Every day, somewhere in BC, a person approaches a librarian and asks, “Can you help me find a court form?”
This seemingly simple question has so many potential answers. The court forms are different depending on whether the file is family or civil. They change completely depending on whether the action is in Provincial Court or Supreme Court. And getting help might mean finding the form you need, the rule that decides it or it might mean figuring out how to use it. It might mean all three.
I can only imagine how daunting that this would be for someone new to the legal system. And while there are excellent resources out there, sometimes you need signposts to get you there.
After assisting a number of people at the front desk and speaking with public librarians in different parts of BC, I starting thinking: what if we could direct people to a tool that would mimic the help a librarian at Courthouse Libraries would provide? If you weren’t sure where to go, could there be a single page to get you started using BC court forms?
I am so pleased to say that thanks to a fantastic team of people, Clicklaw now has a simple tool that does just this. You can find it in the footer on each page under Laws, Cases and Rules – Forms, Self-Help Guides, or through our new Common Question featured on the homepage, Where can I find the rules, forms and guides for court?
This simple flowchart allows people to start with the idea that they need help with a form and quickly get to the right resources. If someone is unsure of the answer to a question, we’ve built in some “I don’t knows” to try to help get them moved through and ultimately connected with the resources that will help.
Try it out. As with any new idea, we would love feedback. Let us know if it’s helping you (or your clients), or if there is something we could do better.
Thank you to everyone who made this happen. It was truly a team effort. It involved the work of a number of Courthouse Libraries BC staff and was only possible because of the resources of our outstanding Clicklaw contributor community.