Superior Court of Tulare

TULARE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

time

Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday:8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Clerk of court

Nicole Bailey

Judge

David C. Mathias (presiding Judge)
Brett R. Alldredge
John
Bianco
Robert
Fultz
Juliet L.
Gallo
Walter L.
Gorelick
Bret D.
Hillman
James W.
Hollman
Tara
Howard
Nathan D.
Ide
Gary M.
Johnson
Nathan
Leedy
Hugo Loza
Kathryn
T. Montejano
Gary L.
Paden
Melinda
Myrle Reed
Antonio
A. Reyes
Michael
B. Sheltzer
Jennifer
Conn Shirk
Ricky
Tripp

Attorney

Connect with a Attorney

Clerk of courts

Tara K. Freitas

Cheif Prosecutor

Tim Ward
Phone: 559-782-3700

CA Superior Court County of Tulare 

The superior court of Tulare County is one of the 28 trial courts in Tulare County, California. This court will have jurisdiction over traffic, small claims, and civil, criminal, juvenile, and family matters and will serve the Central Valley of California, South of Fresno and north of Bakersfield. The mission of this superior court is to give justice timely, impartially apply the law and encourage community intervention toward peaceful dispute resolution. They provide services of remote hearings, court calendars, transcript requests, fine reduction requests, audio live hearing requests, etc. Four Superior Courts are available in the County of Tulare that are:

  • TULARE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT – DINUBA
  • SUPERIOR COURT of TULARE COUNTY – JUVENILE JUSTICE FACILITY
  • TULARE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT – PORTERVILLE
  • SUPERIOR COURT of TULARE COUNTY – VISALIA

History and Background

The Tulare County Superior Court is the trial court for Tulare County in California’s Central Valley. It was established in 1852 shortly after California became a state. The court operates out of courthouse locations in Visalia, Porterville, and Dinuba. As a superior court, it has original jurisdiction over all civil and felony criminal cases in the county.

Tulare County has a population of over 450,000 residents. The Superior Court serves this large population across 4,800 square miles. On average, it handles over 35,000 case filings per year across its divisions. The court has worked to expand access to justice through initiatives like self-help centers.

see also Toledo Municipal Court

Jurisdiction and Courts

The Tulare County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all civil, family, probate, juvenile dependency and delinquency, felony criminal, and appeals cases arising in Tulare County. This includes unlimited civil cases over $25,000 as well as all misdemeanor criminal appeals from lower courts.

Division:

Superior Court of Tulare County division consists of the following:

  • Criminal Division of superior court tulare county
  • Civil Division of superior court tulare county
  • Traffic Division of superior court tulare county
  • Family Court Service Division of superior court tulare county
  • Juvenile Division of superior court tulare county
  • Probate Division of superior court tulare county
  • Appeals Division of superior court tulare county

How to search for cases?

Tulare Superior County Case Search can be done online using a different website in the following ways:

  • Searching by case number
  • Searching by name and city/state
  • Searching by address
  • Searching by phone
  • Searching by email

Using these ways, a person can find the case they are searching for superior court website. If the issue is not found, it is confidential and cannot be accessed online. You had to go to the superior court or county office for these types of cases.

At Tulare County, our mission is to provide equal and timely access to justice for all members of our community. As a leading superior court in California, we are committed to promoting community interventions and fostering a fair resolution of legal matters. With a dedication to upholding the law impartially, we strive to ensure that every individual who walks through our doors receives the same level of respect and consideration. Our public lobby hours are designed to accommodate the needs of our diverse community, ensuring that everyone has a convenient opportunity to seek the justice they deserve. At Tulare County, we are proud to serve the residents of Tulare County and uphold the principles of equal access and fair proceedings.

See also  family court louisville ky

How to find the records information for cases?

Tulare County record search for all the superiors can be done online, and equal and timely access of all information is available in the court clerk or county clerk’s office. All the case information of Superior Court and trials are recorded and maintained by the county and Clerk’s office. Complete the online request card if you want to make an online request. You had to send the case number and a valid email address online. The Superior court will reach out to you after 3 to 4 days for confirmation.

Fill in all your personal information on the record request form. You had to describe in detail why you need these records. Send the fees for the copies of the record, or you can schedule an appointment in-person or online for a document request.

After receiving the form, the Superior court will either approve it or disapprove it and send it to the Clerk’s office, and then the Clerk will respond to you with the answer of the city council. Some records are destroyed, so if you want those types of documents, then they are not available, and some requests for records that are very confidential are not given to you, and your request will be denied in the first place. For more information about the public records, call or mail the superior court. 

How can I search in person for the records of Visalia?

Visalia Court Records in-person search can be done on the computer terminal using the case number. Visalia’s in-person records search location is Visalia Division, 221 S. Mooney Blvd. Room 124 and Room 201, Visalia, CA 93291. You can come to that location and fill in the form information like your name, city, and other personal information but your records only access using the case number.

How can I make a payment?

Superior Court of Tulare County pay 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 tulare county court during regular court hours and paying in cash, checks, or with a card at the counter window. 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 payment can be made using the Superior Court of tulare county Online Payment Portal https://efiling.tulare.courts.ca.gov/?q=WebPayment. Enter the Ticket/Citation number or driver’s license number and enter search. Your case with the amount of the fine will be displayed. Select the payment option and pay the amount online. The service fees will be applied in this case.

Mail

A Person can send a certified check or money order to the court’s mailing address; 300 E Olive Ave, Porterville, CA 93257, USA. 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.

How can I file a divorce?

Superior Court of Tulare County Divorce forms are available online. You had to fill out the form online. Three documents related to divorce are available that are: 

  • Petition – Dissolution Packet 1
  • Default/ Judgment – Dissolution Packet 2
  • Dissolution Packet Summary

Please read all the forms Before apply; equal and timely access Available; they contain different information like the document to be submitted, the form information, and many more.

How can I request a remote hearing for my case?

Superior Court of Tulare County remote hearing requests can be made online by filling out the form. Fill in all the information required in the state. The hearing is possible using a video call or using the zoom application. If your request is accepted, then the Superior court will send you a schedule with a meeting link. equal and timely access of The attorneys for family, civil and criminal cases can appear remotely apply in superior court if the hearing is non-evidentiary. If you need assistance with the virtual hearing for superior court of tulare county, call 559-738-2330 for guidance and information.

Which family cases require a personal court appearance?

Superior Court of Tulare County Family Court, a personal appearance is necessary in some State, and these cannot be resolved online. These cases are:

  • Conference of Settlements
  • Conference of Trial Readiness
  • Hearing related to Trials and Evidentiary
  • Orders Restraining
  • Unlawful detainers
  • Examination order and creditors

What are the duties of the Porterville jury?

Porterville jury duties are to decide facts and apply the law of justice and fair behavior towards everyone without prejudice towards color, race, religion, etc. They can provide service of high civil obligation and valuable privilege. 9:00 am is the reporting time for the jury; you can report later by telling a superior person if you do not have any work early in the court.

Jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Tulare

The Superior Court of Tulare County provide equal jurisdiction over a variety of cases, including civil, criminal, family law, juvenile, and probate cases. Civil cases include disputes between individuals or businesses, while criminal cases involve violations of state laws. Family law cases involve issues such as divorce, child custody, and support, while juvenile cases deal with issues affecting minors. Probate cases involve the distribution of assets after someone passes away.

See also  Mesa County Court Docket

see also Transylvania County District Court

At Tulare County, we are committed to providing equal and timely access to justice for all. As a prominent superior court in California, we strive to promote community interventions and ensure fair resolutions. With our public lobby hours and dedicated staff, we aim to serve the community of Tulare County and uphold the law impartially. Our goal is to provide equal opportunities for every individual who seeks justice within the jurisdiction of Tulare County Superior Court. We are dedicated to fostering a transparent and accessible judicial system, where all members of the community can find a fair resolution to their legal matters.

see also Wicomico County Circuit Court

Courthouses of the Superior Court of Tulare

The Superior Court of Tulare has three courthouses located in Visalia, Porterville, and the Juvenile Justice Center. The Visalia Courthouse is the largest of the three and handles civil, criminal, family law, and probate cases. The Porterville Courthouse handles criminal and traffic cases, while the Juvenile Justice Center handles juvenile cases.

Engaging with the Superior Court of Tulare

Contact Information

Contact information for the Tulare County Superior Court:

  • Main courthouse: 221 S Mooney Blvd Visalia, CA 93291
  • Porterville courthouse: 300 E Olive Ave Porterville, CA 93257
  • Dinuba courthouse: 1140 E Dinuba Blvd Dinuba, CA 93618
  • Phone: 559-730-5000
  • Website: www.tularesuperiorcourt.ca.gov

Each courthouse has clerk’s offices to provide in-person assistance. The self-help centers also field questions on processes and paperwork. General questions can be directed to the court’s main phone line.

Court Operations and Proceedings

Filing Proceedings of the Superior Court of Tulare

Civil and criminal case proceedings in Tulare County Superior Court begin with the filing process. For civil cases, the plaintiff initiates the lawsuit by filing a complaint. For criminal cases, the District Attorney files a complaint charging the defendant with a crime. E-filing is available for attorneys and self-represented litigants can file paperwork in person. Filing fees apply depending on the type and complexity of the case. The court provides fee waivers for those unable to afford full costs.

Case Management

The Tulare County Superior Court utilizes case management principles to organize and move cases efficiently. Cases are assigned to judicial departments based on case type and matter. Departments are supported by court staff who schedule hearings, assist with records, and perform other functions. Case disposition timelines are tracked to ensure matters are not delayed excessively. For civil cases, the court requires case management conferences and may order the parties into alternative dispute resolution.

Calendars and Scheduling

Effective calendar management keeps cases flowing smoothly through the required steps. Court calendars are accessible online for scheduling hearings and trial dates. Most matters start on law and motion calendars for preliminary rulings before progressing to evidentiary hearings and trial. The court aims to give priority to matters involving child custody, domestic violence, and criminal detainees needing swift resolution. Judges and staff continuously balance caseloads and priorities in organizing their court calendars.

Trial Proceedings

When cases are not resolved earlier through settlement or alternative dispute resolution, they may proceed to trial. The Tulare County Superior Court holds jury trials and bench trials for civil and criminal cases at its main courthouse in Visalia. Jury trials require selecting jurors from the court’s pool of prospective jurors who are summoned for service. Trials follow formal protocols for admitting evidence, examining witnesses, and arguing the case before a judge or jury. Strict rules govern time limits, objections, and communications during the adversarial process.

Sentencing and Judgments

For criminal cases ending in conviction, the court holds sentencing hearings according to statutory guidelines. The judge will rule on punishment options like jail time, probation, fines, and victim restitution. In civil cases, the judgment formally states the court’s ruling and any remedies or damages awarded. The court enters the judgment into the case record and oversees its enforcement. Appeals processes allow parties to contest the court’s decisions at higher courts. Otherwise, the system relies on compliance with sentences and judgments imposed.

Judges of the Superior Court of Tulare

The Superior Court of Tulare has 13 judges who are appointed by the Governor of California. To be a judge in California, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of California, and a member of the California county State Bar. The selection process involves a nomination by a judicial nominating commission, followed by an appointment by the Governor. Judges in the Superior Court of Tulare have a wide range of responsibilities, experience including presiding over trials, ruling on motions, and making decisions in cases.

Court Clerk of the Superior Court of Tulare

The Court Clerk of the Superior Court of Tulare is responsible for maintaining superior court records, managing jury services, and providing administrative support to the court. The Court Clerk also assists with the processing of legal documents and handles public inquiries. If you need to contact the Court Clerk, you can find their contact information on the Superior Court of Tulare’s website or by calling one of the courthouses.

Technology in the Superior Court of Tulare

The Superior Court of Tulare has implemented several technological advancements to make the court system more efficient and accessible. Electronic filing of documents has streamlined the process of filing and processing legal documents. Additionally, fines and fees can be paid online, and remote appearances in court are available through video conferencing technology.

See also  superior court of Los Angeles

Community Outreach Programs

The Superior Court of Tulare offers several equal and timely access community outreach programs aimed at educating and assisting residents. Programs for youth include mock trial competitions and courtroom tours, while programs for seniors provide information about legal issues affecting older adults. The superior court also offers programs for individuals with disabilities, such as accessible courtrooms and assistance with filing disability-related claims.

Legal Processes and Assistance

Self-Help and Legal Aid

To make the justice system more user-friendly, the Tulare County Superior Court provides self-help services and promotes legal aid resources. Self-help centers at courthouse locations assist people representing themselves on matters like family law, guardianship, restraining orders, and landlord-tenant disputes. Services include document preparation, procedural guidance, and referrals to legal aid providers. Various non-profits also offer free and low-cost legal assistance in the county focused on helping disadvantaged groups access the court system.

Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration programs aim to resolve civil disputes as alternatives to formal litigation. The court provides mediation for child custody and visitation disagreements to promote cooperative parenting relationships. For many contract and tort claims, judges order case mediation conferences early on which facilitate negotiated settlements between the parties. Binding arbitration may also be used for certain disputes if agreed to by both sides as a quicker, less expensive option than going through the full court process.

Common Cases and Disputes

Some of the most common matters filed in Tulare County Superior Court include family law cases like divorce, child custody, domestic violence restraining orders, and juvenile dependency. On the civil side, typical cases involve auto accidents, premises liability, breach of contract, debt collection, and landlord-tenant disputes. For criminal cases, DUI, theft, assault, and drug possession make up a large proportion of misdemeanor and felony filings. The court also handles traffic infractions, small claims, and probate estate proceedings.

Finding Legal Help

Navigating the court system can be challenging, especially for those new to the legal process. While self-help assistance is available, many people benefit from consulting with an attorney. The Tulare County Bar Association offers referrals to local attorneys. Legal aid organizations in the county can potentially assist those who cannot afford full legal fees. Resources like the Lawyer Referral Service of Central California and Central California Legal Services provide options for finding affordable legal help.

see also Caroline County Circuit Court

Challenges faced by the Superior Court of Tulare

Like many court systems across the country, the Superior Court of Tulare faces challenges such as lack of resources, case backlog, and diversity and inclusion issues. These challenges can make it difficult experience for the superior court to provide timely and equitable justice to all residents. However, the court is working to address these challenges and improve the court system for everyone.

FAQs

How do I look up a court case in Tulare County?

You can search for civil and criminal cases in the Tulare County Superior Court through the online case index. The record will show future hearing dates, case documents, and docket entries. Records can also be searched in person at the courthouse clerk’s offices.

What is the dress code for appearing in court? All parties should dress appropriately and respectfully for court hearings and trial. Business attire is recommended. Shorts, tank tops, hats, and sunglasses are prohibited.

How can I postpone my jury duty in Tulare County? To request postponement of jury duty, you must promptly submit a written request to the Jury Commissioner providing the reasonable hardship. Include supporting documentation like a doctor’s note or employer verification.

Can I bring electronics into the Tulare County Courthouse? Electronic devices like phones, laptops, and cameras are generally allowed in courthouse lobbies and clerk’s offices but prohibited inside courtrooms. Each judge may have specific policies on electronics to maintain appropriate decorum, so check before entering a courtroom.

What is the difference between mediation and litigation? Mediation is an informal, confidential process aimed at negotiating resolution between disputing parties with a neutral facilitator’s help. Litigation refers to the formal court process involving filed lawsuits, discovery, motions, trial, and ultimately legally binding rulings and judgments.

Conclusion

The Superior Court of Tulare is an important part of the judicial system in California, with jurisdiction over a wide range of cases. The court strives to provide efficient and accessible justice experience to all residents, but faces challenges such as lack of resources and receive backlog. Through community outreach programs and technological advancements, the court is working to improve the court system and provide equitable justice for all residents of Tulare County.

FAQ’s

How can I request a transcript?

Superior Court of Tulare County Transcript can be requested online by filling in all the personal information of the requestor and detailed information about the case.

How can I contact the self-help family law facilitator?

The self-help family law facilitator is located at 3400 West Mineral King, Suite C Visalia, CA 93291. You can contact them by visiting them or calling them during working hours.

How does efiling work?

Efiling Tulare County works when you create an account for efiling. All the document in efiling occurs through an Electronic filing service provider (EFSP). 

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