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Supreme Court of Texas Approves Taskforce on Uniform Forms

Friday, March 11, 2011

  • Hannah Silk Kapasi
  • Texas Access to Justice Commission

 In response to the continually growing number of pro se litigants in Texas, the Supreme Court of Texas has recently approved a new taskforce on uniform forms. The taskforce, which will hold its first meeting on March 18, will develop proposed uniform pleadings and orders forms, to be evaluated and approved by the Court for statewide use.

These efforts for uniform forms grew out of the Texas Forum on Self Represented Litigants and the Courts, held last April. The Forum participants – 120 judges, legal services attorneys, law librarians, and court clerks and administrators – identified a strong need for statewide standardized forms in areas of the law frequently involving pro se litigants.

Following the Forum, the Supreme Court of Texas has continued to focus attention on the accessibility of the court system to Texans who are unable to afford legal representation. The Court has concluded that, although the legal system functions most effectively when all litigants are represented by an attorney, there are currently insufficient resources to meet the growing demand for civil legal aid in Texas, and the number of pro se litigants will continue to rise. The new taskforce will evaluate the potential benefit of uniform forms on the accessibility of the court system to low-income families in Texas.

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