Inventory of the Courts of Appeal Records

Archives Staff
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2010
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Courts of Appeal Records

Collection number: See series descriptions

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Archives Staff
Finding aid prepared by:
Sydney Bailey
Date Completed:
September 2006
Encoded by:
Sara Roberson
© 2014 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Courts of Appeal records
Dates: 1904-2002
Collection number: See series descriptions
Creator: California. District Courts of Appeal
Collection Size: 735 bound volumes 19,471 cubic feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The California State Archives (SCA) collection contains records from all six appellate courts: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento (created by election on November 8, 1904), Riverside/San Bernardino (Statutes 1929, c. 691), Fresno (Statutes 1961, c. 845) and most recently, San Jose (Statutes 1981, c. 959). The records consist primarily of appellate case files and registers of action.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Courts of Appeal records, [ID number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition Information

The California State Archives chose to retain certain Courts of Appeal records because of their possible archival value after the records had been legally approved for destruction.

Administrative History

The Courts of Appeal were established by constitutional amendment in 1904 (Article VI, SCA 2). They are California's intermediate courts of review and have jurisdiction when superior courts have jurisdiction and in certain other cases prescribed by statute. They exercise mandatory review of any appealable order or judgment from a superior court, except in cases in which the death penalty is imposed, over which the Supreme Court exercises original mandatory jurisdiction. (Cal. Const., Art. VI, section 11) There is no constitutional right to an appeal and the Legislature has the power to determine and change the matters which are appealable. (Powers v. City of Richmond (1995) 10 Cal.4th 85, 108)
The Constitution grants the legislature the authority to divide the State into districts each containing a court of appeal with one or more divisions (Cal. Const., Art. VI, section 3). California has six appellate districts each organized into at least one division (Gov. Code 69100). Each division is headed by a presiding justice and has two or more associate justices. Justices are appointed by the Governor after review by the Commission on Judicial Nominations. The Constitution requires that the Governor's appointment must be approved by the Commission on Judicial Appointments which consists of the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, and the presiding justice of the court of appeal of the affected district, or if there are 2 or more presiding justices, the one who has presided longest (Cal. Const., Art. VI, section 7). The Constitution prescribes a term in office of 12 years for justices of the Courts of Appeal, subject to retention by the public at the next general election following appointment and confirmation and at the conclusion of each term (Cal. Const., Art. VI, section 16).
Appeals from superior court judgments in both criminal and civil cases must be decided on the merits of the case based upon the record on appeal. The Courts of Appeal do not hear testimony, retry the case or reconsider the factual findings of the judge or jury. They review the final judgment or appealable order for prejudicial errors of law. Decisions of the Courts of Appeal that determine a cause shall be in writing with the reasons stated. (Cal. Const., Art. VI, section 14)
Courts of Appeal have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari and prohibition proceedings. In most writ proceedings, the court has discretion whether to decide the merits of the claims set forth in the petition.
Decisions of the Courts of Appeal are subject to discretionary review by the California Supreme Court, however, the scope of review by the Supreme Court differs from that by the Courts of Appeal. The Court of Appeal's primary function is to review the trial courts judgment for legal error. The California Supreme Court's review on the other hand is to decide important legal questions and maintain statewide uniformity of decisions. In addition to review by the Supreme Court, the decisions of the Courts of Appeal are subject to certain types of review in the federal courts based upon United States Constitutional and statutory grounds.
(Agency History from the Courts of Appeals website www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/courtsofappeal/, March 2005)

Scope and Content

The California State Archives (SCA) collection contains records from all six appellate courts: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento (created by election on November 8, 1904), Riverside/San Bernardino (Statutes 1929, c. 691), Fresno (Statutes 1961, c. 845) and most recently, San Jose (Statutes 1981, c. 959). The records consist primarily of appellate case files and registers of action.
To date the majority of court records are transferred to CSA from the California State Records Center, but only once the records have been approved for destruction by the courts. Appellate court records retention periods are determined by the Rules of Court established by the Judicial Council of California; generally, civil case files are kept 10 years and criminal case files 20 after the final decision. Once records are approved for destruction, CSA staff select records with possible archival value to be transferred to the State Archives.
Sampling of Appellate court case files began in the 1980s when CSA staff evaluated the increased volume of each court case, the overall quantity created by each court, use of the records by patrons and storage capacity at CSA. The resulting sampling method, still currently used, includes every court case ending in "0" and "fat files" or cases over one cubic foot in size.
Appellate court records are accessed by court division and docket number. The exception however involves the two of the earliest appellate court records that were re-arranged as part of a Works Projects Administration (WPA) project in the 1930s. Appellate court records from San Francisco and Sacramento were combined, renumbered and indexed. Indexes are arranged by both plaintiff and defendants name. Other exceptions include changed numbering systems, or overlapping numbering systems, as new court districts or divisions within the courts were added or changed. In such instances, the case name and an approximate time period will help staff retrieve the correct case file or register.

Arrangement

The Courts of Appeal records are arranged by the district that created the records, then by divisions within those districts.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California. District Courts of Appeal


Series Descriptions

 

R137 - First Appellate District Court, San Francisco

 

Series 1.  Case File Indices 1903-1924

Physical Description: 6 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by plaintiff(s) or defendant(s) name.

Scope and Content Note

Indices to early First and Third Appellate District Court case files created as part of a Works Project Administration project. Each index includes the name(s) of the plaintiff and defendant, the year the case was considered and two file numbers. The top number is original docket number and the bottom number is the Appellate Works Project Administration (AWPA) number used to access the case. Indexes are available on microfilm.
ID: AWPA 3-AWPA 16,614

Series 2. Case Files 1903-1924

Physical Description: 906 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by AWPA number.

Scope and Content Note

The earliest civil and criminal case files created by the First and Third Appellate District Courts. The case files are arranged by a numbering system created when the case files were rearranged during a Works Project Administration project. See series #1 for index information. Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 1Civ 05001-1Civ 54810

Series 3.  Civil Case Files 1924-1982

Physical Description: 1,703 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

The earliest civil and criminal case files created by the First and Third Appellate District Courts. The case files are arranged by a numbering system created when the case files were rearranged during a Works Project Administration project. See series #1 for index information. Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 1Crim 01001-1Crim 24030

Series 4.  Criminal Case Files 1924-1982

Physical Description: 682 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: A011579-A087250

Series 5.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1981-1998

Physical Description: 1241 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 6.  Registers of Actions 1905-1979

Physical Description: 132 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action then by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
1Civ 00001-1Civ 37000 74 vols. 1905-1907
1Civ 34501-1Civ 44000 19 vols. 1974-1978
1Crim 00001-1Crim 14500 29 vols. 1905-1907
1Crim 14001-1Crim 19000 10 vols. 1975-1979
 

R138 - Second Appellate District Court, Los Angeles/Ventura

ID: 2Civ 00001-2Civ 70100

Series 7.  Civil Case Files 1905-1983

Physical Description: 3,597 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 2Crim 00001-2Crim 45170

Series 8.  Criminal Case Files 1905-1985

Physical Description: 1,999 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: B001010-B141017

Series 9.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1981-2001

Physical Description: 3,296 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 10.  Registers of Actions 1905-1985

Physical Description: 231 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action and then by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
2Civ 00001-2Civ 70105 141 vols. 1905-1985
2Crim 00001-2Crim 45179 90 vols. 1905-1985
ID: SC01-SC68

Series 11.  Supreme Court Appeal Files 1935-1938

Physical Description: 6 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by Supreme Court case number.

Scope and Content Note

Court of Appeal cases heard and returned by the Supreme Court. Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency. Case files also include original appellate court number.
 

R139 - Third Appellate District Court, Sacramento

 

Series 12.  Case File Indices 1903-1924

Physical Description: 6 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by plaintiff(s) or defendant(s) name.

Scope and Content Note

Indices to early First and Third Appellate District Court case files created as part of a Works Project Administration project. Each index includes the name(s) of the plaintiff and defendant, the year the case was considered and two file numbers. The top number is original docket number and the bottom number is the Appellate Works Project Administration (AWPA) number used to access the case. Indexes are available on microfilm.
ID AWPA 3-AWPA 16,614

Series 13.  Case Files 1903-1924

Physical Description: 906 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by AWPA number.

Scope and Content Note

The earliest civil and criminal case files created by the First and Third Appellate District Courts. The case files are arranged by a numbering system created when the case files were rearranged during a Works Project Administration project. See series #11 for index information. Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 3Civ 05000-3Civ 26690

Series 14.  Civil Case Files 1933-1980

Physical Description: 1,158.5 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 3Crim 01100-3Crim 12078

Series 15.  Criminal Case Files 1929-1982

Physical Description: 1,221 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: C000008-C004530

Series 16.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1983-1988

Physical Description: 115.5 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 17.  Registers of Actions Indices

Physical Description: 3 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by name of appellant.

Scope and Content Note

Indexes to civil and criminal case files. Indices include the case number, name of the appellant, and the name of the county the case originated in.
3Civ 02500-3Civ 05376 2 vols.
3Crim 00501-3Crim 01000 1 vol.
 

Series 18.  Registers of Actions 1924-1985

Physical Description: 164 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action then by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
3Civ 02948-3Civ 22999 106 vols. 1924-1984
3Civ 16501-3Civ 17000 1 vol. 1977
3Crim 00001-3Crim 01000 2 vols. 1904-1928
3Crim 00843-3Crim 12999 55 vols. 1925-1985
ID: R139.019

Series 19.  Applications 1905-1915

Physical Description: 0.5 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Applications by individuals to practice law before the Court of Appeal. The application includes the name of the individual, location of study or training, and whether the individual was accepted to practice.
 

R140 - Fourth Appellate District Court

 

Fresno (1929-1961) (Became the Fifth Appellate Court in 1961)

ID: 4Civ 00027-4Civ 06596

Series 20.  Civil Case Files 1929-1961

Physical Description: 189 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 4Crim 00011-4Crim 01803

Series 21.  Criminal Case Files 1929-1961

Physical Description: 36 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 22.  Registers of Actions 1926-1961

Physical Description: 18 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action then by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
4Civ 00001-4Civ 06868 14 vols. 1926-1961
4Crim 00001-4Crim 01614 4 vols. 1929-1961
 

Division 1 - San Diego (1961-Present); Division 2 - San Diego (1929-1961)

ID: 4Civ 00026-4Civ 33281

Series 23.  Civil Case Files 1929-1984

Physical Description: 525 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 4Crim 00003-4Crim 15580

Series 24.  Criminal Case Files 1929-1981

Physical Description: 107 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: D000062-D019180

Series 25.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1982-1993

Physical Description: 506 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 26.  Registers of Actions 1926-1984

Physical Description: 98 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action than by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
4Civ 00001-4Civ 31683 60 vols. 1926-1984
4Civ 16001-4Civ 18501 5 vols. 1976-1979
4Crim 00001-4Crim 15973 33 vols. 1929-1984
 

Division 2 - Riverside/San Bernardino (c. 1984 - Present); Division 2 - San Bernardino/Santa Ana (1961- c. 1984); Division 3 - San Bernardino/Santa Ana (1929-1961)

ID: 4Civ 00001-4Civ 33430

Series 27.  Civil Case Files 1927-1981

Physical Description: 678 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 4Crim 00001-4Crim 16310

Series 28.  Criminal Case Files 1929-1981

Physical Description: 217 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: E000060-E024030

Series 29.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1984-1999

Physical Description: 118 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 30.  Registers of Actions 1926-1984

Physical Description: 67 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action than by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
4Civ 00001-4Civ 16000 34 vols. 1926-1984
4Civ 19001-4Civ 21000 4 vols. 1977-1979
4Civ 34005-4Civ 34326 1 vol. 1983
4Crim 00001-4Crim 07500 17 vols. 1929-1980
4Crim 05501-4Crim 10500 10 vols. 1972-1979
4Crim 11878-4Crim 17503 1 vol. 1980-1983
 

Division 3 - Santa Ana (c. 1984 - Present)

ID: G000010-G027930

Series 31.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1982-2000

Physical Description: 544 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

R141 - Fifth Appellate District Court, Fresno

ID: 5Civ 00001-5Civ 07654

Series 32.  Civil Case Files 1961-1983

Physical Description: 185 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
ID: 5Crim 00001-5Crim 06740

Series 33.  Criminal Case Files 1961-1980

Physical Description: 128 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.
 

Series 34.  Registers of Actions 1961-1983

Physical Description: 28 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged by civil or criminal action than by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Chronological record of each proceeding reviewed or heard by the court. Register entries include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the docket/case number, the name of the judge, the name of the county the original case was heard in, the names of lawyers, and the type of proceeding entered chronologically. Information includes the date of any filings; the date of making, filing and entry of order, judgment, ruling or other direction of the court concerning the proceedings; and, any other information required by the court or law.
5Civ 00001-5Civ 07690 16 vols. 1961-1983
5Crim 00001-5Crim 06864 12 vols. 1961-1983
 

R142 - Sixth Appellate District Court, San Jose

ID: H000140-H024309

Series 35.  Civil and Criminal Case Files 1982-2002

Physical Description: 469 cubic feet

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by case number.

Scope and Content Note

Case files can include notice of appeal or petition for judicial review, reports, opinions, appellate judgment, briefs, transcripts, motions, declarations, orders, petition for attorney fees, cost bill, petition for review, and accompanying documents related to an appeal from a court or agency.