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State Laws

San Francisco Courthouses

Last updated: October 9, 2013

San Francisco has both state and federal courts of different levels. This guide will help resolve the confusion. Individuals are much more likely to interact with the state courts, so this guide will discuss these courts first.

State Courts

The City’s state courts can be trial courts or appellate courts. The state trial courts are within the San Francisco Superior Court system which features four main courthouses. Additionally, the Superior Court’s work is divided into several divisions. Visit the court online for more information on Superior Court divisions.  

SF has two levels of state Courts of Appeal: (1) 1st District Court of Appeal, and (2) Supreme Court of California. You can find both of these appellate courts in the same building at 350 McAllister St. See below for more courthouse information. 

Do not confuse the state Courts of Appeal with the SF Superior Court Appellate Division. The Appellate Division only handles appeals for relatively minor state court cases. If you have any questions, call the Appellate Division at (415) 551-3956.

Federal Courts

Federal Courts in SF may also be trial courts or appellate courts. The trial courts mostly operate in the federal building on Golden Gate. There is only one level of federal appellate court in SF, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and it operates on Seventh Street.