When a decision is made to permanently close a courthouse that was transferred from a county to the Judicial Council, California Government Code section 70391(c)(2)—which is found in the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002—requires the council to offer to sell or lease the space back to the county.
"The Judicial Council shall consult with the county concerning the disposition of the facility. Notwithstanding any other law, including Section 11011, when requested by the transferring county, a surplus facility shall be offered to that county at fair market value prior to being offered to another state agency or local government agency."
Although the county is under no obligation to buy the building, the Judicial Council is mandated by law to offer the property to the county at fair market value. As the staff agency to the Judicial Council, the Administrative Office of the Courts assists courts with the space issues that result from court closures.