ALERT! If you were served court forms and you are looking for help with your case, this section is probably not the best one in which to start looking for information. You probably need more assistance than is available in this section.
Forms are printed documents with spaces where you can insert information. Forms have been created to help people prepare court documents like motions to get a hearing.
NOTE: Forms DO NOT explain the law and may not provide all of the information necessary for a court to reach a decision.
The Judicial Council of California has created many forms to standardize the preparation of court documents. People involved in lawsuits (also called litigants) must use forms that are designated as being "adopted" (for mandatory use) by the Judicial Council and may use forms that are designated "approved" (for optional use). This designation is found in the bottom left-hand corner of the front page of each form.
Many legal publishers and Web sites have also created unofficial forms. Unofficial forms are not approved by the courts.
Judicial Council Forms
Download forms at courts.ca.gov/forms.htm.
Civil Filing and Appearance Fees
A complete list of Civil Filing and Appearance Fees includes:
- General Jurisdiction Civil Filing Fees
- Family Law Filing and Appearance Fees
- Probate Filing and Appearance Fees
- Miscellaneous Civil Filing Fees - General Jurisdiction
- Notice of Appeal Fees, Civil Jury Fees
- Limited Jurisdiction - Maximum of Civil $25,000.00
- Small Claims Filing Fees
- Certification, Copying and Form Fees
Local Court Forms
Local court forms are available from the court clerk's office.
You can get sample formats from books available at many county law libraries. These books generally have formats on a variety of topics. Some books may also provide information on the law related to each format.
The Glenn County Law Library is located at:
525 West Sycamore
Hastings College of the Law
UC Hastings Library has posted a research guide on books containing forms and other resources. Once on the Hastings site, click on "Research Guides" in the left navigation bar and then click on "CA Legal Forms."
The Hastings Law Library research guide covers a variety of legal areas including civil procedure, criminal law, family law, landlord/tenant law, and wills/trusts.
Sample formats are also available from many Web sites The Los Angeles County Law Library has posted a guide to many of these Web sites. To find the Los Angeles County Law Library's forms guide, visit the library's Web site at http://lalaw.lib.ca.us/ and use the "Guides" pop-up menu to select "Legal Forms."
Tips for Filling Out and Handling Your Court Forms
- Some counties require that forms be typed; other counties do not. Check with the clerk at the court where you will be filing forms to see if they require a type written form. Be sure your forms are clear and readable.You may have to start over on a clean form if there are mistakes.
- Always use your legal name, current address, and daytime telephone number in the box at the top of the first page of each form. If you want your home address to stay private, you can use another address where you receive mail. Until you change the address you provide on these forms filed with the court, the judge will assume you have received whatever legal papers were sent.
- If you do not have a lawyer, you will use the term "in pro per" in the "Attorney for" line on all court forms.
- All areas of a form must be filled out with complete, detailed, and accurate information or should be noted with "N/A" (for "not applicable") if something does not apply to you.
- Sign each form in each place that requires your signature IN BLUE OR BLACK INK ONLY.
- Some courts let you fill out your forms by hand. If they do, use blue or black ink only.
- Most people find it easier to fill out court forms by approaching each form one section at a time. If you have questions about a particular section, leave that section blank until you can get your questions answered.
- You can ask a private attorney, legal aid clinic, or family law facilitator (in child and spousal support cases) for help in understanding and completing your court forms. You can also go to a law library and ask a librarian for books to help you fill out the paperwork.
- Make copies of all forms.
- Many of the forms you obtain from court clerks have printing on both sides. This means you will have to be careful when making copies. It’s easiest if you use two separate pages for copying the two sides of a form.
- Keep your court papers safe in a separate folder. Be sure you keep a clean copy of all of your court papers in this folder.
- Bring your complete court file with you every time you go to the clerk’s office, to a court hearing, or to the facilitator's office.