Imperial County, New El Centro Courthouse

El Centro Courthouse

Superior Court of California, County of Imperial

Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010

Criminal law cases would move from the historic courthouse in El Centro

Current Status
This project is in architectural design-preliminary plans with a current expected completion date of 3 Q 2017.
Vital Statistics
Courtrooms: 4
Square footage: 47,512
Current authorized project budget: $46,465,000 
More information

In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.
The Superior Court of California, Imperial County, provides criminal court functions from two facilities: the historic Imperial County Courthouse in El Centro and a branch courthouse in Brawley. The separation of criminal calendars in two locations creates operational inefficiencies and is a detriment to the administration of justice.

The main courthouse is the historic Imperial County Courthouse, built in 1923. Four of its seven courtrooms are dedicated to criminal calendars. The courthouse in Brawley hosts criminal proceedings when courtrooms are unavailable in the historic courthouse, which is often. In both facilities, the courtrooms are undersized and overcrowded, and have life safety, security, and accessibly deficiencies.

This project will provide a new, four-courtroom facility that will consolidate all criminal court functions in one location. The Imperial County Courthouse will continue to hear civil, family, small claims, and traffic cases. The Brawley courthouse will be closed.

The approximately 47,000 square-foot courthouse will be built on a 3.6-acre site located on Wake Avenue between Merrill Center Drive and Thomas Drive, midway between the historic courthouse and juvenile hall. The project is funded through court user fees, penalties, and assessments rather than taxpayer revenues.


November 2013: The State Public Works Board approved a Judicial Council recommendation to reduce the new El Centro Courthouse project's scope and budget, and change the type of calendars to be heard from family law and family support to criminal.

October 2012: The Judicial Council directed the new project to proceed with design after a recommendation by the council’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee, reducing the hard construction budget by 10 percent.

April 2012: Due to the current fiscal crisis, the project is being reassessed to determine the number of courtrooms needed. Once that is confirmed, the project scope will be revised and lower-cost construction methods will be explored.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The Judicial Council complied with CEQA by filing a categorical exemption for this project's preferred site on August 12, 2011.

Architecture/Engineering Firm

Safdie Rabines

Construction Manager at Risk

Hensel Phelps Construction

Subcontractor bidding

Schedule TBD

New Releases
Two Sites Approved (3/11/11)
Potential Sites Selected (9/29/10)
Site finalized (11/10/11)

Historical Documents
Fact Sheet
Project Feasibility Report

Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Capital Program

455 Golden Gate Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, California

Customer Service Center:
888-225-3583 or
Site Map | Careers | Contact Us | Accessibility | Public Access to Records | Terms of Use | Privacy