Independent Professional Advice Sierra County

Independent Professional Advice

Independent Professional Advice Sierra County

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Description of the Court

The Superior Court of California, County of Sierra is a unified Superior court, served by two judges, one family support commissioner (AB1058), and four permanent employees.

The court has one presiding judge, the Honorable John P. Kennelly and assistant presiding judge, the Honorable Charles H. Ervin .

The Courthouse is located in Downieville, CA.


  Mailing Address: P.O. Box 476, Downieville, CA 95936
  Physical Address 100 Courthouse Square, Downieville, CA
  Telephone: (530) 289-3698
  FAX: (530) 289-0205


The FY15/16 annual allocation of the trial court budget from the Judicial Council can be found at the following link:


Public Access to Judicial Administrative Records

In order to inspect or request a copy of a judicial administrative record of this court, it is necessary to comply with the requirements contained in California Rules of Court, sections 10.500 and 10.803.

Requests are to be directed to:

Court Executive Officer
Sierra Superior Court
P. O. Box 476
Downieville, CA 95936

See Notice below regarding closure of the Regional Courthouse Effective November 3, 2014 until futher notice.






Effective November 3, 2014 the Plumas/Sierra Regional Courthouse location of the Plumas and Sierra Superior Court will be closed.  Beginning on November 3rd all current and future traffic and small claims cases for the Plumas Superior Court will be processed and heard at the Quincy Courthouse, 520 Main St., Quincy, CA  95971.  Telephone (530) 283-6232. For information on all current and future traffic cases for the Sierra Superior Court please contact the Sierra Superior Court at (530) 289-3698.


The courts find this action necessary due to the continuing and ongoing budget reductions to the local trial courts.  The budget reduction to the local trial courts in the current fiscal year has demanded that the courts examine all phases of their operations and make reductions in service levels. If the budget for the courts increases in future years, the courts would work to re-open the regional courthouse.


We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  If you would like to submit comments on the closure of the Regional Courthouse court location, please submit them in writing to Deborah Norrie, Court Executive Officer, Plumas Superior Court, 520 Main St., Room 104, Quincy, CA  95971 or Lee Kirby, Court Executive Officer, Sierra Superior Court, P.O. Box 476, Downieville, CA  95936.


Directions to the Downieville Courthouse:

From Nevada City/Grass Valley:

Take Highway 49 north to Downieville. Once in town, turn right at the Union 76 station, cross the bridge, and go up a short hill. The courthouse will be the large white building with the blue roof on the right.

From Truckee:

Take Highway 89 to Highway 49 south toward Downieville. Once in town, turn left at the stop sign, go one block and turn left at the Union 76 Station. After you cross the bridge and go up a short hill, the courthouse will be the large white building with the blue roof on the right.

Or use this link for directions from other locations:
For current road conditions, call 1-800-427-ROAD (1-800-427-7623) or use this link  to check on-line.


Court Administration
Lee E. Kirby
Court Executive Officer

100 Courthouse Sq., 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 476
Downieville, CA 95936

(530) 289-3698 phone
(530) 289-0205 fax

Court Officers


John P. Kennelly, Presiding Judge
Term Expires: January, 2019

Charles H. Ervin, Assistant Presiding Judge
Term Expires: January, 2017

Lee E. Kirby
Court Executive Officer

100 Courthouse Sq., 2nd Floor
P. O. Box 476
Downieville, CA 95936

(530) 289-3698 phone
(530) 289-0205 fax

Family Law – Facilitator

Available for Nevada and Sierra Counties

201 Church Street, Suite 10, Nevada City, Ca 95959
Phone # 530-470-2567 fax 530-478-1946

Gretchen Serrata, Facilitator
Connie (Consuelo) Vargas-Martin, Legal Assistant/Servicios Bilingue

Services :

  • Helping you help yourself with family law issues through the use of our self-help library, books, videos, forms and information
  • Mediating child and spousal support issues between you and your former partner
  • Calculating guideline child and spousal support
  • Answering child and spousal support related questions
  • Communicating with the department of child support services regarding unusual problems
  • Mediating other family law issues by referral from a Judge
  • There is NO CHARGE for services.

The Family Law Facilitator, Gretchen Serrata is an attorney available to help all parents/parties, who are not represented by attorneys, and who have questions concerning family law matters, such as issues about child support, spousal support, health insurance, paternity and the visitation process, and community resources to help families. The Facilitator can help you in preparing your own forms and can give you general information. The Facilitator cannot go with you to court.

The Facilitator is not your lawyer, but is a neutral person who does not represent any parent/party. No Attorney-client relationship is created between the Facilitator and a person using the Facilitator’s services. The Facilitator is available to see both parents/parties who have questions concerning family law matters. There is no confidentiality created between the Facilitator and a person using these services. You should consult with your own attorney if you want personalized advice or strategy, to have a confidential conversation, or to be represented by an attorney in court.

The Family Law Facilitator is not responsible for the outcome of your case.

The Family Law Facilitator is usually available in court to answer your questions and to help you understand the process.


The Family Law Facilitator is available in Nevada City, Truckee, Downieville and Loyalton at various times throughout each month. Please call 530-470-2567 to schedule an appointment.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative to resolving your child and spousal related issues in court.
Mediation is a cooperative problem solving process between the parties, with the assistant of a trained mediator.
Mediation is not therapy. The goal of mediation is to help you and your former partner come up with a plan designed to meet your families’ support needs without going to court. If you both agree, Ms. Serrata can mediate child or spousal support and related issues with you. Agreements reached through mediation are reduced to writing and will become a court order. With a mediated agreement, the parties need not appear in court. Often the parties generally need only submit an agreement to the court for the Judge’s signature and filing.

One of the most important benefits of mediation is that an agreement reached in mediation is more likely to be honored by the parties and reduces the likelihood of litigation in the future.

Main Office: 14622 Victory Blvd. Second Floor Van Nuys, CA 91411. A subsidiary of the Law Offices of Law Offices of Eugene Ahtirski