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Q. Can I talk to the Judge about a case?
A. No. The Judge must remain independent, impartial and unbiased to both sides to a dispute throughout all phases of the case. The Judge may not speak with one side without the other side being present. Neither he, nor the Court staff, is permitted to give legal advice.

Q. How do I get a public defender?
A. You must request a public defender at your initial hearing or in writing. A written request may be hand written and should set out financial information that establish an inability to hire an attorney.

Q. When will my bond money be released?
A. Bond money will only be released after the conclusion of the criminal matter.

Q. Do I have to hire an attorney?
A. Any person may represent himself or herself in a court without a lawyer. However, this does not make the judge or the court's staff your lawyer. You must perform just like a lawyer would perform in gathering evidence and other pertinent information. Neither the Judge nor the court's staff can assist you in preparing or presenting your case. The laws and the rules of evidence remain the same whether you are represented by a lawyer or you represent yourself.
The self-help website address is: www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/forms.html

If you cannot afford an attorney, you may contact the following places to apply for free legal assistance: Legal Aid, 1531 13TH Street, Suite G330, Columbus, IN 47201; Telephone No. 1-877-378-0358.

Q. How do I get a continuance of a court date if I don't have an attorney?
A. You need to request the continuance in writing (10 days) prior to the court date and provide a copy of that request to the all parties in the case. Clearly explain your reasons for the request. Your current address and a phone number should be provided to the Court. You should then contact the Court or Clerk to see if the continuance has been granted and a new court date has been set.

Q. How do I apply for an Emergency Protection Order?
A. You need to obtain the forms from the County Clerk's Office "Petition for Exparte Order for Protection and Request for Hearing" and they will direct you to the appropriate court for review.

Q. How do I dismiss an Emergency Protection Order?
A. You must fill out a form "Petitioner's Verified Request for Dismissal" available at the County Clerk's Office.
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