Rudolph & Sletton – San Diego Central Court House

Project Description


The Superior Court of San Diego County is currently located in multiple facilities in the San Diego metropolitan area, most of which are seriously outdated and deficient. This project will replace the County Courthouse, the Family Courthouse, and the Madge Bradley Courthouse in downtown San Diego. These buildings have been found to be unsafe, overcrowded, and inadequate for modern court operations.

The new courthouse will provide the court’s central court district with a full-service, consolidated facility for criminal, probate, family court, and small claims services. It will also bring downtown a small claims calendar from the Kearny Mesa courthouse, improving service to residents of the central San Diego area. This project is the largest to be funded under the Senate Bill 1407 court construction program.

The County of San Diego and the City of San Diego have strongly supported the new courthouse in downtown San Diego. The County and Judicial Council staff negotiated an equity exchange agreement for a site near the Central Jail, approximately 1.4 acres in downtown San Diego bounded by West “C” Street, Union Street, West “B” Street, and State Street. Some parties refer to the site as the “Stahlman Block.”

The project includes a bridge between the new courthouse and the Hall of Justice. After completion of the new courthouse, the County Courthouse and Old Jail will be demolished.

The equity exchange agreement includes other features, which include the state assuming liability for any seismic damage. In the exchange agreement, the state will also receive equity to approximately 20,000 square feet of space in the Chula Vista Regional Justice Center, for badly needed additional court operations to address large increases in caseload in southern San Diego County.