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Representing Yourself in Court

Online Resources:

Online Forms: 

Print Resources: 

  • 101 Law Forms for Personal Use - KF170 .L46 2013
  • Beat Your Ticket: Go to Court & Win - KF2231 .B76 2013.
  • The Complete Personal Legal Guide, 4th ed. (Random House Reference, 2008). Self Help Collection KF387 .Y655 2008.
  • Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference - KF801.Z9 S75 2010.
  • The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System - KF9619.85 .B47 2013.
  • Deposition Handbook: The Essential Guide for Anyone Facing or Conducting a Deposition, 6th ed. - Bergman, Paul - NOLO - KF 8900 .B44 2014.
  • Feinman, Jay M. Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System. (Oxford University Press, 2000). KF387.F45 2000.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, 3rd ed. (Gale, 2011) Reference KF154.W47 2011.
  • A Judge's Guide to Divorce: Uncommon Advice From the Bench - KF535.Z9 D857 2007.
  • Nolo's Encyclopedia of Everyday Law: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions - KF387.N65 2014.
  • Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case, Nolo KF8841.B47 2013..
  • Roche, Brien A. Una Guia de Referencia Esencial para sus Preguntas Legales Cotidianas. (Sphinx Pub., 2006). KF387.R5715 2006.

The right to represent oneself in court is protected by both federal (Title 28 § 1654 United States Code) and Minnesota law. The Minnesota unauthorized practice of law statute, is found in Minnesota Statutes § 481.02. Courts have the power to regulate who may act in a representative capacity for a litigant. If you plan to represent yourself, be prepared to speak for yourself. If you are a business entity, you probably need a lawyer. For an explanation of this potentially complicated question, see Entities Appearing in District Court Need Attorney Representation, from the JDs Rising blog.

DISCLAIMER:  As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts.)  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.  For links to resources on finding an attorney click here.

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