Basics of the Los Angeles Superior Court

The Los Angeles Superior Court judges preside over Los Angeles County, which is where the city of Los Angeles is located. This jurisdiction is the largest single trial court area in the entire United States.


There are 47 courthouses located throughout the Los Angeles County area. Each of the courthouses houses the Los Angeles Superior Court judges and their courtrooms. It is inside the courtroom where trials, hearings, and motions of all types are heard.

Superior Court Judges

The judges of the Superior Court must have knowledge of California law. To get this knowledge, they must be a practicing attorney for the ten years prior to being nominated or elected as a judge. In addition, in order to practice law, the attorney must pass the California state bar exam.

Superior Court

The Superior Court is sometimes called “Trial Court” because this is where the initial trial in a lawsuit begins. Each court has a specific jurisdiction depending on the type of case.

Civil and criminal cases are heard in Superior Court in addition to hearings, motions, discovery disagreements, and requests for injunctions. No federal cases are heard in these courts.

There will always be a plaintiff and a defendant in all cases. Each party in the lawsuit can be represented by an attorney, or the party can represent themselves in court. In all cases, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge will be in charge of moving the case forward and making decisions on objections, hearings, and anything in dispute during a trial.

A defendant can have either a judge or jury decide on a verdict. If a Los Angeles Superior Court judge is to decide then the judge will take the time to consider all the evidence presented, the laws that apply, and any other information presented during the trial to render a verdict.

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