California State Courts

Courts – State Courts – California

Highest Court

The highest court in California is the Supreme Court of California.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices sit en banc. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in capital criminal and disciplinary cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, administrative agency,
juvenile, original proceeding, and interlocutory decision cases.

Intermediate Courts

Court Of  Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 105 judges sit in panels. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, administrative agency, and juvenile cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in administrative agency, original proceeding, and interlocutory decision cases.

General Courts

Superior Court
The Superior Court consists of 1,499 judges, 437 commissioners and referees.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, real property rights ($36,000/no maximum), miscellaneous civil, exclusive domestic relations, estate, mental health, and civil appeals jurisdiction. (2) Felony, DWI/DUI, and  exclusive criminal appeals jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Traveling Expenses of Supreme Court Officers and Justices
According to Section 68801 of the California Government Code, the Supreme Court officers and justices shall be allowed their actual traveling expenses in going to and from their respective places of residence upon the business of the court or to attend its sessions.

Designation of Judge
The presiding judge of each superior court has the authority to designate a judge of the court that will be available on all days except Saturday, Sunday, or any legal holiday to perform a marriage without fee. (California Government Code, Section 69507)

Filing Fee
A fee of $420 shall be paid for filing a petition for a hearing of a civil case in the Supreme Court after a decision in a court of appeal. (California Government Code, Section 68927)

Sessions of A Superior Court
The number of sessions of a superior court at the same time are limited to the number of judges elected, appointed, or assigned thereto.  The judgments, orders, and proceedings of any session of the superior court that is held by one or more of the judges shall be equally effectual as though all the judges of said court presided at such session. (California Government Code, Section 69741.5)

Judicial Emergencies
In the case of war, insurrection, pestilence, or other public calamity, that may place the location of court in danger, Section 68115 of California’s Government Code, outlines the procedures and rules for the sessions of court.

Judicial Institutes and Seminars
Section 68551 of California’s Government Code gives the Judicial Council the authority to conduct periodic regional or statewide institutes and seminars for the purposes of orienting judges to new judicial assignments, informing them of new developments in law, and promoting uniformity in judicial procedure.


Inside California State Courts