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California Courts of Appeal

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Portal:Intermediate appellate courts in the states

The California Courts of Appeal are the intermediate appellate courts in California. They were established in 1905. The courts include 105 justices who serve six districts.

The six Courts of Appeal have appellate jurisdiction when superior courts have original jurisdiction, and in certain other cases prescribed by statute. Like the California Supreme Court, they have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition proceedings.

Most of the cases that come before the Courts of Appeal involve the review of a superior court decision that is being contested by a party to the case.[1]


Justices of the California Courts of Appeal are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The appointments must be confirmed by the public via retention election at the first general election following appointment. If retained by the voters, a Court of Appeal justice continues in office.

After that, the term of office depends on when the position became vacant. The California Constitution provides for a term of 12 years. However, if part of the term was served before the position became vacant, the justice serves the uncompleted part, either 4 or 8 years. At the end of that term, the justice again must be confirmed by the voters at a general election in order to begin a new 12-year term.

To be considered for appointment, a person must be an attorney admitted to practice in California or have served as a judge of a court of record in this state for 10 years immediately preceding appointment (Cal. Const., art VI, § 16).[2]


District Counties served
First District Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma
Second District Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo
Third District Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba
Fourth District Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and Imperial
Fifth District Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne
Sixth District Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey

External links


  1. California Courts, About California Courts
  2. California Courts, Courts of Appeal (The rules governing the selection of Supreme Court justices apply to those serving on the Courts of Appeal)
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