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Courtroom Etiquette

Scales in an empty courtroomCourtroom etiquette refers to how to dress and behave while in the courthouse whether you are a participant, a witness, a juror or a spectator. Along with the etiquette information provided by Oregon Judicial Department please remember the following:

Dressing for Court

 If you are appearing in Court you should dress nicely and in a manner that shows respect for the court.

Here are some things you should NOT wear or bring to court:

  • Weapons, including handguns, pocket knives, and chemical sprays are not allowed in the courthouse or court facilities. It is a Class C felony for any person to intentionally possess a weapon in a court facility (ORS 166.370) 
  • Hats inside the courtroom (except those worn for religious purposes - male or female) 
  • T-shirts depicting violence, sexual acts, profanity, or illegal drugs
  • Sunglasses 
  • Miniskirts or shorts
  • Tube or halter tops/plunging necklines or midriffs
  • Baggy pants that fall below the waist
  • Ripped or torn jeans 
  • Pajamas
  • Bare feet – shoes are required 
  • Muscle shirts (usually worn as undergarments)
  • Strong perfume or cologne
  • Food and drink
  • Non-service animals

Electronic Devices

When Appearing in Court


  •  Be on time 
  •  Always address the judge as “Your Honor”
  • Throw away gum, food, and drinks before entering the courtroom 
  • Enter and leave the courtroom quietly so you do not disturb others
  • Stand when you are speaking to the judge 
  • Only approach the bench when instructed to do so
  • Stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom 
  • 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 a question
  • Speak clearly when you respond to the judge’s questions



Children in the Courtroom

The public is also 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 asks 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 Courts orderly function and process.