Santa Clara County, New Santa Clara Family Justice Center

Completion Date: 1st Qtr 2016
Occupancy Date: August 15, 2016
Gross Square Footage: 233,906
Total Courtrooms: 20
Authorized Project Budget: $233,267,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca
Construction Manager at Risk: Hensel Phelps
Fund: 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009–2010

Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Family Justice Center

The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, previously provided family court, dependency, and drug court services out of five different facilities. This functional dispersal not only created administrative and operational inefficiencies, it also made accessing associated services by members of the public extremely challenging. Many were required to travel between locations to complete their transactions and went long distances to gain access to treatment and drug-testing services.

These buildings were also undersized and overcrowded, creating challenges for families who needed to use them. For example, the Family Law courthouse, previously located on Park Avenue, was a former bank. It lacked attorney/client conference rooms, so confidential discussions took place in public lobbies, in areas separated only by low partitions. There was no space for a children's waiting room in this location. The building also lacked in-custody holding and secure circulation, which meant that in-custody detainees needed to be escorted through public corridors.

The 20-courtroom Family Justice Center replaced six leased facilities and consolidated all family-related services, including Family Court, Juvenile Dependency, and Drug Court, into a single facility. It also includes a self-help center, family court services, a child waiting area, and space for justice partners. In addition, it includes a secure central holding area as well as separate hallways for in-custody detainees.


Judicial Council staff, the Superior Court, and Santa Clara County collaborated on the project. The County donated the major portion of the site, located across the street from the San Jose Downtown Superior Court on the block bounded by North 1st Street, West St. James Street, North Market Street, and Devine Street. Funding for the project comes from SB 1407 funds, court funds, and proceeds from the sale of a vacated courthouse.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
Council staff are responsible for CEQA compliance. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared for the project.


January 19, 2010 through February 17, 2010: Draft report circulated.
February 10, 2010: Public meeting held.
After receiving public comments, council staff completed a Final Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration
On April 12, 2010, staff filed a Notice of Determination (PDF), completing the CEQA


Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California