Court Conduct & Appearance
Expectations of Those Present
It is important to remember that appearance and conduct are important when coming to court. All persons present in the courtroom shall be clean, neat, and dressed in an appropriate manner, and conduct themselves in a respectful manner reflecting dignity and respect for the court.
Being on Time
It is also very important to be on time for a court appearance. Be sure to allow ample time for traffic, parking, and security screening when you arrive. You must be present in the courtroom when the docket is called. A warrant maybe issued if you fail to answer when your name is called.
Importance of the Timely Witness
If you are a witness on a case, your presence is necessary for a trial to go forward. If a witness is not present in the courtroom, a case is subject to dismissal or reschedule. Remember that all persons must pass through metal detectors and their purses and bags will be screened. All persons are also subject to search.
Unacceptable courtroom attire includes:
- Shorts and pants revealing under garments and with excessive holes
- Hats (all types)
- Muscle shirts and tank tops
- T-shirts or other clothing items displaying offensive, vulgar, racist, sexist, gang related, and obscene language or graphics
- Provocative clothing styled or worn to disrupt / distract
Cellular Phones / Pagers
All cellular phones and pagers must be turned off or placed on the vibrate mode while in the courtroom. Failure to do so could result in you being asked to leave the courtroom.
Weapons (guns and knives) are strictly prohibited in the courthouse. This does not apply to law enforcement personnel. Also, items such as pocket knives, scissors, or anything deemed as unacceptable will be confiscated upon entry to the building. Certain confiscated items will be held and may be returned upon departure.
Reading materials such as newspapers and books are not allowed while court is in session.
Avoid bringing small children to court. If you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.
All persons must rise when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom, and must remain standing until the judge or bailiff instructs the audience to be seated. Remain quiet while court is in session. Failure to do so could result in you being asked to leave the courtroom. When addressing the judge, do not lean on the bench.
Smoking, Eating, or Drinking
Smoking is prohibited by law in all and around areas of city buildings. When you are free to leave the courtroom you will need to refrain from smoking within 25 feet of the buildings. No food, drinks, or gum chewing is allowed in the courtroom.