Tips for Appearing in Court

Tips For Appearing in Court

PARKING.

Parking is available nearby, and costs between $4.00 and $20.00. Bring cash, and do not plan to use the parking meters on the street. You will not be in control of your schedule, and will end up with a parking ticket or towed car, or, best case scenario, a lot of stress and running up and down to the meter.

ARRIVE EARLY.

Keep in mind that there are many things that can cause you to be late, including bad weather, getting caught in traffic, finding a parking space, walking to the courthouse, going through security, waiting for an elevator, getting situated in the actual courtroom, plus the other unforeseeable things that can happen. Make sure that you leave your house in plenty of time, so that you will arrive in plenty of time, and be relaxed and ready for your hearing. You must be seated before the Judge calls the docket.

SECURITY.

In order to enter the courthouse, you will have to pass through security, which includes a metal detector. You may not enter the courthouse with guns, knives, mace, or any weapon of any kind. The metal detector will pick up on big jewelry items, steel-toe boots, and many types of shoes that contain metals. If you wear any of these items, you will have to remove them as you pass through the machine. Even if you do not wear them, going through security can be a slow process because the people in line ahead of you will be wearing them.

WITNESSES

Make sure that you notify any witnesses that will be testifying on your behalf in plenty of time, so that they can make the proper arrangements. If you or any witness needs a note from the court to present to your employer, you can get this before you leave, at the close of the hearing.

A few general rules about court follow. Please share this information with any witnesses you may plan to bring to court. I do not intend to offend you or your witnesses in any way, but it is important that we present your case in the best possible light. Also, by following these simple

rules, you and your witnesses may by able to avoid unnecessary stress or embarrassment.

ATTIRE.

Remember that the Judge will make an assessment of you, based upon your demeanor and veracity, but also based upon the way that you present yourself in court. You will not be allowed in the courtroom with flip-flops, shorts, or tank tops. You will be asked to remove sunglasses and hats. You should come to court neatly groomed, and dressed as you would for church or an important job interview. If you have tattoos, wear clothing that covers them up. Do not wear earrings anywhere except your ears. Do not wear more than one or two pairs of earrings at a time. Do not wear short skirts or revealing blouses. Do not come to court looking as if you slept in your clothes.

CELL PHONES.

You cannot have your cell phone or any other noise making device on in the courtroom. If it goes off, the bailiff will seize it, and, in most instances, you will have to return to court at a later time to get it back.

GUM, FOOD, DRINKS.

You cannot chew gum in the courtroom. You also may not bring in food or drinks. If you have a particular medical condition that requires you to eat at a certain time, for instance, to take medications, or eat frequently to balance blood sugar, let me know in advance, so that we can make the appropriate arrangements with the court.

MINOR CHILDREN.

Minor children are not allowed in the courtroom, except under very limited circumstances, most often, when a party has been ordered to deliver the child to the court, or for an adoption case. Do not bring your minor children with you to court. Do not allow your witnesses to bring minor children with them to court.

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