Hi, folks.  What follows is a guide to the courthouses in Los Angeles County.  You can find out where they are from the Court website and how to get there from Mapquest, so I’ve covered the really important information that you can’t find anywhere — where to park when you get there, and where to find a meal and a restroom.  I’ve also tried to include in the special notes section anything else I’ve learned the hard way about each courthouse that you really need to know.  I haven’t covered every last courthouse in L.A. County yet, but eventually I will as I acquire the necessary information.

So, here goes:

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The Long Beach Courthouse


Long Beach:

No parking immediately adjacent to courthouse.

Nearest Parking:  City structure, ½ block northeast, $10.00 max.  Entry is off Broadway Ave, which is a one way street eastbound.  There is an elevator but it is very small.

Alternates:  World Trade Center structure, across Magnolia Ave.  This structure is sometimes closed for construction. There is an open air lot just north of the World Trade Center Structure.  There are other open air lots farther away. There is some on-street parking near the courthouse, but it is very hard to find a spot.

Restrooms:  One per gender per floor, located near the escalators on the north side of the building.

Food:  There is a snack bar on the first floor and a cafeteria on the top floor of the building.  There is also a small food court in an office building across Ocean Boulevard.  There is a Subway and there are several sit-down restaurants within walking distance (2 blocks) to the east.

Notes:  This courthouse is scheduled to be replaced with a new one.  The new courthouse is under construction, on a lot one block to the northwest.  If you are approaching the courthouse from the Long Beach Freeway, you may experience traffic delays around the construction site. The escalators are not always in working order, and there are only three elevators. There is a publicly accessable stairway.

 

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The Norwalk Courthouse

Norwalk:

There is a parking structure immediately adjacent to the courthouse.  Parking is charged in half hour increments to a $16.00 maximum.  The structure does have an elevator.  If you can afford $16.00 there is no need to look for or worry about other parking.  This structure never fills.

Restrooms:  One per  gender per floor, usually clean and well supplied, but the locks on some of the stall doors may not work.

Food:  No cafeteria.  There is a small snack bar on the first floor which sells chips, soda and juice.  It may have prepackaged cold sandwiches, or it may not.  There is a McDonalds, and other fast food one long block to the north, across Imperial Highway from the civic center.

 

compton courthouse, guide to los angeles county courthouses

The Compton courthouse, from the parking structure.

Compton:

The courthouse has a parking structure.  The parking fee is $5.00 as of this writing.  The structure rarely fills up.  Traffic in and out of the structure can be slow and heavy, so allow extra time for this.  See also the notes below.

Food:  The courthouse has a snack bar on the first floor and a cafeteria on the second floor.  There is a Popeye’s Chicken across the street, as well as El Pollo Loco and Subway in adjacent shopping centers.  See notes below.

Special Notes:  The Compton courthouse can experience very long waits at the metal detectors at the entrance, both in the early morning and returning from the lunch break.  Going out of the courthouse for lunch may not be a good idea.  There are also no publicly accessible stairs in the courthouse, and the reliability of the elevators can be spotty at best.  You can experience long waits for an elevator.  Plan on arriving at least 30 minutes ahead of time for a morning hearing, and plan on staying in the courthouse for lunch unless you have extra time to reenter the building at 1:30.

There is an MTA Blue Line station near the courthouse.

 

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The Bellflower Courthouse

Bellflower:

The Bellflower courthouse has a free parking in a structure on the civic center grounds.  This structure may fill up if there is a jury selection going on in the building, but other than that, there should be parking available.  There is also free parking on Flower street in front of the courthouse, but this can be hard to get, as the walk can be shorter from the street than the parking structure.

Restrooms:  Clean and well maintained, one per gender per floor.

Food:  Some vending machines on the third floor.  For lunch, you will have to go off site.  There are not many restaurants in the immediate area, but the restaurants around Cerritos Mall are a short drive away, and traffic is rarely a problem.

Special Notes:  You enter this courthouse on the second floor via a wide pedestrian bridge.  When taking the elevator back down after your hearing, push “2” not “1.”

 

downey courthouse, guide to los angeles county courts.

Downey:

There are two free parking lots, one adjacent to the courthouse and one farther out. Be careful in the near lot, as the western half is restricted for police and court personnel.

restrooms: One per gender per floor.

Food: There is a small snack bar on the first floor. Other than that, you will have to go off site for food. There is a Carl’s Jr. a few blocks west on Imperial Highway, but little else nearby.

Los Angeles County Courts guide, Whittier courthouse

The Whittier Courthouse

Whittier:

This courthouse has a free parking structure across the street to the south, but it fills up fast in the mornings, and you may have to hunt for on street parking (hard to find).  There are no commercial parking alternatives nearby, so get there early or plan on walking. There are on-street spaces to the north of the police station, but these also fill quickly.

Restrooms:  One per gender per floor.

Food:  There is a snack bar on the first floor that sells chips, soda and juices.  If you need a meal or a sandwich, you will need to go off site.  The nearest restaurants are a few  miles to the south in the shopping centers on Whittier Boulevard.

los angeles county courts guide East Los Angeles Courthouse

The East Los Angeles Courthouse

East Los Angeles:

There is a small parking lot behind the courthouse with parking meters, suitable only for short term parking and always full.  There is also a parking structure, which is also almost always full.  The “secret alternative” (about the only alternative) is to use the parking lot for the public park behind the courthouse.  If you do this you will have a long walk across the park, some of it over grass.  If you are there during the rainy season, bring your mud shoes.

Restrooms:  Clean and large, one per gender per floor.

Food:  No cafeteria or snack bar.  There is a vending machine on the first floor.  There is a McDonalds a few blocks away. There are also three or four small restaurants in the shopping center across the street.

There is an MTA rail station near the courthouse.

Metro Traffic Court:

There is parking under the courthouse, but this fills up easily and early.  There is a much larger pay lot across the street.

Restrooms:  small, older and cramped.

Food:  No cafeteria.  Snack bar on first floor.  Subway and McDonald’s across the street to the north.

Special Notes:  Aside from Compton, this is the other courthouse where you may have a very long wait at the metal detectors to enter the building, and for an elevator after you enter.  If you are lucky enough to park under the building, you will take one elevator to the building lobby, then exit the building after getting off the elevator, then get in line to reenter the building through security, and wait for another elevator to your courtroom.

There is an MTA Blue Line station near the courthouse.

 

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Clara Shortridge Foltz (Criminal Courts Building or CCB)

No on-site parking.  The City took the parking lot to create a city park in front of City Hall.  Nearest parking is at the Cathedral ($18.00, 2 blocks west), the Music Center ($20.00, 2 blocks west) and the Los Angeles Mall ($16.00, 1 block east).  There are also open air lots north of the Hollywood Freeway adjacent to Olvera Street and Chinatown.

Restrooms:  One per gender per floor, but the ones on the trial court floors (11, 13 and 15) can get very crowded with jurors.

Food:  There is a cafeteria on the first floor, and there are snack bars on the fifth and thirteenth floors.  There are three or four fast food or cafeteria style restaurants in the L.A. Mall one block to the east.

 

los angeles county courts guide Burbank courthouse

The Burbank Courthouse

Burbank:

There is a city parking structure behind the courthouse, but it fills up fast.  The alternative is an open air lot about a block to the east and across the street.  On street parking is far away and hard to find.

Restrooms:  One per gender per floor, but they are very small.

Food:  no food service in the courthouse other than possible vending machines.   There are restaurants nearby.

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Van Nuys:

There are two parking structures: One multilevel structure to the south, and a well hidden underground structure that you enter from a side street on the north.

Restrooms:  One per gender per floor.

Food: There is a cafeteria on the second floor of the Superior Court building. There are also at least three restaurants across Van Nuys Boulevard: a hot dog stand, a small chicken restaurant, and a larger sit down Barbecue restaurant a little to the south. For fast food, there is a Burger King a mile or two to the south on Van Nuys Boulevard.

 

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Pomona:

Parking:  There is an open air pay lot south of the courthouse, but it can fill up, so arrive early.  There is limited on street parking, which also fills up fast.  Alternatives are few and far away.

Food:  There is no cafeteria.  There is a snack bar on the first floor of the Superior Court building.  There are some restaurants a block or two away to the north.

Notes:  There are two court buildings, dating from when there were separate municipal and superior courts.  The smaller building on Mission Boulevard is the old Municipal Court, and misdemeanors are handled in this building. The larger building to the south is the old Superior Court building, and this is where felonies are heard.

torrance courthouse, los angeles county courts guide

Torrance:

Lucky you — this is the only major courthouse in Los Angeles County that has free parking adjacent to the building. There is a large open air lot in front of and north of the building, but arrive early, as it can fill up and you will need to park on the streets if this happens.

Restrooms: One per gender per floor, easily accessible and usually clean.

Food: There is a cafeteria on the first floor. There are also restaurants galore to the west on Torrance Blvd, adjacent to the Del Amo shopping centers.

Special notes: Although this courthouse is rarely busy, you can encounter short waits at the metal detectors at the entrance.

pasadena courthouse, los angeles county court guide, los angeles criminal defense lawyer

Pasadena:

Parking: None immediately adjacent to the courthouse. There are lots across Walnut street, and south along Los Robles Avenue and Marengo Street.

Restrooms: One per gender per floor.

Food: There is a cafeteria in the courthouse. There is also a California Pizza Kitchen nearby, to the south on Los Robles Avenue. There are other quality restaurants in the area.

Legal: The courthouse photos on this page are for informative and journalistic purposes only, and do not express or imply any affiliation between the Law Office of Charles E. Mashburn and any court system.