California Court Records
California boasts some of the highest caseloads and volumes of legal resources in its archives in the country. This makes California court records highly sought after by the public, courts and legal professionals. Case histories and California Supreme Court decisions have been utilized in many court case battles. The public can access many of these California court records online today, allowing for ease of use and access to vast amounts of information in a short amount of time.
The California Supreme Court is served by the Judicial Center Library in San Francisco, and serves as the state’s highest appellate court. Lower trial courts and the Court of Appeals may have their decisions reviewed by the justices in the event of an appeal.
History of California Court Records
In 1849, the state constitution created the California Supreme Court and allowed for a total of three justices. In 1862, amendments allowed there to be five justices for terms of ten years. 1879 saw an increase to seven justices serving 12-year terms, and in 1926 the California Legislature created the Judicial Council of California.
The Judicial Center Library provides California court records to the California Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and First Appellate District. The library is located in San Francisco, and maintains more than 200,000 volumes.
This main legal library for the state also holds special collections of legal scholars’ works and personal papers from the state’s Supreme Court Justices, in addition to the archives of the California Supreme Court Historical Society.
California Court Records Availability
California court records available at the Judicial Center Library include rules of the court and forms, California’s constitution and statutes, administrative laws and codes, local statutes and rules, as well as records created by the California State Senate and Assembly. The volumes kept in the library also include federal legal resources and law reviews and journals.
Main Court Information
The California Supreme Court meets in San Francisco at the Earl Warren Building. Historically, the court met there until 1854, when it was then moved to Sacramento. In the 1870s it once again began meeting in San Francisco. California’s Legislature decided in 1874 that the court would hear cases in each of those cities for two months of the year.
Since California is such a big state, the caseload of its supreme court is often in the tens of thousands. In 2007, it received 8,988 filings and had 9,247 dispositions. In 2013, there were 7,813 filings and 8,269 dispositions. The highest caseload in recent history was in 2008, when filings totaled 10,521 and dispositions totaled 10,440.