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The Guide to California Court Records

Overview of California Courts

The California trial court system consists of Superior Courts.
 
California has a unified court system, so all court proceedings are conducted in Superior Courts. Superior Courts are organized into court divisions based on case type. Divisions within a Superior Court may include Civil, Criminal, Family, Probate, Juvenile, Traffic, Small Claims and Drug Court.

Please select a California county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find California court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
California Superior Courts
Superior Courts have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases.

Superior Courts are organized into court divisions based on case type. Divisions within a Superior Court may include Criminal, Civil, Small Claims, Family, Probate, Juvenile, Traffic and Drug Court.

Criminal Divisions generally handle felony and misdemeanor cases.

Civil Divisions may be split into divisions for "Unlimited" cases and "Limited" cases. Generally, "Limited" cases involve claims for less than $25,000, and "Unlimited" cases involve claims for more than $25,000.

Small Claims Divisions generally handle civil claims for less than $7500, if the case is eligible for the simplified Small Claims process. Additional restrictions on Small Claims jurisdiction exist, including financial and other limits on the use of the Small Claims process by businesses and organizations.

Family Divisions generally handle cases involving families and children, including dissolution of marriage, legal separation, paternity, child custody, child support, domestic violence, division of marital property and spousal support.

Probate Divisions generally handle cases related to estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships, trusts and wills.

Juvenile Divisions generally handle cases involving juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, and children in need of supervision.

Traffic Divisions generally handle traffic-related citations, including parking and other offenses punishable by fines. Some juvenile traffic cases may be heard by this division.

Drug Courts are specialized court divisions that focus on rehabilitation as an alternative to incarceration for certain types of criminal cases.

In addition to Superior Courts, California has independent Tribal Courts.

Where to find court cases in California
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in California.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Superior Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
General Civil - Limited
Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Small Claims
Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Civil Equity
Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Complex Commercial
Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Foreclosures and Liens
Most or all Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Real Estate Title and Boundary
Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Landlord / Tenant
Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Ordinance Violations
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Administrative Agency Appeals
Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Criminal Superior Courts
Felony
Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Felony Preliminary Hearings
Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Misdemeanors
Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Ordinance Violations
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Juvenile
Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Traffic and Infractions
Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Domestic Relations Superior Courts
Divorce
Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Child Custody and Visitation
Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Child Support
Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Paternity
Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Domestic Violence Protection Order
Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Juvenile Superior Courts
Adoptions
Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Juvenile Delinquency
Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Child Abuse and Neglect
Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Termination of Parental Rights
Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Children in Need of Supervision
Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Mental Health Superior Courts
Involuntary Commitments
Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Other Mental Health Cases
Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Probate Superior Courts
Wills & Estates
Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Name Changes
Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Trusts
Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Superior Courts

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