Although state property, the CFC does not issue permits for the 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.
- Filming in California State Courthouses
- Historic Courthouses
- Closed Courthouses
- Additional Options
- Beyond the Zone
INCLUDES PERMITTING PROTOCOL TO ALL 58 LOCAL COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT DISTRICTS STATEWIDE – INCLUDING LOS ANGELES
The California Film Commission does not issue film permits for the California Superior Court system.
JUDICIAL COUNCIL FILMING POLICY CHANGES AS OF 2021
Operating (Open) Court Facilities: No Commercial Filming
- No interior commercial filming is permitted at any time.
- No exterior commercial filming (including parking areas and curtilage) is permitted at any time.
- Public sidewalks/streets outside the property line are not considered part of the court facility, but any commercial filming thereon should not interrupt or interfere with court operations.
Non-Operating (Closed) Court Facilities: Commercial Filming upon Prior Approval
- Interior commercial filming may be permitted in court-approved areas.
- Exterior commercial filming may be permitted.
- The court seal, court/building name, judicial officers/staff, jurors, litigants, court users, and other certain court images are never permitted to be commercially filmed.
Please Note: The above information is subject to change as the Judicial Council continues to study and evaluate practices. CFC staff will be apprised of any updates and this page will be amended as filming policies change.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY INQUIRIES:
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 – 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 Sacramento for review and transmittal to the San Francisco office for final approval.
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.
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.
An application for any request for commercial filming at a court facility needs to first be submitted to the local court for review and consideration. The application with proof of insurance must be submitted no less than thirty (30) days prior to the requested use. If the local court consents, the application will be forwarded to Judicial Council Real Estate for final review and approval. The payment of per-project fees and the execution of a License Agreement will be required for all commercial filming at any court facility.
For further clarification on filming any court facility statewide, contact:
Mary Bustamante, Manager
Real Estate Facilities Services | Administrative Division
Judicial Council of California
2860 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
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.
Search Superior Court websites by city or zip code.
Find Superior Court websites listed alphabetically by County.
Closed Los Angeles Superior Courthouse Facilities and Parking Lots Now Administered by the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO)
Please direct filming inquiries to:
If permission for filming is granted, use this permit application.
Additional Court Facility Options – Locations Permitted by FilmLA
To inquire about filming at closed court locations in Los Angeles County permitted by FilmLA, the Los Angeles Film Office, visit FilmLA 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
San Pedro City Hall Municipal Building – Closed Jail and Courtrooms
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – Mock Trial Courtrooms
LAUSD Property Management, FilmLA
213.977.8600 x 618
Ask about additional schools with courtrooms. Locations may or may not be permitted by FilmLA.
Constitutional Rights Foundation – Los Angeles County
Participating Schools – Staff Contacts
Courtroom to Classroom
Beyond the 30-Mile Studio Zone – Orange County
Old Orange County Courthouse
Santa Ana – Historic Museum
Permits for this location are submitted to Orange County Parks.
Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building
California Supreme Court and Law Library
Permit requests for this property are submitted to the CFC.
CinemaScout also displays court facility matches and decommissioned courts now held by private sector entities. Start by typing the word Courts in the category field and search by proximity.