Courtroom Etiquette

Prohibited in the Courtrooms:

  • Weapons of any kind or items that may be used as a weapon.
  • Electronic devices--including cell phones, pagers, computers, PDA's, transceivers, cameras, and any other device capable of receiving or transmitting data.
  • Purses, backpacks, bags, or other similar items.
  • Inappropriate attire such as t-shirts with swear words, depicting violence or sexual acts, promoting drug or alcohol use; muscle shirts; tank tops; halter tops; shorts; cut-off jeans' baggy pants that fall below the hips; micro-mini skirts; pants with holes; hats (except those worn for religious purposes).
  • Food, beverages, chewing gum, tobacco.
  • Disruptive children

Court proceedings must be electronically recorded.  Therefore, silence is a necessity, unless you are a party to the proceeding that is in progress.  Disruptive behavior such as talking, laughing, shouting, or creating other loud disturbances will not be tolerated. The security staff may remove offenders from the building, and the judges may hold violators in contempt of court.  Mild-toned conversations may be conducted in the lobbies, hallways, and conference rooms. We strongly discourage bringing young children to court.

Addressing the court:
    *    Address the judge as "Your Honor" or "Judge."  
     *    Stand when addressing the court. Please advise the judge or hearing 
           official if you have a disability that would make this difficult.
     *    Only one person at a time may speak when addressing the court, 
           witnesses, etc., during a court proceeding.  This ensures greater 
           accuracy in making a record by audio and video recording equipment.
     *    Speak clearly and loudly.  The large courtrooms absorb sound, making it 
           difficult to hear mumbling and soft spoken voices.  Speaking clearly and 
           loudly ensures the judge and court recorder/video are hearing what is 
           being said.
     *    Address the court either from a counsel table or from a podium. These 
           areas are equipped with microphones.  Stepping away from these areas 
           reduces the accuracy of the record.

Be respectful of the judge or hearing official, the court staff, attorneys and litigants.  Maintain a respectful attitude at all times in the court building, courtroom, and hearing room.

Bring Children Only If Required:
It is not recommended to bring children to the Court unless they are required for the court proceedings.  Please make other arrangements for their care.

Special Accommodations:
Special accommodations will be provided because of a disability or if you require a foreign language interpreter to help you fully participate in court proceedings.  Please be sure to give the court advance notice of your needs.