PowerPoint Presentation: Your day in court: getting there and getting it right. PowerPoint Presentation: Don’t slip up! Take a few minutes to find out how to make things a little easier when you go to court on your own, without a lawyer. PowerPoint Presentation: Follow these steps to your day in court. PowerPoint Presentation: Before your day in court: find out when and where to go. PowerPoint Presentation: When do I start to get ready for court? PowerPoint Presentation: You need to get ready for your day in court before your court date. As soon as you get your court papers, read them over carefully or have someone read them to you! Pay close attention to anything in the papers about going to court for a trial, hearing or other kind of event. PowerPoint Presentation: Court 9 AM! PowerPoint Presentation: The court papers should say: What day you need to go to court. What time you need to be in court that day . The court's number for that case. The judge or division your case belongs to. Why you need to go to court. (In other words, what the court date is about .) If you cannot find the information you need on your court papers, contact the court now to get this information. You need to find out ahead of time exactly when and where to show up for your case. PowerPoint Presentation: Before your day in court: decide how you will get there. PowerPoint Presentation: How are you going to get to the courthouse ? Are you going to drive? Take the bus or other public transportation ? Ask a friend or relative to take you? Decide now how you are going to get to court. You need to figure this out now, before the day of your court appearance. Remember: if you are late for court the judge may call your case anyway and rule against you. PowerPoint Presentation: To do now: find out where the courthouse is . To do now: find out now how you will get there . To do now: find out now how long it will take you to get there . PowerPoint Presentation: To do now: find out how much money you need for tolls, parking, the bus, a taxi or other transportation. PowerPoint Presentation: Once you have an idea of how long it will take you to get to court, do this : Add extra time. There could be unexpected delays. Get to court early. Getting there early may reduce your stress. PowerPoint Presentation: Before your day in court: special issues about children, access, and other issues . PowerPoint Presentation: To do now: find out ahead of time whether you can bring your children with you . To do now: if you cannot bring children to court set up child care now, before your court date. To do now: if you cannot see, speak, hear, walk, if you do not understand English, or if you have another issue that limits your ability to use the courtroom or participate in your case, contact the court ahead of time to see what sort of access help or interpreter help the court may have. Do not wait until your day in court to find out. PowerPoint Presentation: Before your day in court: special issues about phones, computers, and other electronics . Some courthouses will not let you bring in your phone, especially if it has a camera . Find out ahead of time if you can bring your phone or other electronic device with you to court . PowerPoint Presentation: Bring the paper that has your court date. Get together any other court papers and any other documents or items you may need to bring with you. Find out if you need extra copies for the judge or the other side, and get these ready ahead of time. (Other items on this site may have more information about this topic.) If you need to file papers with the court, find out when you need to do that. If you have to file papers on the day of your court hearing, you will need extra time to take care of that before you go into the courtroom. Before your day in court: what to bring with you. PowerPoint Presentation: Before your day in court: what to wear . Decide now what you will wear to court . Your court date is serious. The courtroom is serious . The style is conservative. You want to make a good impression on the judge . PowerPoint Presentation: Make sure you, your clothes and your hair are tidy and clean . No skimpy, sloppy or flashy clothes or jewelry . Do not wear: Flip flops, shorts, tank tops, curlers, halters, midriffs, torn or low-riding pants, and avoid T-shirts , especially if they have writing or pictures. No weapons. Many courts have security checks. You and what you bring with you may go through a scanner. If you can, cover up tattoos and remove facial piercings and jewelry . . PowerPoint Presentation: Your day in court: what to do when you get to the courthouse. PowerPoint Presentation: Find your courtroom. If you know the judge, section or division of court for your case, the guards or a directory on the wall should tell you where to go. Alert! Sometimes one judge will stand in for another. Be sure you have the right courtroom. Ask court staff if you are not sure where to go in the courthouse. Some courts post a list of cases to be heard that day on the wall, with the judge or section or division information. PowerPoint Presentation: Waiting for your case can take time. Use the bathroom if you need to before you go to the courtroom. Remember, you arrived early so you will have time to take care of this. PowerPoint Presentation: Since you planned ahead and arrived early, you should find it less stressful to go through these steps. Your day in court: what to do when you get to your courtroom . PowerPoint Presentation: . Make sure someone from the judge's staff knows that you are here and ready for your case. You should also make sure you have the right courtroom. Find out if a member of the judge's staff is checking in people who have cases before the judge that day. Sometimes your case will be the only case and sometimes the judge will have many cases to hear that day. PowerPoint Presentation: Once you check in, ask where you should wait. People usually wait in the general seating area in the courtroom. PowerPoint Presentation: Your day in court: what to do (and what not to do) while waiting for your case to be called. PowerPoint Presentation: Stand up when the judge walks in the courtroom or when court staff asks everyone to rise. Sit down when told to by court staff or when the judge sits down at the bench. PowerPoint Presentation: Do not use your phone or headphones or earphones. Don't read the paper. No eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum or tobacco. The courtroom is not the place for you to read the paper or to shuffle or organize your paperwork. Have your papers in order before you leave the house. If you read over your court papers in the courtroom avoid rustling them or doing anything else that is distracting. No talking on the phone, either. Wait quietly for your case to be called. PowerPoint Presentation: If you brought children with you, you need to keep them quiet, too. PowerPoint Presentation: Your day in court: what to do during the session for your case . PowerPoint Presentation: When your case is called, stand up and say you are here if asked to speak up. Depending on the setup of the courtroom, you may have a table or chair in the space between the general seating area and the judge's bench. If you do not know what to do, or if no one directs you, ask where you should stand. PowerPoint Presentation: Remember : the judge runs the case. The judge decides who talks and when they talk. Talk only when it is your turn to speak. Say "Your Honor" when you talk to the judge. Everybody should get a chance to talk. Be polite to everyone. No shouting, no cursing, no talking through or over someone else. No rude hand gestures. Be polite even if the other side is rude. PowerPoint Presentation: Cases can be very emotional. If you can't help crying, take a deep breath, collect yourself as quickly as you can and pick up where you left off. Have a tissue if you are worried this may happen. If the judge asks you a question, make sure your answer relates to the question and do the best you can. Do not stray to another topic. PowerPoint Presentation: Do not walk up to the judge or to the other side or to the other side's lawyer without asking permission first. If you have papers to show the judge or the other side, ask the judge for permission to show the papers. Yes, you may approach the bench. Your honor, may I show you these papers? PowerPoint Presentation: Keep things simple when you speak. Stick to facts and events that relate to your case. Think ahead of time about your most important points. Try to keep these points brief and organized. Judges are very busy. Judges do not have time to listen to things that have nothing to do with the case. If you do not understand a question to you from the judge, a lawyer or the other side, say so. If you cannot hear something, say so. PowerPoint Presentation: Most cases are recorded on tape or by a court stenographer/reporter. Make sure the judge and others can hear you clearly. Make sure you actually speak when you give answers. Example: say "Yes" or "No." Do not just nod or shake your head. PowerPoint Presentation: Your day in court: at the end of your case that day. PowerPoint Presentation: Do not react to the judge or to the other side. This can be tough when you are surprised by the decision. Before you leave the courtroom, make sure you understand what happened in court that day. There are more details below. If the judge calls the next matter, you need to take a seat in the general seating area in the courtroom or leave the courtroom. Do so quietly and calmly without disturbing the next case. PowerPoint Presentation: If the judge rules right there on the spot, make sure you understand what happened and get a copy of that ruling if you can. Sometimes the judge rules later on. Before you leave, make sure you know how you will find out about the judge's ruling and be sure the court has your correct contact information. Sometimes the judge runs out of time for the case and asks everyone to show up again. Before you leave, make sure you understand when and where your next court date is, or how you will find out about the new court date. Many thanks to The Technology Initiative Grant program of The Legal Services Corporation for its generous support. Thank you, for watching. This is a presentation by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit provider of free legal help to low-income people across 22 Louisiana Parishes. Find more resources on www.LouisianaLawHelp.org. : Many thanks to The Technology Initiative Grant program of The Legal Services Corporation for its generous support. Thank you, for watching. This is a presentation by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit provider of free legal help to low-income people across 22 Louisiana Parishes. Find more resources on www.LouisianaLawHelp.org .