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Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal is the Guest Speaker at the
Newberry County Self-Help Center Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting


On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal was the guest speaker at the Grand Opening of the Newberry County Self-Help Center at the Fall Clerk of Court’s Conference.

Entrance to the Newberry County Self-Help Center.

Chief Justice Jean Toal and the Honorable Jackie S. Bowers, Newberry County Clerk of Court, Cutting the Ribbon at the Newberry County Self-Help Center Grand Opening.

Chief Justice Toal began her presentation by discussing why there is a need for self-help centers in South Carolina. While the Constitution requires that defendants in criminal cases be provided a lawyer, there is no such guarantee in civil cases. Many people make too much money to qualify for free legal services, but not enough money to afford an attorney. As a result, many people must represent themselves in court without the assistance of an attorney. The Self-Help Center is a place where people can go for legal information and assistance that will help them navigate the legal system. The goal is to promote greater access to justice while also enhancing court efficiency.

Chief Justice Toal recognized the efforts of the Honorable Jackie S. Bowers, Newberry County Clerk of Court, her staff, and all of the volunteers who have made the Self-Help Center a reality. She also recognized the efforts of local judges, including the Honorable Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., the Honorable John M. Rucker, and the Honorable Joseph W. McGowan, III. In conclusion, she thanked Newberry County Council, the Newberry County Bar Association, and the Access to Justice Commission for its contributions and dedication to this project


Self-Help Center Staff:  Stephanie Nye, Counsel to Chief Justice Jean Toal, and Robin Wheeler, Executive Director of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.