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Divisions

appeals

A non-prevailing party in a case may ask a higher court to review the decision in their case and determine if the decision was correct. They may do this by filing an appeal or, in some instances, a writ. Appeals and writs may be heard in the Superior Court, District Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.

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Civil

The Civil Division of the court handles cases where one party sues another to recover money or property, enforce a contract, collect damages, or protect civil rights. Petitions to change names and various writs are also handled by the Civil Division.

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Criminal

A criminal case is a proceeding in which someone is charged with a public offense (i.e., with committing a crime), evidence is presented on both sides, and a decision is made as to the person's guilt.

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family law

Family Court Services serves parties who need to file for Dissolution, Separation or Nullity of Marriage; Establishment of Parental Relationship, Petitions for Custody and Support, Motions for Child Custody, Support, or Visitation, Support Enforcement, Guardianship of Minors, Adoption, or who seek protection from Domestic Violence, Civil Harassment, Workplace Violence or Elder Abuse.

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Guardianship

Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives someone who is not the parent custody of a child, or the power to manage the child's property (called "estate"), or both.

The Civil Self-Help Center can assist you with completing the paperwork to ask the court for Guardianship of the Person of a minor child.

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JUVENILE

Juvenile Delinquency cases are defined under Welfare and Institutions Codes and involve any persons under the age of 18 (minors) who are accused of violations of any law of the state or of the United States, or minors who are habitually disobedient or truant.

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probate & conservatorship

Probate and Conservatorship matters address a person’s finances upon death or the care of an adult person that is unable to care for themselves or their finances. Probate cases address a person’s estate, resolve debts, and distribute the remaining property/monies to heirs or beneficiaries. Conservatorship cases appoint caregivers to care for a person and their finances.

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Small Claims & unlawful detainers

Small claims cases are lawsuits that do not exceed $7,500 and are resolved quickly and inexpensively with relatively simple and informal rules.

An unlawful detainer matter is a case in which a landlord seeks to evict a tenant.

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traffic

The Traffic Division handles only Infraction matters for Traffic violations, Fish & Game violations, local city and county ordinances, boating, and dog/animal citations. Note: driving under the influence (DUI) violations are handled through the Criminal Division.

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