Legal advice center opens at Jomtien courthouse

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Pattaya lawyers this week began offering free legal advice and assistance to tourists and residents at an expanded legal center at the Pattaya Court in Jomtien.

Pattaya Court Chief Justice Apichart Thepnu, tourist police, immigrations officers and city officials cut the ribbon on the new center a few days before its “official” opening Sept. 5.

Pattaya Court Chief Justice Apichart Thepnu talks about the newly expanded legal center at the Pattaya Court in Jomtien.Pattaya Court Chief Justice Apichart Thepnu talks about the newly expanded legal center at the Pattaya Court in Jomtien.

The center, located in the Jomtien courthouse, has legal professionals and volunteers providing assistance in matters including opening businesses, buying properties, reconciling private disputes, domestic violence and environmental crimes. The center also serves as a precursor to a planned “tourist court” that will offer expedited prosecution of civil and criminal cases.

Pattaya has been selected as the location of the first tourist court, although no start date has been announced.

For now, the center will provide advice to tourists, organize complaints, clarify cases within 24 hours to complete civil cases as fast as possible. For criminal cases, tourists must file complaints and then the court will request the questioning of witnesses before the tourist leaves the country.