A A A   
General Civil Law

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 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For general civil information, the number is (805) 654-2609.

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 805-654-2609 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 5:00 p.m. will be filed as of the next court day.

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 all the Civil Unit at 805-654-2609 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.

Telephonic Appearances

Parties have the option of appearing by telephone at appropriate conferences, hearings and proceedings in civil, unlawful detainer and probate cases as provided for in California Rules of Court 3.670.

The designated provider of teleconferencing services for court appearances in the Ventura Superior Court is CourtCall, LLC. For additional information or to arrange for a telephonic appearance please visit www.courtcall.com or call 888-882-6878.

Parties requesting a telephonic appearance must comply with all of the requirements of California Rule of Court 3.670 and local rules 7.00 and 7.01.

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 $655.00 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 law library is open Monday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Legal assistance can also be obtained from the courts Self Help Legal Access Centers. The Ventura center is located in Room 400 on the 4th Floor of the Hall of Justice at 800 South Victoria Avenue in Ventura. The center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Legal Assistance is also provided at the Juvenile Courthouse located in Oxnard in Room 206 on the 2nd Floor on Tuesdays only from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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.

Court Venue information

Please visit our Court Venue page for venue information.


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

© 2012 Superior Court of Ventura County