Courtroom Etiquette & Use of Electronic Devices
21ST DISTRICT COURT COURTROOM ETIQUETTE
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.
Prohibited in the Courtrooms:
- weapons of any sort
- 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
- children making noise
Addressing the Court:
Address the judge as "Your Honor" or "Judge."
Stand when addressing the court. Please advise the judge if you have a disability that would make this difficult.
Only one person at a time may speak during a court proceeding. This ensures greater accuracy in making a record by audio 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 the court recorder/recording equipment 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.