Weapons or other dangerous or illegal items are not allowed on the premises or in the building. Do not wear shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses, muscular shirts, tank tops, loose or stocky jeans, t-shirts with rude or vulgar messages, camouflage or other distracting clothing. Hats, bandanas or hoods are not allowed. No transparent clothes, backless tops or halters. Make sure that metal on your person or clothing (e.g. belts, coins, keys) can be removed. Friends and family are welcome to attend the hearing, as adult trials are public. Think carefully about whether you want to invite them to your study or not. Never invite someone who cannot dress or behave respectfully during their time in the courtroom. This can have a negative impact on you.
Remind them of the importance of this day and give them some suggestions on how to dress and wear. If you have any doubts about their ability to do so, don`t invite them. The courtroom assistant, who usually sits next to the judge, swears oaths to witnesses, marks exhibits and usually assists the judge in ensuring the smooth running of the trial. Mobile phones are not allowed in the building. Please leave them in your car. (See 41 CFR 102, 74.385 Subpart C) If you are in a courtroom, reasonable decency is expected. Do not speak during the procedure. The courtroom substitute will make announcements if necessary. Remember, our court is a very formal place; Please act appropriately. Please refrain from bringing food or beverages (including chewing gum, candy, water, etc.) into the courtrooms.
The Supreme Court first ruled in 1980 that the press and the public had the right to participate in criminal trials. The law is considered presumptuous, but not absolute. The Court did not directly consider whether the First Amendment right of access extends to the use of audio-visual equipment in the courtroom, although states may enact their own laws on the subject. This photo shows cameras in a criminal trial in Nebraska for the first time in 2008. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, courtesy of The Associated Press.) Although the Supreme Court has not yet directly addressed the issue, most federal district and district courts have ruled that the First Amendment right of access does not extend to audio-visual equipment in the courtroom. The District Court works closely with the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in the Central District of Alabama. Our Court Security Officers (CSOs) work with the USMS to protect our staff, guests and facilities in all areas of the courthouse. It is not uncommon to see both deputy marshals and civil society organizations in courtrooms and corridors.
Do not hesitate to contact the Assistant Commissioners or CSOs if you need help, have an emergency, or notice anything that worries or alarms you. You can speak to them in person, call their main office at (334) 223-7401 or contact the Clerk`s office at (334) 954-3600 to forward a message. In the Middle District of Alabama, courtroom work is facilitated by the Deputy Registrar (CRD) at the discretion of the presiding judge. Sitting directly in front of the presiding judge, the DRB will make all announcements if necessary and will generally manage all aspects of the courtrooms for their judge. When the judge or hearing officer enters the courtroom, stand up and sit down only when instructed to do so by the judge or hearing officer. Stand up when you speak to the court. Depending on the layout of each courtroom, there is a desk on the left or right for a court reporter (which is used when proceedings are not recorded electronically), desks for the presiding judge`s trainee lawyers, and the jury box. Tables for plaintiffs and defendants are located on either side of the evidence desk. The kitchen is where family, guests, media and other spectators can sit when the court is in session.
Each courtroom has dedicated spaces where all parties involved in the proceedings can be accommodated. In all cases, the judge`s bench is in the middle and the witness box is adjacent to the bench. The DRC office is located in front of the judges` bench and the evidence office in front of the DRB office. As your hearing date approaches, you may be wondering what the scenario will really look like. Who will stand next to you when you have to go to the judge? Can your friends and family come and support you? Knowing what to expect and who to invite into the courtroom can help calm you down. After all, it can be very emotionally draining to face the courtroom without any additional support. The key figures in a court case are the judge, a court reporter (at the Supreme Court), a clerk and a bailiff. Other key people are lawyers, plaintiff, defendant, witnesses, court interpreters and jurors. The judge is the central figure in the courtroom and usually sits higher than everyone else.
The judge gives each party an opportunity to present his or her side of the story. A court reporter (at the High Court), a clerk and a bailiff assist the judge during the hearing. The court reporter records all proceedings before the higher court. The Case Officer records certain activities for official records and is responsible for all exhibits. The bailiff maintains order in the court and supervises the jury, if necessary. Lawyers often represent both plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit. As judicial officials, lawyers are expected to know and abide by all the rules of the court. Their job is to protect the rights of their clients. Lawyers present evidence and arguments to help the judge and jury make a fair decision.
The judge oversees the process and rules on all legal issues that arise. Cases heard by the courts are decided either by a judge or by a jury. In most criminal and civil cases, either party may request a jury trial. In order to ensure a fair and consistent trial, all proceedings must be conducted in accordance with established rules of procedure and evidence. Court interpreters are provided for a limited number of English-speaking participants in a case. Juries are at the heart of the judicial system in the United States. In all serious criminal cases, the accused has the right to a trial by a jury representative of the accused`s community. This type of jury is a trial or small jury, but there are also grand juries. Each fulfills a specific role in the judicial system. Trial or small jury Since 1980, the names of potential jurors have been determined at random from lists of registered voters and licensed drivers 18 years of age and older.
The Supreme Court may also designate other lists of residents from which juries may be chosen. All U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years of age and reside in the jurisdiction in which they are subpoenaed are eligible for jury service. A person qualified to serve on a jury is exempted from office only if he or she has been declared mentally incapable or mentally ill, or if he or she is a convicted criminal whose civil rights have not been restored. There are no automatic excuses or exemptions from jury work. Potential jurors may be summoned by a justice of the peace, district court or the Supreme Court jury commissioner. Once selected, a prospective jury may be summoned to court for 120 days, although in some courts the time frame is shorter (e.g., one day before trial). In the higher court, a jury for a criminal case consists of 8 to 12 people, depending on the severity of the possible sentence. A unanimous decision is required. For civil cases before the higher court, the jury consists of eight persons; The approval of six members is required to render a judgment. In courts with limited jurisdiction, there are six jurors.
A verdict in criminal cases requires unanimity, and five of the six jurors must agree on a verdict in civil cases. The law accepts judgments if fewer jurors agree, if both plaintiff and defendant have already consented in a civil case. In criminal proceedings, the plaintiff, the defendant and the court may determine the number of jurors who must agree on a verdict. A Grand Jury consists of 12 to 16 citizens who have qualified for jury service in the county. As a general rule, they must be convened for a period not exceeding 120 days. A county grand jury is tasked with investigating possible public offenses, including bribery or wilful misconduct by sitting officials. To initiate criminal proceedings, the district attorney may present evidence to a grand jury and ask it to refer a criminal charge or a genuine bill formally charging someone with a crime. An indictment means that a quorum (nine members) of the grand jury believes that a crime has been committed and that there is sufficient evidence against the person to hold a trial. The powers and duties of the state grand jury are similar to those of the county grand jury, except they extend statewide. Up to three grand juries can be convened simultaneously at the state level (constituted).
The scope of state grand jury investigations is determined by law.