Madera Court (Madera County Superior Court)

Madera County, California was established on March 11, 1893. Prior to its founding, the county was a territory with back-and-forth boundaries between Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, then as part of Fresno County from 1856 to 1870, then back to Mariposa from 1870 to 1872, and then back to Fresno County from 1872 until it became an independent county in 1893.

At the time of its founding, the original superior courthouse was housed on the upper floor of the county drugstore. It was there that plans were developed to build a formal courthouse of local granite. That courthouse was completed in 1900 and served the county’s legal needs until 1957. In 1957 a local school was condemned and the property ceded to county. The county’s main superior court was relocated to that property in 1957 and it has remained there up to the current time. That particular property was again condemned during the first decade of the 21st century. In 2012 plans were finalized for a new courthouse to be constructed one block away from the present site. The new ten story main courthouse construction is on schedule and has a planned opening for the summer of 2014.

At the current time, there are three buildings for all of Madera County, with the judicial and administrative personnel, charged with the responsibility to preside over and enforce the county, state and federal judicial systems. The main Madera County Superior Courthouse is at 209 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera, California and the second courthouse is in the eastern portion of the county at 40601 Road 274, Bass Lake, California and is called the Sierra Division. No new construction is planned for the Sierra Division courthouse. The county’s Family Court Services is located two blocks away at 760 North “I” Street.

The Madera County Superior Court has a Presiding Judge, an Assistant Presiding Judge, nine additional judges and one family support administrator. On an annual rotating basis, the nine judges are assigned duties involving a particular schedule for specific legal proceedings. The assignments are decided by the presiding judge. Both courthouses handle cases involving civil law, criminal law, domestic relations, juvenile, mental health and probate, small claims and traffic. The Family Law Center is in the Family Court Services building and includes facilitators for both victims and alleged violators.

The three courthouses are operational Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., except for State and Federal holidays. There is public parking at all locations with building access for individuals with disabilities. The court buildings are in locations with easy access to a number of attorney offices that provide services in various legal specialties. Most lawyers offer a free consultation before agreeing to represent someone. Depending on the details of a case, a judge may allow an alleged violator to post a bond rather than spend time in jail awaiting a hearing or trial. There are several bail bond companies within walking distance to the courthouses for individuals in need of their services.

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