Service Tree

The Service Tree lists all services in "branched" groups, starting with the very general and moving to the very specific. Click on the name of any group name to see the sub-groups available within it. Click on a service code to see its details and the providers who offer that service.

Court Filing Offices

Divisions or programs of the court that accept and file actions, petitions, motions or other applications from the public for the purpose of obtaining a ruling or order directing some action in favor of the applicant. Court filings are generally completed by a lawyer on behalf of a client, though some jurisdictions may permit (but not recommend) filing by clients on their own behalf.

Guardians ad Litem

Individuals appointed by the court to represent, in a particular lawsuit, the interests of minors, people judged to be incompetent or people unborn or unascertained who may have a future interest in the property involved in the litigation. These special guardians may also serve as advocates for dependent children pending settlement of their cases in dependency court; and are usually attorneys but may also be court appointed special advocates (CASA volunteers).

Guardianship/Conservatorship Court Investigation

Programs, often offered by public guardianship/conservatorship organizations, that conduct court-requested investigations in situations where a guardianship or conservatorship petition has been filed and report their findings and recommendations to the court. In the case of child guardianships, investigators review and report on the qualifications of the people who are applying to be appointed as guardians. In the case of adult guardianships or conservatorships, investigators gather information from relevant persons in the individual's social network including family members, doctors, friends, neighbors, and others with knowledge of the person's needs and capabilities, and produce a written report with a recommendation for or against the petition which is considered by the judge in reaching a decision. Guardianships and conservatorships differ widely among jurisdictions. Guardianships pertain to children but may also address the needs of adults found to be incompetent by the court. In both cases, guardianships may be of the person or the person's estate. Conservatorships, where they exist, may be involuntary and address the needs of adults found to be incompetent by the court or voluntary addressing the wishes of adults who are competent but physically infirm; and may pertain to the person and/or the person's estate, in the latter case, depending on the conservatee's wishes. In some states, conservatorships apply only to an individual's property while guardianships address responsibility for the person.

Public Counsel

Programs that are part of the city, county, state or federal judicial system that are responsible for prosecuting, in the name of the government, individuals who have been accused of an offense; for providing legal representation for representatives of government offices to which they are counsel; or for representing indigent defendants in criminal cases.

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