Last updated: September 27, 2013
San Diego: known for the Chargers and the Padres, beautiful beaches and Taco Tuesdays, it’s hard to imagine much going wrong when you live in a place this lovely. But legal problems can make even sunny days look bleak, and navigating the court system in sprawling San Diego County can be tricky. This page on San Diego courthouse resources can help you find your way and make life a little easier.
Listed first are the Superior Courts of San Diego County. These courts hear all kinds of cases and have several courthouse locations. Some locations handle several types of cases, while others focus on one type of legal issue, such as family law. If you’ve already been to Superior Court and you want to appeal a final judgment, Appeal Courts are listed next. Finally, federal courts located in San Diego, such as immigration, bankruptcy and U.S. district courts, are listed at the end of the page.
The Central Courthouse is the County's full-service, consolidated courthouse and contains Criminal Courts, Family Courts, and Probate Courts, and also contains Small Claims services. It also houses the San Diego Sheriff’s Office. There is a fee for parking in nearby public lots.
The Hall of Justice Courthouse houses the Superior Court’s Civil Courts, including small claims, arbitration and mediation, as well as the Downtown Jury Lounge and Jury Services. There is a fee for parking in nearby public lots.
The Kearny Mesa Courthouse hears matters involving minor traffic offenses, small claims and juvenile infractions. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 to noon on Fridays.
The Juvenile Courthouse hears cases involving minors, including misdemeanor traffic violations, delinquency cases, and dependency cases involving questions of abuse or neglect.
The East County Regional Center hears all kinds of cases in East San Diego County, including some civil cases, traffic violations, criminal cases, family court issues and small claims.
The North County Regional Center is a full service branch court and hears cases in North San Diego County, including civil cases, traffic violations, criminal cases, family court issues, small claims, probate and juvenile court issues.
The South County Regional Center hears criminal, family law and juvenile dependency cases.
The 4th District Court Appeal, Division One, reviews final decisions by the lower Superior Courts of San Diego County.
This court conducts hearings for immigrants who have been detained by the Department of Homeland Security.
This court hears cases involving federal law in San Diego and Imperial Counties. There is a fee for parking in nearby public lots.
This court hears bankruptcy cases. You can file for bankruptcy and request forms and information at this location.