Appellate Courts

Court Locations

Jury Info, Court Info, Court Websites
The appellate court is the court that hears the appeal of a trial court's decision. In the information in this section, the term "appellate court" is used to refer to the Court of Appeal or the appellate division of the superior court. The "trial court" is the court that made the decision you are appealing. In California, the trial court is the superior court.

Which court hears appeals?

The appeal of a case has to be heard in the right court for that type of case:

The Courts of Appeal

The Courts of Appeal handle appeals in unlimited civil cases (such as civil cases involving an amount over $25,000 and family law cases). Courts of Appeal also decide certain cases that do not start in the superior court and instead must be filed at the Court of Appeal, like petitions for extraordinary writs, such as mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari, in unlimited civil cases.

There are 6 appellate districts in California, each with a Court of Appeal that hears appeals from the decisions of the trial courts in the counties within that district. Once you find out what district the trial court in your county falls under, you can get more information by visiting that district's website and self-help information. Click for a map of California that helps you figure out under which appellate district your county falls.  Once you know which appellate district your case would be in, see below for more specific self-help information for your respective district/court.

The Courts of Appeal and where to get help

The 1st District Court of Appeal

The 1st District Court of Appeal is in San Francisco and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases (such as civil cases involving an amount over $25,000 and family law cases) from trial courts in Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.

For help with an appeal, click on the 1st District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal

The 2nd District Court of Appeal is in Los Angeles and Ventura and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from trial courts in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

For help with an appeal, click on the 2nd District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page, or for more information, click on the 2nd District's self-help resources page.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal

The 3rd District Court of Appeal is in Sacramento and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from trial courts in Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba Counties.

For help with an appeal, click for the 3rd District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page.

The 4th District Court of Appeal

The 4th District Court of Appeal has 3 locations, in San Diego, Riverside, and Santa Ana. It hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from trial courts in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Inyo Counties.

For help with an appeal, click for the 4th District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page, or click for self-help resources (including a step-by-step guide of the appeals process).

The 5th District Court of Appeal

The 5th District Court of Appeal is in Fresno and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from trial courts in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne Counties.

For help with an appeal, click for the 5th District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page, or click for self-help resources (including a step-by-step guide to the appeals process).

The 6th District Court of Appeal

The 6th District Court of Appeal is in San Jose and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from trial courts in Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties.

For help with an appeal, click for the 6th District Court of Appeal's practices and procedures page.

The appellate division of the superior court

The appellate division of the superior court handles appeals and petitions for extraordinary writs, such as mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari, in limited civil cases (civil cases involving an amount that is $25,000 or less). Every superior court has an appellate division, and you can find the local rules and other information on your superior court's website or by going to your local court and asking the clerk of the court.

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