civil court lawsuits
For most legal disputes in Calfornia, the lawsuits are filed in a superior court.
Each county usually has one main superior court.
In larger counties there often will be branches of the superior court serving different parts of the county.
Counties used to have another layer of courts called municipal courts that generally handled less significant cases than the superior courts, such as cases in which $25,000 or less in damages were being sought. But between 1998 and 2001 municipal courts were phased out and merged into superior courts in California.
However, superior courts still split out "limited cases" - those in which $25,000 or less in damages are being sought - to be processed in particular courtrooms, thus retaining a distinction similar to the old one between superior and municipal courts.