Going To Court

Bay County Civil Law Division


The Judges and Hearing Officer(s) assigned to the Civil Division in Bay County expect that all litigants, whether or not they are represented by attorneys, will conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion so that all parties will be afforded a fair opportunity to present their case.

The following are meant to assist you in meeting appropriate standards of conduct when you appear in court.

1. Be Truthful in all statements that you make in court. False statements under oath constitute perjury which is a criminal offense.

2. Do not call or write the judge. As a general rule, documents and testimony can be read or heard by the Judge only when in the presence of both parties.

3. Be courteous. Do not interrupt anyone who is speaking. If we have an objection to something a witness says, your attorney will say, AObjection@, and the court will allow her to state the nature of the objection.

4. Treat all the court personnel with respect, including bailiffs, judicial assistants, clerks, court investigators, self-help personnel, judges and hearing officers.

5. Do not make faces or gestures at the opposing party, his or her attorney, witnesses or the Judge while in the courtroom or the Judge=s chambers. Speak directly to the Judge or your attorney, not to the opposing party or a witness. You will be given an opportunity to be heard in court.

6. Show your respect for the court by wearing appropriate attire. Do not come to court in shorts, tank tops, blue jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers.

7. Do not bring food or beverages into the courtroom and do not chew gum or eat candy in the courtroom.

8. Make arrangements for someone to care for your children prior to appearing in court. DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO COURT without prior order signed by the Judge.

9. Be aware that witnesses you bring to court are not usually permitted to remain in the courtroom while you, your spouse or former spouse or other witnesses will testify.

10. The courthouse is located in a congested area. Parking is limited and time consuming. You must also be prepared to pass through a metal detector at the front door. Please arrive for your hearing at least 15 minutes before the hearing is scheduled to begin.