Most pro se litigants in debt collection and family law

I spoke with a state court judge in Utah about what types of cases have the most pro se litigants (parties to a lawsuit that represent themselves).  He said that pro se litigants most often appear in two types of cases: (1) debt collection and (2) family law.  Pro se litigants are “the exception” in other cases.

This makes sense.  Debt collection cases involve parties that cannot pay sums owed.  They are, by nature, not likely to be able to afford a lawyer.  As for family law, every divorce is a court case–at least that is my understanding. Family law cases are the most common type civil lawsuit.  Anecdotally, I know several people who have divorced without a lawyer.

This is useful information.  If we want to automate answering a complaint or create a timeline of civil procedure–in the hopes of making courts easier to navigate for pro se litigants–it might be most helpful to focus those efforts on debt collection and family law.

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