Prohibited in the Courtrooms
Prohibited items in all Barry County Trial Courts include:
- Weapons of any sort
- Electronic devices, including cell phones (unless approved by the court)
- Inappropriate attire, such as: t-shirts with swear words, depicting violence/sexual acts, promoting drug or alcohol use; muscle shirts; tank tops; halter tops; shorts; cut-off jeans; baggy pants that fall below the hips; micro-mini skirts; pants with holes; hats (except those worn for religious purposes)
- Food, beverages, chewing gum, tobacco
Use of Portable Electronic Devices in Courtroom
Use of portable electronic devices in the courtroom is controlled by MCR 8.115(C). A portable electronic device is defined as any type of portable device used for communication or personal information (examples: cell phones, pagers, computers, text messaging devices, music devices, Internet devices, recorders).
- Electronic devices may not be used in courtrooms or hearing rooms unless otherwise approved by the hearing official.
- No photographs may be taken in the courtroom/hearing room without the prior permission of the hearing official. No photographs may be taken of any juror or witness.
- Failure to comply with this policy may result in a fine, including confiscation of the device, incarceration, or both, for contempt of court.
- Cell phones and other electronic communication devices may be used in corridors and lobbies unless otherwise directed by court or security personnel. Users should exercise discretion in their conversations being held in a public environment.
- Attorneys and pro per parties are permitted to use portable electronic devices in the courtrooms; however, hearing officials retain discretion to have them removed from the courtroom if their use interferes with court proceedings.
- Media representatives with an approved, active Request and Notice for Film and Electronic Media Coverage of Court Proceedings may use electronic devices pursuant to MCR 8.115(C).
Court proceedings must be electronically recorded. Therefore, silence is a necessity, unless you are a party to the proceeding that is in progress. Disruptive behavior such as talking, laughing, shouting, or creating other loud disturbances will not be tolerated. The security staff may remove offenders from the building and the judges may hold violators in contempt of court. Mild-toned conversations may be conducted in the lobbies, hallways and conference rooms. We strongly discourage bringing young children to court.
Addressing the Court
Address the judge as "Your Honor" or "Judge." Address the referee as Mr. or Ms.
Stand when addressing the court. Please advise the judge or hearing official if you have a disability that would make this difficult.
Only one person at a time may speak during a court proceeding. This ensures greater accuracy in making a record by audio and video recording equipment.
Speak clearly and loudly. The large courtrooms absorb sound, making it difficult to hear mumbling and soft-spoken voices. Speaking clearly and loudly ensures the judge and the court recorder/recording equipment are hearing what is being said.
Address the court either from a counsel table or from a podium. These areas are equipped with microphones. Stepping away from these areas reduces the accuracy of the record.
Be respectful of the judge or hearing official, the court staff, attorneys, and litigants. Maintain a respectful attitude at all times in the court building and in the courtrooms.