Maryland Courts

Courtroom Demeanor


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What should I know about appearing in court?
How should I dress for my court appearance?
How do I address the judge?
Can I bring my child to court?

What should I know about appearing in court?
Although there are no provisions mandating dress attire or conduct in court, court users often ask what they should wear and how they should act in court. It is important to be on time or early if possible because often your name or your case number may be called as soon as the trial begins to see who is present and who is missing. If your name is called and you are not there to respond, your case can be dismissed. If you are a defendant in a criminal case, a failure to appear warrant could be issued for your arrest.

How should I dress for my court appearance?
Again, these are voluntary suggestions. Dress appropriately for court, or as you would for a job interview. Please see the video - Tips for Your Day in Court.

How do I address the judge?
Judges can be called "judge" or "your honor." Refrain from calling a judge "sir," "ma'am," "mister" or "miss." Communication with the judge should be carried out with a proper amount of respect. Refrain from outlandish or rude behavior such as arguing with the judge or the opposing party or their attorney.

Can I bring my child to court?
It is not recommended to bring small children into the courtroom unless they are part of the case. In a situation where you have to bring a child to court, it is often best to locate him or her outside the courtroom with a responsible adult.