex, and even if you follow the instructions provided and use our forms you are not guaranteed to win your case. Visit the Idaho State Bar Lawyer Referral Service to find a lawyer.

History

The Idaho Supreme Court's Committee to Increase Access to the Court (Access Committee) began planning the Court Assistance Office Project in 1998 following concerns with the increased numbers of people representing themselves in court without an attorney in civil matters. Through funding from the State Justice Institute a six-month pilot project began in July 1999 to establish court assistance offices in three pilot counties. The pilot project was selected by the American Judicature Society as one of the projects to be showcased at the National Conference on Pro Se Litigation in November, 1999.

Following the successful of the pilot project, the Access Committee approved the expansion of the program and then in 2001 the Idaho Legislature enacted Section 32-1402(5), I.C. which established court assistance officers by law as part of a system of coordinated family services in Idaho courts. The legislature also appropriated funds to support the court assistance offices in each of the seven judicial districts.

Questions: Please contact your local Court Assistance Office for assistance with court forms and questions about the court process. Find their contact information here.

If you have questions about the program or to report errors on this website please contact:

  • Statewide Court Assistance Manager
  • Imelda Ramirez
  • Idaho Supreme Court
  • 451 W. State Street
  • Boise ID 83720
  • Email