Choosing Probate or Civil Court | California Trust Litigation
California superior courts have both probate departments and civil departments. Some cases may be filed in either the probate or civil department. There are also cases like financial elder abuse that may be filed in the civil department or the probate department. The probate department exercises jurisdiction over proceeding brought under the probate code. There is generally no right to a jury trial in probate proceedings.
On the other hand a plaintiff in a civil case has the right to try issues before a jury. This right is enshrined in our California Constitution that states “Trial by jury is an inviolate right and shall be secured by all …” We file and try elder financial abuse cases in the civil departments of the superior court. Civil departments regularly address complex procedural, evidentiary and punitive damage issues that may arise in such litigation. If our client is over the age of 70 they might be entitled to priority in trial dates.
So this is a short lesson on choosing probate or civil court. Every case has its own particular facts and relationship with California’s governing law. If you are wondering whether your case could be filed in the probate or civil department of the superior court we’ll be happy to discuss this with you. We represent clients in Sacramento, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and San Diego. You can reach us at 916 313-3030.