Self-help law center
Representing yourself in court
How to act in court
The court is a very traditional and polite place where a certain demeanor (way of acting) is expected. You must act and speak in a way that helps you with your case.
- Be on time! The court has a very busy schedule. If you are late, your case might be postponed to another date or dismissed entirely.
- Dress professionally, as you would for an important event. This means that your clothing should be neat and clean, and that you are well groomed.
- Do not bring your children into court.
- Do not chew gum.
- Be respectful to everyone in court. This includes the judge or court commissioner, court staff, the other party involved in your case, witnesses, court bailiff, and any other people in the area.
- Address the judge as 'Your Honor'.
- Do not use profanity, argue, or verbally react to answers given in court by the judge or commissioner, opposing party, or attorney. You will have your turn to speak.