Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California

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The Superior Court of Los Angeles County is one of 58 superior courts in California. It has jurisdiction over Los Angeles County and conducts all original trials in the county, except in cases where the appellate level courts have original jurisdiction.

The court merged its operations with the municipal court of Los Angeles County in January 2000. The passage of Proposition 220 in 1998 allowed the superior and municipal courts in a county to consolidate their operations if a majority of the superior court and municipal court judges in the county agreed to the consolidation. Under the terms of the proposition, once consolidation was agreed to, the county's municipal courts were abolished and all municipal court judges and employees became superior court judges and employees.[1][2]

Selection method

The structure of California's state court system.
See also: Nonpartisan election

The 1,535 judges of the California Superior Courts compete in nonpartisan races in even-numbered years. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary election, he or she is declared the winner; if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates is held during the November general election.[3][4][5][6]

If an incumbent judge is running unopposed in an election, his or her name does not appear on the ballot. The judge is automatically re-elected following the general election.[3]

The chief judge of any given superior court is selected by peer vote of the court's members. He or she serves in that capacity for one or two years, depending on the county.[3]

Candidates are required to have 10 years of experience as a law practitioner or as a judge of a court of record.[3]


There are over 400 judges in Los Angeles County. To see a full list of current judges, click the box below.

Assigned judges

See also: California Superior Courts - Assigned judges

Some superior court judges may receive temporary assignments as-needed. These are called "assigned judges." According to the state court website:[7]

At the request of the presiding judges and justices of the trial and appellate courts, the Chief Justice—assisted by the Assigned Judges Program (AJP) of the Administrative Office of the Courts—issues temporary judicial assignment orders to active or retired judges and justices to cover vacancies, illnesses, disqualifications, and calendar congestion in the courts.[8]

Former judges

For information on former judges of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, click here.

Judicial selection

The method of judicial selection for the California Superior Courts is officially nonpartisan election of judges, though many judges join the court via gubernatorial appointment. Once judges are appointed, they compete in the next general election following appointment.

If an incumbent superior court judge files for re-election and draws no opponent, that race does not appear on the ballot. If the race is contested, the candidate who wins more than 50 percent of the vote is elected. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent, the top two compete in a runoff in the general election in November.[9]


See also: California judicial elections

California is one of 43 states that hold elections for judicial positions. To learn more about judicial selection in California, click here.

Election rules

Primary election

Only candidates for the superior courts compete in primary elections.

  • If a superior court judge runs unopposed for re-election, his or her name does not appear on the ballot and he or she is automatically re-elected following the general election.[10][11]
  • Write-in candidates may file to run against an incumbent within 10 days after the filing deadline passes if they are able to secure enough signatures (between 100 and 600, depending on the number of registered voters in the county). In that case, the incumbent would appear on the general election ballot along with an option to vote for a write-in candidate.[11]
  • In contested races, the candidate who receives a majority of all the votes in the primary wins the election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in the primary, the top two compete in the November general election.[12]

General election

  • Superior court candidates who advance from the primary election compete in the general election.
  • Superior court incumbents facing competition from write-in candidates appear on the ballot.[11][12]

Former judges

For a full list of judges who have previously served on this court, click here.

See also

External links