Where Court Forms are Filed
“Filing court forms or other papers” means giving the papers to a court clerk. They can be given to the clerk by mail or in person.
The form or other paper is considered "filed" only after the court clerk stamps it "Filed." Then, that paper becomes part of the record of the case. The papers are then called “File-stamped,” or “file endorsed.”
Court forms need to be filed in the correct courthouse as decided by state laws and local court rules. Each courthouse has the authority to hear and decide cases of specific subject matter and venue.
For example, in Contra Costa County, one courthouse only hears family law cases, while another courthouse only handles small claims cases for disputes that started in a city which that courthouse serves.
Generally, the person who is starting the case has to learn which courthouse can and will handle the dispute. Once the first papers are filed, the respondent or defendant has to file all of his or her papers in the same courthouse.
|NOTE: Walnut Creek Court no longer hears criminal matters. All Walnut Creek criminal cases are handled in Martinez.|
Family Law (including Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Adoptions –
and Elder Abuse)
All family law cases, including Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Adoptions – as well as Elder Abuse -- are filed in the Spinetta Family Law Center in Martinez.
Note: Some requests for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders may be filed in Pittsburg. To learn more, click here.
All juvenile case documents are filed only in the Taylor Courthouse in Martinez
All Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship documents are only filed in the Taylor Courthouse in Martinez.
The traffic citation, or the courtesy notice sent to the traffic violator, will indicate which courthouse will be handling the case.