The Civil Division handles matters involving a lawsuit in which one party sues another to recover money or property, to enforce a contract or an obligation, to collect damages for injury or to protect some civil right. Unlawful detainers, restraining orders, and name changes are handled by the Civil Division.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Most civil disputes are resolved without filing a lawsuit, and most civil lawsuits are resolved without a trial. The courts and others offer a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes to help people resolve disputes without a trial. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Information
More information about ADR is also available on the California Courts website.
Name Change information is available online at California Courts Self-Help.
Domestic violence and restraining order information is available online at California Courts Self-Help.
An unlawful detainer is a lawsuit that a landlord files in court to evict a tenant. If the judge agrees with the landlord, the landlord can ask the Sheriff to physically remove the tenant from the rental unit.
Read more about unlawful detainers.
Frequently asked questions about civil and family law.