Courthouse Etiquette

Respect in the Courtroom

The courtroom is a place of order and structure. You should at all times act in a respectful manner when in the presence of the judge, court staff, attorneys, court officers or other persons attending court. Even after your case, or the case you have been attending, has been given a ruling you should continue to be respectful as you are dismissed and exit the room. Attempts to disrupt the court, at any time, could result in your being held in contempt. Individuals held in contempt of court may face jail time and/or a fine. Help us, to help you, avoid any unnecessary or additional appearances before a judge by being respectful. Respect Given = Respect Gained.

Dressing for Court

If you are appearing in or attending court proceedings you should dress appropriately and in a manner that shows respect for the court system, the judge, and other citizens around you.

Here are some things you should NOT wear:

  • Hats or other head coverings inside the courtroom (except those worn for religious or medical purposes)
  • Sunglasses
  • T-shirts depicting violence, sexual acts, profanity, or illegal drugs
  • Tube or halter tops/plunging necklines/shirts that expose the midriff
  • See-through tops or bottoms
  • Ripped or torn jeans
  • Miniskirts or high cut shorts
  • Baggy pants that fall below the waist or expose undergarments
  • Muscle shirts (usually worn as undergarments)

If you are not dressed properly, you may be asked to leave the court and return at a later date. This will delay your hearing and require you to appear in court more than once.

Prohibited Items

Items not allowed in the COURTHOUSE or COURTROOMS:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Electronic recording equipment such as video or voice recorders, or cameras (unless approved by the court in advance)

Additional items not allowed in COURTROOMS:
  • Food or beverages
  • Chewing gum
  • Tobacco products, including e-cigarettes or the like

Cell Phones and Mobile Devices

The use of cell phones and other mobile devices may not be allowed in the courtroom. It is recommended that you call ahead to find out if these will be allowed in the courtroom. Your phone or device should be turned off or placed on silent mode before entering so that you do not disrupt the court. If you and your cell phone use are seen as a disruption to the court, you may be asked to leave. Failure to comply may result in being placed in contempt of court.

Attorney Information

As professionals in the field of law and order, attorneys are often times the person whom clients will look to in order to obtain advice about proper conduct and dress in the courtroom. Reflecting a professional image both in front of and behind the spectator bar is imperative; and it speaks volumes about you and your client. Take a moment a read up on these articles we found to be useful.

American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct