AOC Divisions and Offices

The AOC is the staff agency of the Judicial Council, the policymaking body for the state court system.

Under the direction of the council and leadership of the Administrative Director of the Courts, the AOC is responsible for a variety of programs and services to improve the council’s goal of ensuring access to justice. The AOC provides services to the courts, justice partners, the public, and the media.

Organizational Structure and Services

(Organization chart)

Executive Office—Has oversight responsibility for AOC programs in furtherance of Judicial Council policies and priorities.
  • Sets direction for AOC goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and work standards
  • Works with AOC management to develop and implement appropriate strategies to meet the agency's needs
  • Works with AOC staff, the courts, the Legislature, the Governor's Office, and all other external stakeholders to coordinate and facilitate timely handling of judicial administration issues

Office of Governmental Affairs—Represents and advocates for the Judicial Council on legislative, policy, and budget matters. More information 
  • Reviews all legislation, identifies bills of interest to the judicial branch, and assists the council's Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee in formulating positions on bills and budget issues on behalf of the Judicial Council
  • Promotes effective communications within the judiciary and with groups such as the California Judges Association, the State Bar, legal services organizations, criminal justice agencies, county governments, the media, and the public

All other AOC offices are grouped within three divisions:

Judicial Council and Court Leadership Services Division Judicial and Court Operations Services Division Judicial and Court Administrative Services Division

Judicial Council and Court Leadership Services Division— The following offices report to the AOC Chief of Staff :

    Internal Audit Services  More information 
    • Audits all entities within the judicial branch
    • Conducts risk assessments, develops audit programs, performs audits of judicial branch entities, and assists state and external auditors
    • Recommends improvements based on audit results, thereby playing a key role in meeting the branch's fiscal oversight responsibilities

    Judicial Council Support Services
    • Supports the council's Executive and Planning Committee in ensuring that council business meetings focus on well-planned and well-prepared policy issues
    • Supports the nomination process of council and advisory committee members
    • Maintains records of circulating orders and council member and advisory committee member appointments
    • Organizes orientations for council members and advisory committee chairs
    • Maintains the Judicial Council calendar and prepares minutes of council business meetings

    Legal Services Office
    • Manages litigation and provides legal advice to courts and AOC divisions and offices
    • Provides primary staff support to the Judicial Council's Rules and Projects Committee and to several advisory committees and task forces
    • Manages the California Rules of Court and Judicial Council forms, and staffs other projects designed to improve court proceedings

    Office of Communications More information 
    • Keeps judges, court management, justice partners, media, and the public informed about Judicial Council actions, the work of the AOC, and issues that affect the state's court system
    • Supports the work of the council, the branch, and the AOC through communications planning and cost-effective outreach programs
    • Facilitates the use of online communications and judicial branch websites
    • Works to maintain and strengthen public trust and confidence in the state's judicial system

    Special Projects Office
    • Provides analytical and project management services on special projects under the leadership and direction of AOC Chief of Staff
    • Provides analytical and subject matter expertise for trial courts and the AOC by identifying and developing recommendations for improving business processes and achieving cost savings
    • Works directly with courts through onsite analytical assistance and through education and training on business process reengineering

    Trial Court Liaison Office
    • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with the trial courts in order to accomplish the strategic and operational goals of the Judicial Council and the AOC


Judicial and Court Operations Services Division—The following offices report to the AOC Chief Operating Officer:

    Center for Families, Children & the Courts  More information 
    • Serves to improve the quality of justice and services to meet the diverse needs of children, youth, parents, families, and other users of the California courts
    • Supports court programs designed to improve practice in family and juvenile law, as well as other areas, including collaborative justice, domestic violence, language access, treatment of mentally ill court users, services to self-represented litigants, and tribal projects

    Center for Judiciary Education and Research
    • Serves as the educational arm of the state judicial system
    • Staff and volunteer subject matter experts and faculty provide both training and education for judges and judicial branch personnel

    Court Operations Special Services Office
    • Provides direct services, resources, and program support in the following areas: Administration and Planning; Assigned Judges Program; Court Language Access Support Program; Divisional Budgeting/Appellate Court Services; Court Research; Promising and Effective Programs; and Physical Security, Personal Security, and Emergency Planning

    Criminal Justice Court Services Office  More information 
    • Oversees and coordinates the AOC's efforts related to community corrections, the 2011 Criminal Justice Realignment Act, and other criminal justice activities in order to improve operations and provide assistance to the courts, justice partners, and the public

    Judicial Branch Capital Program Office  More information 
    • Provides strategic planning for capital outlay and funding
    • Manages new courthouse design, construction, and major renovation projects for California’s trial and appellate courts

    Office of Appellate Court Services
    • Facilitates and coordinates quality and timely AOC service to the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal
    • Provides lead staff support to the administrative presiding justices and clerk/administrators of the appellate courts


Judicial and Court Administrative Services Division—The following offices report to the AOC Chief Administrative Officer:

    Fiscal Services Office  More information 
    • Provides fiscal, contract, and procurement services to the judicial branch consistent with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations
    • Provides direct assistance to the trial courts, including: budget management, development, and support; financial policies; centralized treasury system; and the collection of delinquent and non-delinquent court-ordered debt

    Human Resources Services Office
    • Provides human resource management services to California judicial branch employees and judicial officers
    • Assists the courts with labor and employee relations, mediation, training, recruitment, classification and compensation, benefits development, integrated disability management, policies, human resource information systems, and other related matters

    Information Technology Services Office
    • Assists the courts in achieving the Judicial Council's technology objectives
    • Develops and supports automated systems in the appellate courts and the AOC
    • Supports the council's internal Technology Committee and Court Technology Advisory Committee and helps plan and coordinate technological developments in the trial courts

    Office of Administrative Services
    • Provides all AOC divisions and offices with logistical support services, including: receptionist staff, mail and shipping, records management, document digitization, and copy and print production

    Office of Real Estate and Facilities Management  More information 
    • Manages the state judicial branch property portfolio for the courts
    • Oversees ongoing operational needs for more than 500 courthouses and other judicial branch facilities
    • Supports the council's Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee and manages the facility modification program
    • Manages site selection and acquisition for capital projects

    Trial Court Administrative Services Office
    • Provides the trial courts with an integrated system of financial and human capital management services, including direct support of their day-to-day tasks
    • Manages the Phoenix Program, which provides transition assistance for trial courts moving from county stewardship to the judicial branch’s financial and human resources system (the Phoenix System) with a diverse range of services, including a centralized treasury system, accounting and financial services, trust accounting services, human capital management services, and core business analysis, training, and support
    • Developing a standard for integration with court Case Management systems to the Phoenix financial system. Integration Standards have been developed to facilitate the process.

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