Resources and Program Info

Senate Bill 1732: Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002
Full text of SB 1732 (Stats. 2002, ch. 1082), which finalized the imperatives of trial court funding reform as envisioned by the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997. Includes amendments through 2012.

Senate Bill 1407
This legislation, passed in September 2009, launched an unprecedented courthouse rebuilding program in California by designating judicial branch revenues to fund up to $5 billion in lease-revenue bonds that will finance 41 new construction and renovation projects.

Building Official Policy
Adopted March 2023
Sets forth the role, responsibilities, and qualifications of the Judicial Council’s Building Official, and establishes the process for appeal of the Building Official’s determinations.

California Environmental Quality Act Objectives, Criteria, and Procedures
Adopted March 2023
For use by the Judicial Council to ensure it considers potentially significant environmental impacts of its projects as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Art Policy
Adopted December 2015
Provides guidance to Judicial Council staff in acquiring art on behalf of the council for capital projects or for existing trial or appellate court facilities managed by the council. See December 12, 2015 Judicial Council Meeting.

Capital Program Management Policy
Adopted December 2022
Guides the planning, acquisition, and construction of appellate and trial court facilities, so that all projects can be managed with a common strategy and approach and common systems and processes. 

Conflict of Interest Policy for Design-Build Projects
Adopted November 2021
Governs the ability of a person or entity seeking to perform services for the Judicial Council on a design-build project to submit a proposal as a design-build entity, or to join a design-build team.

Courthouse Naming Policy
Revised July 2023
Establishes standards for the Judicial Council to name courthouses in California.

Facility Modifications Policy
Updated March 2019
Describes methodology and process for prioritizing modifications to be made to trial court facilities for which responsibility or title has been transferred to the state.

Guidelines for the Responsibility of Facilities Costs between the Judicial Council and Trial Courts
Approved March 8, 2021
The Guidelines for the Responsibility of Facilities Costs between the Judicial Council and Trial Courts are operating guidelines and a reference tool to guide the Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee and Judicial Council staff in determining funding responsibility for trial court facility projects.

JCC-Travel and Expense Reimbursement Guidelines (Contractors)
Guidelines for invoicing travel and living expenses incurred by Contractors, Subcontractors, or its employees while performing services or providing deliverables.

Judicial Council Policy on Asbestos Management for Court Facilities
Adopted December 2018
This policy informs Judicial Council staff of the requirements to manage asbestos hazards on the behalf of the Judicial Council for renovation and/or demolition activities performed in court facilities.

Judicial Council Policy on the Use of Air Filtration Devices During Wildfires
Adopted July 2022
Establishes guidelines for the use of air filtration devices during wildfires to mitigate impacts of wildfire smoke on Judicial Council-owned and Judicial Council-managed court facilities and operations.

Prioritization Methodology for Trial Court Capital-Outlay Projects
Updated November 2019
Outlines revised methodology that produces prioritized trial court capital-outlay projects to assist the council in making funding recommendations.

Rules and Regulations: Relocation Payments and Assistance Regarding Real Property Acquisition
Adopted December 2010
Provides the framework for implementation of state relocation law in connection with acquisition of sites for court facilities

Seismic Safety Policy for Leased Buildings
Adopted August 2008
Ensures that Judicial Council staff provides adequate seismic life safety to occupants when it seeks to acquire space in buildings owned by others

Site Selection and Acquisition Policy for Judicial Branch Facilities
Updated August 2009
Outlines the process by which Judicial Council staff selects sites for courthouses.

Third-Party Use of Trial Court Facilities
Adopted March 2010
Enables third parties to apply for a license to use trial court facilities for civic, community, educational, cultural, and other events. Trial courts use the corresponding Judicial Council-administered program to manage such facility uses.

Third-Party Use License Application Updated January 2018


Water Conservation Policy
Adopted June 2015
Provides guidelines for water conservation best practices for both Capital Program projects and existing courthouse facilities to reduce water usage at California courthouses.

Completed Transfer Agreements
Last update: February 2010

Courthouse Construction Funds: Reporting Form and Instructions

Fact Sheet: Transfer of Court Facilities to the State
Overview of the transfers' legislative background and the benefits to Californians that will result from this historic shift in the state's judicial branch.

Deferred Maintenance Reports

Deferred maintenance is maintenance not completed to keep facilities in acceptable and operable condition. Current funding for facility modifications (FMs) is insufficient to address needs statewide. These Five-Year Master Plan – Deferred Maintenance Reports reflect all unfunded FMs. As these reports are submitted annually to the California Department of Finance, the judicial branch’s funding need is added to the statewide deferred maintenance funding need, reported in the Governor’s California Five-Year Infrastructure Plan.

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2018-19

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2019-20

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2020-21

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2021-22

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2022-23

Deferred Maintenance Report for Fiscal Year 2023-24


Seismic Renovation Feasibility Study

A seismic renovation feasibility study for 26 vulnerable Superior Court buildings in California completed December 2018. The study involved developing a conceptual seismic retrofit scheme for each building, determining the collateral impacts and associated construction costs of the retrofit schemes, and performing cost-benefit analyses to determine the most appropriate renovation strategy for each building.

Key Findings

Project Feasibility Reports:

Methodology Report


Reports on Conditions in California Courts

Criteria and List of Trial Court Buildings for Renovation Feasibility Study
August 2017
This study was approved by the Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee on August 28, 2017.

Seismic Risk Rating of California Superior Court Buildings
October 2017
In October 2017, Judicial Council updated the database of seismic risk ratings for California’s court buildings. This report contains evaluations of certain court buildings which in March 2017 the Council did not have enough structural information to make a seismic risk rating. The seismic risk rating gauges the relative risk to life safety, which is indicative of the degree of damage from a seismic event. A cost model was also developed to perform structural strengthening for those buildings in the database that represent the greatest seismic safety risk.

Seismic Assessment Report: Preliminary Findings
January 2004
In November 2003, Judicial Council completed a seismic assessment of court buildings in California. The assessment was mandated by the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002, the law that specifies the process for the transfer of ownership and management responsibility for approximately 451 of California's court buildings from the counties to the State.

Judicial Branch Five-Year Infrastructure Plan for Fiscal Year 2024–25
This five-year plan for capital outlay projects forms the basis for capital project funding requests for the upcoming and outlying fiscal years and provides the executive and legislative branches with a context for these requests. The plan conveys the judicial branch’s funding needs for new courthouse construction as well as renovations and additions to existing facilities, informing the funding needs described in the Governor's California Five-Year Infrastructure Plan

California Five-Year Infrastructure Plan
Each year, the courthouse construction needs of the judicial branch are described in the Governor’s California Five-Year Infrastructure Plan. The California Infrastructure Planning Act (Chapter 606, Statutes of 1999) requires the Governor to submit a five-year infrastructure plan to the Legislature for consideration with the annual budget bill. The latest five-year infrastructure plan is available at

California Trial Court Facilities Standards
Adopted in November 2020
The facilities standards define the minimum space and the functional, technical, and security requirements for the design of trial court facilities in the state of California. They reflect best practices and successful solutions as the basis for design and construction of functional, durable, maintainable, efficient, and secure contemporary court facilities.



Review of Judicial Branch Construction Procurement Practices

Senate Bill 78, enacted in 2011, required the Judicial Council to report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on the process, transparency, costs, and timeliness of its procurement practices for each court construction project completed between Jan 1, 2008, and Jan 1, 2013. The legislation also required the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) to compare the costs and schedules of construction projects delivered by the judicial branch to similar projects completed by the Department of General Services.


Judicial Council Report to the Legislature (Dec 2012)
Legislative Analyst's Review (Mar 20, 2013)
AOC Response to LAO Review (Mar 28, 2013)



Appellate Court Facilities Guidelines
Adopted in 2002
The guidelines address general requirements and functional components for the design of appellate court facilities in the state of California.


Sustainability in California’s Judicial Branch Facilities

From its sustainability plan, the following outlines the judicial branch’s goals and efforts for sustainability of trial court facilities.

Sustainability Core Goals

  1. Ensure compliance with sustainability initiatives in all new construction and major renovation projects.
  2. Reduce energy usage, carbon footprint, and utility costs by:
    1. Educating staff, key stakeholders, and service providers on sustainability issues;
    2. Pursuing energy efficiency measures;
    3. Conserving other natural resources; and
    4. Improving the power resiliency of the judicial branch’s portfolio through renewable energy systems.

Current Efforts

  • Water Conservation
  • Lighting Retrofit Projects
  • Solar Feasibility Assessments
  • Power-Resiliency Assessments in PG&E Territory
  • Data Driven Programming (Benchmarking and Compliance)