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San Diego currently has three different courthouses, each of which is home to at least one Department set aside for Juvenile Dependency Hearings.

The main Juvenile Courthouse is at 2851 Meadowlark Drive in central San Diego. This Courthouse is often known as the Meadowlark Juvenile Court because the Courthouse itself is tabbed to hear only matters involving children. Three Juvenile Dependency departments are strictly for Juvenile Dependency, although, on occasion, Child Welfare cases will go to the Assistant Presiding or Presiding Judge’s Courtroom for a hearing. However, this usually only occurs during the holidays or when a Judge assigned to a Juvenile Dependency courtroom is out.

The Juvenile Dependency Business Office is located on the 2nd Floor while all the courtrooms are on the 1st floor.  This Courthouse offers free parking in the main lot but has no vending machines or cafeterias.

As to San Diego’s East County Division, one Juvenile Dependency Department hears only Child Welfare cases. This court is located at 250 East Main Street in El Cajon. Both the Juvenile Business Office for East County and the one courtroom are on the 6th floor. This courthouse has vending machines containing light snacks and beverages on the main floor and second floor. Free parking is sometimes available in the Courthouse parking lot.

A Coffee Cart on the sidewalk between the Courthouse and Magnolia Theater is sometimes open in the mornings, allowing for fresh made caffeinated beverages as well as an array of pastries. However, when a Jury Trial is taking place, the lot becomes crowded and visitors often need to park on the street. Some of the streets only have two hour parking, so make sure to take note of any signage and move your car, when needed.

One Department in North County is utilized exclusively for child welfare proceedings.  Although this courthouse was recently renovated, the Juvenile Dependency Courtroom was not one of the renovated spaces.

This courthouse often has enough spaces in the parking lot for all visitors, but driving the lot a few times to find a space is sometimes required. The Cafeteria/Deli in this Courthouse serves beverages, pastries, sandwiches, and other snacks.

Both the Central Courthouse and Chula Vista Courthouse used to each have a Juvenile Dependency Courtroom. Those Departments were closed around 2018, before the COVID pandemic.

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