Serving a county of over 3 million residents, Orange County Superior Court handles DUI, criminal, traffic, and civil matters. Civil matters can include issues like restraining orders and family law issues, as well as more traditional civil suits for money damages based on personal injury or contract disputes. Although dwarfed by the LA County system and stuck behind the Orange curtain, Orange County superior court does operate the 3rd largest trial court in the State of California.
All cases in Orange County Superior Court are all heard in one of the six Orange County Courthouses. In Orange County the courthouses are often referred to as “justice centers”. For example, in Orange County Superior court the Santa Ana Courthouse is known as the “Central Justice Center” or Central Court. If you really speak the language of Orange County Superior Court you might refer to this courthouse as COC or CJC. All of these names refer to the same building which can really complicate matters for an Orange county girl trying to locate the right Orange County courthouse. Use the guide below to help you sort it out, or click on the links for even more information about each of the Orange County courts.
Central Justice Center is the primary Orange County Courthouse. The Central Justice Center is also known as the Santa Ana courthouse, Central Court, COC, or CJC. This is the only building of the Orange County Courts where matters of unlimited civil jurisdiction will be heard. This also home to the majority of the serious criminal matters. As a rule of thumb, if you are going into “the tower”, or using the elevator to go beyond the 3rd floor, you are entering heavy hitter territory.
Harbor Justice Center is the Orange County Court located in Newport Beach. This courthouse is also known as the Newport Beach Courthouse, Harbor Court, HJC ,or HOC. If this wasn’t confusing enough for you, the Orange County courts have decided to label both this location as well as the location in Laguna Hills as the “Harbor Justice Center”.
Harbor Justice Center Laguna Hills is the Orange County Court located in Laguna Hills. Also known as the Laguna Hills courthouse this facility is nowhere near the actual Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. If you go here by accident, don’t think you can just walk over to the actual Harbor Justice Center. The Laguna Hills courthouse is not staffed by the Orange County District Attorney or the Orange County Public Defender. This small court handles primarily traffic court matters, restraining orders, and unlawful detainers. If you have a criminal case in the Harbor Justice Center, head for the courthouse in Newport Beach.
West Justice Center is the Orange County Court located in Westminster. This Orange County courthouse is also known as the Westminster courthouse, West Court, WJC, or WOC.
North Justice Center is the Orange County Court located in Fullerton. This Orange County courthouse is also known as the Fullerton courthouse, North Court, NJC, or NOC.
Lamoreaux Justice Center is the Orange County Court located in the city of Orange. That’s right, there is a city called Orange in Orange County. Although it’s not downtown Orange County, that would be Santa Ana, or Irvine, or maybe Newport Beach, but definitely not Orange. Lamoreaux Justice Center is also know as juvenile court, juvie court, LJC, JJC, family court, probate court or “Betty Lou”. We are not making this up, honest.