The Court operates with traditional formality. When you are representing yourself in Court, you are trying to persuade a judge or jury, so you should act, dress, and speak in a way that helps your case. How you act is as important as how you look. You must be respectful of everyone in the Court. This includes the Judge, court staff, the other party involved in the case, witnesses and other defendants.
The Court has a very busy schedule so you must be on time for the Judge. If you are late, your case may be postponed or you could be required to post bond for a new date. Make sure you bring all the court documents and information you need. It is important to have these documents readily available upon request from the Judge or court staff.
The Judge cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and the other party is present. The court staff will help you in any way they can regarding the process of your case(s) but cannot give any legal advice or recommendations on what you should do.
When in Court, please observe the following rules:
- No weapons are permitted in the Municipal Court building or any other City building.
- Turn phones off while in the courtroom.
- When addressing the Judge, stand a few feet back from the bench. Do not lean on the bench.
- No food or drink is allowed in the courtroom.
- Please remain quiet while the Judge is giving instructions and calling the docket.
- Tobacco use is prohibited by law in all City buildings.
- Avoid bringing small children to court. When 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.
- Please wear suitable clothing. It is inappropriate to enter the courtroom without a shirt or shoes. T-shirts with offensive slogans or pictures are not allowed.
- Hats must be removed before entering the courtroom.