HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Legal Kiosk is a computer station where people can attend virtual court and find legal help.
This kiosk is free to anyone in the Rio Grande Valley and is the only one of its kind in the area. It allows users to file forms, download legal documents, and access legal resources and allows you to print as well.
The hope of this kiosk is to make the legal system more accessible.
“It’s a great resource. There is helpful information. Library staff cannot offer legal services or legal information, or any kind of legal help,” said Harlingen Public Library director Deauna Campbell. “But there is a contact phone number that if they have they have legal questions that they can contact somebody and it’s completely free.”
It is available in both English and Spanish, and you do not need a library card to access the kiosk. Simply call the library to reserve a time slot.
This kiosk is specifically for legal matters and won’t access any other websites like social media. Through its website, visitors can receive comprehensive assistance through live chat by connecting with legal professionals at no cost.
Some Texas courts will let you participate in virtual hearings and the kiosk allows people to attend those hearings in a private space by reserving a spot at the Harlingen Public Library.
“There’s a website that they if they have a court hearing, then there’s a website that they can go on to reserve it. And then we’ll reserve a room for them also. And as I said, it’s on wheels. So it can just be rolled right into a study room,” said Campbell.
The City of Harlingen wanted the kiosk as an additional resource for the community and as a proactive measure. All of the services offered through the kiosk are free of charge. It was developed as a collaborative effort by Texas Legal Aid groups, courts, and nonprofits to help low-income Texans have access to legal help.