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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: General Information: About Us: What Cases We Handle

What Cases We Handle

All Superior Courts in California have authority over a wide variety of case types such as:

Civil Cases - Includes both limited civil cases ($25,000 or less) and unlimited civil cases (over $25,000). May involve cases in which a person, group of persons or other legal entity brings an action to recover money or property, to enforce a contract, or to protect someone's civil rights.

Criminal Cases - Both felony and misdemeanor crimes (including such offenses as driving under the influence). In criminal cases, if the defendant cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint one.

Family Law Cases - Includes dissolution (also known as divorce), legal separation of spouses, marriage annulments, child custody, spousal support, and domestic violence restraining orders.

Family Support Cases - Child support and related cases in which the County Department of Child Support Services files an action.

Juvenile Court Cases - Cases involving juvenile dependency (abuse or neglect of a child), adoption or juvenile delinquency (minors accused of breaking the law).

Landlord/Tenant Dispute Cases (Also known as Unlawful Detainer cases) - Civil cases in which a landlord attempts to evict a tenant.

Mental Health Cases - Cases requiring psychiatric evaluations, investigations, hearings and bench trials.

Non-Traffic Infraction Cases - Cases involving violation of various city municipal codes such as pedestrian violations, smoking in a prohibited area, bicycling on the sidewalk, and sleeping on a park bench.

Probate Cases - Includes, but is not limited to, decedents' estates, trust proceedings, guardianship proceedings (appointment of someone to care for a person under the age of 18), and conservatorship proceedings (appointment of someone to care for an adult unable to care for himself or herself).

Small Claims Cases - A civil case for monetary judgment of $7,500 or less, which is handled informally without appearance by attorneys.

Traffic Cases - All traffic infractions such as speeding and red-light camera tickets.


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Superior Court of California, County of San Diego