Face-to-face family law assistance coming to Truckee courthouse
TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Nevada County Superior Court’s Family Law Facilitator’s Office has always assisted people from the Truckee location of the court through phone, fax and email.
This week, however, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office will, once a month, be able to help people face-to-face in Truckee.
Beginning Monday, March 21, the office will hold walk-in hours — starting at 8:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis — at the Truckee Branch of the court every third Monday of the month (notably, there are months when the specific Monday will change due to holidays and vacations).
According to the court, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office at the Truckee courthouse will be staffed by Julie Bachman, a bilingual (Spanish and English) California licensed attorney with whom the court is contracting.
Bachman, an attorney based in South Lake Tahoe, will set up shop in Truckee once a month and assist self-represented litigants with questions about family law issues, including divorce, child support, health insurance, property division, service of process by mail, and settlement conferences, among others.
There is no charge to obtain the assistance of the facilitator’s office, said Court Commissioner Yvette Durant.
“Having someone at the Truckee Branch of the court each month,” Durant said, “ensures these parties access to immediate face-to-face contact with someone who can help them on a walk-in basis regardless of whether that person has access to a fax machine, email, scanner, even a telephone.
“The fact the help can be in English or Spanish ensures the broadest section of our community is being served.”
Durant noted that Bachman will not act as litigants’ attorney and is not responsible for the outcome of a case.
“Rather,” she added, “the facilitator’s office assists parties in a neutral fashion.”
Durant said there will be a limited amount of time slots each Monday, so early arrival is recommended.
‘An immense benefit to the community’
In previous years, aside from providing assistance via phone, fax and email, a Family Law Facilitator would only come to Truckee to meet with people by appointment.
That changed a few years ago, however, when the FLFO’s hours were reduced due to budget cuts. What’s more, the facilitator’s office lost its only bilingual attorney, further reducing its footprint in Truckee.
That position was unable to be filled due to a lack of funding being provided to the court at the state level, Durant said.
“This was a huge loss to the large Spanish-speaking population in Truckee,” she continued. “I wanted to find a solution (that) would allow people in Truckee and the surrounding area to have face-to-face interaction with someone.
“What may be simple and straightforward to individuals familiar with the family law process can seem a frightening, confusing quagmire of rules, forms and mandates.”
Usher in Bachman, who was willing to provide family law assistance out of the Truckee Branch once a month on behalf of the Nevada County Superior Court.
“It was really a case of the stars finally aligning to make this happen in Truckee,” Durant said. “Having an independent contractor working one day a month was a cost the court was able to absorb, particularly in light of the immense benefit to the community.”
The Truckee branch of the Nevada County Superior Court is located at 10075 Levon Ave. To contact the local Family Law Facilitator’s office, call 530-470-2567, ext. 2.
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