Fast Facts

Population served: more than 39 million—11 percent of the United States population

  • Court levels: 3
  • Trial courts: 58—one in each county
  • Court of Appeal districts: 6 in 9 locations
  • Highest court: California Supreme Court
  • Judicial branch budget is 1.3% of State General Fund

Jury Service

  • Jury pay: $15/day starting with second day of service and 34 cents per mile, one way
  • Number of Californians summoned to jury service in fiscal year 2016–17: approximately 9 million*
  • Number of Californians summoned to jury service who completed service in fiscal year 2016–17: approximately 4 million*
  • Number of Californians sworn in to serve as jurors in fiscal year 2016–17:  approximately 141,000*

* Numbers are based on 55 of the 58 (95%) superior courts reporting


Language Access

  • Languages and dialects spoken in California—more than 250
  • Percentage of Californians that speak a non-English language at home: 44%
  • Percentage of Californians with English-language limitations: approximately 19% (more than 7 million)
  • Languages certified for court interpreters: 16 - Arabic, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and American Sign Language 
  • Total number of court interpreter service days provided in the California courts from July 2009 to June 2013: More than 1,000,000
  • Percent of interpreter services provided in Spanish: 72


  • 1.2 million people get help from court self-help centers each year
  • 80% of family law cases have at least 1 side self-represented
  • 75% of all civil cases have at least 1 side self-represented
  • All parties in small claims cases are self-represented

California Supreme Court

  • Justices: 1 Chief Justice, 6 Associate Justices
  • Filings: 8,079 in fiscal year 2015-16
  • 76 written opinions in fiscal year 2015-16
Supreme Court of California
Official photo (2016) 

Courts of Appeal

  • Justices: 105 (authorized positions)
  • Filings: 20,217 in fiscal year 2015-16
  • Dispositions: 22,931 in fiscal year 2015-16

Superior Courts (trial courts)

  • 1,732 judges (authorized positions) (assessed need = 1,903)
  • Filings: 6,217,800 in fiscal year 2015-16
  • Dispositions: 5,488,909 in fiscal year 2015-16

Judicial Council

  • Created by constitutional amendment, the council is the policymaking body for California’s state court system
  • The 21 voting members include the Chief Justice, 14 judicial officers, 4 attorneys, and 1 member from each house of the Legislature
  • The council also has advisory members who include judicial officers and court executives or administrators
  • The council carries out much of its work through the hundreds of volunteers on its committees and task forces
  • Staff to the council serve the courts, justice partners, and the public with a variety of programs and services

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