Accessing the Law from your Home or Office

Accessing the Law from your Home or Office

If you’ve been to since mid-July, you’ve seen a brand new Contra Costa Superior Court website.  In addition, the court’s Virtual Self-Help Law Center (VSHLC) site (, has been revamped.  The interplay between the two sites has been upgraded and, for the first time, both are readily accessible from your mobile devices.

Our new website has an intuitive design; two or three clicks will get you to your destination.  In addition, areas of content can be reached through at least three pathways, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.  The dedicated “For Attorneys” section remains, but is now easier to use.

The website also benefits from a redistribution of content.  The website is tailored to fit the needs of Contra Costa Court users, with features such as online completion and submission of Domestic Violence Restraining Order paperwork and basic information (court hours, directions, phone numbers, Local Rules, local forms, lists of local resources, etc.).  Many pages of general substantive legal content have been transferred to the VSHLC. Links have been added from the website to the VSHLC, so users can still access the substantive legal content; it just takes an extra click.

For more than 10 years, the VSHLC site has offered legal information and step-by-step instructions for 11 case types: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, parentage, guardianship, eviction, adoption (including termination of parental rights), domestic violence, small claims, and traffic.

Finding information on the VSHLC however, was often a challenge.  The new design addresses this with graphic buttons that enable a user to get directly to the area of law they need.  Every page in the VSHLC has been written to be at an eighth grade reading level or below and content has been rewritten so answers are succinct.  In an effort to increase access to the site, the entire site is available in Spanish.  Additionally, Google search has been added to the website as another means of locating information.

A lot of work has gone into the new look and feel of the websites.  Next time you are waiting in an interminable line or just have a few minutes to spare, we invite you to pull out your mobile device or tablet and get acquainted with both of these sites.  We hope you’ll enjoy the experience!