Tehama County Superior Court – Civil Division
The Tehama County Superior Court Civil Division handles all non-criminal court cases in Tehama County, California. This includes cases such as small claims, civil disputes, family law, probate, conservatorships, and more. The court is located in the Tehama County Courthouse in Red Bluff. This article provides an overview of the court’s organization, jurisdiction, how to file civil cases, the litigation process, self-help resources, contact information, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Location and Hours
address: The Tehama County Courthouse is located at 1740 Walnut St, Red Bluff, CA 96080.
The civil division office is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, except on court holidays.
Phone and Website
- Phone: 530-527-6441
- Website: www.tehamacourt.ca.gov
Court Organization and Jurisdiction
Organization of the Court
The Tehama County Superior Court has one courthouse located in Red Bluff. There are currently two courtrooms and two commissioners who hear civil law and motion calendars. The court utilizes technology such as video remote interpreting and electronic recording of proceedings when available. There is also a Tehama County Law Library located inside the courthouse.
The Tehama County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all civil cases, including:
- Small claims cases up to $10,000
- Civil lawsuits with claims over $25,000
- Family law, including divorce, child custody, spousal support
- Probate, conservatorships, guardianships
- Name changes
- Eviction cases
- Civil harassment restraining orders
The court does not hear appeals from lower courts or handle federal civil cases. Those would need to be filed at the California Court of Appeal or the US District Court Eastern California District respectively.
Filing a Civil Case
Some of the most common civil cases filed in Tehama County Superior Court include:
- Small Claims – For disputes less than $10,000
- Unlimited Civil – Lawsuits over $25,000
- Family Law – Divorce, child custody, support
- Probate – Wills, trusts, conservatorships
- Unlawful Detainer – Eviction cases
- Name Change Petitions
Filing Fees and Waivers
There are filing fees required to open a civil case, which vary based on the type and size of the case. For example, the fee to file a small claims case under $1,500 is $30, while unlimited civil cases over $25,000 have a $435 filing fee.
If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may request a fee waiver by submitting an application to the court showing proof of low-income or public benefits.
Civil cases are filed at the clerk’s office in the Tehama County Courthouse. You will need to submit the initial complaint or petition, civil case cover sheet, summons, and any related documents. Make sure you bring the required number of copies.
The clerk will stamp the documents, assign a case number, and issue any necessary summons. Filing by mail is also accepted. After filing, you must serve the defendant with the complaint and summons.
The Civil Litigation Process
Before the Trial
- Complaint filed – Plaintiff files lawsuit and serves defendant
- Answer – Defendant responds to complaint admissions/denials
- Discovery – Evidence is exchanged; depositions taken
- Pretrial Motions – Motions to dismiss, compel discovery, etc.
- Settlement conference – Judge tries to negotiate settlement
- Selecting the jury – Voir dire questioning of potential jurors
- Opening statements – Parties outline the case
- Witness testimony and evidence – Witnesses testify and evidence presented
- Closing arguments – Parties sum up arguments
- Jury deliberations – Jury debates and decides verdict
- Verdict – Decision is rendered in favor of plaintiff or defendant
After the Trial
- Judgment entered – Court enters final judgment
- Post-trial motions – Parties may file motions challenging judgment
- Appeals – Parties can appeal to higher courts
- Collecting judgment – Winning party enforces judgment if needed
Online Court Resources for Tehama County Superior Court
Accessing court information and legal resources online can make navigating the California court system easier. This guide focuses on online court resources specific to Tehama County Superior Court, as well as statewide resources applicable to all California courts. Using online dockets, forms, and research tools can help both self-represented litigants and attorneys prepare for court efficiently.
Dockets, Calendars, and Case Information
Viewing Court Schedules and Standing Orders
The Tehama County Superior Court website allows you to view the court’s weekly schedule by department, case type, and judge. This is helpful for finding the date, time, location and other details for a specific case. The court also publishes standing orders online, searchable by number, description and issue date.
Searching Published Opinions and Attorney General Opinions
While unpublished opinions for Tehama County can only be accessed directly from the court, you can look up California Attorney General legal opinions dating back to 1985 using the online search on the state website. This provides guidance on how certain laws may be interpreted and applied.
Forms and Related Information
Requesting Court Records
To obtain records from Tehama County Superior Court, you can use the online request form available through the Administrative Office of the Courts website. There are instructions on how to request records from the AOC, Judicial Council or the appellate courts.
Attorney Complaint Information
The State Bar of California provides an online complaint form and information about reporting attorney misconduct. There are links describing the discipline system and records request process.
Accessing California Court Forms
The California Courts website allows you to view and download state court forms by form name/number or by category. You can also access a list of recently updated forms. This can help you find the right form for your legal issue.
Interactive Online Court Forms
For certain case types like family law, small claims and evictions, you can use the TurboCourt website to complete and print California Superior Court forms online after answering questions about your situation. Registration and a fee are required to use this document preparation service.
Online Fine Payments
For traffic tickets and minor criminal offenses, the Tehama County Superior Court allows online payment of fines and fees. This is more convenient than mailing in a check or paying in person. A service fee applies to online payments.
Self-Help, Legal Research, and General Information
Tehama County Law Library
The Tehama County Law Library located at the courthouse offers legal resources like form books, codes and references to assist with research. Contact information and available services are posted on the court’s website.
Tehama County Probate Court Information
The Tehama County Superior Court website provides specifics on Probate Court operations, like types of cases, conservatorships, guardianships, court investigators and frequently asked questions.
Tehama County Civil, Family, and Probate Resources
For civil, family law, and probate cases, the court’s website has information on case types, FAQs, and links to additional resources, including Family Court Services and the self-help center. This outlines the overall process.
Tehama County Family Court Services
Family Court Services in Tehama County offers child custody mediation and access to parenting plans. The court’s website has contact information, available services, and family law links.
Tehama County Juvenile Court Information
Details on juvenile cases in Tehama County, like court location, case types, and related resources are published on the court’s website. This provides an overview of the juvenile court system.
Tehama County Local Court Rules
The Tehama County Superior Court website allows you to view the latest version of the court’s local rules. Knowing the local rules can help you meet filing requirements.
Tehama County Self-Help Resources
Contact information and services offered by the court’s Self-Help Assistance and Referral Program (SHARP) are available online. The website also lists other Tehama County self-help centers that assist parties without attorneys.
Tehama County Small Claims Information
For small claims cases, the court’s website outlines the process, monetary limits, and FAQs. It also provides contact information for the Small Claims Advisor, who helps litigants prepare cases.
Tehama County Traffic Court Information
Information about traffic cases like payment options, contesting citations, FAQs and resources is available on the court’s website. This can assist with traffic case preparation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Information
The court system provides information about alternatives to litigation, like mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences, that can save time and expenses in resolving disputes. There is a link to local ADR programs offered through the Tehama County Superior Court.
Statewide California Court Rules and Resources
Accessing California Rules of Court
The California Courts website allows you to view and download both the statewide California Rules of Court and individual Superior Court local rules by county. Knowing the applicable rules is critical.
California Courts Self-Help Resources
The California Courts website publishes extensive self-help information for issues like small claims, family law, traffic cases, probate, and appeals. Helpful resources like instruction guides, videos, forms, and links are included.
California Small Claims Information
For small claims cases, the California Courts website provides detailed information and instructions on topics like filing, preparing for trial, collecting judgments, and appeals.
California Probate and Estate Resources
Extensive information on handling probate and estate issues in California is available on the state court website. This includes an overview of distribution of assets, wills, and administering an estate.
Additional Legal Research Resources
California Law Library Locations
Contact information, hours, and map links for county law libraries across California are available in one place on the state courts website. This makes finding your local law library simpler.
Legal Document Assistant Search
The California State website allows you to find registered Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) who can help prepare legal paperwork. You can search by name, location, and types of services provided.
Accessing California Statutes
The official California statutes are available to search online by code name/section or browse by table of contents. You can also search within specific codes using keywords.
Child Support Resources
The Department of Child Support Services website provides information and resources related to child support issues, including a case information lookup, child support calculator, and local office locator.
Foreclosure Prevention Programs
Homeowners facing foreclosure can find information about state assistance programs and locate local housing counseling agencies using the website resource list provided by the state courts.
LawHelp California Resources
LawHelp California offers legal information, self-help videos, lawyer directories, and other resources grouped by topic like housing, family, employment, and civil rights.
Legal Research Classes
Free online classes in performing legal research are available through the Council of California County Law Librarians website. This covers best practices using both print and electronic sources.
Legal Research Link Index
Categorized links to national and California legal research websites are provided by the Council of California County Law Librarians as a reference tool for finding legal information.
Online Reference Services
Several California county law libraries participate in the AskNow online reference service, allowing you to get help with legal research questions via email or chat.
Searching for Traffic Schools
A directory of approved traffic schools and driving programs searchable by county is provided by the California Traffic Safety Institute. This allows you to find local options.
DMV Traffic and Vehicle Information
The California DMV website provides resources related to traffic laws, driver licenses, vehicle registration, and other motor vehicle issues.
Legal Aid and Lawyer Referral
Northern California Legal Aid
Legal Services of Northern California provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents across many northern California counties, as outlined on their informational website.
Attorney Search and Discipline Checks
The State Bar of California offers an online attorney search that includes background details like bar admission date, law schools attended, and disciplinary actions. This helps verify credentials and fitness.
California Rural Legal Assistance
California Rural Legal Assistance, described on its website, provides free civil legal services to low-income rural residents in parts of California, with a focus on civil rights, housing, labor and other issues.
Lawyer Referral Services
The State Bar website offers tips on finding the right lawyer, a searchable lawyer directory, and a county-by-county list of local lawyer referral services that provide reduced-cost consultations.
Finding Court Interpreters
The Judicial Council website allows you to locate court interpreters by language and county. There are also links to resources for finding medical interpreters.
Free and Low-Cost Legal Services
The California state courts provide an extensive listing of free and low-cost legal resources, searchable by type of service. This includes legal aid, government and school programs, and more.
LawHelp California Legal Aid Directory
A searchable directory of legal aid providers across California is available on LawHelpCA.org. You can browse by location or alphabetically, or search for assistance with specific legal issues.
Limited Scope Representation
The California state courts explain limited scope representation arrangements, where attorneys provide only specific services like document preparation or court appearances. This can reduce costs.
The Tehama County Superior Court Civil Division handles a wide range of civil cases and disputes for residents of Tehama County. Following the rules and procedures of the court, seeking help from resources like the Self-Help Center, and understanding the litigation process can help you successfully represent yourself in a civil case. Contact the court clerk if you have any other questions.
Q: What are the main differences between small claims and unlimited civil cases?
A: Small claims cases are for disputes under $10,000 and have simplified rules and procedures. Unlimited civil cases are for claims over $25,000 and involve more formal procedures and rules of evidence.
Q: How long does a civil case usually take in Tehama County?
A: The length of a civil case can vary greatly. Simple small claims may resolve in 2-3 months. Bigger cases with lots of evidence and motions can take 1-2 years or longer. Check with the court for typical timelines.
Q: What is discovery in a civil case?
A: Discovery is when the parties exchange relevant information and evidence about the case, like documents, tangible objects, and witness testimony. Common discovery tools are interrogatories, requests for production, depositions, and requests for admission.
Q: Can I get help understanding legal procedures and filling out court forms?
A: Yes, the Tehama County Self-Help Center located in the courthouse can provide information and assistance on court procedures and filling out legal forms for civil cases.
Q: How do I serve the defendant with a small claims lawsuit?
A: You can have someone over 18 who is not involved in the case serve it personally. Or you can serve by certified mail with return receipt requested. The Small Claims Advisor can help with questions about service
Where can I find the local rules for Tehama County Superior Court?
The local rules for Tehama County Superior Court are available on the court’s website. Knowing the local rules helps ensure you meet court requirements.
How can I look up California court forms online?
You can view and download state court forms on the California Courts website, searching by form name/number or case category. Interactive online forms are also available through TurboCourt.
What self-help resources are available on the California Courts website?
Extensive self-help information for issues like small claims, family law, traffic cases, and appeals is provided on the California Courts website. Instruction guides, videos, forms and other resources are included.
Where can I find a lawyer referral service in California?
The State Bar of California website provides a county-by-county list of lawyer referral services that offer reduced rate consultations to help find attorneys.
Is there a directory of legal aid providers in California?
LawHelp California offers a searchable statewide directory of legal aid providers, broken down by location and areas of assistance. This can help you find free civil legal services.