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Court Etiquette

EN ESPAÑOL

The Mission of the Scottsdale City Court is to provide superior customer service. In return, the Court expects all visitors to respect the Court and its employees. Below, are several things you should know before you visit the Court:
  • It is important that visitors understand the appropriate dress code for the Court. The Court is a place of business and visitors should wear clean, fitted clothes. Shirt and shoes are required. Please take your hat off before entering any courtroom.
  • All pagers and cell phones should be turned off before entering the courtroom.
  • It is also important to know that food, drink, and ALL weapons are strictly prohibited from the building. Do not attempt to bring in any prohibited items. The Court will not store prohibited items in the lobby for pick-up. Leave these items at home, or in your car.
  • The Court also asks that you be patient, as it can sometimes be very busy. Taking a number from the ticket dispenser, located in the lobby, as soon as you enter the building will ensure that you will be helped in a timely manner. Also, have all materials that you brought with you ready for the Court Service Representative.
In striving to create a user friendly and efficiently run court, a Customer Service Survey has been developed and we encourage you to fill it out before leaving the building.
People entering the courthouse must pass through a metal detector and may be subject to search. Purses, briefcases, or other containers will be required to pass through an X-ray machine and may also be subject to search. Weapons including, but not limited to, pocketknives, tools, mace, or other personal protection devices are strictly prohibited within the courthouse facility.

Court/Legal Terms

  • The Judge is the central figure in the courtroom and is generally seated higher than everyone else. The judge allows both sides the opportunity to present their version of the facts. The Judge oversees the trial and decides legal questions that arise.
  • The Courtroom Clerk/Bailiff sits at the desk to one side of the judge. The clerk is an officer of the court and records a summary of what happens in a case, orders made by the court during the trial, and the verdict at the end of the trial. The clerk may administer the oath or affirmation to jurors and all witnesses and marks all exhibits when they are received in evidence.
  • Witnesses give testimony concerning the issue being tried.
  • The Plaintiff (also called the Petitioner) is the person who submits a complaint to the court. In a criminal case, this would be the State of Arizona.
  • The Defendant (also called the Respondent) is the person against whom the complaint is brought. The defendant is the person charged with an offense.
  • Lawyer, Attorney, and Counsel are names referring to the legal representative of a party in trial.
  • The City Attorney/Prosecutor is the prosecuting officer who represents the State in criminal cases.
  • The Jury is a group of individuals from the community selected to hear evidence in a court case and decide the case based on the facts.
  • Pro per is a term derived from the Latin in propria, meaning "for one's self", used to describe a person who handles his or her own case without a lawyer. When a non-lawyer files his or her own legal papers, he or she is expected to write "in pro per" at the bottom of the heading on the first page.
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