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Scam Alert: The Superior Court of Santa Cruz has been notified that an individual posing as a deputy/court security is calling court customers stating that they owe money for failing to appear. If you receive a call of this nature, please contact the court directly at 831-420-2200 to receive accurate information.

Civil Division

The Civil Division in Santa Cruz, located at the Santa Cruz Courthouse, processes all civil matters, including general civil, name change applications, probate and unlawful detainer cases. All restraining orders are filed at the Watsonville Courthouse. For more information regarding restraining orders see the Restraining Order Division page.

Small Claims cases are filed and heard only at the Watsonville Courthouse.

Filing Hours

Clerks Office:

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday - Friday in Santa Cruz. A mail slot is provided for filings after 3:00 PM.

Come in the morning and avoid the lines.

Items must be received by 5:00 PM.

Phones are answered from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Monday - Friday.

Electronic Filings can be filed 24 hours per CCP 1010.6

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Records and Information page.

Regular copies are $.50 per page.

Certified copies are $40.00 to certify the document and $.50 per page.

If your case was opened after June of 1985, you can search on our Case Information Portal for your case number.

You can call us or come in if you need assistance in locating your case number.

If your case is before June 1985, you can search through our microfiche. You need to have the year and the parties’ last names.

Civil ex parte hearings are generally scheduled at 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Civil ex partes in Santa Cruz rotate on a monthly basis between the two civil courtrooms. For additional information regarding civil ex partes please contact the clerk’s office at (831) 420-2200. Ex parte local rules 2.9.01 - 2.9.04 can be found at 

You must contact the civil clerk’s office by telephone at (831) 420-2200 before 11:00 am the COURT day before the ex parte hearing.  Ex parte local rules 2.9.01 - 2.9.04 can be found at 

If you would like to start a court case such as a civil harassment restraining order, eviction, name change, civil law suit, or guardianship there are a variety of places that you can obtain court forms including: The California Courts Website, the Law Library (small fee charged) located at 701 Ocean Street, Basement, Santa Cruz, and the Self Help Center located at the Watsonville Courthouse (only certain forms for areas of law they assist with) . Sometimes a court form for your legal issue may not exist in a pre-made form. You may have to create your own unique form on pleading paper. For direction you may want to start at the Law Library to do legal research or get consultation with a Private Attorney.

You must choose one of the local newspapers designated as a newspaper of General Circulation. You may use any of the newspapers on the current list (Listings). You must publish notice of your intent to change your name once a week for four consecutive weeks. The cost on the list is the approximate cost for the entire four weeks of publication.