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Courtroom Procedures & Protocol

 COWLITZ COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE

COURTROOM PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOL 

  1. Arrive at the Hall of Justice 15 minutes early so that you can locate the proper Courtroom. You will be required to go through airport style security screening. Weapons of any kind are NOT allowed in the Hall of Justice.
  2. Dress appropriately. Slacks, shirts, skirt, blouse, or clean jeans are acceptable and show respect for the Court. Low necklines, short skirts and bare mid-riffs are not acceptable.
  3. Food or drinks are NOT allowed in the courtroom except for bottled water. There is a coffee/snack shop on the 1st floor for your convenience.
  4. The Courtroom is NOT an appropriate place for children. Please arrange for someone to watch them while you are in court.
  5. You may bring a friend or family member for moral support. Only parties or their attorneys may sit at the counsel table. Guests must sit in the audience and remain silent.
  6. Avoid laughing or talking about the case in the hallway or restrooms of the Hall of Justice in such a way that the other party, counsel or witnesses for the other party may see or hear you.
  7. Review your paperwork before your hearing and be prepared to tell the Judge what you want him/her to know. Do not ramble because your time is limited. Stick to the FACTS.
  8. Be respectful at all times with the Court, standing and addressing the Judge as “Your Honor”. Address your comments to the Judge, not the other party. Do not interrupt -wait until it is your turn to speak or ask to speak again.
  9. The Judge will ask you questions. If you don’t understand the question, say so and ask for clarification. Take time when answering questions to make sure you answer thoroughly. Be sincere; stay calm. Speak clearly and distinctly. Don’t be sarcastic or argue with the Court or the other party.
  10. If you want to ask the other party questions during the hearing, be prepared. You can’t use this time as an opportunity to argue, but must “ask questions” pertinent to the issues only.
  11. Be prepared to give a closing statement, summarizing what you want the Court to do. Don’t use this time to reargue the case.
  12. After the Judge has made a ruling on the issues before him or her, make sure an Order is presented reflecting the Court’s ruling. If the order is submitted later, the Judge will require both sides to sign it. If the other party won’t sign it, you will have to schedule a presentation hearing on the docket. The other side must be properly served notice of the hearing date and time.


These are the rules that apply to attorneys regarding Courtroom procedure and etiquette, and must be followed by people who are “pro se” (representing themselves) also.



PROVIDED BY:

STACI L. MYKLEBUST

COWLITZ COUNTY CLERK

Superior Court Clerk - Click Here To Go Back To Superior Court Clerk
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