Courtroom Dress and Etiquette
Municipal Court Dress Code
In order to maintain order and uphold the dignity and decorum of the judicial branch of our government, rules of conduct and dress for litigants, counsel, witnesses, court staff and spectators will ensure that persons in the courtroom do not obstruct or interfere with the orderly transaction of court business nor degrade or insult the dignity of the judicial proceedings, judicial officers, witnesses and others in the courtroom.
Shirts and shoes must be worn in the courtroom, and prohibited attire includes:
- bare-midriff outfits, shorts, cut-offs, halter tops
- tank tops, undershirts, see-through blouses
- bathing suits, lingerie
- athletic uniforms, hats, helmets
- theatrical costumes, face-paint
- clothing emblazoned with obscene words, images, or messages contemptuous or disrespectful of the judicial process
- baggy pants that fall below the waist
Court is a very traditional place. When you are representing yourself in court, you are trying to persuade a judge or jury that you are right. So you must act, dress, and speak in a way that helps you with your case.
- Be on time. Get to the court 15 minutes early in order to check in and be in the courtroom when role is called.
- Camera phones are not allowed in the courtroom so leave them secured in your car or at home.
- How you act is as important as how you look. You must be respectful to everyone in the court, including the judge, court staff, and any other parties involved in your case.
- Sit up straight and be attentive. Do not speak while others are talking. All proceedings are being recorded so speak clearly and keep small children quiet.
- Speak to the judge only when you are told it’s your turn. Address the judge as “Your Honor”.
- Cell phones must be turned off while in the courtroom and not just put on vibrate. Any violation of the phone or device rule could result in your phone or device being taken away from you.
- For those with small children, try your best to find child care while you are in court. If you cannot find someone to care for your children, do not let that stop you from coming to court. If your child becomes too noisy in the courtroom, you may be asked to wait in the lobby until you are called to the bench. Once again, all courtroom proceedings are be recorded so children must be quiet.
- Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom.