Bridgeport courts are seeing a record number of people fighting their cases on their own, members of the legal community told News 12.
One of those people is Timolyn Dunbar, 57, of Bridgeport. Dunbar is a pro se litigant, meaning she is representing herself in court without using a lawyer. She is attempting to clear her record of a past conviction for selling drugs in 2016.
“Quite stressful,” she told News 12. “And it’s still stressful because my family. I had to leave Bridgeport, Connecticut because I didn’t trust what the other citizens might have done to me based on my name being involved in their report.”
Attorney Mark Arons says self-representation is a fundamental feature of the American legal system.
“One of the hallmarks of our democracy, which separates us from a great portion of the world, is the fact that anyone can get access to a court of law.” Arons said.
Arons added walking into a courthouse alone as a pro se litigant can be a difficult experience, especially for those without a breadth of knowledge about the legal system.
“It’s very tricky and it’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure,” he said.
Sen. Blumenthal says he’s pushing for more federal dollars to assist pre se litigants just like Dunbar through legal aid.