Court Etiquette

Michigan
Diane Reinke
Court Administrator
  • 1092 Newell Street, PO Box 129
    White Cloud, MI 49349
    M-F 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

  • (231) 689-7257
    (231) 689-7258

Courthouse Etiquette & General Information

PROHIBITED ITEMS:

All persons entering the Newaygo County Courthouse are subject to search. Dangerous or illegal objects may be seized. If you do not agree to the these terms, you may not enter the building. Surveillance and metal detecting equipment is in use.

The following items are prohibited:

  • Weapons • Firearms
  • Knives
  • Tools
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Water
  • Pets (except a certified service animal)
  • Anything security deems dangerous

Please leave these items in your vehicle.

SMOKING:

Smoking is not permitted on County grounds except in designated areas. Violators of the restrictions above may be prosecuted and/or held in contempt of court per court order.

HOURS:

8:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 5:00pm The Courthouse is closed to the public from 12:00pm until 1:00pm. Unless directed otherwise, all public patrons will be asked to leave the building during the lunch hour.

ADDRESSING THE COURT:

Address the Judge as “Your Honor” or “Judge”. Speak clearly and loudly. The large courtroom absorbs sound, making it difficult to hear mumbling and soft-spoken voices. Speaking clearly and loudly ensures the Judge and the Court Recorder is hearing what is being said.

Do not address the Court from the gallery area. Address the Court either from the counsel table or witness stand. These areas are equipped with microphones. Leaning away from the microphones reduces the accuracy of the record.

SILENCE:

Court proceedings must be electronically recorded. Therefore, silence is a necessity unless you are a party to the proceeding that is in progress and you are asked to address the Court. 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 Judge may hold violators in contempt of court. Mild-toned conversations may be conducted in the hallways and conference rooms.

RESPECT:

Only one person may speak at a time when addressing the court, witness, etc., during a court proceeding. Do not interrupt someone who is speaking. This ensures greater accuracy in making a 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, courtroom and hearing room.

BRING READING MATERIALS:

There are no magazines or books located in the waiting areas of the courthouse. You may bring your own reading material, if you wish.

BRING CHILDREN ONLY IF REQUIRED:

It is not recommended to bring children to the Court unless they are required for the court proceeding. Please make other arrangements for their care.

SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS:

Special accommodations will be provided because of a disability or if you require a foreign language interpreter to help you fully participate in court proceedings.

PARKING:

Free parking for people visiting the courthouse is available throughout the Newaygo County Complex.

LEGAL ADVICE:

Court personnel shall not provide or offer to provide legal advice or legal counsel to a fiduciary or an interested person and shall not complete a form, petition, or document for a fiduciary or interested person. This section does not prohibit the court from providing general information, blank forms, and information concerning the preparation of a form provided by the court.

REFERENCES:

Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct