10 Tips Before You Go To Court

Posted on 10/16/2014

1. Dress in a way that shows respect for the court. You should not show up to court with shorts, worn out jeans, t-shirts or skimpy clothing.

2. Do not chew gum, eat or drink in the courtroom.

3. Be on time for your hearing. If you miss a hearing, the judge can proceed with the hearing and make a judgment that may affect you.

4. Don't bring children into court. Many topics discussed in court may not be appropriate for children and they may disrupt the hearing.  Plan ahead to have a friend or family member watch your children while you are in court.

5. Stand when the judge enters or exits the courtroom. The court officer will tell you when to sit and stand. If you are unsure when you can sit down, you can sit once the judge is seated.  

6. Stand and speak up when the judge talks to you. It is important to remain standing as long as the judge speaks to you. Speak directly to the judge and not to others.

7. Speak clearly. Do not nod or shake your head when asked questions. The court proceedings are always recorded. Be direct and to the point when answering questions.

8. Always address the judge as "Your Honor". Always be respectful of the judge and must keep order in the courtroom.

9.  Only speak when the judge advises you to. Never get into an argument or interrupt with the opposing side is speaking. Always speak directly to the judge when questions are asked.

10. When your hearing is completed make sure to exit the courtroom immediately. Do not carry on conversations with others as other hearings may take place as soon as yours ends and this can interfere with the calendar. Make sure to have any discussions outside the courtroom or in a private place.