Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010
The Superior Court of Kings County provides services in two full-time locations: Hanford, the county seat, and Lemoore. In Hanford, severe space restrictions have forced the court to spread operations among four separate buildings in the downtown government center. Three of the buildings were constructed in the late 1970s, the fourth in the early 1990s. The Hanford complex handles all case types except family law, which is handled in the Lemoore Courthouse, approximately 10 miles away. The Lemoore Courthouse is a very small shared-use building, constructed in 1959, with a single courtroom.
All five buildings have numerous security deficiencies, are overcrowded, and have many other physical and functional deficiencies. Dispersal of court operations among several buildings and locations inconveniences court users and creates inefficiencies in court operations. For example, there is no room in the Lemoore courthouse for on-site storage of active case files, creating the need for constant transfers of files.
The new courthouse will replace these facilities and consolidate all court operations in a modern, secure, full-service courthouse. The new facility is designed to handle all types of proceedings, including criminal, traffic, civil, family law, juvenile dependency and delinquency, small claims, probate, appeals, unlawful detainer, conservatorships and guardianships, and family court mediation. It will consolidate all family law proceedings and support services currently spread out of over three locations in three different towns into a centralized location.
The new facility will also enable the court to provide services currently not possible due to space restrictions: a self-help center; appropriately sized and secure public lobby, queuing for entrance screening and public service counters, courtroom waiting areas, jury assembly room, jury deliberation rooms and family court mediation rooms; and adequately sized in-custody holding, attorney interview/witness waiting rooms, courtroom holding areas, and a children's waiting room.
In May 2011, the state Public Works Board approved a site in Hanford for the new courthouse: approximately 9.5 acres immediately west of the County Jail and adjacent to 12th Avenue. Construction began in Oct 2013.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
The Judicial Council is the lead agency for preparation of an environmental report to comply with CEQA.
Sept 29, 2010, to Oct 28, 2010: Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration circulated. The draft study evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommended mitigation measures.
Oct 20, 2010: Public meeting held.
In response to public comments, the Judicial Council completed a Final Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration.
On Jan 20, 2011, the Judicial Council filed a Notice of Determination, thereby completing the CEQA process.
Kings County Groundbreaking Ceremony
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