General Court Information

Our mission is to provide excellent administrative, technical and professional services to the court, bar, public, other government agencies and each other, while adhering to the highest standards of ethical conduct and commiting ourselves to meet the challenges of change and continuous improvement.

General Court Information & Resources


  • Business Hours
  • Clerk of Court Mailing Address
  • District and Magistrate Judge Mailing Address
  • Doing Business with the Court
  • Building Access & Security
  • Fees of the U.S. District Courts
  • Notice to Customers Presenting Checks
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Services
  • Nursing Mothers Room Information
  • Naturalization
  • Gift Policy
  • About the Court
  • Other Information
​The Clerk's Office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Files can be reviewed from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. However, the File Review Room will remain open until 4:30 p.m. for reviewing automated records.

The Edward J. Schwartz Courthouse and the James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep United States Courthouse are open to the public Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

The Ninth Circuit Library, which is accessible to attorneys admitted to practice in the Southern District of California, is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
Southern District of California
333 West Broadway, Suite 420
San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone number:
(619) 557-5600
Judges located in the Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse:
United States District Court
Attention: (judge or magistrate judge name)
221 West Broadway, (Suite number)
San Diego, CA 92101

Judges located in the James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep U.S. Courthouse:
United States District Court
Attention: (judge or magistrate judge name)
333 West Broadway, (Suite number)
San Diego, CA 92101

Magistrate Judge Ruth B. Montenegro:
United States District Court
Southern District of California at El Centro
2003 W. Adams Ave., Suite 220
El Centro, CA 92243

Except as otherwise provided by law, attorneys or parties to any action or proceeding shall not write letters to the judge, or otherwise communicate with the judge unless opposing counsel is present. All matters to be called to a judge's attention should be formally submitted via the Clerk's Office and sent to the opposing side (Civil Local Rule 83.9).
Doing Business with the Court
  • ​All vendors must accept a government issued purchase order.
  • Prepayments for goods or services are not allowed.
  • Inside delivery is required for all orders.
  • A 24-hour advance notification for large deliveries is required.
  • The U.S. District Court, as a federal entity, is tax exempt.
  • All vendors must provide a tax payer ID number.
  • All vendors are required to sign up with
    SAM - System for Award Management and
    IPP - Invoice Processing Platform
Contact personnel:
Benjamin Limosnero - Procurement Administrator - (619) 557-7618

Mail product offerings to:
Clerk, U.S. District Court
Attn: Procurement
333 West Broadway, Ste 420
San Diego, CA 92101

Building Access

The following items are prohibited in the courthouse:

  • Weapons or Sharp Objects (such as firearms, knives, straight razors, ice picks, or elongated scissors)
  • Non-lethal Devices (such as tasers, tear-gas, batons, and pepper spray, stun guns, toy or dummy weapons, cameras, radios, voice or tape recorders, and knitting needles)
  • All Glass Containers

Security Screening

For security screening, you will be required to remove the following items and place them in screening buckets:

  • All items from pockets
  • Shoes
  • Coats and jackets
  • Belts
  • Jewelry
  • All electronic devices and wires (cell phones, laptops, cameras, PDAs, iPods, iPads, and other devices; electrical cords, flash drives, plugs, wires and ear phones)

Medication

Visitors are allowed to bring medication prescribed by a physician into the courthouse. Visitors in possession of an EpiPen or insulin with syringes must show a prescription. Any syringes must be in an amount reasonable for the length of stay in the courthouse.

Click here for courthouse "Accommodations" information.

 View Schedule Fees of the U.S. District Court (Filling Fees; 28 USC § 1914 and Local Rule 4.5)

When you provide a check as payment, you authorize us either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction. For inquiries, please call (619-557-6366).

Privacy Act – A Privacy Act Statement required by 5 U.S.C. § 552a(e)(3) stating our authority for soliciting and collecting the information from your check, and explaining the purposes and routine uses which will be made of your check information, is available from our internet site at http://www.fms.treas.gov/otcnet/index.html or call toll free at (1‐866‐945‐7920) to obtain a copy by mail. Furnishing the check information is voluntary, but a decision not to do so may require you to make payment by some other method.
Persons with communication disabilities who have an interest in a matter before the District Court can utilize equipment for the hearing impaired which is already installed in the courtroom or they may request a sign language interpreter or other equipment to facilitate communication. Such requests should be directed to the Access Coordinator and must be submitted at least ten days prior to the hearing. Refer to General Order 442-A for more detailed information and the applicable form.
Click here to view the Nursing Mothers Room information page.
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) should be contacted directly for procedures on becoming naturalized. USCIS can be accessed online to find out how to apply for Naturalization and where to send an N-400 Application.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of California maintains an index of all civil, criminal, miscellaneous and magistrate case filings from 1955 to present. Upon request, we can conduct a search of those indices to determine whether or not a particular individual has any district cases with reference to their name. The fee for conducting the search and providing a certified letter of search is $31.00 per name. Any information for the years prior to 1955 must be obtained at the United States District Court for the Central District of California located in Los Angeles.

Inquiries regarding naturalization certificates obtained in San Diego and Imperial counties should be directed to NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) on-line or telephonically at (951)956-2000 or (866)272-6272.

USCIS can be accessed at telephone number 1-800-375-5283 or online for more information.
A judicial employee should not solicit or accept a gift from anyone seeking official action from or doing business with the court or other entity served by the judicial employee, or from anyone whose interest may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of official duties; except that a judicial employee may accept a gift as permitted by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 and the Judicial Conference regulations thereunder. A judicial employee should endeavor to prevent a member of a judicial employee's family residing in the household from soliciting or accepting any such gift except to the extent that a judicial employee would be permitted to do so by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 and the Judicial Conference regulations thereunder.

It is the policy of the United States District Court, Southern District of California, that judicial employees will not accept any gifts.
​The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, as we know it today, is relatively new in the organization of U.S. Courts.

San Diego was part of the old Southern District established by Act of Congress on August 5, 1886, with headquarters in Los Angeles. On March 1, 1929, the Southern District was divided into three divisions. San Diego and Imperial Counties were designated the Southern Division of the Southern District of California, holding semi-annual sessions in July and January. Los Angeles and surrounding counties became the Central Division and Fresno and surrounding counties became the Northern Division.

Very little information is available relative to the conduct of federal judicial business in San Diego between the years 1886 and 1929. If court sessions were held, they were probably presided over by one of the judges from the Central Division, as San Diego did not receive a resident federal judge until 1949. On March 19, 1946, the Honorable Jacob Weinberger entered on duty as a Judge of the Southern District of California assigned to Los Angeles, and on November 1, 1949, Judge Weinberger was assigned as the first resident federal judge in San Diego.

On September 19, 1966, pursuant to Public Law 89-372, dated March 18, 1966, the Southern District of California established in 1886 ceased to exist. Four new judicial districts in the State of California were created. San Diego and Imperial Counties became the new Southern District of California with headquarters in San Diego.

Currently, the Southern District of California has thirteen (13) district judgeships, and eleven full-time Magistrate judges in San Diego. A twelfth full time magistrate judge sits in El Centro. While the district courts receive both civil and criminal filings. The Southern District of California is well known for its criminal caseload. Because of its proximity to the border, the Southern District of California has one of the highest criminal caseload per active judge in the country. The majority of the criminal cases filed in this district involve drug trafficking and illegal immigration.