Tuolumne County, New Sonora Courthouse

Photo of Imperial County, New El Centro Courthouse

Tuolumne County, New Sonora Courthouse

Construct a new five-courtroom project of 61,537 building gross square feet (BGSF) in Tuolumne County. The new project will be two-stories, with lower level parking and in-custody holding. The new courthouse will replace the existing Sonora court space in the Historic Courthouse, the Washington Street Branch and the Jury Assembly Room. This project provides a modern, secure, courthouse for the residents of Tuolumne County, replacing existing deficient court facilities and creating operational efficiencies and ongoing savings through consolidation of current court services. The new courthouse will be located on a 4.3-acre parcel and will be one of five new buildings located at the Tuolumne County Law and Justice Center. The new courthouse will be adjacent to a new county jail. The project delivery method is Construction Manager at Risk. The CMR is Turner Construction.

Gross Square Footage: 61,537
Total Courtrooms: 5
Current Authorized Project Budget: $69,602,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: Lionakis
Construction Management Agency: Vanir Construction Management, Inc.
Construction Manager at Risk: Turner Construction Company
Fund: Senate Bill 1407/General Fund

The Superior Court of California, County of Tuolumne is located in the county seat, Sonora, in two buildings two blocks apart. The three-story Historic Courthouse at 41 West Yaney Street houses three courtrooms. Built in 1898, the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. The nearby Washington Street Branch houses two courtrooms.

These facilities are overcrowded, physically deficient, and significantly lacking in security features to the current standards. For example, both facilities lack holding cells for in-custody defendants. Also, separation of court facilities in two buildings creates operational inefficiencies. For example, court records are maintained in the Historic Courthouse, but must be hand-carried to the Washington Street Branch.

This project will consolidate operations from these two buildings into a modern, secure courthouse for centralized criminal, civil, family, traffic, small claims, juvenile, and probate proceedings. It will also enable the court to expand basic services it currently cannot provide due to space restrictions: appropriately sized jury assembly and deliberation rooms, a self-help center, family court mediation, attorney interview/witness waiting rooms, and secure circulation for visitors, judicial officers, and court staff, as well as in-custody holding.

The new courthouse will be located just outside the Sonora city limits in the County’s future Law and Justice Center, bounded by Old Wards Ferry Road and Highway 108. Tuolumne County owns the land surrounding the courthouse site and has made significant improvements to the property, including roads and utilities, as well as site plans for justice partners, providing improved access to justice for Tuolumne County residents. Site acquisition was completed in April 2012.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

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


The County of Tuolumne was the original lead agency for the CEQA environmental review done on the site for the new courthouse located in the county's Law and Justice Center. The Judicial Council adopted the county's existing EIR prior to the acquisition of the property.

November 23, 2011:

The Judicial Council filed its own Notice of Determination for the courthouse project.

This project is currently in the construction phase. Construction began in December 2018 and is estimated to complete in July 2021.

Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California

For Courts to Report Facilities Issues
Customer Service Center:
888-225-3583 or csc@jud.ca.gov