Show Up To Court Early
Get to the court on time. It is better to leave early and get to the court early. It’s possible that you and your opponent will be able to reach an agreement on the day of the hearing. It’s not a bad idea to get in touch with them ahead of time to see if a last-minute deal is possible. Because most courts do not provide visitor parking, you will need to determine how far away the nearest parking is and how long it will take you to get there ahead of time.
On your arrival, you must report to the waiting room or desk of the District Judges and tell the court clerk. The clerk will question the reason for your visit as well as who you are representing. Tell the clerk, and she’ll set you up with an appointment. You should find out if the Judges have made a decision on whether or not your case will be considered on that particular day. Even if the clerk is unable to answer your question, there is no harm in asking and making it obvious that you need the matter fixed as quickly as possible.
Don’t just walk around the courthouse. It’s tempting to go for a walk because there may be a lot of sitting and waiting. If the judge calls the case in, you don’t want the clerk to be unable to find you, so stay close to the waiting room. If the hearing is held without you, your options for appealing the verdict are severely limited, and you will almost certainly be forced to accept the verdict.
The Court Hearing
The clerk will lead the parties into the courtroom. The judge is probably already in the room, with the documentation in his hands. Hopefully, he’ll have read the documents before you come in, so he’ll be familiar with the case, the records, and the evidence of the witnesses.
You should be able to examine the other side’s witnesses during the hearing, so prepare a list ahead of the trial with all the questions you are planning to ask them.
The Judge will keep the hearing on track and organized.
How To Address The Judge and Court Etiquette
The Judge understands how tense the claimant-defendant relationship can be at times. However, you must respect your opponent’s witnesses and avoid interrupting them when they speak. Even if the witnesses are lying or mistreating you, try to keep your cool. Poor manners will not help you gain the Judge’s favor.
You must always show respect to the Judge. Please do not interrupt him while he is speaking. The Judge will most likely be a District Judge (a County Court Judge who works full-time) or a Deputy District Judge (a part-time County Court Judge who will act as a Judge a few days a month while practicing as an attorney the rest of the time). In general, a male District Judge (or Deputy) should be addressed as “Sir,” and a female District Judge (or Deputy) as “Madam.”
After hearing the evidence, the Judge will most likely send you and your opponent away to consider his options and prepare his decision. The clerk of the court may contact you within 30 minutes. Again, if you leave the waiting area, the Judge will not wait for you when he summons you to deliver the verdict.
The Judge will read his decision, which will include both the order he is issuing (who is responsible for what, if anything, and when) and his explanation. This is not the time to argue with the judge or try to persuade him to reconsider. Interrupting him while he is making a decision will almost certainly result in your removal from the courtroom and possible contempt of court charges.
If you disagree with the verdict, you can ask for permission to appeal and explain why. The court clerk or the Judge himself may be able to advise you on how to file an appeal. If you want to file an appeal, you should do so as soon as possible because the deadlines are approaching. You will lose your right to appeal if you do not file the papers on time.