Filming in California
FILMING IN CALIFORNIA STATE COURTHOUSES
The California Film Commission does not issue film permits for the California Court system. The state's judicial branch is responsible for the management of courthouses and other judicial facilities in California, and administers a program for the efficient licensing of civic and other uses of courthouses, including film, TV, commercial and digital production. This fact sheet will assist production companies, other organizations and individuals seeking information on filming and videotaping on location at courthouse sites throughout the state.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY - L.A. SUPERIOR COURTS
Please note that only the exteriors of L.A. Superior Courthouses may be filmed, and only during non-business hours.
Filming is now being allowed at a handful of closed courthouses. The photos of the Long Beach, Whittier and West Los Angeles courthouses and courtrooms can be found on CinemaScout (click here).
If you are interested in shooting at one of these closed facilities, please contact:
Theresa Dunn (Office of Real Estate and Facilities Management) at Theresa.Dunn@jud.ca.gov (818-558-1245).
Please note that depending on which courthouse you might want to shoot at, your production may be responsible for removing and storing file boxes and documentation left behind (that the court has not yet been able to remove).
Application (for both working and closed courthouses): Requests to license film, TV, commercial or digital production in a courthouse or on courthouse property are made by application. The completed application must include:
- Title and subject matter of the film or video;
Description of scenes to be shot;
Proposed areas to shoot interior and exterior scenes, such as, courtrooms, lobby, courthouse steps, etc.;
Dates and times for each day of production;
Use of Special equipment or props;
Facilities services required, e.g., minimum electrical requirements, additional air conditioning, etc.
Note: Although the application indicates that the processing time can take up to 30 days, the CFC has been told that the court will now make every effort to process applications in no more than ten (10) business days.
In addition, Proof of insurance must be submitted before the application can be approved.
Fees to support state and local administration of this program will be determined upon review of the applicant's tax or financial status (i.e., commercial, non-profit, student), duration and extent of filming/taping, use and distribution of the production, and other considerations consistent with film production at courthouses and other public facilities. An initial estimate of fees will be provided during the application review process.
Links to all appellate and superior court websites in California are available at:
For information on or to contact a court facility administrator, click here.
For film, TV, commercial or digital production in Los Angeles County only, submit application to:
Facilities Services Assistant
Facilities Services & Capital Projects
Los Angeles Superior Court
Note: Use of courtrooms and other areas at sites are subject to availability. Filming is not permitted at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center at 210 West Temple Avenue, Los Angeles, except for weekend exterior film requests when a camera position is necessary.
Thank you for your interest in shooting on location at a California courthouse.