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Civil Division


Public Notice

  • No appointment is necessary for document filing at the Civil, Family Law, or Probate windows.
  • Self-represented litigants may submit documents via eFiling, postal mail, or the drop box if preferred and will be processed in the order received.
  • Court Records is open for in-person services from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and again from 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

Civil Clerk's Office Overview

The Civil Clerk's Office processes legal documents regarding disputes brought by parties to recover money, real or personal property; enforce a contract; collect damages for injuries; or protect a party's civil rights. Based on the dollar amount sought by the plaintiff or petitioner at the time of filing the original petition or complaint, civil matters are either defined as unlimited or limited jurisdiction cases. This distinction is important because the filing fees and some case processing procedures vary, based on this classification.

Court employees may give members of the public legal information, direct them to Judicial Council and local forms or offer referrals to legal service provider agencies for help in completing paperwork or understanding court procedures.

Please note that court employees are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.

Civil, Family, Probate, Small Claims, Adoptions and more may be filed in-person, by mail or eFiling.

  • The Marin Superior Court is now accepting documents through eFiling.  eFiling is now mandatory for all parties represented by attorneys.  Self-represented litigants are encouraged to use eFiling but are not required to pursuant to CRC 2.253(b)(2) and CCP 1010.6(f)(2).

  • To file in person, bring your original plus at least two (2) copies of your documents to Room 113 of the Marin Civic Center between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please note that the clerk's office is closed over the lunch hour from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you are filing a new case, please arrive before 3:30 p.m. The clerk will keep the original documents for the court file and file-stamp and return your copies. You may make more copies of the file-stamped documents if you need them. Be sure to keep file-stamped copies for your records.
  • Documents that require a judge's signature (such as Fee Waivers, Orders and Judgments) may not be filed until signed. When submitting those documents, you must provide the clerk with a self-addressed stamped envelope to have your copies mailed to you. If you do not provide an envelope, your copies will be placed in the “Will-Call” box at the Clerk’s Office. It is a good idea to bring extra envelopes and postage with you when filing.
  • Make sure to put your case number on your paperwork. If you are starting a case, you will not have a case number yet. Each court case is assigned a case number after the initial filing. There is only one number per case, and used by all parties regardless of whether you are the petitioner or the respondent. If you have several court cases, be sure you have the correct case number for the papers you are filing.
  • If you are not using Judicial Council forms, be sure your pleadings follow all applicable formatting rules. See California Rules of Court, sections 2.100 to 2.119, or go to the Legal Self-Help Center for assistance. Please note that some Judicial Council forms are mandatory and must be used.
  • Some courts also have local rules for filing. Some local rules require special cover sheets or local forms. View the local rules for Marin County.
  • You must pay a fee to file certain documents. They are payable at the time of filing. View the Fee Schedule. If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you may complete and submit a Request to Waive Court Fees (FW-001) and Order on Court Fee Waiver (FW-003).

Any attorney or party requesting an ex parte order must deliver all documents required pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.1201 and/or 5.151 with the ex parte fee to Room 113. Civil and Family Law matters must be delivered no later than 10:00 a.m. one (1) court day before the hearing.

Probate matters must be delivered no later than 10:00 a.m. two (2) court days before the hearing.

The attorney or party opposing the ex parte application must deliver his/her opposition to Room 113 no later than 3:30 p.m. on the court day before the hearing.

The party requesting an ex parte appearance must notify all other parties to the action of their intent to appear ex parte by 10:00 a.m. one (1) court business day before the appearance.

The ex parte application filing fee contained in the Fee Schedule shall be paid in the Clerk’s Office before the hearing in a department.

Ex parte matters involving the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will be heard at the beginning of the regularly scheduled DCSS calendar.

Ex parte matters are heard as follows:

  • Civil: Monday - Friday in Courtrooms A, E, and H, at 9:00 a.m.
  • Family Law: Monday - Friday in Courtrooms B, D, and L, at 9:00 a.m.
  • Probate: Thursday in Courtroom C, at 9:00 a.m.

View Jurisdictional Limits

A small claim is a special type of limited jurisdiction case. Because these cases are processed differently than other limited jurisdiction civil cases, information about and help with filing small claims cases is available in the small claims section.

Judicial officers use a variety of strategies for resolving civil disputes, in addition to traditional court and jury trials. These approaches are designed to reduce costs and case processing time for litigants. Referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), these strategies include mandatory settlement conferences, mediation, arbitration, and neutral case evaluation. See more information on ADR from the Judicial Council or call the court's ADR Coordinator at (415) 444-7040, Option 6. Get more information about the Court's program.

Cases filed with the Civil Clerk's Office may be available for review by the public in the Court Records Office in Room 113 of the Civic Center. View information on how to request a case record or register of actions for viewing and copying.

There is a $15 fee for each case when research must be performed by court staff. Please include a check payable to Marin County Superior Court and send it to Civil Research, P.O. Box 4988, San Rafael, CA 94913. If requesting copies or other records-related services in addition to research, such as certification or exemplification of documents in case files, please review the amounts of these additional fees on the Court's Fee Schedule. Then submit your written request with a self-addressed manila envelope with proper postage and a check to the court stating a "Not To Exceed" amount in the memo section of the check that allows for the cost of the research and any other records-related fees. Court staff will fill in the actual amount of the check once it is determined.

In general, landlords are responsible for providing a place to live that is in good, habitable condition. Tenants are responsible for reasonable care of the property and pay the rent in full and on time. When landlords and tenants have signed a rental agreement (lease) for a set period, tenants have a right to live in the rental unit unless they do not pay the rent on time, or fail to abide by other terms and conditions in the rental agreement.

Unlawful Detainer proceedings may involve an individual, a partnership, a business, a corporation, or a government agency. The jurisdiction may be limited or unlimited. A case is limited if the demand of the complaint, exclusive of interest, the value of the rental, or unpaid rent amounts to $25,000 or less. If the value of the rental, or unpaid rent exceeds $25,000, the case would be an unlimited civil case.

The video Resolving Your Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Case in the California Courts and the California Landlord Tenant Guide both provide information about the options for resolving disputes between landlords and tenants regarding the right to occupy the property. If you are a landlord or a tenant with such a dispute, these resources may help.

To get information and answers to frequently asked questions about evictions for landlords and tenants, please click here.

Please note: Most other legal disputes between landlords and tenants, such as the return of deposits, claims of damage to property, etc., are generally handled in small claims court. View more information about small claims.

Civil harassment is violence, threats of violence, or actions that frighten, annoy, or harass individuals. These actions must be intentional and committed by a person unrelated to the complainant or victim, such as a roommate, neighbor, or co-worker. View information on how to file for a restraining order.

Information you need to know:

  • You can get the court forms needed by clicking here or at the Legal Self-Help Center.
  • You can obtain civil filing fees here.
  • You can find more information about your civil case by talking to a lawyer, visiting the Legal Self Help Center, or using online resources. Court employees or Legal Self Help Services can assist you in connecting with the right resources.
  • You can get information about your case online on the ePortal.
  • You can confirm your court dates and locations online on the ePortal.
  • You can get copies of documents in your case file from the Court Records Office.

Things you can do to get ready for your court hearing:

  • Carefully read your court papers and review what the other party has written.
  • Make a list of what you want and why. Be ready to explain to the judicial officer why each of your requests should be approved and the other party's requests should not.
  • Make notes to summarize your point of view and have a ready response to the points the other party has made in their court papers.
  • If you get nervous in court, use your outline to get back on track.
  • If you are asking for court orders, make sure the judicial officer makes an order on EACH item you have requested.
  • If any items have been overlooked, bring them to the judicial officer's attention.

The video Resolving Your Civil Harassment Case in the California Courts provides information regarding the options for resolving civil harassment disputes. If you feel harassed by someone, or if someone says you are harassing them, watching this video may help.


There are other types of restraining orders which include:

Domestic Violence may occur in many forms between two people in an intimate relationship. Physical violence includes kicking, punching, shoving, slapping, or any action that hurts your body. Sexual violence includes unwelcome touching, fondling, or forced intimacy. Emotional violence includes coercion, threats, or anger to create a controlling and fearful relationship. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THESE RESTRAINING ORDERS. View more information about Domestic Violence Restraining Orders click here.

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders: These orders apply to individuals who fall under the definition of elderly or dependent adults and seeking protection from abuse. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THESE RESTRAINING ORDERS. More information and forms for Elder Abuse Restraining Orders are accessible by clicking here.

Workplace Violence: A business owner or manager files this type of restraining order to protect the employees or individuals who work for a business where there has been violence or threats of violence. There are filing fees for workplace violence restraining orders unless the person seeking the restraining order qualifies for a fee waiver because of low income or violence is alleged. Judicial Council forms for Workplace Violence Restraining Orders are accessible by clicking here.

Private Postsecondary School Violence Restraining Orders: This type of order must be requested by a chief administrative officer of the institution that the student attends or is applying to when there are credible threats of violence against the student. The chief administrative officer is the principal, president, or highest-ranking official of the private postsecondary educational institution and is normally represented by the institution’s official lawyer. Judicial Council forms for Private Postsecondary School Violence Restraining Orders are accessible by clicking here.

Gun Violence Restraining Orders prohibit a person subject to this restraining order from having in his or her custody or control, own or possess, or receive any firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect. The petitioner must convince the judge that the person to be restrained poses a significant danger in the near future of causing personal injury to himself/herself, or another person by having in his/her custody or control, owning, purchasing, or receiving a firearm. The petitioner also must convince the judge the restraining order is needed to prevent personal injury to the person to be restrained or to another person because less restrictive alternatives either have been tried and not worked or are inadequate or inappropriate for the current circumstances. View ,ore information about how to file Gun Violence Restraining Orders.

To apply for a restraining order, please complete the forms, available from the links above, and file them at the Civil Clerk's Office in Room 113.

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