Rules on Self Representation

The Court is a formal setting. When you are representing yourself in Court, you are trying to persuade a judge or jury, so you should act, dress and speak in a way that helps your case.

How you act is as important as how you look. You must be respectful of everyone in the Court. This includes the Judge, court staff, the other party involved in the case, witnesses and other defendants.

The Court has a very busy schedule so you must be on time for the Judge. If you are late, your case may be postponed or you could be required to post bond for a new date.

Make sure you bring all the court documents and information you need. It is important to have these documents readily available upon request from the Judge or court staff.

The Judge cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and the other party is present. The court staff will help you in any way they can regarding the process of your case(s) but cannot give any legal advice or recommendations on what you should do.


  • No weapons are permitted in the Municipal Court building or any other City building.    
  • Turn pagers and cell phones off while in the courtroom.    
  • When addressing the Judge, stand a few feet back from the bench. Do not lean on the bench.    
  • No food or drink is allowed in the courtroom.    
  • Please remain quiet while the Judge is giving instructions and calling the docket.    
  • Smoking is prohibited by law in all City buildings.    
  • Avoid bringing small children to court. When you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.    
  • Please wear suitable clothing. It is inappropriate to enter the courtroom without a shirt or shoes. T-shirts with offensive slogans or pictures are not allowed.    
  • Hats must be removed before entering the courtroom.    
  • No radios, tape recorders, computers, cameras, cell phones, pagers or other electronic devices are allowed in the courtroom without prior approval by the bailiff or the Court.    
  • No person may, by facial expression, shaking or nodding of head, or by any other conduct, express approval or disapproval of any testimony, statement or transaction in the courtroom. 


For information regarding your rights in Municipal Court, please see our brochure on Municipal Court Procedures for Adults (PDF).


For information regarding how a trial is conducted, please see our brochure on Municipal Court Procedures for Adults (PDF).