Seals of the Court of Appeals and Superior Court
District of Columbia Courts

I have to represent myself or I need assistance finding an attorney so how do I get started?

To start, or "file" a case, you need to go to the court division that processes that type of case. The Public section of our website explains how different types of cases are handled and where you should file your case.

The DC Courts and others make available brochures, guides, and handbooks that give you information about filing various types of cases. Links to these Useful Resources are listed below on this webpage. In addition, some divisions of the DC Courts have prepared forms that you can fill out yourself and file. The Forms can be downloaded using Online Services menu. The Online Services menu also includes a link to frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertinent to representing yourself and finding a lawyer.

If you have limited income, there are organizations, known as Legal Services Providers, that may be able to give you legal advice, represent you in court, or help you learn how to represent yourself.

The Multi-Door Division can help you resolve problems without filing a case using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or Mediation. This ADR assistance includes family, child protection, and community problems and disputes. The Multi-Door Division also can refer you to a legal service provider.

Useful Resources