The Superior Court is the trial court of general and limited jurisdiction.
General jurisdiction cases include:
- Criminal - felony offenses punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison.
- Civil - cases involving all types of civil disputes with claims of damages of more than $25,000, including personal injury, contract and business disputes, and condemnation of property through eminent domain proceedings.
- Juvenile - cases involving dependent minors who have been abused or neglected, and minors who are accused of crimes, infractions or incorrigible behavior. The Juvenile Court also handles adoption proceedings.
- Family Law - cases involving divorce, legal separation and paternity.
- Mental Health - cases involving the treatment and custody of mentally ill persons.
- Probate - cases involving the estates of deceased persons as well as the guardianship and conservatorship of estates for those unable to care for themselves.
- Appellate Department - appealed cases.
Limited jurisdiction cases include:
- Criminal - misdemeanor offenses punishable by a maximum fine of $1000 and a county jail term of one year or less, infractions punishable by fine only, preliminary hearings in felony cases to determine whether felony prosecution shall be held in the Superior Court.
- Civil - cases involving civil disputes with claims of damages up to and including $25,000.
- Small Claims - cases involving civil disputes with claims of damages no more than $7,500 for individuals, $5,000 for corporations and other entities - a serve-yourself court, with no attorney permitted for either party, and appeals permitted only from defendants where there is a new trial before a judge. Each party may have a lawyer, if desired, in a new trial on appeal.
- Traffic - citations issued by law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles