A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Law Library

The District has no legal resources for Pro Se Civil Litigants. The are free legal resources at the Superior Court (Family and Criminal), Probate, Small Claims and Land Lord Tenant but none for Civil cases filed Pro Se or without a lawyer. The Superior Court has a legal library but it is not financial supported and therefore, has outdated materials. MLK use to have extensive and updated legal resources and a legal librarian. It presently has none. The surrounding Universities offer assistance for all the above but not for Civil Litigation. The reason is all the above are non-profits and Civil Litigation is usually for monetary damages. Therefore, the assumption is made an attorney will take the case for contingency which is 90% of the time incorrect because the amount, documentation and, in general, case is weak or not in their estimate worth the time for the money or there is no money to pay. Please consider a legal resource center where updated legal materials, laws, regulations, rules, etc are maintained/updated, with legal librarians, and from time to time, pro bono attorneys can provide legal support which includes but not limited to assisting Pro Se with understanding how to draft proceedings, timeliness of filings, mock case practices to understand how to and when to respond in court, in finding a contingency attorney for large monetary cases, etc. which is usually the cause for losing a pro se case. The surrounding states already have such in their Courthouses and Libraries, i.e. PG County's Upper Marlboro Circuit Court has 2 resource centers with assistance as stated above for Civil Litigants, Montgomery County has the same in Rockville, as well as Alexandria and Arlington.

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Idea No. 165