Court Divisions by Subject Matter

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Figuring out which court division will hear your kind of case can be difficult. The table below will help you find out more information about your kind of case, and tell you where your case might be heard.

Division Case Type Where Cases Are Heard
Civil Unlimited Jurisdiction ($25,000 or more) Martinez
Limited Jurisdiction ($5,000 to $25,000)
Complex Litigation (an action that requires exceptional judicial management to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on the court or the litigants. California Rules of Court, Rule 3.400)
Small Claims ($10,00 or less) Pittsburg, Richmond,
Small Claims Appeal (Appeal of original decision by the defendant only) Usually in the same court where original case was heard
Civil Harassment (violence or threat of violence, sexual assault or other abuse in a place outside of the harassed person's home. The harassment can be stalking or other behavior done for no good reason by someone who does not have a close personal relationship to the harassed person, such as a neighbor, or a total stranger.)

First appearance is in Martinez
If you have another court date, it will be in Pittsburg, Richmond, or

Unlawful Detainer (eviction from rented or leased apartments, homes or business locations) Pittsburg, Richmond, or
Criminal Infraction (A minor violation of a law, contract, or right.) PittsburgRichmond or Walnut Creek
Misdemeanor (A crime that can be punished by up to 1 year in jail.) Martinez, Pittsburg, Richmond
Felony (A serious crime that can be punished by more than 1 year in prison or by death.)  First appearance may be in Martinez, Pittsburg, Richmond,
If you have another court date, it will be in Martinez
Family Child Custody and Visitation (how parents will share and divide parenting time and responsibilities) Martinez
Child Support (money that one parent pays to the other to help support their child)
Domestic Violence (violence, or a threat of violence or sexual abuse in a family, a home, or between people who have a close relationship.  This abuse can be by a spouse or former spouse, people who are dating or used to date (it does not have to be an intimate or sexual relationship); the mother or father of a child, or people related to each other by blood, marriage or adoption (such as a mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or in-law), or a person who regularly lives or used to live in a home. First appearance may be in Martinez, Pittsburg, Richmond
If you have another court date, it will be in Martinez
Divorce (this includes ending a marriage or domestic partnership) Martinez
Legal Separation (does not end the marriage, but allocates assets and debts to each spouse or partner separately)
Mediation (child custody and visitation issues)
Nullity of Marriage (declares a marriage null and void – rare)
Parentage (establishes legal parents)
Spousal Support (support one spouse or partner pays to the other for a time after separation or divorce)
Juvenile Delinquency (crimes committed by a minor under 18 years) Martinez
Dependency (child may become a ward of the court while the court considers whether parents may accomplish certain tasks and re-unify with their child, or lose their parental rights.)
Probate Conservatorship (of the person, estate, or both when they are 18 years old or older and cannot handle these decisions and responsibilities on their own) Martinez
Guardianship (of the person, estate, or both when they are less than 18 years old and a parent cannot provide primary care and decision-making for a child)
Wills, Trusts and Estates (Interpreting, recording, and enforcing decisions as outlined in a will, trust, or estate.)

Infraction (relatively minor violations such as running a red light, or failing to have proof of auto insurance.)

(NOTE: Parking Tickets are paid to cities, not the court. See the ticket for more information)

Pittsburg, Richmond,
Walnut Creek


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