self help

Visit the California Courts state-wide self help center. It is loaded with helpful information.

Walk-up and/or workshop:

  • Divorce
  • Establishing Paternity
  • Child/Spousal support
  • Custody and Visitation
  • Modifying existing orders
  • Guardianship
  • Step-parent adoption

Individual appointments:

  • Conservatorship
  • Finalizing divorces/legal separations

Limited assistance (walk-up):

  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
  • Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders (class offered via Family Services of Tulare County)
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
  • Name/Gender/Birth Certificate change
  • Expungement
  • Grandparent Visitation
  • Unlawful Detainer (tenant and landlord)
  • Answers to Credit Card Collections Complaints

What to expect when visiting the court

Public Parking

All Tulare County Superior Court locations have free public parking.  All day parking is available in designated spaces and there is limited 3 hour parking at the Visalia location. Parking is enforced. 

Jurors may park in spaces designated as juror parking, or any other general or limited 3 hour parking. The parking permit attached to the Summons must be displayed on the dash.

Security Screening

As a matter of public safety, everyone entering any of the Tulare County Superior Court locations are required to pass through a weapons screening station and have all handheld objects and bags screened.

When coming to the courthouse, allow additional time for the weapons screening process.
During the screening process, you will be asked to remove your belt and may be asked to remove items of jewelry, accessories or clothing.  Prohibited items should be left at home or in your vehicle.  You will be asked to dispose of or return any prohibited items to your vehicle.  Food or drinks are not allowed in the courthouse with the exception of sealed water bottles.  Jurors who may be required to be in the courthouse for extended periods of time, will be permitted to bring food for lunch and/or snacks, in appropriate containers.

Prohibited items include weapons and contraband of any kind, including the following:

  • Any firearms except those possessed by law enforcement officers on duty.
  • All knives
  • Stun guns, tasers, pepper spray, chemical mace or tear gas
  • Handcuffs and handcuff keys, except those possessed by law enforcement officers on duty
  • All scissors
  • Razors and box cutters
  • All flammable liquids

Refusal to submit to a search will result in denial of entry.

Proper Dress

Individuals attending court sessions should dress neatly and appropriately. Shorts, hats, and tank tops are examples of inappropriate attire.

Tulare County Local Rule of Court, rule 105 states that no person will wear gang clothing or possess gang-related personal property while on the premises of any courthouse. This will include gang insignias, monikers, color patterns, bandannas, hats, jewelry, clothing, belts, or any other clothing or personal property with any gang significance. Any person identified by security personnel or law enforcement as wearing or possessing any item of property in violation of this rule will be asked to remove the property or themselves from the courthouse. Any such property is also subject to confiscation as contraband. Violation of this order is punishable as contempt pursuant to Penal Code section 166 (maximum penalty of six months in county jail, a $500 fine, or both). Any person who resists any courthouse security or law enforcement request to comply with this rule can be punished pursuant to Penal Code section 148 (maximum penalty of one year in county jail, $1,000 fine, or both).

Courtroom Etiquette

Enter the courtroom quickly and quietly. The bailiff will remove individuals who are not quiet while court is in session. No laughing, whispering, giggling, talking or applauding. No communicating or motioning to individuals who are in custody. No gum chewing, eating or drinking is allowed in the courtroom.

Electronic Devices in Courthouse

Any and all “photographing” and/or “recording” of people, things, conversations, or proceedings is strictly prohibited in any courthouse facility, including, but not limited to stairways, elevators, waiting areas, hallways, entrances, security screening stations, service areas, through windows, through doors, and with respect to any other accessible areas of courthouse facilities, whether access was intended or not, absent written order of the court. Any device that appears capable of photographing, recording, or broadcasting is subject to confiscation. Any use of an electronic device while court is in session is prohibited unless the party seeking to use such device is granted leave by the court to do so. Unless permission is granted to use a device, all such devices must be silenced or turned off while court is in session. Nothing in this policy limits the court’s authority to impose other reasonable limitations on use of these devices to maintain conditions conducive to the orderly conduct of court operations.

Self-Help Videos

Two videos are available that provide self-represented litigants with information about procedures, advisory services, and mediation programs for small claims and unlawful detainer cases. Each video is approximately 20 minutes in length and is available with English, Spanish, and Russian narration and subtitles:

Please note that some actions, such as Stepparent Adoption Requests, may involve local forms as well as Judicial Council forms. Please contact the superior court clerk, room 201, at the county courthouse in Visalia, CA. Or call 559-730-5000 for more information.

Self-Help Links

  • LawHelp: A web site dedicated to helping low-income Californians solve legal problems.
  • Virtual Self-Help Law Center: A link to the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County website which features useful resources to help learn about court procedures, and find forms.

Self Help Resource Center - Family Law Facilitator

The Self Help Resource Center offers classes and services to the public:

  • Family Law Facilitator
  • 3400 West Mineral King, Suite C
  • Visalia
  • CA
  • 93291
  • 559-737-5500

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 4:30pm, Friday, 8:30am to 11:30am

  • South County Justice Center Self-Help Resource Center
  • 300 E. Olive
  • Porterville
  • CA
  • 93257

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Friday, 8:30 am to 11:30 am

Self-Help Resource materials

Example binders of most common family law pleadings are available during regular business hours at the following locations:

  • Woodlake Family Resource Center
  • 168 E. Valencia
  • Woodlake
  • CA
  • 93286

  • Lindsay Healthy Start
  • 400 E. Hermosa
  • Lindsay
  • CA
  • 93247

  • Tulare Family Resource Center
  • 304 E Tulare Ave.
  • Tulare
  • CA
  • Earlimart Family Resource Center
  • 114 North Front St.
  • Earlimart
  • CA
  • Tulare County Public Law Library
  • 221 S Mooney Blvd
    County Civic Center, G-1
  • Visalia
  • CA