Mission College Civil Court Session Report

Business Law – Court Visit!

Instructions for reporting a civil court session

You must visit a live court session to complete this paper unless you have a condition that physically prevents you from attending. You may attend a courthouse of your choice either closer to your home or work. However, larger courthouses have more cases scheduled daily so if you are near a larger courthouse, such as the one in San Francisco or San Jose, feel I would recommend attending one of those. Otherwise, if you go to a smaller courthouse, just make sure to check the schedule early enough so you won’t have to go back to catch a case.

Attend a CIVIL Court Session and do a written report addressing the points below (traffic, probate or family court cases will not be accepted). Your visit to court should take about 1-2 hours – just collect the info you need then go home and draft your report. Project should be 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and typed.

Information and case schedules can be found on the court’s website. You may visit any courthouse what is located conveniently, but keep in mind that smaller court houses have less cases and you might have to do more than one visit. Below is a link to the civil case calendar for the Santa Clara Superior Court located in San Jose. Other courthouses have similar calendars, search their site to locate it.

I received many emails asking where to find the court calendar for civil court sessions. Please use this link for the Santa Clara Superior Courthouse, other courthouses will have similar calendars, you just have to search their site and find the link. Make sure to try to visit a civil case, NOT a small claims case, those are usually very brief and not enough to write about. Please note that smaller courthouses, such as the one in Redwood City, has limited number of trials each week. If you plan to visit that courthouse, please call them the week before you plan to visit to see which day would be a good one with some civil cases.


Form of Report

  1. Name of Court (i.e. Small Claims, Superior Court, etc.)
  2. Court Address
  3. Name of Plaintiff
  4. Name of Defendant
  5. Date Attended Court (must be during current semester)
  6. Case # (Note: I will be checking to verify you visited a current court case).
  7. Facts of Case (i.e. what did you observe in court)
  8. What does the plaintiff seek? (monetary compensation, etc.)
  9. What is the position of the defendant?
  10. Did the court decide the case?
  11. If so, what did the court say about how the case was decided?
  12. If not, then how would you decide the case if you were the judge?
  13. If the court decided the case, do you agree with the court’s decision? Why or why not?
  14. What did you learn from this assignment.

NOTE: You will be graded on following: the form of the report, providing complete answers, providing examples and referencing the text. You will also be graded on organization, and writing skills including grammar and punctuation.

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