Courtwatches are a vital tool for securing professional conduct in the courtroom! Judges, lawyers and other professionals perform on their “best behavior” when faced with several citizens neatly dressed with similar attire (white tops), sporting badges like the one here, pens and clipboards at the ready. Use the instructions below to create your own courtwatch; for more information, go to Family Court Terms or Helpful Hints for Pro se Litigants.
Volunteer Instructions for Court Watch
- Wear a white top.
- Wear a COURT WATCH badge; if you don’t have one, make one using a name tag, or just plain paper pinned to your top. Or you may print the tag at the top.
- Take notes; these can be straight reporting, or they can be filled out using the link to a form we create specific to that court hearing. Alternately, you can fill out our generic online form: FACTS Court Watch Report Form.
- The day before, double check that the hearing is still scheduled. For this reason, it is very important that all courtwatchers, confirmed and tentative, have the phone number of the litigant involved or her/his associate (lawyer, friend, etc.), and that the litigant have their phone numbers.
- It might be wise to bring a sweater in case the room is too cold.
- Above all, present a dignified, silent presence in the courtroom. Courtwatchers need to be taken seriously. This means no “making faces”, chewing gum, or other inappropriate actions. If you must communicate with a courtwatcher sitting nearby, do so by writing notes, NOT whispering.