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 management of courthouses and other judicial facilities in California and administers a program for the licensing of civic and other uses of courthouses, including film, TV, commercial and digital production.
This guide will assist filmmakers seeking information on how to approach the Judicial Council of California via a local Court Administrator when inquiring about the use of Superior Courts in all 58 counties throughout the state.
Application: Requests to (film) in an open or closed courthouse or on courthouse property are made by application.
The completed application must include:
- Title and subject matter of the film project
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.
Applications must be submitted to the local court administrator no less than thirty (30) business days prior to filming.*
In addition, Proof of Insurance must be submitted before the application can be approved.
An initial estimate of fees will be provided during the application review process. These fees may vary on a case-by-case basis.
Links to all Appellate and Superior Court Websites in California: www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm
For information on where to submit your application, click here.
To view various local county Superior Court facilities throughout California displayed in CinemaScout, the CFC online film location library, click here.
CLOSED COURTHOUSES - LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT (LASC)
**No filming allowed at any active LASC locations, including requests for camera positions.
Filming is now allowed at several closed courthouses.
To view photos of the Long Beach, Whittier and West Los Angeles Superior Courthouses and courtrooms displayed in CinemaScout, click here.
For information on closed LASC courthouses contact:
Theresa Dunn, Senior Estate Analyst
Office of Real Estate and Facilities Management
Judicial and Court Admin Services Division
Judicial Council of California - Administrative Offices of the Courts
818.558.1245 Phone / 818.558.3114 Fax
Depending on the closed courthouse requested, the production crew may be responsible for removing and storing file boxes and documentation left behind that the court has not yet been able to remove.
OTHER COURT FACILITY OPTIONS PERMITTED BY FILML.A.
To inquire about filming at court locations in Los Angeles County permitted by FilmL.A., Inc., the Los Angeles Film Office, visit www.filmla.com and call to speak with a Production Planning team member at 213.977.8600.
Lynwood Superior Court - Closed Divisions 14, 15 adn 16 - adjacent to the Century Regional Detention Facility - CRDF
San Pedro City Hall Municipal Building - Closed Jail and Courtrooms
LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (LAUSD) MOCK TRIAL COURTROOMS
LAUSD Property Management, FilmL.A., Inc.
213.977.8600 x 618
CinemaScout also displays court facility matches and decommissioned courts now held by private sector entities. Start typing the word "courts" in the category field and search by proximity.
Thank you for your interest in shooting on location at a California courthouse.