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.

SF Superior Court

  • Civic Center Courthouse

    400 McAllister Street
    San Francisco,
    CA 94102

    Tel: (415) 551-4000

    Public Transit Station: Civic Center

    Directions: The court provides directions to the Civic Center Courthouse.

    Notes: Many of the court's visitors purchase breakfast and/or lunch from the Mint Café, located in the basement. Seating is somewhat limited, and the café only accepts cash. This courthouse serves as home to most Civil, Small Claims, and Probate Division operations.

  • Hall of Justice

    Hall of Justice
    San Francisco,
    CA 94103

    Tel: (415) 551-0322

    Public Transit Station: None

    Directions: The court provides directions here.

    Notes: Visitors complain of long lines to enter the court facility, so arrive early. The Hall of Justice is home to the San Francisco Superior Court’s Criminal Division, and most criminal matters are processed here. To find more information about criminal division operations and contact information you can visit the Criminal Division online. Hall of Justice also serves as home to the Traffic Division and Traffic Night Court.

  • Polk Street Annex

    575 Polk Street
    San Francisco,
    CA 94102

    Tel: (415) 551-3834

    Public Transit Station: Civic Center

    Directions: The court provides directions here

    Notes: This is a smaller facility with only one restroom serving the public and no on-site cafeteria. Also, do not leave your car parked on the street for long because there have been reports of vandalism and theft. The Annex is located in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Some taxi drivers have an unofficial no-pickup policy in the Tenderloin, so you may have to walk back towards the Civic Center to hail a cab.

  • Youth Guidance Center

    375 Woodside Avenue
    San Francisco,
    CA 94127



    Public Transit Stations: Forrest Hill Muni Station and Glen Park BART Station

    Directions: The court provides directions here.

    Notes: This facility handles juvenile justice matters. YGC also serves some Traffic Division Functions.  

    Closures

    Check online for the Superior Court's 2013 and 2014 Court Holiday Schedules

California Courts of Appeal

United States Federal Courts

  • Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse

    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco,
    CA 94102

    Tel: (415) 522-2171

    Public Transit Station: Civic Center

    Notes: Unlike with Superior Courts, visitors must have photo identification.  The Jury office is on the 19th floor. The court posts answers to Jury Frequently Asked Questions. The court maintains resources to help individuals represent themselves as pro se litigants. The court offers the Pro Se Handbook, guides for E-Filing, and other materials. You can view the pro se materials online.

  • James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse

    95 Seventh Street
    San Francisco,
    CA 94103

    Tel: (415) 355-8000

    Public Transit Station: Civic Center

    Note: Wi-Fi is only available in the Café, which closes at 2:00P.M. Photo ID required. 

    The 9th Circuit generally allows electronic devices, but visitors may not record audio or video, or take photos.