Authored by LegalMatch Law Library staff. Managing Editor, Ken LaMance, Attorney at Law
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Santa Cruz, California has a rich history dating back to the early days of the State of California. Native Americans used the land known today as Santa Cruz as an ancient settlement site. In addition, the early Spanish settlers used Santa Cruz as the location of one of the early California Missions.
Despite the historical significance of Santa Cruz to Native Americans and the Spanish missionaries, Santa Cruz is perhaps best known for the surfing and amusement parks offered to residents and visitors. Santa Cruz is the home of California’s oldest amusement park - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Santa Cruz has the motto of “Surf City” because it is believed to be the first California location where surfing occurred. Today, Santa Cruz holds numerous surfing competitions and is the home of home of surfing outfitter O’Neill Clothing and Santa Cruz Surfboards.
Santa Cruz lawyers practice in many areas of law including family law and business law. In addition, lawyers in Santa Cruz represent clients with bankruptcy filings, family law, personal injury cases, and probate disputes, among others.
A Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge, Judge Paul Burdick, has recently settled a dispute over the estate of a former University of California, Santa Cruz chancellor Denice Denton. Denton committed suicide more than three years ago and her estate has been dispute ever since. In 2007, Denton’s partner, Gretchen Kalonji, sued the estate in belief that she was mistakenly left out of the will. Judge Burdicks settlement of the estate has given Kalonji half of the couple’s Canadian vacation home.
Santa Cruz is the county seat for Santa Cruz County meaning that most cases that Santa Cruz lawyers represent are heard in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. The Santa Cruz County Superior Court Criminal Division hears all matters involving felonies and misdemeanors. The Santa Cruz County Civil Division handles all civil matters, including general civil, civil harassment restraining orders, name change applications, probate and unlawful detainer claims. In addition, there are separate divisions in the Santa Cruz County Court which hear all family, juvenile, and probate claims.
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For more information about the laws in Santa Cruz, please visit the following links: