Community Outreach Program
Please see our Community Outreach Program Brochure for information about two of our programs: Court Visits and Tours and the Court’s Speaker’s Bureau. Additional information about those programs is provided below.
Court Visits and Tours
The Court welcomes all visitors to its courthouses. Please note that any person may visit the courthouses free-of-charge, and the Court does NOT charge for any court visits.
With some limited exceptions, all court proceedings are open to the public. Exceptions include Juvenile Justice Court, Juvenile Dependency Court, Mental Health (Lanterman-Petris-Short) Conservatorship Proceedings, and other select closed hearings.
Members of the public DO NOT need to schedule an appointment to observe any public court proceeding as an audience member. Please note that courtroom seating may be limited, and audience member are admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Courtroom proceedings for each courthouse are posted for the public to view. A list of the hearing schedule for each day may be found here. Please note that some hearings, such as Civil Law & Motion hearings, may be conducted remotely and may also be viewed through Zoom video conference.
For groups wishing to arrange a court visit or tour, please email CommunityOutreach@sanmateocourt.org and provide the following information:
- Organizer’s Name
- Organizer’s Phone Number
- Name of the Organization
- Number of Participants
- Age/Grade of Participants
- Proposed Visit Dates/Availability
- Brief Description of the Visit’s Purpose
The Court offers two types of experiences for students: observation of court proceedings and guided tours. The Court will work with the organization to design an appropriate educational experience commensurate with the ages and number of students, as well as the learning objective.
Courthouse Locations and Hours
The locations and hours of the three courthouses in San Mateo County may be found here. Please note that court proceedings are typically broken up into "Morning" and "Afternoon" calendars. Morning calendars typically begin at either 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. Afternoon calendars typically begin at 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m.
With the assistance of its community partners, the Court’s Speakers Bureau program coordinates speaking appearances for judges, commissioners, lawyers, and others for events, meetings, or school functions. For more information, please see our Community Outreach Program Brochure.
Please note that judicial officers may be limited in what they can talk about or answer by the Code of Judicial Ethics. For example, they may not comment on cases pending before the Court or matters that may appear before the Court.
The Court’s Community Outreach Committee—which consists of judicial officers and representatives from the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, the San Mateo County Superintendent’s Association, the San Mateo County Attorney’s Office, the San Mateo County Probation Department, the San Mateo County Bar Association, and various community organizations in the County - conducts community events throughout the year. These events include Law Day and Constitution Day Events at schools in San Mateo County. If you would like information about these events, please email the Court at CommunityOutreach@sanmateocourt.org.