Porterville Court

The new Porterville Courthouse was completed in October of 2013 after nearly 20 months of construction. It is located at 300 East Olive Avenue. The modern building sits on 7.4 acres of land that were once occupied by the old Porterville Fairgrounds and Ballpark. The courthouse was designed to replace the older and much smaller government center in Tulare County. The building contains a total of nine courtrooms. It also contains holding cells for defendants and chambers for judges. There is just over 95,000 square feet of open space inside of the courthouse. This is significantly more than the government center the courthouse is replacing.

Environmentally Friendly Design

The Porterville Court was designed with sustainability and the environment in mind. The top of the courthouse is covered in solar panels that create some of the energy needed each day. The heating and cooling inside of the courthouse is handled by an innovative system of pipes and pumps. Radiant heating lines in the floors and ceilings keep the courthouse warm when it is cold outside. Ice is created at night and then used to cool water to keep the courthouse comfortable during the warmest months of the year. The outside is landscaped with drought-tolerant plants so that water is conserved. The design also allows large amounts of natural light into the building so that less electricity is used on indoor lighting.

Types of Cases Handled In the Porterville Court

Porterville Court hears the full range of cases for the county. This includes civil cases, criminal cases and hearings for juveniles and mental health. Many people arrested for a misdemeanor or felony in Tulare County will come to this court at some point. The court often takes cases from the nearby Visalia courthouse. One of the most common types of cases heard in the courthouse has to do with restraining orders stemming from domestic violence incidents. The courthouse also handles a large number of traffic cases.

Backlogs in the Courthouse

Although the Porterville Court is relatively new, it has already started to form a long case backlog due to state budgetary issues. The courthouse was forced to lay off over 30 employees. This leaves the court with only 31 fulltime employees. The court is also handling cases from the closed Tulare-Pixley Courthouse. This means it is taking a very long time for cases to be heard. The courthouse has even started diverting an increasing number of cases to Visalia. This problem could continue for a year or more if funding is not increased.

Avoiding a Long Wait in Jail

One way to avoid waiting in a jail until a case can be heard in the Porterville Court is to post a bail bond. Bail bond companies can work with a defendant in jail or with friends and family. A bail bond company requires 10 percent of the total value of the bond amount as a premium. Some collateral like a car or other asset might be necessary to secure large bonds. Defendants are released once a bail bond has been posted through an agency. This can take under an hour in many instances. Bail bonds are one of the only ways to avoid waiting in jail for a long time until the Porterville Court can hear a case.

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