About the 6th District

On November 8, 1904, Article 6, section 4 of the California Constitution was adopted creating three District Courts of Appeal: the First District located in San Francisco, the Second District located in Los Angeles, and the Third District located in Sacramento. The Constitution was modified in 1966 and there are now six Courts of Appeal: the Fourth District with Divisions in San Diego, San Bernardino and Santa Ana; the Fifth District in Fresno; and the Sixth District in San Jose. The Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District was established November 12, 1984, and handles cases from the counties of Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

The purpose of the Courts of Appeal is to assist the California Supreme Court in providing appellate review for the 58 county superior courts by deciding appeals from final judgments and appealable orders, as well as by ruling on extraordinary writ petitions such as habeas corpus and mandamus. District Courts of Appeal handle the bulk of the appellate work, which allows the Supreme Court to restrict its review to cases raising important questions of law or legal issues that have been decided inconsistently in different District Courts of Appeal.

Cases are decided by randomly selected three justice panels. There are 7 justices in the Sixth District who decide over 900 appeals annually. In addition, the Sixth District disposes of 500 writ petitions annually.