In the 12 months since opening to the public last Dec. 1, the staff members of the Glen Burnie District Court Self-Help Center have assisted 4,320 self-represented litigants with their cases in the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County. The center is staffed and operated by Maryland Legal Aid.
Additionally, the Self-Help Center has collaborated with the University of Maryland’s School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic to refer 51 litigants to the clinic for representation. Currently, the Consumer Protection Clinic is focusing on defendants in debt-buyer cases in the District Court of Maryland. These referrals have helped many self-represented litigants avoid judgments in cases where a chain of assignment or proof of an underlying debt could not be shown.
“On a daily basis, the Self-Help Center staff assists self-represented litigants with understanding court procedures, filing pleadings, providing basic legal advice in civil cases, as well as providing referrals to legal services, government agencies and mediation,” said Sarah Frush, the center’s supervising attorney.