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Court Etiquette

Before appearing in court, it is important to understand something of the etiquette required in court. Educators are encouraged to talk to students about these "courthouse do's and don'ts" prior to their tour.

  • DO speak softly and maintain a professional demeanor in the hallways and stairwells of the Courthouse.
  • DON'T speak in the courtroom during a court proceeding.
  • DO remember the bathrooms are located on the second floor near the elevators.
  • DON'T bring heavy backpacks or totes into the Courthouse as this delays the security processes.
  • DO be respectful to the judge; address him or her as "your honor" or "judge."
  • DON'T chew gum in the courtrooms.
  • DO turn pagers and cellular telephones off while visiting the Courthouse.
  • DON'T bring food or beverages into a courtroom.
  • DO dress appropriately; this is a professional setting and you are encouraged to dress accordingly.
  • DON'T repeat to others what you heard in the courtroom while still in the Courthouse; there may be jurors, attorneys, or parties to the case that may hear information from you that they are not allowed to hear.
  • DO bring pens or pencils and paper to take notes; there's a lot to learn from a visit to the courthouse.
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I find out where my case is being heard?

  • A: You may check our Online Index by clicking on it at the top of our website.

Q: Can I talk to the judge outside of court?

  • A: No. By law, the judge can only speak with you in court in the presence of the opposing party.

Q: How should I refer to the judge when I am in court?

  • A: It is common court practice to refer to the judge as “Your Honor”, when appearing in court.

Q: If my case is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., why wasn’t it called until 10:15 a.m.?

  • A: Cases are scheduled at various times of the day. Many cases are scheduled for the same time. If you are scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. you can be called anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 12 noon, depending on the number of people appearing in court. Please note, it is important to arrive in court on time since a roll call and general information regarding court procedures and services may begin before court convenes.

Q: What if I need an interpreter?

  • A: If you are involved in a criminal or domestic violence case and English is not your first language, please notify the Court immediately and you will be provided with an interpreter.

Q: Where should I stand when my case is called in Court?

  • A: When the judge calls your case it is important that you stand in front of the railing separating the audience from the judge. The bailiff will point you in the right direction if you have any questions.

Q: When will I speak with the judge?

  • A: When your case is called in court, this will be your opportunity to speak with the judge directly or through your attorney.

Q: Can I look at my file?

  • A: Yes, with several exceptions. Please reference the Public Information Policies for detailed information.
     

Click here for a printable copy of
Superior Court of California, County of Glenn "Public Information Policy"