- Filming in CA State Courthouses
- Historic Courthouses
- Closed Courthouses
- Additional Options
- Beyond the Zone
Filming in California State Courthouses
INCLUDES PERMITTING PROTOCOL TO ALL 58 LOCAL COUNTY SUPERIOR COURTS DISTRICTS STATEWIDE – INCLUDING LOS ANGELES
The Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) allows exterior filming around working courthouses during non-business hours only as long as the court seal, court staff, jurors, litigants and judicial officers are not photographed. Interior filming is not allowed at any working LASC facility. Check with the contacts listed below for more information on locations, access and fees. Information on filming in closed courthouse facilities follows as well.
NOTE: The California Film Commission does not issue film permits for the California Superior Court system. The state’s Judicial Branch is responsible for the management of courthouses in California, and administers a program for the efficient licensing of civic and other uses of courthouses, including film, TV, commercial and digital production.
LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURTS – L.A. COUNTY
If you are interested in filming around the exterior of an L.A. Superior Courthouse during non-business hours, you may contact:
Los Angeles Superior Court
Facilities Services & Capital Projects
111 N. Hill Street, Room 623
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Henry Hernandez, Deputy Director
Ruth Vargas, Court Services Assistant
APPLICATIONS – WORKING AND CLOSED COURTHOUSES – STATEWIDE
To obtain permission to film at specific courthouses statewide, find Court Administrator contacts.
If consideration of the filming request is given by the local Court Administrator, the application is forwarded to the Judicial Council office in Burbank for review and transmittal to the San Francisco office for final approval. No interior or exterior filming is permitted at the West Los Angeles Courthouse, including the plaza area.
For filming requests for Superior Courts in all 58 counties, submit a Judicial Council of California application.
Applications must be submitted to the local Court Administrator no less than 30 business days prior to filming along with proof of insurance.
An estimate of fees will be provided during the application review process. These fees will be established on a per project, case-by-case basis.
Find Superior Court Websites in California.
Filming requests for Appellate Courtrooms located within state office buildings will not be considered. This includes the court facility in the downtown Los Angeles Ronald Reagan State Building. One exception is the 3rd District Appellate Court in Sacramento. Permit requests for this property should be submitted to the CFC.
County Court Administrator contacts for where to submit your application.
Find Superior Court facilities throughout California displayed in CinemaScout, the CFC online film location library.
For further clarification on filming any Superior Courthouse exterior statewide, contact:
Doris von Wild, Administrative Coordinator
Facilities Services Office | Operations & Programs Division
Judicial Council of California
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
California Judicial Branch
Historic Courthouses – County Superior Court Districts
Certain courthouses throughout California are designated historic landmarks. Selected locations include: Alameda, Alpine, Susanville / Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, Quincy / Plumas, Riverside, San Rafael / Marin, Santa Barbara, Tuolumne / Sonora, Tehama, Trinity, and Woodland / Yolo. These court facilities are approved for filming and permitted by local county Superior Court staff, not the Judicial Council offices in Burbank and San Francisco.
Closed Los Angeles Superior Courthouse Facilities and Parking Lots Now Administered by the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO)
Currently, filming activity may be considered at the closed Malibu and San Pedro courthouses recently sold by the L.A. Superior Court. Each CinemaScout record includes the specific CEO contact for each building.
If permission for filming is granted, use this permit application.
As of May 2017, the West Los Angeles Courthouse is now open to all exterior and interior filming, including the plaza area.
For filming requests, submit a Judicial Council of California application.
Additional Court Facility Options – Locations Permitted by FilmL.A.
To inquire about filming at closed court locations in Los Angeles County permitted by FilmL.A., the Los Angeles Film Office, visit FilmL.A. or call 213.977.8600 to speak with a Production Planning team member.
Lynwood Superior Court – Closed Divisions 14, 15 an 16 – adjacent to the Century Regional Detention Facility – CRDF
Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum Courthouse – Former LA County Superior Court – Culver City, now an African-American History Museum
San Pedro City Hall Municipal Building – Closed Jail and Courtrooms
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – Mock Trial Courtrooms
LAUSD Property Management, FilmL.A., Inc.
213.977.8600 x 618