Court Process

Court processes are as follows:

  • Your case will be called by the clerk of court, the bailiff, or the judge or magistrate.
  • Stand up when your case is called. Remove your hat and coat. Sit at the tables before the presiding judge or magistrate.
  • The judge or magistrate will ask each party to state their case. The party that started the legal action generally goes first.
  • All the parties will be given a chance to speak, although only one person is allowed to speak at a time.
  • Do not interrupt others, you will have a turn to respond.
  • Write down any questions or comments you have, so when it is your turn to speak you have them ready.
  • You will be asked to take an oath to tell the truth. Remember the seriousness of this oath during the entire time you are testifying. If you fail to tell the truth while testifying, you may be subject to the penalties for perjury.
  • When talking, do not exaggerate; simply state the truth.
  • Listen carefully and answer slowly, clearly, and loud enough so you are heard.
  • Do not lose your temper. Be courteous and respectful.
  • If you don't know the answer to a question, say so.
  • If an attorney objects to a question, wait until the judge or magistrate states whether or not you need to answer the question.
  • Do not roll your eyes, sigh loudly, or make any other gesture and/or sound which shows that you disagree and/or don't believe your opponent or, worse, disagree with the judge.
  • After both parties have talked, the judge or magistrate may ask each party to give a final statement. The final statement is generally a short summary of what you are asking the court to do and why you think the court should decide this way.
  • The judge or magistrate will either rule immediately or take some additional time to review the evidence or research case law. This is called taking the case "under advisement." If this happens, you will receive a copy of the court's order in the mail at a later date.