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Court Procedures and Information:*


  • Dress appropriately for court.  Do not wear hats, t-shirts, halter tops, shorts, or torn jeans.  Be certain that your clothing is neat and clean.
  • Bring all court notices and necessary paperwork with you to court.
  • You need to be on time for court.  Failure to appear in a timely manner may result in a warrant for your arrest or other court orders against you.
  • Arrive at the courthouse 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled court time.  You will need this time to clear security and locate your courtroom.
  • Free parking is available at some courthouses but not others, so plan accordingly.
  • Be sure to make arrangements for the care of young children.  Child care services are available only at the Garrahy Judicial Complex and the Kent Court County Courthouse.  Parents or caretakers must bring photo identification.
  • Upon entering the courthouse, you will be greeted and screened by the Capitol Police.  Be prepared to clear security.  Do not bring weapons into the courthouse.  You will have to pass through a metal detector.  You may be asked to empty your pockets and to remove your belt and/or shoes.
  • Do not bring food or drinks into the courthouse.
  • Cameras or other recording devices are not allowed in the courthouse without prior permission.
  • General information booths are located on the first floor of each courthouse.  This is where you can obtain information to assist you in locating your assigned courtroom. Information is also available at the Clerk's Office for each court.
  • Turn off all pagers and cell phones upon entering your assigned courtroom.
  • Sit and wait quietly in the courtroom until your case is called.  Do not talk, chew gum, read a book, or newspaper.  Watch and observe.
  • Please note that some Family Court hearings are confidential and are closed proceedings.  You may be asked to leave the courtroom.
  • Address the judge as "Your Honor" or "Judge" and stand when speaking to the judge.  Do not approach the judge.
  • Your case may not be heard and finished in one day.  It may need to be continued or postponed.  You may need to return to court on several occasions before your case is concluded.
  • Be prepared to pay filing fees if you are filing a petition or a complaint.
  • Be prepared to pay court fines when ordered to do so.
  • If you do not speak fluent English and need an interpreter, please call the court where your case will be heard, prior to your scheduled court date.
  • If you have a disability and are in need of information regarding access to the courthouse, please call the court where your case will be heard prior to your scheduled court date.
  • If you are in need of a sign language interpreter, please call the Court Clerk's Office before your scheduled hearing to make these arrangements.
  • If you cannot use the elevator, ask the Capitol Police for directions to the stairway.


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*Information obtained from Rhode Island Bar Association

© 2006 Jeffrey C. Blake, Attorney at Law, 1143 Main Street, PO Box 782, Wyoming, Rhode Island 02898

Telephone: 401.539.8712  Fax:  401.753.6648 eMail: