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Court Do's and Don'ts

Things To Do Things Not To Do


Keep all court appointments and be on time.

Do not miss a court appointment. If you do not show up or are late, a bench warrant can be issued for your arrest. If you have a good reason for not coming, notify your attorney immediately.


Rest and get enough sleep.

Do not stay out late the night before your court appearance.


Prepare clothing the night before your court appearance.

Do not have to look for something to wear at the last minute.


Be clean and neatly groomed. Comb or brush your hair in a simple, neat style.

Do not wear your hair in an "outrageous" style. Girls should not wear a lot of make-up.


Dress appropriately. Wear clean, pressed clothing. Young men should wear clean, pressed pants and shirts, dress shoes and socks. Girls should wear a dress, or blouse and skirt.

Boys should not wear hats, earrings or nose rings in court. Girls should not wear low cut blouses, mini skirts or tight fitting clothes. Avoid sneakers with no socks. Don't wear gold jewelry or caps in your teeth.


Look directly at the Judge or the person you are speaking to.

Do not look down or away from the person who is speaking to you in court.


Speak clearly, so that your answers can be heard. Keep your hands away from your face when you speak.

Do not mumble, chew gum or shout in the courtroom.


Use courteous and appropriate language, such as "Yes, Your Honor," and "No, Your Honor."

Do not curse, or use slang words.


Answer all the questions put to you by the court personnel. If you don't understand the question, ask the person to repeat it, or ask your attorney for advice on how to answer.

Do not refuse to answer any questions.


Discuss family or other problems the night before your court appointment.

Do not leave home angry with your parents or yourself.

Related Links
NYC Family Court
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
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