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General Civil Law

To make an appointment with the Clerk’s Office, please visit the homepage and click the “Schedule an Appointment” button. Be sure that you schedule your appointment for the correct department. Appointments scheduled in the incorrect department are subject to cancellation. In accordance with the 2nd Amended Administrative Order 22.04, walk-in services are currently unavailable. An appointment is required. Customers are limited to one 30-minute appointment per day.

Filings are accepted in the drop box located at the main entrance of the courthouse, via eDelivery, or by US Mail.

Please see 2nd Amended Administrative Order 22.04 for additional information regarding court operations during the phased re-opening.

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The civil division is the processing unit where all civil matters are filed. A civil matter involves a lawsuit in which one party sues another to recover money, real property or personal property, to enforce a contract or an obligation, to collect damages for injury or to protect some civil right. The court has jurisdiction over all types of civil cases in Ventura County, including those within the jurisdiction of the former municipal court. The jurisdiction of the former municipal court involves all cases at law in which the demand exclusive of interest or the value of the property in controversy amounts to $25,000 or less, these are known as limited civil cases. Ventura County complies with delay reduction through fast track standards and multi-door courthouse processes such as mandatory early settlement conferences, mandatory mediation and arbitration.

General Civil cases are heard at the Ventura Courthouse. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Closed for Lunch) and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p. m., Monday through Friday. For general civil information, the number is (805) 289-8525.

Please read our Limitation on Counter Filings

General filing Information

A Civil Case Cover Sheet is required with all new complaints. The courtroom your case is assigned to can be found on the Notice of Case Assignment that will be provided to you when your case is filed.

Service of ADR Package: Pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.221, in all general civil cases, the plaintiff must serve a copy of the ADR information package on each defendant together with the complaint. Cross-complainants must serve a copy of the ADR information package on any new parties to the action together with the cross-complaint. Download the Ventura Superior Court ADR Package.

Pursuant to local rule, all noticed or ex-parte motions and any pleadings in support or opposition thereto must be filed in the courthouse in which the department of the appropriate judge is located. Some civil courtrooms have limits on the number of ex-parte hearings and Law & Motion matters that can be scheduled each day. These courtrooms require the parties to call in advance and reserve a hearing date and time. Parties are encouraged to all the Civil Unit at 805-289-8525 to determine if the courtroom their case is assigned to requires a reservation and for additional information on how to reserve a hearing.

To file a document by fax, you must be registered with Official Payments Corp. To register, please call 1-855-467-2329 or visit their Web site at www.officialpayments.com. If you are already registered, you may fax your document by calling 1-800-530-3202. You will receive a confirmation when the fax reaches the court. Any documents received after 4:00 p.m. will be filed as of the next court day.

**Effective March 15, 2018 fax filing service will be discontinued and e-Delivery, a service that will allow for the electronic submission of filing documents, will be available.**

Requests for continuance may require a Declaration and Order or a stipulation and order. The clerk cannot grant a continuance.

Civil Filing Information  -  Helpful tips for properly filing your case.

Types of Service

Summons and complaint may be served by the Sheriff, Marshal, registered process server or anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action. The original proof of service must be filed with the court to obtain a judgment against the defendant.

Notices may be served by personal service or by first-class mail. A proof of service or declaration of mailing must be attached to the notice when it is filed with the court.

Responses and Answers

If you have been served with a summons and complaint and want to respond, forms may be available in the clerk's office or on our local forms page or the state forms web page. A five day summons requires an immediate response. Failure to file a response may lead to a judgment being entered against you.

Orders to Show Cause and Motions

Motions together with proof of service must be served and filed at least 16 court days before the hearing and must contain the correct date, time and courtroom for the hearing.

The fee for filing a motion is $60.00 if the first appearance fee has already been paid.

Noticed or Ex-parte motions are heard at various times. Some civil courtrooms have limits on the number of ex-parte hearings and Law & Motion matters that can be scheduled each day. These courtrooms require the parties to call in advance and reserve a hearing date and time. Parties are encouraged to call the Civil Unit at 805-289-8525 to determine if the courtroom their case is assigned to requires a reservation and for additional information on how to reserve a hearing.

Noticed and Ex-parte motions must be filed in the courthouse in which the department of the appropriate judge is located.

Civil Appeals

In an appeal, a higher court reviews the order or judgment of a lower court. Any party may appeal from an unfavorable decision based upon whether there was enough evidence to support the judgment or whether errors of law were committed during or before trial which harmed the appealing party.

The fee for filing an appeal from a decision in a limited civil case with a jurisdictional amount up to $10,000.00 is $225.00 and the fee in a limited civil case with a jurisdictional amount over $10,000.00 and up to $25,000.00 is $370.00. The fee for filing an appeal from a decision in an unlimited civil case decision is $775.00 payable to the District Court of Appeal and $100.00 payable to the Ventura Superior Court as deposit for the clerk’s transcript. The form for filing an unlimited civil appeal is Judicial Council form “Notice of Appeal/Cross-Appeal” (APP-002). There is no form available to file an appeal in a limited civil case and the form must be self-drafted.

On a decision in a limited civil case (those within the jurisdiction of the former municipal court), the notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the mailing or personal service of the notice of entry of judgment. If a Notice has not been mailed or personally served, the appeal period is 90 days from the entry of judgment by the court.

On a decision of the Superior Court, the notice of appeal must be filed within 60 days after the mailing or personal service of the entry of judgment. If a Notice has not been mailed or personally served, the appeal period is 180 days from the entry of judgment by the court. Permission to file late is rarely given.

Filing of a notice of appeal does not stop enforcement of the judgment. You must still comply with all court orders.

How to Get Legal Help

Brochures which provide information on free or low cost legal assistance are available in the clerks office.

You may also find legal guides and references in the Ventura County Law Library which is located in the Hall of Justice at 800 South Victoria Avenue in Ventura.

The Superior Court has self-help centers, established to help people representing themselves choose and complete the correct legal forms.

Self-Help Legal Access Center

Book stores also sell legal books and references.

Civil Mediation Information

To locate a mediator, please visit our Court Approved Civil Mediation Panels page

Information for Mediators can be found on our Court Mediation Program page.

Scanned Unlimited Civil Complaints
Mandatory Settlement Conferences (MSCs)

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ventura Superior Court allows Mandatory Settlement Conferences to be conducted remotely through Zoom. Because of technological constraints, the court cannot conduct an MSC in which some participants appear in person while others appear by Zoom: all participants must appear by Zoom in order for the MSC to be conducted by Zoom.

For MSCs conducted by Zoom, the court will act as the host for the Zoom conference and send email invitations to the parties/counsel. Parties that agree to have their MSC conducted by Zoom must complete the form below and provide the court with email addresses where the Zoom invitation can be sent on the date of the scheduled MSC.
The form must be completed by all parties who intend to participate in an MSC conducted by Zoom and be filed with the court at least 5 days prior to the MSC in conjunction with your Settlement Conference Statement. (Cal. Rules Ct., Rule 3.1380(c).). The form explains the rules applicable to remote MSCs. The court does not provide advice or assistance on how to use Zoom. Instructions on how to use Zoom can be found at:

https://learning.zoom.us/learn?utm_source=support&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=Start_learning

“Trial counsel, parties, and persons with full authority to settle the case must personally attend the conference, unless excused by the court for good cause. If any consent to settle is required for any reason, the party with that consensual authority must be personally present at the conference.” (Cal. Rules Ct, rule 3.1380(b).)

For MSCs conducted remotely, the same confidentiality rules apply as with in person MSCs. No photography, recording or broadcasting of all or any portion of an MSC is permitted, including by screenshot, audio or video recording, or otherwise. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.150; Pen. Code § 632.) Participants who appear by Zoom are prohibited from forwarding the Zoom invitation or disclosing the Zoom meeting identification code to any non-participant. No other person can view or listen to the remote MSC except those listed on the below form.


For frequently asked questions about civil law, visit our FAQs page.

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