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What types of cases are filed with California superior courts?

Most Filings in Trial Courts Involve Traffic Cases

  • In 2015-16, trial courts received about 6.2 million submissions to the court (“filings”)—a decrease of 34 percent over the past decade.

  • Of the total filings, about 65 percent were for traffic infractions and misdemeanors. About 15 percent were for non-traffic criminal cases, while 18 percent were civil or family cases. The remainder includes juvenile cases, mental health cases, and probate cases.

  • While most court filings involve traffic cases, such cases are resolved relatively quickly and do not require significant resources. Rather, most court resources support non-traffic criminal, civil, or family law cases.

  • In 2015-16, only 8 percent of filings were resolved through trial. The remaining were resolved in other ways, such as through settlements or hearings.

Last Updated: December 2018