Free videos on common legal questions

Self-Help Videos

The Law Library and Civil Self-Help Center have created a number of videos on common procedures and topics. These videos are intended to provide background information on a variety of legal topics. Many of these videos also provide step-by-step instructions, guidance on completing forms, and details about local practices in Sacramento County. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance, please consult a lawyer.

In order for you to view a video, there are three things you need to do. First, you must configure your browser and/or firewall to accept cookies. Second, JavaScript will need to be enabled. Third, you will want to make sure all pages come from our server and not your computer’s cache. Similarly, if you or your company is using a proxy server on your network make sure that pages from our site are not cached.

Civil Cases and Procedures

These videos provide information about common procedures you will encounter over the course of a typical civil case, as well as background information about the court system.

How to Serve Court Papers by Mail
Personal service video Personal Service of Court Papers
Case Management video Completing Your Case Management Statement
See you in Court Video See You in Court! How to Start a Civil Lawsuit in Sacramento
Football video If You Understand Football...
Court system video Court System: Who Are the Players? What Do They Do?


A conservatorship is a court proceeding in which a judge appoints a responsible person (a “conservator”) to care for another adult who cannot care for him or herself or his and/or her finances (a “conservatee”). Limited and general probate conservatorship proceedings are perhaps the most common, although temporary, absentee (missing person), and involuntary mental-health (LPS) conservatorships also exist.

Consumer Protection

For more information,  please see our Law 101 page on Consumer Protection.

cease and desist video Cease and Desist Letter


Introduction to DiscoveryDiscovery Video
This series of videos will help you understand what discovery is, how to answer questions you received by mail, and how you can use discovery yourself.

Download Discovery Packet before watching these videos.


Enforcement of Judgments

Enforcement of Judgments
This twice sold-out class, videotaped the third time, covers the most successful methods of collection, including obtaining an earnings withholding order and bank levy.  Applications and Orders for Appearance and Examination, used to examine the judgment debtor in court to identify assets; and Abstracts of Judgment, used to place a lien against the judgment debtor’s real property; are also covered, as is how to calculate interest on judgments, renew a judgment, and file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment.

Expunging Criminal Records

“Expungement” is a term used when referring to a process of cleaning up your criminal record. In this process you request that the court reopen your criminal case, withdraw the plea or guilty verdict, dismiss the charges, and re-close the case without a conviction. In effect, you are no longer a convicted person. However, the case record itself will still exist, but the outcome of the case will no longer be your plea or conviction, but instead dismissed in the “Interests of Justice,” or “IOJ.”

Expungment video Expunging Your Conviction


Petition for Guardianship of the Person

This video from the Sacramento County Law Library’s Civil Self-Help Center provides background information on guardianship of the person, step-by-step instructions for completing the necessary forms, and details about copying, filing, and assembling the documents for the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Name Change Workshop

Name Change Workshop

Small Claims

How to File and Prepare a Winning Small Claims Case in Sacramento
This SCPLL video discusses jurisdictional issues; improper or no proof of service; subpoena of bank or personal records vs. privacy rights; countersuits; getting a judgment; appealing a judgment; collecting on a judgment; exemption claims; release of satisfaction on a judgment, and more. 

Revocable Transfers on Death Deeds

Revocable Transfers on Death Deeds

On Jan. 1, 2016, a new type of deed takes effect in California: the Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) deed, also called a beneficiary deed. The new law allows a homeowner to transfer to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries 1-4 residential real properties, condos and/or agricultural property, under 40 acres with a primary residence, upon the owner’s death without a probate proceeding.

This course will cover specific rules governing compliance, documentation, recording period, and how to revoke a deed. Applicable forms are available from the Sacramento County Public Law Library’s website.  Click here for additional information and forms.

Topics will include the new Estate Planning Tool (AB 139) re California Probate Code 5642:
1. Probate Avoidance Device
2. Will Not Resort in a Probate
3. No Trust Required
5. Has no effect during lifetime
4. Can be Revoked

In addition, the course will cover 24 Frequently Asked Questions as to the TOD and a sunset period of the new law.

Trial Preparation

Trial Preparation for the Self-Represented Litigant

This video series guides you through the basics of trial preparation. From beginning your case with trial in mind, to creating a discovery plan, to the basics of conducting a trial, this introductory level course is designed to set you on the path to an effective trial or a better settlement. This course is intended for self-represented litigants, and is not offered for MCLE credit.

Other Libraries and Courts

Videos from other libraries and courts provide good information on a variety of legal issues.