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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Civil: FAQs: Civil FAQs
View a Case File Calendar Tentative Rulings Forms FAQs
Civil Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I enforce the court's ruling?
2. Does the court provide an interpreter?
3. Does the court provide legal information?
4. How do I obtain a restraining order?
5. How can I submit a change of name or gender?
6. How can the defendant find out about the lawsuit?
7. Statewide Link and Useful References (will open a new window)
8. What do the letters and numbers in my case number signify?


1. How can I enforce the court's ruling?

For specific enforcement procedures see our How to collect page.

2. Does the court provide an interpreter?

If you have a civil hearing scheduled and need an interpreter, complete the Interpreter Request/Cancellation form (SDSC Form #ADM-348 ) as far in advance of your hearing as possible. The form can be brought to the business office during business hours or mailed to the court location noted on your paperwork. The court will try to schedule an interpreter for the date and time of your hearing at no cost to you, but cannot guarantee that one will be available. The court may not be able to provide an interpreter in every case.
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3. Does the court provide legal information?

Court staff cannot give legal advice. For information on what assistance court staff can and cannot provide you, visit our Legal Information page.

4. How do I obtain a restraining order?

  • Important: If you are in danger now and need help, call 911.
  • For information on Civil Harassment restraining orders, click here. For Domestic Violence restraining orders, visit our Domestic Violence page.

5. How can I submit a change of name or gender?

Visit our page for name or gender change. Additional information is available at the California Courts Self-Help Center website.

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6. How can the defendant find out about the lawsuit?

You must make sure the defendant receives a copy of the claim you filed. This is called "service of process." Service of process has strict rules that must be followed exactly or your case may be delayed or dismissed. The plaintiff cannot complete service of process himself/herself. For ways to serve the defendant, see our Service of Process page.

For ways of serving a tenant in an Unlawful Detainer case, visit our page Landlord/Tenant. For serving documents on a Small Claims case, refer to the Small Claims page.

8. What do the letters and numbers in my case number signify?

When San Diego implemented the statewide case management system for Civil, Small Claims and Probate, a standardized case number format was adopted. The
Notice to Attorneys and Civil Case Type Legend provide detailed information.



















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