Civil Division

The Civil Division in Santa Cruz, located at the Santa Cruz Courthouse,  processes all civil matters, including general civil, name change applications, probate and unlawful detainer cases.  All restraining orders are filed at the Watsonville Courthouse.  For more information regarding restraining orders see the Restraining Order Division page.

Small Claims cases are filed and heard only at the Watsonville Courthouse.

Tentative Rulings




1. How do I get a document out of my court file?

If your file is in our office, as opposed to in our storage facility, you can come in and ask to review your file. We may be able to make copies for you at the counter, depending on the number of copies you are requesting. If we are not able to make copies at the counter you will need to complete a copy request form and pick up your copies in 7-10 business days.

If your file is in one of our storage facilities there may be an added cost in retrieving your file. Please contact the civil office to determine the cost and location of the file. A request may then be submitted in writing, depending on your case number, it can take 1 to 5 business days for us to retrieve your file. If your file is older, and only on microfilm, your copy request will take six weeks to process.

Research and Copy Request Form

Example Not to Exceed Check

2. How much does it cost to get copies made?

Regular copies are $.50 per page.

Certified copies are $25.00 to certify the document and $.50 per page.

3. What if I don't know my case number and I need to review my file?

If your case was opened after June of 1985, you can search on our website for your case number.

You can call us or come in if you need assistance in locating your case number.

If your case is before June 1985, you can search through our microfiche. You need to have the year and the parties’ last names.

4. Can I order something over the telephone or through the mail?

Unless you want a document from a confidential file, such as a paternity or adoption (this would be requested through the family law division), you can contact us through the telephone or mail and we can help you. If you mail us a request, be sure to include the fee along with a self addressed stamped envelope so we can mail you your document. For the fee send a check, made out to the Superior Court, and in the memo line write how much the check should not exceed – for example "not to exceed $75.00". Be sure to enclose specific instructions regarding what document you need, your case number, case names, dates if applicable, and other information that will help us identify your case.

Research and Copy Request Form

Example Not to Exceed Check

5. When and where does the court hear civil ex partes?

Civil ex parte hearings are generally scheduled at 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Civil ex partes in Santa Cruz rotate on a monthly basis between the two civil courtrooms, departments 5 and 10. For additional information regarding civil ex partes please contact the clerk’s office at (831) 420-2200.

6. When do I need to notify the court if I plan to come in ex parte?

You must contact the civil clerk’s office by telephone before 11:00 am the day of the ex parte hearing. Bring all your paperwork with you to the ex parte hearing at 1:00pm. The paperwork and ex parte fees are not processed by the clerk’s office until after the ex parte has been heard.

7. How do I open a case?

If you would like to start a court case such as a civil harassment restraining order, eviction, name change, civil law suit, or guardianship there are a variety of places that you can obtain court forms including: The State Court Web Site, the Law Library (small fee charged) located at 701 Ocean Street, Basement, Santa Cruz, and the Self Help Center located at the Watconville Courthouse (only certain forms for areas of law they assist with) . Sometimes a court form for your legal issue may not exist in a premade form. You may have to create your own unique form on pleading paper. For direction you may want to start at the Law Library to do legal research or get consultation with a Private Attorney.

Contact Information

Office Locations:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Mailing Address:
Superior Court of California,
County of Santa Cruz
Civil Division
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Civil Court Clerk Santa Cruz:
(831) 420-2200 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
(831) 420-2204 - Calendars

Filing Hours

Clerks Office:

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday - Friday in Santa Cruz. A mail slot is provided for filings after 3:00 PM.

Come in the morning and avoid the lines.

Items must be received by 5:00 PM.

Phones are answered from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Monday - Friday.

Electronic Filings can be filed 24 hours per CCP 1010.6