Civil FAQ

What courtroom is my matter going to be heard in?

Look for your name on the docket monitor located in the lobby. Names appear in alphabetical order. Due to confidential matters, not all cases are visible on the monitor(s) so proceed to the Clerk’s window if you have difficulty locating your case.

Can the clerks give me Legal Advice?

No. There is a Self Help Center and a Law Library located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd Floor. There is also the Landlord Tenant Assistance Center (LTAC) located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 1st Floor.

What if I cannot afford to pay my filing fee?

You may ask the Clerk for a Fee Waiver Application and Order or you may find the form online: Request To Waive Court Fees

What time should I arrive for my hearing?

You should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your hearing. Allow yourself enough time to park and enter the court location you are visiting. If you are visiting the Downtown Campus, please allow enough time for congested traffic areas and the train.

What is venue?

Venue is the proper location for trial of a case. Go to Court Locations to see branch locations.

Where do I file my Civil Complaint?

You must file your claim/complaint at the proper location/venue. If damages sought are over $25,000.00 file your claim at the Metropolitan Courthouse located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield.

Can I get forms online?

Yes, go to http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm.

Where do I file for an eviction?

An eviction, also known as an Unlawful Detainer, must be filed at the Civil window in the proper jurisdiction. Venue depends on where the defendant resides or where the action occurred. For filing fees, visit Civil - Court Filing Fees. For assistance please visit the Unlawful Detainer Assistant at the Landlord Tenant Assistance Center (LTAC) located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 1st Floor. You may also visit the Self Help Center and the Law Library located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd Floor.

How do I file an answer to an Unlawful Detainer (eviction)?

Answer packets are available at Filing Windows at each location. For filing fees, visit Civil - Court Filing Fees. For assistance please contact the Landlord Tenant Assistance Center (LTAC) located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 1st Floor or you may visit the Self Help Center and the Law Library located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd Floor.

How do I file a Small Claims?

There are a few different ways to get your forms to begin the Small Claims process. Regional locations still offer packets at the civil window. Forms are also available at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm or you may go to Online Services - File at Home to complete your form through an online interview process. Venue depends on where the defendant resides or where the action occurred. Filing fees vary and depend upon the prayer amount (demand amount) of the suit. A Small Claims action cannot exceed $10,000.00. For assistance, please contact the Small Claims Advisor located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd floor or at 661-868-2532.

How do I file a Civil Harassment?

Civil Harassment packets are available free of charge at most counters where Civil filings are accepted. If you are at the Metropolitan location at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, please visit the Self Help Center and/or the Law Library on the 3rd Floor for assistance. Packets are not available at the Civil Window at the Metropolitan location. The fee for filing is $435.00 unless the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is granted by a Judicial Officer. If the TRO is granted, the fee to file is waived.

How do I file for change of name?

Petition for Name Change packets are available and free of charge at any counter where Civil filings are accepted. For assistance, please visit the Self Help Center and/or the Law Library located at 1415 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd floor. The fee for filing is $435.00.