Free videos on common 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.

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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?

Civil Harassment Restraining Order Workshop

Explains how to request a Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO).


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.

Sacramento County Superior Court requires prospective conservators to view an approved videotaped presentation on the duties and responsibilities of conservators. (Local Rule 4.40). All the videos listed here have been approved by the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Conservatorship Orientation Online Conservatorship Orientation
Self-Help Overview Course Probate Conservatorships Self Help Overview Course

Consumer Protection

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

cease and desist video Cease and Desist Letter

Introduction to Discovery

Discovery VideoThis 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. Watching the entire series satisfies the requirement of attending the Discovery Class prior to attending our Discovery Lab. The videos introduce discovery process, teach you how to propound (ask) and respond to Requests for Admissions, Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production, and provide tips and solutions for common discovery problems.

Download the Discovery Packet before watching these videos.

Introduction to Discovery Video Series home page.

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 Your Conviction

Alan Bridges, an attorney with the Voluntary Legal Services Program’s Expungement Clinic, explains “Expunging Your Conviction” in this self-help video.

Expunging Your Conviction (27:31 Video)

Alan Bridges, VLSP, explains “Expunging Your Conviction” in this self-help video. Also linked: the Sacramento County Superior Court’s current packet of forms, and the Law Library’s “Understanding the Expungement Packet,” with sample forms and instructions. Note: forms have changed since this video was recorded, but most of the information is still accurate.

How to Order Your Rap Sheet

Rap Sheet VideoIf you need to order your own criminal history, you need to fill out a form and take it to a Live Scan site for fingerprinting. This video shows you how.

How to Order Your Rap Sheet (Criminal History)

California Department of Justice Live Scan Form BCIA 8016RR, pdf (BCIA 8016RR Spanish, pdf)
Instructions, pdf | En Español, pdf

Guardianship Videos

The Law Library’s Civil Self Help Center has produced two sets of videos to help people apply for guardianship in Sacramento.

Guardianship Workshop Video
Questions and Answers: Applying for Guardianship

Name Change Workshop

Explains how to complete the legal forms to change your name, and what steps to take after you file.

Note: Most of the information on this video is still relevant. However, forms have changed since this video was recorded. In addition, name change petitions are now filed at 813 Sixth Street, Room 212, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday. (They can be filed in the drop box at that location any time, but you will have to wait for the papers to be mailed back before you proceed.)

Winning a 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

California has a new (2016) option for transferring a home to your heirs: the Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) deed, also called a beneficiary deed. A homeowner can transfer their primary residence to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the owner’s death without a probate proceeding.

This video covers the specific rules governing 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.

Reducing the Effect of a Criminal Conviction

In this video presentation series, Judge Jaime R. Roman provides his judicial perspective on how a criminal record can never be completely eliminated, the consequences of criminal convictions as it may pertain to occupational or professional licensing or immigration may be reduced by post conviction petitions that include early termination of probation, reducing certain felonies to misdemeanors, and/or vacating convictions. Judge Roman focuses on particular Penal Code sections that provide some relief.

Trial Prep 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.