Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Self-Help Center Hours?

The Sutter County Family Law Facilitator's Office and Self-Help Center is open for in-person assistance Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Our telephone hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We also offer email assistance through E-Help, and will respond within two business days. This is subject to change due to staff availability.

What type of assistance will I receive?

The Self-Help Center provides the following types of assistance through our clinics:

  • Information on how to open a case 
  • Instruction on completion of court forms 
  • Assistance responding to court forms
  • Preparation of support calculations 
  • Instructions on follow-up steps 
  • Assistance with preparation of Orders and Judgments 
  • Referrals to other resources 

File review and assistance finishing your case is available at the Status Conference hearing that is set periodically in each case until it reaches judgment. 

What can I expect?

Once you check in at the Self-Help Center you may be offered options with regard to our clinics or packets of information.  We are very limited in our ability to offer drop in assistance if that subject area has a clinic available.   If we are unable to assist you due to the complexity or subject matter of your case, we may offer you a list of local attorneys. 

What should I bring with me?

Each time you visit the Self-Help Center, please remember to bring the following items:

  • Photo identification 
  • Your case number
  • Current pay stubs or statements 
  • Other income and expense information 
  • A blue or black ink pen 
  • Envelopes and postage stamps
  • Copies of any documents that have already been filed 

What is E-Help Assistance and how does it work?

Litigants who would like procedural assistance or help determining the next steps in their case may contact us using our E-Help System. E-Help assistance is available to any self-represented party in a family law, domestic violence, family support or guardianship case filed in Sutter County Superior Court. Please note that if you have a confidential file and your e-mail address does not match the address on file for you with the court, we will be unable to assist you via our E-Help System.

What is a Status Conference?

A status conference is a court date that is set as a check-up on the progress of your case towards a Judgment.  Status Conferences are set at regular intervals and are not the trial date.  It is not usually an opportunity to address the court or ask for orders unless it is scheduled on the same date as a properly noticed Request for Order.

How can I get help completing court forms online?

Odyssey Guide & File is a free program that guides a user through a series of questions with the goal of producing legal forms that may be printed, then filed with the court. The Odyssey Guide & File program is maintained by Tyler Technologies, a private company. Tyler Technologies is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the Sutter County Superior Court. This link is provided as a resource to the public. Please be advised that the programs provided by Guide & File are designed for statewide use and contain general instructions that may vary locally depending on the court where you file your forms. Additionally, there may be local forms that are required for filing but are not provided in the form sets produced by the Guide & File program. It is highly recommended that you review the Local Rules for more specific information and guidance before filing any forms with the court.

How do I get Emergency Custody Orders?

If you feel that your child is in imminent danger, you can request temporary emergency court orders. Information and links to instructions on how to complete the forms can be found under Family Law, Child Custody and Visitation