THE PURPOSE OF COURT SUPPORT TO SHOW THAT AVERAGE LAW-ABIDING PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF THOSE WHO GROW AND POSSESS CANNABIS. FOR THE MESSAGE TO BE EFFECTIVE, WE MUST SHOW APPROPRIATE RESPECT FOR THE COURT AND ITS PROCEEDINGS. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO FOLLOW ALL OF THESE GUIDELINES TO MAXIMIZE THE EFFECT OF OUR COURT SUPPORT EFFORTS. FAILURE TO DO SO CAN RESULT IN YOUR REMOVAL FROM THE COURT ROOM AND NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE DEFENDANT YOU HOPED TO SUPPORT.
Effective Court Support Guidelines & Etiquette
1.) Dress as conservatively as possible. Be sure to wear clean neat, clothing. If possible dress in business attire. Avoid t-shirts with vulgarities, bare midriffs or otherwise revealing clothing. Ribbons are permitted and encouraged.
2.) Be polite and respectful when dealing with court personnel. Pay attention to their instructions and comply with their requests immediately. Avoid any outward negative reactions to their instructions as some take this as a sign of disrespect.
3.) Electronic Devices: Turn off pagers and cell phone ringers. Recording devices or computers are also not permitted for spectators.
4.) Property Search: Court Security Officers and Court Staff are authorized to open and inspect any item carried into a courtroom.
5.) Leave cameras outside. Photography is not allowed in the courthouse (unless you are a member of the media who has prearranged permission). Cameras have been confiscated from those not following the rules.
6.) Do not interact with members of the Jury. No contact is allowed. No gestures or other communications. No discussion about the case should happen even in hallways, restroom, or other public areas where members of the Jury could be present.
7.) Do not bring your medicine to court. You won’t be able to use it there, so leave it behind.
8.) No Prohibited items in the Courtroom and adjacent lobby area. Do not bring weapons, alcohol or illegal substances. Don’t put yourself and the group at risk. Do not bring food or drinks.
9.) Do not come to court intoxicated. No person under the influence of intoxicating drugs or beverages will be permitted in the courtroom or adjacent areas.
10.) Do not talk while court is in session. Even quiet whispering is enough to get you ejected from the courtroom. Inappropriate facial gestures or exaggerated gesticulating is forbidden. When Court is in session, no one should be heard except for the council and the judge.
11.) Do not read in court. Only materials related to the Court’s business can be read in the courtroom while court is in session.
12.) Be seated. Standing in the courtroom may be permitted only at the discretion of the Clerk. Individual chairs against the side walls of the spectator area are reserved for law clerks and court staff. Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times. Repeated entrances and exits are to be avoided.
13.) When to stand. Everyone in the courtroom, unless physically challenged, must rise when judges enter and remain standing until the presiding judge invites everyone to be seated. Similarly, when court adjourns, everyone stands in place until the judges are no longer visible.
14.) Check the schedules posted on the court bulletin boards for the changes in times or room assignments.
It is important to keep in mind that not all courts have the same rules, or the same levels of enforcing those rules. But if you follow the above guidelines you can minimize the risk of “offending the court” or becoming the target of hostile court personnel, and at the same time, we are sending a powerful message of our own. “We are here. We are not going away. Medical Cannabis is legal and no one should go to jail for a plant.”