The following information is provided to assist court users in
identifying the type of case in which they may be involved. The case
types presented are used in the Superior Court of
for purposes of case processing, scheduling, and trial assignment.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your case type,
please call the court’s main telephone line, (559) 582-1010, at the
extensions listed below, for assistance.
An appeal is a request to a higher court to
review an order, a judgment or verdict. For cases tried in a limited
jurisdiction (small claims, limited civil-general, limited
civil-unlawful detainer, traffic infractions and misdemeanors), the
court of appeal is the Superior Court Appellate Division. Cases tried
in an unlimited level jurisdiction (general civil, family law,
probate, juvenile, criminal charges involving-a felony) the court of
appeals is the
Fifth Appellate District.
A civil case
is an action brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights.
Civil actions include:
◊ General Civil (seeking damages over $25,000.00)
◊ Limited Civil (seeking damages of $25,000.00 or less)
◊ Unlawful Detainers (landlord/tenant disputes)
Civil cases are normally heard at the Hanford location of the Kings County
Superior Court. Limited Civil and Unlawful Detainer cases are most often
heard in Lemoore, Avenal, and Corcoran. Please note that you may file
your documents at any of the court locations within Kings County.
A criminal case is an action brought by the
government (the Kings County District Attorney and or the Office of
the Attorney General) on behalf of the People of the State of
California against a person who has broken penal law. Criminal cases
can be filed as an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony or a
combination of these. The majority of all criminal cases are
processed and heard in the Criminal Division-Hanford Dept. 8. Those cases
involving crimes committed in the City of Corcoran may be heard in the
Corcoran Division and those committed in the City of Avenal and along
Interstate 5 may be heard at the Avenal Division.
Juvenile cases involve minors under the age of 18
years. Juvenile cases are separated into two main categories
Juvenile Delinquency involving minors who have broken penal law
and Juvenile Dependency involving minors who have been removed
from the home and or care of parents or guardian. Juvenile
Delinquency cases are processed and heard in the Criminal
Division-Hanford. Juvenile Dependency cases are processed in the Civil Division - Hanford and heard in Hanford (Juveniles cited for traffic
violations are processed and heard at the Kings County Probation
Department located at the Kings County Government Center 1424 Forum
Drive, Hanford, CA).
Small Claims matters are civil cases asking for $7,500 or less and are
designed to be simple, quick, and less costly than a regular civil
lawsuit. In a Small Claims case, there are no lawyers, no rules of
evidence, and no juries. The plaintiff has no right to appeal the judge's
decision, but the defendant may appeal. An appeal would mean a new trial
before a different judge. Lawyers can participate in the appeal.
Small Claims cases are most often heard in the Hanford,
Avenal, and Corcoran court sites.
Traffic cases are those in which citations have
been issued for a violation of a traffic law but also may include
those citations of non-traffic violations involving, local city
ordinances, local county ordinances, building ordinances, alcohol
related offenses, citations issued by Animal Control, Department of Fish and
Game as well as local Law Enforcement Agencies including Hanford
Police Department, Kings County Sheriff’s Department, Lemoore Police
Department, and the Corcoran Police Department. All traffic
citations are processed in the Traffic Division-Hanford, but can be
heard in Avenal, Corcoran and Hanford Divisions