General Information for West Justice Center Courthouse
The West Justice Center, located in Westminster, Orange County, serves as a significant hub for the legal system, overseeing criminal jurisdiction in several areas, including Garden Grove and Huntington Beach. If you’re scheduled to make an appearance at this courthouse, understanding the procedures, rules, and facilities available is crucial to ensure your court trip is as smooth as possible. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what to expect, from security protocols to courtroom etiquette and even parking facilities.
The West Justice Center (Westminster Courthouse) is one of 5 Orange County Superior Courts that serve Orange County. The Westminster Courthouse has criminal jurisdiction over the cities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, and the surrounding areas. It does not handle any probate and family court cases. It has one courtroom to handle Civil.
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If you have a case at this courtside and plan to show up then you should plan to be there at 8:30am unless you are told otherwise. You should expect to put aside at least the morning to handle your court case. On the other hand, if you have a traffic trial then you should there at 1:30. If you are a jury and are picked for jury selection then you should be expecting to put aside 4 full days.
Visitors to the Superior Court must follow the rules when going into the courthouse. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled court time to allow you time to get in. You should expect lines to get into the courthouse. After coming to court you will want to walk to the right of the metal detector to look at the television screen to make sure your case is on calendar. If no charges are filed on your arraignment on your court date then you will need to go the Orange County District Attorney Office to pick up a proof of appearance. City ordinances in Huntington Beach are prosecuted by Huntington Beach City Prosecutors, if you have one of these then you should still check in with the DA’s office to be safe then give the City Prosecutors a call to check in.
Rules to Know Before Going to West Justice Center Courthouse
Every Orange County Superior Court has metal detectors to screen for anything that looks like contraband. Finally, you will want to make sure that you do have any weapons or anything hat can be considered a weapon on you. IE pocket knives and lighters. Only law enforcement officers who are officers are allowed to bring weapons into court.
West Justice Courtrooms usually have strict security protocols. We suggest that you bring only what is necessary. This will help you avoid wasting your time and energy trying to get through security and stashing yours tuff in the bushes.
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The sheriffs secure the Westminster Court tarea and protect Visitors to the courthouse. Television Screens show wherein the courthouse your case is at. The screen is right in front of the sheriff’s screening area. Also, you can check the status of your case online at occourts.org.
You must remove belts and all metal items on your body and put them into a basket. The sheriff will have you walk thru the metal detector. After walking thru the metal detector, you will see the screen on the right-hand side. The sheriff also protects the courthouse and courtrooms. Visitors are warned not to communicate with inmates as they are brought into the trial court.
Information about your case at the West Justice Center.
Information if this is your First Court Appearance.
Sometimes cases are not filed on time at the Courthouse. If you showed up to arraignment by yourself and this is the case then you need to watch the mailbox for future court dates and check in at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to cover your bases. The rest of the information is for people who have their case filed.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor (DUI, Shoplifting or Drunk In Public) in Orange County, you most likely appear in W3. You first felony hearing will most likely be held in w12. If you have a DUI warrant or failure to appear warrant then you will need to appear at the clerks office be 10:00 AM.
West Justice Center handles 100s criminal and traffic cases of cases each day. If you have any civil actions then it will probably be at another courthouse as there is only 1 courtroom that does civil here. The courtrooms are crowded on most days. You will want to be punctual about your case and arrive at 8:30 and plan to be there until at least 12:00pm and longer.
In addition, you do not want to be dressed too casually to show respect to the court. You should wear clothes that fit well and feel comfortable. No shorts, tank tops, bare middrifts, hats, sunglasses, cellphones, cameras, or tape recording devices are allowed in courtrooms. If you must bring your own laptop, please turn it off and leave work outside of the courtroom.
Parking at the Westminster Courthouse
There are several places to park.The Westminster Courthouse is conveniently located on Beach Blvd and offers several places to park.There are several public lots available near the courthouse, including 3 large lot on 13th street Mand smaller lots North of the courthouse and areas on 17th street. Jackson and 16th street are good parking but the spots are closed every 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. Every spot is free except for the big parking structure and the lot north of the courthouse. The parking lots of machines that take credit card.
Your First Court Appearance and Bail
The first appearance on your case at the West Justice Center for your criminal court case is called an arraignment. Arraignments are held in the courtroom on the first floor of the Orange County West Justice Center courthouse. As of the writing of this article, it is either room W3 or room W12 and scheduled at 8:30. You will want to go thru the double doors and check the monitors on the right next to the metal detectors.
If you have an Arraignment for a 1st DUI or Shoplifting case at this location, then your case will most likely be inside department W3. After your arraignment, your case will go into W18 for what they call a pretrial.
If Bail is Needed on Your Westminster Courthouse Case
Bail will need to be considered if you have a felony case, 2nd, 3rd DUI, or a domestic violence case in the West Justice Center. At your misdemeanor (DUI, Shoplifting, Drunk in public, Domestic Violence)arraignment hearing, you will likely enter a plea of “not guilty.” inside department W3. If you are representing yourself then you will be warned about the dangers of self representation and the dangers of it. You may also be offered a deal by the prosecutor along with a waiver of your right to a jury trial.
If you have a law lawyer will then they will be able to deny these charges and enter a not guilty plea for you. Then they will be able to get the police report along and determine if the police officers were being truthful and did their job right. In addition you lawyer will advocate to have you released on you promise to appear instead of bail. This is a fancy way to say that you do not have to post bail. If you are released on your own recognizance, you will be given a date when you must appear in court.
If the judge decides to release you on bail, you will need to pay a bond amount or use a bondsman to post it before you are allowed to leave the courtroom.
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If you have a traffic ticket, then your case is most likely in department 7. If it is your first court date (arraignment), it will be scheduled for 8:30 in the morning. If it is for your 2nd court date, you can expect it to be at 1:30 pm.
There are many agencies inside that caters to needs related to your case.
Information for different agencies at the West Justice Center
Collections are on the right side of the building after you pass the metal detectors. Collections are where you can pay your fines. They will accept cash, check, or credit cards. This is also where you can work out a payment plan for your case as well. These agencies can also be contacted by using the numbers below. One tip when doing credit card payment while on probation is that you need to keep an eye on it. Many people will do auto payment on credit cards. However, when there is problem with the card, (Theft, ID theft) the credit card has to be reissued and payment details updated. When the court is overlooked and do not get their payment, there is possibility for a warrant to be sent out for an arrest and a probation violation.
The superior court provides access to the clerk of court for you as well. Many legal issues can be handled without a court appearance by going to the clerk. For example, suppose you have community service due, and you have not extended it yet. In that case, you can do this at the clerk’s office and avoiding a probation violation because you missed your deadline.
Many times the clerks can grant the first extension without you having to see a judicial officer.
Printable Information About Your case
If you resolved your case and leave the courtroom, instructions will be given to you to pay your fines for your traffic violation or criminal matters. Resources are available for people who have cases at the county courthouse.There are many agencies inside that caters to needs related to your case which are listed below.
You may also be requested to submit your DNA. The Westminster courthouse also has a DNA Office run by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. This is where you submit your DNA when you resolve your case if it was part of the deal. It is located on the second floor. You must bring your court paperwork with you when you go here.
When you submit your DNA to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office there is a administrative fee of $110.00 dollars. They will accept credit card payment and debit cards. This program is not done thru the Orange County Superior Court so you should not Contact court staff. If you have questions about the DNA program then you should call the Westminster Branch of the DAs Office at 714-896-7261
The hours of operation are from 8:30-4:30.
Victim Witness (to arrange restitution if you case involves an accident):
Phone number: 714-896-7191
Email: [email protected]
OneOC: (to arrange for Community Service/Physical Labor/Cal Trans)
Phone Number: 714-953-5597
Email: [email protected]
Alcohol Liason (to arrange your alcohol classes and MADD Panel in cases of DUIs) (No Longer Open)
Victim Impact Panel (call to arrange MADD Class)
714-838-6199 extension 6652
14120 Beach Blvd., Suite 200
Westminster, CA 92683-4593
Phone: (657) 251-6562
FAX: (714) 379-3248
Toll Free: (866) 634-6225
Information for Jurors at the Westminster Courthouse
When you arrive at the courthouse building, you should check in with the jury assembly office. If you have been summoned to serve as a juror at the Westminster Courthouse, it is important to that you will have designated parking by the public library across the street on 13th street. In addition you need to understand your role and responsibilities. You will be expected to arrive on court on time at 8:30 or as directed by the jury assembly.
There will be a check in system to use online and over the phone. If you are a Juror then you will want to make a right turn after the metal detectors and head straight to the end of the building. The jury assembly room will have phone chargers and Wifi for your convenience. However, there is no cafeteria at the Westminster Courthouse. You should plan on brining snacks or using 1 of the 2 vending machines at the courthouse.
As a juror, you will be responsible for listening to evidence presented in court and making an impartial decision based on the facts of the case. However, there are more instructions which the judge will explain to you if you are picked for the case.
What are the specific rules and regulations regarding attire when attending the West Justice Center Courthouse?
When going to court on your case at the Westminster Justice Center it’s important to know the rules of what to wear. Common sense tells you to not wear anything with a marijuana leaf or a beer Design on your T-shirt. The court also founds on people who are wearing hats. In addition to clothing, it is also impressed upon people that they need to stay off their cell phone while they are inside the courtroom. If you absolutely must use your cell phone, it’s important that you take a step outside to check your e-mail or return calls. When inside the courtrooms. All cell phones must be turned off.
Can you provide more information about the security protocols and procedures at the courthouse, especially for visitors going through metal detectors?
Metal detectors are part of the security protocols and procedures at the Westminster courthouse in. Orange County, California. If you are visiting the Westminster courthouse, it is important that you do not take any lighters, knives or screwdrivers or anything that can be misconstrued as a weapon into the court facility. This also includes pepper spray. In addition, as you go through the metal detectors, it’s important that you take off your belts and your watch as you go through. You need to let the bailiff know if you have some kind of pacemaker installed as well. After you go through the metal detectors at the Westminster courthouse, you will want to make an immediate right, which leads you to the television screens on the left. The television screens will let you know what courtroom your case is in.
How can individuals find out if their case has been filed and scheduled for a court appearance at the West Justice Center?
To find out if your case has been filed or scheduled for a court appearance at the Westminster Justice Center in Orange County, California, you can go to occourts.org. From here you will run your citation number and your name and date of birth through the system and you will be able to see when your court date is and if it has been filed. You can also call the district attorney’s office at the local courthouse and ask them. It’s important to know that even if your case has not been filed or you are unable to confirm that its been filed, it is necessary to still show up to court on the date that you are cited to appear.
What is the process for arraignment, and where can individuals find information about the courtroom and time for their arraignment?
The process for an arraignment is where the judge will call your case and then he would ask you how you plea. This is your chance to either admit or deny the charges against you. The best way to find information about the courtroom and time of your arraignment is by looking on your citation to appear. If you look at the bottom of your citation to appear, it will show you the address and the time for your arraignment. You will still need the courtroom number. You can get the courtroom number by going through the metal detectors at the Westminster courthouse and making a right, then looking at the. TV screens on your left. The TV screens will show your name and your case number and your courtroom number.
For cases requiring bail, what are the options for individuals to post bail and what does the process involve?
For cases requiring bail at the Westminster Courthouse in Orange County, California, individuals can post bail through two ways. The first way is through the service of a bail bondsman. If bail bondsman will put up their money and charge you to use their money in what is called a premium. A bail bondsman rate is usually 10%. However, they are willing to adjust to 8% if you have an attorney. The other way to post bill is what they call cash bail. Cash bail means that you do not use a bondsman, but you put the whole amount up. If you do cash, bail then you will have to work with it through the court clerk. The clerk’s window is on the first floor of the Westminster courthouse.
The West Justice Center Courthouse is a critical institution within Orange County that handles a variety of cases daily. Whether you’re a defendant, a witness, a juror, or a visitor, it’s essential to be informed about the various protocols, requirements, and services available at the courthouse. Knowing the specifics will ensure that you’re adequately prepared, reducing the chances of unforeseen issues and helping you navigate the legal process with ease.