Bring the needed items
- one copy of your court documents
- a copy of your Affidavit of Service (if you filed one)
- a pen and paper to take notes
Wear proper clothing
- dress like you’re going to a job interview
- don’t wear a hat
- arrive half an hour early to your court appearance
- give yourself extra time, especially if you need to file documents with a court clerk
- check in with the court clerk before court begins
Go through security
- enter the courthouse through its airport-like security station, which is manned by sheriffs
Note: Sheriffs can assist you if you’re concerned about your safety.
Find your courtroom
- check that your name is on the electronic display or the paper outside the courtroom
- speak to a court clerk if you aren’t sure which courtroom you’re in
Follow basic courtroom process
- when your matter is called, go to the front of the courtroom and sit at one of the tables
- the other party or their lawyer will sit on the other side of the courtroom
- when you talk to the judge, stand at the podium in the middle of the room
- if you don’t understand what the judge has ordered, ask them to explain
Show respect in the courtroom
- in the Provincial Court, call the judge “Your Honour”
- in the Court of Queen’s Bench or Court of Appeal:
- if the judge is a woman, call her “My Lady,” “Madam Justice” or “Ma’am”
- if the judge is a man, call him “My Lord,” “Mr. Justice” or “Sir”
- don’t argue with the judge
- don’t talk during a session
- be respectful to the other party and others in the courtroom
- turn off all electronic devices
- don’t bring children
- don’t eat or chew gum
- enter or leave quietly during a session
Note: A sheriff will remove anyone from the courtroom who’s aggressive toward or threatens others. A session may still be recorded after the judge leaves the courtroom.
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