Tulare County, South County Justice Center, Porterville

Completion Date: 3rd Qtr 2013
Occupancy Date: October 15, 2013
Gross Square Footage: 100,299
Total Courtrooms: 9
Authorized Project Budget: $93,364,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: CO Architects
Construction Manager at Risk: Sundt Construction
Fund: 1732
Initial Funding Year: FY 2007–2008

Tulare County, South County Justice Center, Porterville

The Superior Court of Tulare County previously had five court locations: the Tulare County Courthouse and the Juvenile Justice Facility in Visalia, the Tulare-Pixley Court Building in the City of Tulare, the Porterville Government Center in Porterville, and the Dinuba Court Building in Dinuba. The Tulare County Courthouse was the main facility; the other facilities served as branch court locations. Due to significant projected population growth in the Porterville area over the next 20 years, the court envisioned the need to create two main service regions: a North Justice Center in Visalia and a South Justice Center based in Porterville. The new nine-courtroom Porterville Courthouse, which includes the entire three-courtroom operation from the former Porterville Government Center and one courtroom function from the Tulare-Pixley Court, replaced facilities that had poor security, were overcrowded, and had many physical problems.

This project, the new Porterville Courthouse, became the South Justice Center of the county and serves both limited and unlimited jurisdiction cases. In order to consolidate other court functions into the two regional justice centers, the court divided the functions at the Tulare-Pixley and Dinuba locations into the North and South Justice Centers. Because of limited expansion options at the former Porterville Government Center location, the new facility is located on an independent site.

In August 2009, the City of Porterville agreed to sell to the state its 7.4-acre property at 300 East Olive Avenue, formerly the site of the Porterville Fairgrounds and Municipal Ballpark, for the new courthouse. In September 2009, the Judicial Council of California (JCC) received approval from the state Public Works Board for this acquisition. The real estate transaction closed escrow in December 2009. The City plans to relocate the fairgrounds to a location near the airport.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The JCC is the lead agency for preparation of an environmental report to comply with CEQA.


June 4, 2009, to July 3, 2009: Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration circulated. The draft study evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommended mitigation measures.

June 25, 2009: Public meeting held.

In response to public comments, the JCC completed a Final Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (3.2 MB).

On August 4, 2009, the JCC filed a Notice of Determination, thereby completing the CEQA process. 


Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California