A Guide To Fresno County Courthouses

Photo by PierreDesrosiers/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by PierreDesrosiers/iStock / Getty Images

The topic of Fresno courthouses is not a particularly exciting one, we know.  However, the information below will help you understand the various courthouses found within the county, their purposes, and other helpful information.  Bookmark this page so you have the information handy!

Fresno Criminal Law Courthouse

The main Fresno County criminal courthouse is located at 1100 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93724. The North Annex courthouse is located at the North Jail at 1265 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721. Telephone: (559) 457-2000 - Courthouse Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM - Clerk's Office Hours: 8 AM - 4 PM. Click here for map.

The main Van Ness courthouse handles a majority of the criminal cases in Fresno County.  This is where one would go for all kinds of criminal cases.  Specifically, the courthouse handles matters of:

  • Felony
  • Misdemeanor
  • Infractions
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Court
  • Juvenile Dependency Hearings
  • Traffic Infractions
  • Traffic Misdemeanors
 Fresno criminal courthouse located at 1100 Van Ness Ave.

Fresno criminal courthouse located at 1100 Van Ness Ave.

The main courthouse is a tall honeycomb building with court rooms on 9 total floors.  The two basement level floors (B1 and B2) handle only misdemeanor cases with the exception of mental health court in Department 11 on B1.  On B2, there are two court rooms; On B1 there are four courtrooms.  These two levels are extremely busy because, as stated, this is where all the county's misdemeanors are held (with the exception of domestic violence cases).  

Note, if you have court on the B1 or B2 level it is far easier when you first arrive in the morning to just walk to the floors down the stairs than to wait for an elevator (which are very slow in the morning.  Also, on the B2 level there is the court's cafeteria.  Cell service is very spotty on the B2 level but the courthouse does provide free non-secure  WIFI. Also, the court does offer child care.

The rest of the court's floors are dedicated to felony cases, juvenile dependency and drug court.  These cases begin on the second floor. The second floor houses one department (20) that handles normal felony cases while the other three on this floor handle juvenile dependency and drug court.  

The third floor houses a vast majority of felony criminal cases in Fresno County.  On this floor are five courtrooms.  These five will not handle felony trials but will handle all other types of hearings. The third floor is perhaps the busiest in the courthouse and there are often long waits to get in so make sure you are early.

Fresno North courthouse that handles the county's domestic violence cases located at 1265 M Street.

The fourth floor is dedicated to court administration. Here you will find the felony and misdemeanor clerk's office. The clerk's office handles all the paper handling and does also handle some scheduling. If you need a copy of a court document you should visit the clerk's office.  If you missed a court date you should also visit the clerk to get put back on calendar. The clerk is open to about 4pm and can be reached at (559) 457-2000.

The fifth floor houses five courtrooms that offer criminal trials.  Cases from the bottom floor make there way up to this floor when the parties seek to begin a criminal trial. The same is true for the sixth (three courtrooms) and seventh floor (five courtrooms)

The North Annex courthouse houses two departments exclusively dedicated to domestic violence cases.  These departments will handle both felony and misdemeanor domestic violence cases.

Learn more about the Fresno criminal courthouse procedures in another guide we drafted.

Fresno Cvil Courthouse

The Fresno County civil court is located at 1130 O Street, Fresno, CA 93721. This courthouse is called the "B.F. Sisk Courthouse." B.F. Sisk was a prominent local politician.  Telephone: (559) 457-2000 - Courthouse Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM - Clerk's Office Hours: 8 AM - 3 PM Monday/Wednesday/Thursday and 8 AM - 12 PM Friday. Click here for map.

The entirety of local civil matters are heard in this courthouse.  This includes:

 The Fresno B.F. Sisk courthouse handles the county's civil and family law matters.  It was once the local federal building but was sold to the state.

The Fresno B.F. Sisk courthouse handles the county's civil and family law matters.  It was once the local federal building but was sold to the state.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Civil: Limited
  • Civil: Unlimited
  • Conservatorship
  • Family Court Services
  • Family Law:
  • Guardianship 
  • Probate
  • Restraining Orders
  • Child/Spouse Support Issues
  • Civil Harassment
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
  • Family Law Issues
  • Guardianship
  • Unlawful Detainer
  • Small Claims
  • Unlawful Detainer

The civil courthouse is not nearly as busy as the criminal courthouse on Van Ness.  The building was originally the local federal building and was renovated in the 2000s.  The second floor has four courtrooms, all dedicated to family law services. The third floor also contains three rooms dedicated to family law and one additional for probate matters.  The clerks office for the civil courthouse is very busy and handles most civil matters: limited cases, unlimited cases, small claims processing, motions and harassment, appeals, and other matters.  Also on the fourth floor are three courtrooms handling various civil matters.  The fifth floor hears civil matters (non-family law) and houses three courtrooms.

Note, the civil clerk's office can be very busy. Make sure to get there before 3 pm as they will close the doors early to process the lines that frequently form.  The clerk's office amazingly does not have a separate line for court runners; this is very unfortunate because they often come with filings a foot or more high and when only a couple lines are open this can greatly increase wait times.  It is best to go before noon. Make sure to pay attention to the signs as there are different lines for different matters!

Fresno "M" Street Courthouse

 The Fresno "M" Street courthouse handles the county's infraction traffic cases.

The Fresno "M" Street courthouse handles the county's infraction traffic cases.

The M Street courthouse is located at 2317 Tuolumne St, Fresno, CA 93721. It is at the corner of M Street. Telephone: (559) 457-1700 - Courthouse Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM - Clerk's Office Hours: 8 AM - 4 PM. Click here for map.

This is the smallest of the Fresno courthouses. The M Street courthouse hears traffic matters exclusively.  There are two courtrooms dedicated to juvenile traffic hearings and one courtroom dedicated to adult traffic hearings. This courthouse does not handle misdemeanor and felony traffic matters and only hears standard infractions.

Fresno Juvenile Delinquency Courthouse 

The Fresno Juvenile delinquency courthouse is located at 3333 E American Ave, Fresno, CA 93725. Telephone: (559) 457-4810 - Hours: 8 AM - 4 PM. Click here for map.

 The courthouse located on American Avenue handles all of the county's juvenile delinquency matters.

The courthouse located on American Avenue handles all of the county's juvenile delinquency matters.

This courthouse handles all of the county's criminal juvenile matters.  Many times a juvenile will be tried as an adult, in which case there cases will be sent over to the main Fresno criminal courthouse located on Van Ness.  However, when that does not happen the cases will be heard in the juvenile court.  There are three courtrooms at this location.