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District Court Help Center to celebrate serving 15,000 clients Aug. 2

The Johnson County District Court Help Center will celebrate reaching a milestone of serving more than 15,000 clients since opening in 2014.

The public is invited to the Help Center for a ceremony from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Johnson County Courthouse, 100 Kansas Ave. in Olathe, in Division 14, Room 301.

The honorable Karen Arnold-Burger, chief judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals, will speak during the ceremony at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the Help Center on the first floor of the courthouse.

The Johnson County District Court Help Center provides resources for people who are unable to have an attorney or other legal assistance in Johnson County District Court. The Help Center offers free legal forms, case information, filing assistance, document review, referrals to low-cost or free legal assistance and referrals to social service agencies.

The Help Center was initially started to assist the unrepresented with forms for family law cases such as divorce, parentage cases, cases concerning child support, motions to change parenting plans, child support worksheets, medical expense reimbursements and name changes. Since being founded, the Help Center now offers assistance with landlord-tenant disputes and guardianship and conservatorship reports.

The center’s goal is to provide basic information and forms for the most common kinds of problems. The majority of problems by unrepresented citizen’s fall into the categories of family, tenant and debt disputes.

The Help Center opened in May 2014 and assisted 16 people. In 2015, 4,074 people were helped. In 2016, the center served 5,633 in-person visitors — an average 470 each month. Most months, the Help Center assists more than 20 people each day. On average, the center answers 360 phone calls per month from residents.

One in 15 Johnson County resident lives below the federal poverty line.

More information on the Help Center line is available at courts.jocogov.org.