Believe it or not, our Indio branch gets a number of interesting (and fun) reference questions. In fact, I had a patron walk into the library the other day upset over having just lost his case on a traffic infraction and he seemed to be overwhelmed by the entire appeals processes. I tried handing him the Nolo book on fighting traffic tickets but that seemed to be overwhelming, as well. Then I referred him to the courts website (at http://www.courts.ca.gov/formnumber.htm) where he could search for the forms he needed.
As I was looking at the above noted website, I noticed a pattern in the forms. Several of the sets of forms, have a “INFO” designation. Upon review, I found that each of these “INFO” forms were basically information about (or how to complete) the form set.
For example, in the case of this patron, he needed form number CR-141-INFO. This form dealt with Information on Appeal Procedures for infractions (http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr141info.pdf). Although this form may look intimidating at first, it is broken down quite nicely into detailed step by step instructions, and even redirects you to other helpful INFO forms.
If you are viewing the INFO forms on a computer, you can click on the links and they redirect you to the areas that are mentioned in the forms such as the rules of court (at http://www.courts.ca.gov/rules.htm) or areas of Low-Cost help (at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-lowcosthelp.htm).
What’s really helpful is that the forms are not limited to just appeals. There are INFO sheets for almost everything! The key is to take a deep breath, carefully read through the form(s) of choice, and do not be intimidated. Many of the forms even come in Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Korean.
After reading the INFO sheet, the patron was less overwhelmed by the process and was well on his way to filing his appeal. If you are interested in seeing (or retrieving) any (or all of) the forms available from the judicial council, take a look at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm and you have a great rest of the day!
~by Victor Landa