Canthe other party’slawyer refuse to communicate withyouif you arerepresenting yourself in a case?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011

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Canthe other party’slawyer refuse to communicate withyouif you arerepresenting yourself in a case?

I have been in a custody battle and have recently hurt myself and I had to dismiss my lawyer because I could not pay. I am now representing myself in this custody mess and have filed the proper documentation with the court. However the lawyer for the children of my mother told me that she refuses to deal with me and that I need to retain a lawyer. If I chose to represent myself can she stone-walled my efforts like this? Do I not have the right to represent myself in civil court and custody issues?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry about your injury and misfortune.  Every person has the right to represent them selves in any court proceeding.  It may not be the wisest thing to do in every instance but you can not stone walled as you have put it here.  What you need to do is to establish to the court and to the attorney that you have fired or dismissed your attorney and t file something with the court regarding it all.  Send a letter to the Judge.  Copy the attorney.  Ask the court to schedule a conference between the parties and at the conference - possibly with the Judge's law clerk? - and make it clear that you need the attorney to communicate with you.  You may want to do everything in writing at this point in time so that there is not confusion or mis communication.  Good luck. 

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