Apr. 16, 2014
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Civil Division

The Civil Division handles non-criminal lawsuits among individuals and/or corporations brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights. The largest division in the San Francisco Superior Court, the Civil Division conducts civil trials and manages civil filings, records, small claims cases, appeals, probate matters, unlawful detainers, defaults, case management, dispute resolution, name changes, and civil restraining orders to prevent harassment and elder abuse.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program assists attorneys and litigants in selecting appropriate dispute resolution options prior to trial. The ADR program currently offers a voluntary civil mediation program, judicial arbitration program and, in cooperation with the San Francisco Bar Association, an "early" settlement program.

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Appeals
Find out information about appeals.

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Asbestos Department
The San Francisco Superior Court carries the largest asbestos litigation caseload of any of California’s 58 Superior Courts. In 2009, the Court created a single asbestos case management department to handle asbestos cases. 

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Civil Case Management
Find out more about civil case management.

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Civil Clerk’s Office
Contact Information for key staff in the Civil clerk’s office. 

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Civil Grand Jury
California state law requires that all 58 counties impanel a Civil Grand Jury to serve during each fiscal year. The function of the Civil Grand Jury is to investigate the operations of the various officers, departments and agencies of the City and County of San Francisco. The 19 members of the Civil Grand Jury serve for a period of one year, from July 1 through June 30 of the following year, and are selected at random from a pool of 30 prospective grand jurors.

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Civil Harassment Temporary Restraining Orders
Learn who can obtain a Civil Harassment Restraining Order and how to obtain one.

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Civil Records
Learn what information clerks may legally provide, how to obtain civil records in person or by mail, and other information about Civil Records.

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Complex Civil Litigation

The San Francisco Superior Court is one of six California trial courts with Complex Civil Litigation departments.

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Court Reporters
Court Reporters, as guardians of the record, are not only employees of the Court, but purveyors of transcripts for all interested parties. Their professional responsibilities include providing appellate transcripts to the California Court of Appeal and the Superior Court of California, as well as legislated transcripts arising out of criminal proceedings. Court reporters who report in civil, family and juvenile matters also work with law firms and the public to provide requested transcripts.

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Housing Court

Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein created the Housing Court in November 2011 as a result of a budget-related reorganization. Most Unlawful Detainer matters are heard in Department 501, with the exception of calling of the trial calendar and requests for posting and mailing. The Court also hears all pre-trial motions involving foreclosures.

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Law & Motion and Discovery

Motion schedules, procedures and contact information.

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Probate Court
The Probate Court deals directly with the everyday personal and financial matters of San Franciscans. Most people think of probate courts as working exclusively with wills and the financial affairs of people who have died. However, the Probate Court also deals with guardianships of children, conservatorships of adults, mental health treatment, trusts, elder abuse and dependent adult restraining orders. The Judge and staff of the San Francisco Probate Court are committed to the administration of justice with thoughtfulness and concern for the citizens of San Francisco.

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Small Claims Division

In the Small Claims court, disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively, the rules are simple and informal. Litigants may not be represented by an attorney. The Small Claims jurisdiction is limited to $10,000 for individuals. Corporations, partnerships, governmental entities and other legal entities cannot claim more than $5,000. Individuals may file unlimited claims for up to $2,500 each in a year. However, individuals may only file two claims a year that seek more than $2,500.

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Contact Information:

Civic Center Courthouse
400 McAllister St.
(between Polk and Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94102

Directions

Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee
Department 206
400 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA 94102-4514

Information (415) 551-4000
TTY/TDD (415) 551-4001

Customer Service: (415) 551-3802

The public viewing room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays. The Records Customer Service Counter inside the Public Viewing Room provides customer assistance with either computer-related or records questions.

© 2014 Superior Court of California - County of San Francisco