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Court Etiquette

Appearing in Court

If you have been cited to appear in court, your Citation, Summons, Release Agreement or Notice to Appear will list the location, date and time of your hearing. Sometimes your case may not be the only case scheduled for a specific time and courtroom. Please be seated in the public area of the courtroom and wait until your name is called. Check the Calendar link or the monitor displaying today’s cases if you are unsure of the courtroom. If you cannot find your case, check in at the public service window for assistance.

To request a change in your appearance date, please make your request in writing. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney must request the change. Your request may or may not, be granted. You may not change your appearance date on the day of the hearing. You may not change your appearance date by leaving a message, email or voice mail. If you fail to appear as scheduled, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and other sanctions may be imposed. If the charge is a violation or the case is a civil matter, the court may decide the case in your absence.

  • Weapons – not allowed in any area of the courthouse
  • Caps and hats – must be removed upon entering the courtroom
  • Bare feet – shoes are required
  • Sunglasses
  • Revealing or abbreviated clothing such as shorts, tank or cropped tops
  • Strong perfume or cologne
  • Food and drink
  • Non-service animals
  • Cameras and audio recording equipment – these are not permitted unless specifically authorized in advance by the Trial Court Administrator. Please see our Media Guidelines.
  • Cell phones, tablets, PDAs and all other electronic devices which may disrupt the proceedings must be turned OFF (not only vibrate), as these items cause interference on audio recordings of proceedings

Please remember that your choice of clothing reflects an attitude when appearing before the Court. The following attire is suggested for all non-lawyers appearing in court:

  • MALE - long or short sleeve shirts with collars; slacks or denim trousers
  • FEMALE - dresses, skirts, or slacks and blouse

Please dress comfortably (suits and ties or dresses are not required), but also have respect for the important role you have as a juror. As a juror you are the judge of the facts. You won’t be wearing a black robe, but you should dress like you are doing serious business. You will be more comfortable if you dress in layers so that you can put on or take off a sweater or jacket as you go through the day.

Jurors often spend many hours together in close quarters. Jurors should be respectful of their fellow jurors by reporting for service in clean clothes and without strong perfume or cologne.

Cell phones, tablets, PDAs and all other electronic devices are not allowed at all for jurors. Please keep any emergency numbers with you, but keep electronic devices at home or in your automobile.

All persons are required to act with dignity and respect toward all other parties in the courtroom. Misconduct in the presence of the Court that interferes with a court proceeding, with the administration of justice, or that impairs the respect due the Court may be punishable as Contempt of Court. Examples include use of profanity, violation of a court order, or flagrant disregard for instructions given by the judge.

Parties other than attorneys and court staff must stay behind the Bar (the barrier between the public gallery and the counsel tables) unless they are called forward or are accompanied by legal counsel.

Please keep your hands out of your pockets while you are at the counsel table.

Courtroom proceedings are recorded using a digital recording system, which may be on at all times. This technology creates a verbatim record without the use of a court reporter. The following tips are intended to help ensure the recording is clear, which is vital to the parties and judges if there are subsequent proceedings.

Upon speaking for the first time, identify yourself for the record. This is important even if other people in the courtroom know who you are. The person transcribing the record may not be familiar with particular attorneys or parties.

  • Speak clearly and audibly.
  • Remain within arm's reach of a microphone at all times when speaking.
  • Avoid "uh huh" and gestures. The recording system can only pick up verbally spoken words.
  • Only one person should speak at a time.
  • Avoid making noises when people are talking - coin jingling and paper riffling can be picked up by the microphones and will cover up voices.
  • Be sure that your PDA or cell phone is OFF (not on vibrate), as these items create distortion on the audio recording.
  • Avoid talking when there is noise; wait until the courtroom is quiet to begin or continue speaking.
  • When reading from a document, read slowly and clearly.
  • Avoid making any statements you do not want recorded.
  • Avoid tapping on or striking the table or microphone.
  • Give the clerk the correct spellings of unusual or technical names and vocabulary or words used by you or your witnesses that are frequently misunderstood.

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