Tips for Editing Courthouses

1. We are only collecting county courthouses and state supreme court locations. We are not collecting specialty courts like bankruptcy or federal courts.


A County Courthouse is typically found in the county seat and may or may not include county government. Also, the name may or may not include the words 'County Courthouse.' It must be the location of the highest level ACTIVE court in the county, typically the county court, circuit court, or district court. It is also possible, but not typical, that there is more than one courthouse building in the county seat or in the county, especially in populous counties. It does not include historical courthouse buildings that do NOT function as an active court.  



NOTE that there is only one structure/point for the U.S. Supreme Court and it has already been added to the map.




**For more detailed information on the specific types of courthouses we are collecting, see the Structures List


2. We are only collecting courthouse buildings, not individual courts within a courthouse. If there are multiple courts operating out of a single building, only one point should be collected for that building.


Exception: If the State Supreme Court and a County Courthouse occupy the same building, a point should be collected for each.


A county, district, circuit, superior, or other trial level court must occupy the building for it to be collected. If a courthouse ONLY contains municipal or juvenile courts, it should not be collected.


NOTE: If you come across a state which only appears to have district or superior courts, try  to determine the name of the building(s) which house the district and superior courts. If both the district and superior courts occupy the same courthouse building, only one point should be added to the map to represent that courthouse. For example, the Adams County Courthouse in Washington houses both the Adams County Superior and District Courts. One point should be collected and named 'Adams County Courthouse' since this is the name displayed on the front of the building. In the 'Comments' field, add a note about the specific court that occupies that building.


If the district and superior courts occupy different buildings, then two points can be collected, one for each courthouse building. Again, try to determine the name of the building, but if no building name can be found, then an acceptable name could be, for example, 'Adams County District Court - Othello.'














3. We are only collecting courthouses that contain an active, functioning court. If a courthouse building is still standing but no longer functions as an active court (such as an historical courthouse), it should not be collected.


If a building houses court administrative activities, but not court rooms, it should not be collected.


NOTE: We highly recommend utilizing the 'Comment' field in the editing window to document the authoritative resources you used to research a courthouse.


You can copy and paste the URL of your online resource into the comment field, and/or you can write a note explaining your research process. This information is extremely useful for the USGS structures team, and helps make the quality checking process much more efficient.