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Case Type Definitions

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 California, Kings County 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.

Appeals:                                                          Juvenile:

       Civil                 x3073                                   Delinquency       x3052/3061

       Criminal          x3052/3061                        Dependency      x3082

       Juvenile          x3082

       Traffic              x3052/3061
 
Civil                        x3075                              Criminal                   x3042
 
Family Law           x3072                                Traffic                     x3054

Appeals

Civil

Criminal

Juvenile

Small Claims

Traffic

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Appeals

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.

  Civil

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)

General 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 Avenal, and Corcoran.  Please note that you may file your documents at any of the court locations within Kings County.

Criminal

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. 6.  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

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

 

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

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

 

 
Superior Court of California, Kings County
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