Santa Barbara Superior Court


Working Hours:
Monday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday:8:00 am – 4:00pm
Thursday:  8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday:  8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Judge Thomas R. Adams
Judge Thomas P. Anderle
Judge Clifford R. Anderson III
Judge Jed Beebe
Judge Michael Carrozzo
Judge Jean M. Dandona
Judge Von T. Nguyen Dorian
Judge Arthur A. Garcia
Judge Donna D. Geck
Judge James E. Herman
Judge Brian Hill
Judge Patricia L. Kelly
Judge Kay S. Kuns
Judge Gustavo E. Lavayen
Judge Pauline Maxwell
Judge John F. McGregor
Judge James F. Rigali
Judge Timothy J. Staffel
Judge Colleen K. Sterne
Judge James K. Voysey


Connect with a Attorney

Chief Prosecutor

Joyce E. Dudley

Clerk of Courts

​Joseph E. Holland 

Santa Barbara Superior Court

Santa Barbara Superior Court is a city courthouse in Santa Barbara County, California. It is located within the appeal court of the second district. It was completely established in 1929 following the design of Charles Willard Moore. The court has jurisdiction over criminal, small claims and probation matters, as well as juvenile, civil, family, traffic, and vehicle matters. It also handles mental health problems cases. They provide services like jury reporting status, online payment, forms, online transcripts, attorney portal, court calendar and many more, so it is optional to go to court for these services. The court provides special programs for administration and other staff that will help improve quality and advance the consistency of justice in this court. Facemask is mandatory when you are visiting the courthouse. The superior court located in this county is:


History of the Santa Barbara Superior Court

The Santa Barbara Superior Court has a long and rich history dating back to the earliest days of California’s statehood. The court was originally established in 1850, just two years after California became a state. At that time, the court was known as the Santa Barbara County Court and had jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases in the county.

Over the years, the court has undergone many changes, including changes to its name, jurisdiction, and location. Today, the Santa Barbara Superior Court is one of the busiest courts in California, with a wide range of cases heard every day.

Jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara Superior Court

The Santa Barbara Superior Court has jurisdiction over a wide range of civil and criminal cases, including:

  • Family law cases such as divorce, child custody, and child support
  • Civil cases such as breach of contract, personal injury, and property disputes
  • Criminal cases such as DUIs, drug offenses, and domestic violence
  • Juvenile cases such as delinquency and dependency cases

The Santa Barbara Superior Court also has jurisdiction over probate and mental health cases.

Services Provided by the Santa Barbara Superior Court

The Santa Barbara Superior Court provides a wide range of services to the public, including:

  • Access to court records and documents
  • Assistance with court forms and filings
  • Self-help services for people representing themselves in court
  • Alternative dispute resolution services such as mediation and arbitration
  • Court-appointed attorneys for people who cannot afford one
  • Interpretation services for non-English speakers

The Santa Barbara Superior Court also offers online services, including access to court records and the ability to pay fine

How can I search for case records?

Santa Barbara Court records information for cases can be searched using the online public portal of this court. All the case information records are maintained in this court. The Search can be done through the following:

  • Search by Case Number
  • Search by first and last name 
  • Search by Case Type
  • Search by Case Categories
  • Search by Party Type
  • Search by Filling date search using the case type and its date

You can also request a CD for accessing civil or criminal data. Some personal cases are unavailable online, so you must go to the court and provide a request form for these types of information or email the record request form to [email protected]. After receiving the request, the court will give you the case information. Read the California public access court rules if you need any information regarding the case search. If you want to search by visiting the court, you must provide the court staff with the case number, case name, document title you requested, and document file data. 

How can I make a payment?

Santa Barbara Superior Court fines and traffic tickets payments can be made in the following ways:

· In-Person:

A person can pay for tickets and fines by visiting the court during regular court hours and paying in cash, checks, or with a card at the clerk’s office. Take your ticket when you are coming for payment. 2.5% surcharges will be applied if you make payment with a credit card. 

· Online: 

Online traffic tickets or other fines payments can be made using the Placer Superior Court Online Portal Enter the Ticket/Citation, case, and driving license number. Your case information with the amount of the fine will be displayed. Select the payment option and pay the amount online. 

See also  Mentor Municipal Court

· Mail: 

A Person can send a certified check or money order to the court’s mailing address; 118 E Figueroa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, United States. Cash or personal checks are not acceptable in the mail; only certified checks or money orders are accepted. Remember to write your citation when you send the payment, and mail the amount in a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want a receipt.

see also What Happens If You Don’t Follow A Family Court Order

santa barbra court Location and courthouses

The main courthouse for the Superior Court of Santa Barbara is located at 1100 Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara. This building houses the main civil, criminal, family law, and probate departments. The traffic department is located in a separate facility nearby.

There are two branch courthouses located in Lompoc and Santa Maria that serve North Santa Barbara County. These courthouses allow residents easier access to court services.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judges and staff

There are currently 21 authorized judgeships in the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Judges are elected by the residents of Santa Barbara County and serve six-year terms. The judges are supported by commissioners, mediators, administrators, clerks, court reporters, bailiffs, court investigators, and other staff. Self-help services are also available for litigants without an attorney.

Filing a Lawsuit in Santa Barbara Superior Court

To initiate a civil lawsuit in Santa Barbara Superior Court, there are certain requirements that must be followed. Here is an overview of the process:

Requirements for filing

The person bringing the lawsuit, known as the plaintiff, must file a complaint outlining their claims and allegations against the defendant. Any individual or entity can be a plaintiff. Proper court forms must be used, available online or at the courthouse. A filing fee will also be due.

Filing fees

The filing fee for a new unlimited civil case in Santa Barbara is currently $435. Additional motion and response fees apply after filing. Fee waivers are available for low-income plaintiffs.

Serving the defendant

Once the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must officially serve it on the defendant along with a summons from the court. This is typically done by a process server. The defendant then has 30 days to respond in writing.

Procedures in the Santa Barbara Superior Court

If you have a case in the Santa Barbara Superior Court, there are certain procedures you will need to follow. Here is an overview of the procedures for civil and criminal cases:

Criminal Cases

  • Arrest: If you are arrested, you will be taken into custody and brought before a judge for arraignment.
  • Bail: If you are eligible, you may be released on bail while you await trial.
  • Discovery: The prosecutor and defense attorney will exchange information about the case.
  • Plea Bargaining: The prosecutor and defense attorney may negotiate a plea bargain.
  • Trial: If the case goes to trial, the prosecutor will present evidence and arguments to the judge or jury.
  • Verdict: The judge or jury will make a decision and issue a verdict.

Civil Cases

  • Filing the Complaint: To start a civil case, you must file a complaint with the court.
  • Serving the Complaint: After filing the complaint, you must serve it on the defendant.
  • Answering the Complaint: The defendant must file an answer to the complaint within a certain period of time.
  • Discovery: Both parties have the right to request and exchange information about the case.
  • Trial: If the case goes to trial, both parties will present evidence and arguments to the judge or jury.
  • Judgment: The judge or jury will make a decision and issue a judgment.

The civil division handles which types of cases?

Santa Barbara Superior Court civil division handles all the matters and disputes in which one party sues another party, harassment or fights cases that the party does not control. This division also protects the rights of civil. You can also request an interpreter if you are involved in a civil case. The civil case hearing is also done remotely using the zoom application. The civil division case hearing is held from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm from Monday to Friday.

Where to file the civil cases?

Santa Barbara County Superior Court- Anacapa Division, Lompoc Division, 

 Santa Maria Cook Division and Solvang Division had the right to file all civil cases. You can visit any of the following divisions if you want to file civil claims, or you can also put the form in the drop box after the court is closed. Fill in all your personal information and the details of the other party against which you are filing the case. Consult an attorney if you need guidance or help related to the cases.

The family division handles which types of cases?

Santa Barbara Superior Court’s family law division handles all the matters related to a family, like divorce, child custody, legal separations, etc. This division also provides family court services and family law facilitators. The court services will provide mediation, while the facilitators will provide help to represent yourself better. Santa Barbara Superior Court- Santa Maria and Lompoc Office provides the forms for filing and getting any family matters and services. The case hearing will be held every Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Where to file for appeal?

Santa Barbara Superior Court- Figueroa Division, Anacapa Division, Cook Division, Miller Division, and Lompoc division gives all persons the right to appeal. You can appeal against the result by the court if you do not satisfy with two main grounds:

  • The evidence in the trial court cannot justify the verdict. 
  • Errors of the law were committed.

The appealing can be done on the cases of civil, small claims, death penalty, juvenile dependency and infractions matters. Provide the fees when you are submitting the appealing forms. There is a deadline by which you have to apply for an appeal; otherwise, your application will be rejected.

See also  Willoughby Municipal Court

Pleadings and motions of santa barbra court

After the initial complaint and answer are filed, the pleadings stage involves filing various motions and responses to refine the legal and factual issues. This can include motions to dismiss, change venue, amend pleadings, compel discovery, and more.


Discovery allows each side to obtain relevant information and evidence from the other party. This includes depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, medical exams, and more.

Pretrial conferences

One or more pretrial conferences will be held with the judge to confirm readiness, consider motions, establish facts, and potentially facilitate settlement discussions.


If no settlement is reached, the case will go to a bench trial or jury trial. The parties present opening statements, witnesses, evidence, and closing arguments. The judge or jury then decides the outcome.

santa barbra court Judgment and appeal

Once judgment is entered, the losing party has 30 days to file an appeal if desired. Appeals are heard by higher courts. Otherwise, the judgment can be enforced.

Getting a Divorce in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Superior Court handles all divorce and legal separation cases within Santa Barbara County. Here is an overview of the process:

Requirements for filing

To file for divorce in Santa Barbara, either spouse must have been a resident of California for at least 6 months and of Santa Barbara County for at least 3 months prior to filing. You must file the appropriate petition and forms for divorce or legal separation.

Serving your spouse

You will need to arrange to have your spouse officially served with the divorce petition and summons, typically by a process server. Your spouse then has 30 days to respond.

see also Yonkers City Court

Going through the process

During the divorce process, you’ll need to address issues such as asset division, spousal support, child support and custody if applicable, and more. This is done through declarations, disclosures, negotiations, and possibly mediation.

Finalizing the divorce

Once all issues are resolved, the judge will enter a judgment formally dissolving the marriage. However, key issues like financial support can be modified later if needed through further court motions.

Small Claims Court in Santa Barbara

Small claims court provides an option for resolving minor civil disputes for amounts under $10,000. Here is how it works in Santa Barbara:

Small claims process

To make a claim in small claims, you file a simple petition and pay a small fee. A hearing will be scheduled before a judge. Both parties present their evidence and testimony informally. No attorneys are allowed.

Collecting a judgment

If you win your case, you will receive a court order awarding you monetary damages. To collect, you can seek to garnish wages or put liens on property. The court can provide forms and instructions.

Traffic Tickets in Santa Barbara

If you receive a traffic ticket in Santa Barbara County, you have options for responding:

Contesting a traffic ticket

To contest a traffic citation, you must request a court hearing by completing the form on the back of the ticket. You will have a chance to present evidence and argue your case.

Traffic school

For minor moving violations, you may be eligible to attend traffic school online or in-person. This will prevent points on your DMV record.

Failure to pay fines

If you do not pay traffic fines on time, you may face additional penalties, driver’s license suspension, or holds on car registration renewal. Be sure to address tickets promptly.

Criminal Cases in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Superior Court oversees misdemeanor and felony criminal cases within Santa Barbara County, including arraignments, trials, sentencing, and more.

The criminal process

The criminal process begins with an arrest and booking. Defendants are formally charged through an information filed by the District Attorney’s office. Arraignment, bail consideration, preliminary hearings, pretrial motions, and plea negotiations follow.


If convicted, sentencing may involve fines, probation, restitution, incarceration, or a combination. Sentencing guidelines and probation reports help determine appropriate punishment.

Jury Duty in santa barbra court

Residents may receive a jury summons by mail requiring their participation:

Getting summoned

Potential jurors are selected randomly from voter registrations and DMV records. If summoned, you must report for jury duty unless you qualify for an excuse or postponement. Instructions will be included.

Serving on a jury

On the date listed, report for orientation and jury selection. If seated on a jury, you must serve for the duration of the trial, typically 1-3 days. Your employer cannot penalize you for serving.

Excuses and postponements

You may request an excuse from jury duty if you do not meet requirements or have an extreme hardship. Postponements are also allowed if the initial date does not work. Excuses are not always granted.

Finding a Lawyer in Santa Barbara

If you need legal representation in a court case in Santa Barbara, here are some options:

Public defender vs private attorney

If you cannot afford a lawyer, the public defender’s office may represent you in a criminal case. For civil cases or if you want to hire private counsel, contact the Santa Barbara County Bar Association for referrals.

Legal aid

Legal aid of Santa Barbara County provides free civil legal services to qualifying low-income residents for issues like housing, domestic violence, and consumer disputes.

Pro bono services

Some local attorneys offer pro bono or reduced fee services for those in need. Legal aid can potentially connect you to pro bono programs and resources.

How are court calendars accessed?

Santa Barbara County Court Calendar can be accessed online through the court website. Click on the type of case for which you need the calendar information, and then all the news of the schedule with the department, case number etc., will be displayed on the website. The data will be updated regularly; some cases had some range days, and the schedule will be deleted after that.

How many types of juvenile cases are heard by this court?

Santa Barbara County Superior Court- North and South County handles all the cases related to juvenile matters. Three types of juvenile cases are heard by this division that are:

  • An illegal act is considered a criminal offense by anyone under 18.
  • Status offenses like truancy, running away from home etc.
  • Dependent children matters that are neglected, tortured, and now, the court will decide who can take care of them.
See also  Tehama County Superior Court

How do I contact the Superior Court of Santa Barbara?

  1. Phone: (805) 882-4520.
  2. Fax: (805) 882-4519.
  3. Office Hours: 9:00 am – 1:30 pm.
  4. Phone Hours: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Case Search

To search for a case in the Santa Barbara Superior Court, you can use the court’s online case search tool. This tool allows you to search for cases by case number, party name, or attorney name. You can also view case documents and access case information through the online portal.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Address

The Santa Barbara Superior Court is located at 1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The court is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekdays, and closed on weekends and holidays.

Santa Maria Superior Court Case Search

If you have a case in the Santa Maria Superior Court, you can use the court’s online case search tool to find information about your case. The tool allows you to search for cases by case number, party name, or attorney name, and view case documents and information.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Criminal Case Search

If you need to find information about a criminal case in the Santa Barbara Superior Court, you can use the court’s online case search tool. The tool allows you to search for cases by case number, party name, or attorney name, and view case documents and information.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Remote Appearance

The Santa Barbara Superior Court offers remote appearance options for certain court proceedings. You can request a remote appearance by contacting the court clerk’s office and following the court’s instructions for remote appearances.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Tentative Rulings

The Santa Barbara Superior Court provides tentative rulings for certain civil law cases. Tentative rulings are available online and provide a preliminary indication of the court’s decision on a particular issue in the case. Parties may have the opportunity to argue against the tentative ruling at a court hearing.


The Santa Barbara Superior Court is an important part of the legal system in Santa Barbara, California. Whether you are facing a legal issue or simply want to learn more about the court system this article has provided you with valuable information about the court’s history, jurisdiction, services, and procedures. By understanding these aspects of the court, you can be better prepared if you ever have to deal with the Santa Barbara Superior Court.


What can I do if I do not afford the case fees?

Apply for the waiver of fees by filing The Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs at the Civil Clerk’s Office if you do not afford the case or court fees.

How much does a person have to pay if they violate the felony probation terms?

$15,000 must be paid if a person violates the felony probation terms.

How does the judicial mentor program work?

Santa Barbara Superior Court judicial mentor program works in two parts:

  • Mentor Committee
  • Outreach Committee

What are the business hours for Santa Barbara Superior Court?

The court is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm, except on court holidays. Some departments, like traffic and small claims, have limited hours. Check the court’s website for details.

Can I represent myself in a Santa Barbara Superior Court case?

Yes, you have the right to represent yourself, or act “in pro per” in your civil or criminal case. The court’s self-help center can provide forms and assistance. Having an attorney is recommended for more complex matters.

How can I get a restraining order from Santa Barbara Superior Court?

To get a domestic violence restraining order, go to the court’s civil desk. They can provide the paperwork to apply for an emergency protective order if you are in immediate danger. A hearing will follow to extend the order.

How can I find civil case records for Santa Barbara Superior Court cases?

Civil case documents are available to the public through the court’s website using the case number or party names. You can also request to inspect case files directly at the courthouse by contacting the civil clerk.

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