Basic Rules of Conduct
- Be on time
- Throw away gum, food or drinks before entering the courtroom
- Stand when the judge enters and leaves the courtroom
- Stand when you are speaking to the Judge
- Speak clearly when you respond to the Judge’s questions
- Always address the Judge as “Your Honor”
- Never interrupt the Judge. If you are unsure of what you heard, wait until the Judge or other person speaking at your hearing has finished talking before asking the question
- Enter and leave the courtroom quietly so you do not disturb others
- Only approach the bench when instructed to do so
Process for Entry
Everyone must go through security prior to entering the courtroom. In most cases, you will be able to walk through a metal detector, or an officer will use a wand to check for prohibited items. You should permit the officer to search all bags, packages or personal belongings that will be taken into the courtroom. If you refuse to cooperate, you may be denied entry to your hearing.
The public is hereby notified that as this is a court of law, the Court will not allow distractions to invade, interrupt, or otherwise disturb the dignity and solemnity of court proceedings. As court generally is not an appropriate place for children, the Court strongly encourages parents and guardians to seriously consider whether it is necessary for a child to attend court. When a child is present in court, he or she should not present a distraction to the Court’s orderly function and processes.
If you are appearing in court, you should dress nicely and in a manner that shows respect for the court.
The following items are not permitted in the courtroom:
- Hats (except those worn for religious purposes)
- T-shirts depicting violence, sexual acts, profanity or illegal drugs
- Tubes or halter tops/plunging necklines/midriffs
- Ripped or torn jeans
- Mini-skirts or shorts
- Baggy pants that fall below the waist
- Flip Flops or house shoes
- Low riding pants that expose the midriff or rear
- Muscle shirts (normally worn as undergarments)
- Weapons of any kind
- Absolutely no electronic devices (cell phones, pagers, notebooks, notepads, laptops, video, voice recorders or cameras (unless approved by the court) allowed in the courtroom. Please secure them appropriately before entering the courtroom.
- Food, beverages, chewing gum and tobacco