Santa Clara County Superior Court

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Santa Clara County Superior Court
Seal of California.svg
Seal of the Court
Old Superior Court - San Jose, CA - DSC03821.JPG
JurisdictionCalifornia
Santa Clara County
Composition methodNon-partisan election
Authorized byConstitution of California
Appeals toCalifornia Court of Appeal
6th Appellate District
Websitewww.scscourt.org
Presiding Judge
CurrentlyHon. Deborah A. Ryan

The Superior Court of California for and in the County of Santa Clara is the state trial court in and for Santa Clara County, California.

The Santa Clara Superior Court serves the public by providing equal justice for all in a fair, accessible, effective, efficient, and courteous manner; resolving disputes under the law; applying the law consistently, impartially, and independently; instilling public trust and confidence in the court.

History[edit]

1868 County Courthouse (photographed in 1869, one year after completion)

San Jose was chosen as the initial site for the state's capitol in 1849, which it held until 1851, when legislators voted to move to Vallejo.[1] After Santa Clara County was formed on April 25, 1851, a contest was held to select a design for a new building worthy of being a state capitol in 1860. The winning entry, designed by Levi Goodrich, was constructed from 1866 to 1868 at a cost of US$173,737.96 (equivalent to $3,340,000 in 2019).[2]

The courthouse was destroyed by fire in May 1931.[3][4][5] Reconstruction work began in December 1931[6] and completed in August 1932;[7] a dedication ceremony for the reconstructed courthouse was held on September 17.[8] As originally completed in 1868, the courthouse was topped by a copper-covered dome; the copper sheathing melted in the intense heat from the 1931 fire and the dome was removed during reconstruction.[9] After the disastrous 1931 fire and rebuilding, it survives today as the Old Courthouse,[10] which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the St. James Square National Historic District in 1979.[11]

A modern courthouse was completed in 1964, replacing an older Hall of Records which had been built adjacent to the county courthouse. The Hall of Justice, located a few blocks to the north, was completed in 1991.[12] The Family Justice Center was completed in 2016, consolidating court operations from six different facilities in a single building.[13]

The doctrine of corporate personhood in US law is commonly traced to the 1886 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, which started in this court.

Courthouses[edit]

Santa Clara County Superior Court locations:[14]
1
Downtown Superior, 191 N 1st St (San Jose)
 Family Justice, 201 N 1st St (San Jose)
 Old Courthouse, 161 N 1st St (San Jose)
 Notre Dame, 99 Notre Dame Ave (San Jose, closed 2016)
 Park Center Family Court, 170 Park Ave (San Jose, closed 2016)
 Terraine, 115 Terraine St (San Jose, closed 2016)
2
Hall of Justice, 190 W Hedding St (San Jose)
 Juvenile Justice, 840 Guadalupe Pkwy (San Jose)
 Ruff Drive, 935 Ruff Dr (San Jose, closed 2008)
3
Palo Alto, 270 Grant Ave (Palo Alto)
4
Santa Clara, 1095 Homestead Rd (Santa Clara)
5
South County, 301 Diana Ave (Morgan Hill)
6
Sunnyvale, 605 W El Camino Real (Sunnyvale, closed 2016)
Closed
  • Park Center Family Court, Downtown San Jose (closed August 15, 2016)[15]
  • Notre Dame Courthouse, Notre Dame Avenue, Downtown San Jose (closed August 22, 2016)[16]
  • Ruff Drive Courthouse, Ruff Drive, San Jose (closed 2008)[17]
  • Sunnyvale Courthouse, Sunnyvale (closed August 15, 2016)[18]
  • Terraine Courthouse, Terraine Street, Downtown San Jose (closed August 22, 2016)[19]

Areas Served[edit]

The Court serves the Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places of Santa Clara County. (Incorporated Cities and or Towns are marked with an asterisk (*).)

Judges[edit]

Present[edit]

The following judicial officers serve on the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County, as of June 2019:

Commissioners[edit]

  • Christine Copeland
  • Jillian M. Laxton
  • Rebeca Esquivel-Pedroza
  • Benjamin Williams
  • Erik S. Johnson

Notable past judges[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Capital on Wheels: History of How Sacramento Became the Seat of Government". Press Democrat. February 14, 1903. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hall, Frederic (1871). History of San Jose and Surroundings. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft and Company. pp. 301–304. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Fires Spreading Over State". Healdsburg Tribune. May 19, 1931. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "San Jose Fire". Calexico Chronicle. May 22, 1931. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Old San Jose Records Go in $250,000 Fire". Santa Cruz Evening News. May 19, 1931. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Work started on new Santa Clara County Courthouse". Santa Cruz Evening News. December 11, 1931. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Knife slayer to have trial in September". Oakland Tribune. August 10, 1932. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Dedication Date Set for Santa Clara Courthouse". Oakland Tribune. August 27, 1932. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Santa Clara County Courthouse at Emporis
  10. ^ "Old Courthouse History". Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "National Register Information System – St. James Square (#79000546)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Deacon, John. "Santa Clara County". American Courthouses. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Fact Sheet: Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Family Justice Center Courthouse" (PDF). Judicial Council of California. October 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Courthouse Locations, Hours & Telephone Numbers" (PDF). Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Family Courthouse". Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Notre Dame Courthouse". Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Superior Court Announces Relocation of Traffic Court" (PDF) (Press release). Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. April 23, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Sunnyvale Courthouse". Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Terraine Courthouse". Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]