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Superior Courts (trial courts)

Fiscal Year 2017-2018:

  • Unified court system serving 39 million people
  • 1,743 judges (authorized positions)
  • 17,000 statewide employees
  • 500+ court facilities
  • Budget: $3.7 billion (approx 2% of state budget)
  • Filings: 6,124,113 in fiscal year 2017-18
  • Cases Processed: 5.8 million 
  • Dispositions: 4,777,033 
  • More data points in the Court Statistics Report

Historic Facts

Before June 1998, California's trial courts consisted of superior and municipal courts, each with its own jurisdiction and number of judges fixed by the Legislature.

In June 1998, California voters approved a constitutional amendment that permitted the judges in each county to merge their superior and municipal courts into a "unified," or single, superior court. By 2001, all of California's 58 counties had voted to unify their trial courts. 

Judicial Branch Data

The Court Statistics Report contains essential information about the annual caseload of the California judicial branch, with a particular emphasis on the number and types of cases that are filed and disposed of in the courts. This information is collected by Judicial Council research staff and submitted to the California Legislature. The CSR is released annually and is considered the contain the most complete and reliable information available at the time.