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Adoption is the legal process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child's biological or birth parent. That means that once the adoption is final, the adoptive parents have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. That new parent-child relationship is permanent and is exactly the same as that of a birth family. An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood. This information can be pulled from
A non-prevailing party in a case may ask a higher court to review the decision in their case and determine if the decision was correct.
The Civil Division of the court handles cases where one party sues another to recover money or property, enforce a contract, collect damages, or protect civil rights. Petitions to change names and various writs are also handled by the Civil Division.
A criminal case is a proceeding in which someone is charged with a public offense (i.e., with committing a crime), evidence is presented on both sides, and a decision is made as to the person's guilt.
The Family Law Division hears matters involving family-related issues and domestic relations.
Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives someone who is not the parent custody of a child, or the power to manage the child's property (called "estate"), or both.
The Self-Help Center can assist you with completing the paperwork to ask the court for Guardianship of the Person of a minor child
The juvenile court gets involved in the lives of children when:
- There are concerns that a parent is not able to keep his or her child safe from abuse or neglect (and the court starts a juvenile dependency case), or
- Minors are accused of breaking the law. If that is your case, click to find out more about juvenile delinquency cases.
This can be found here:
Probate & Conservatorship
Probate and Conservatorship matters address a person’s finances upon death or the care of an adult person that is unable to care for themselves or their finances. Probate cases address a person’s estate, resolve debts, and distribute the remaining property/monies to heirs or beneficiaries. Conservatorship cases appoint caregivers to care for a person and their finances.
Small Claims & Unlawful Detainers
Small claims cases are lawsuits that do not exceed $10,000 and are resolved quickly and inexpensively with relatively simple and informal rules.
An unlawful detainer matter is a case in which a landlord seeks to evict a tenant.
The Traffic Division handles only Infraction matters for Traffic violations, Fish & Game violations, local city and county ordinances, boating, and dog/animal citations. Note: driving under the influence (DUI) violations are handled through the Criminal Division.
Locations & Contact Information
Clerks hours of operation:
Counter and phones: 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday except Holidays
Superior Court of California, San Benito County
450 Fourth Street
Hollister, CA 95023
Honorable Harry J. Tobias, Presiding Judge
Honorable Steven R. Sanders, Judge
Honorable Diana Baker, Commissioner
Gil Solorio, Court Executive Officer
Nancy Iler, Court Manager