WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ATTENDING A COURT HEARING IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY COURT HOUSE

There are a few things you need to be aware of to prepare yourself for attending a Court hearing in the Prince William County Court House.

Location
The Court house is located at:
9311 Lee Avenue
Third Floor
Manassas, VA 20110

When Should I Arrive To The Court House For My Hearing?
Plan to arrive approximately 15-20 minutes before your hearing to find parking, get through security, and locate your Court room and your lawyer. There is usually at least one person who attempts to enter the Court house with something they shouldn’t such as a cell phone, and it holds up everyone else who is in line. There is a cafeteria in the basement of the courthouse so you can get breakfast or coffee if you arrive too early.

Parking
To access a map of where parking spaces are located, https://www.pwcgov.org/government/courts/circuit/Pages/Judicial-Complex-Parking.aspx>click here
The juror parking lot and the two parking lots right in front of the courthouse fill up very quickly, so be sure to arrive with enough extra time to locate a parking spot and walk a few minutes to the Court house.

Restrictions
Prince William County Court house restricts what items may be brought into the Court house and Court rooms. Be sure to leave food, your cell phone, cameras, and any weapons you may carry in your car. They will not allow you to enter into the Court house with these items and there are no lockers available to store these items in. Court security will be force you to return to your car to store the restricted items there.

How To Enter The Court House Efficiently
To get through Court house security as efficiently as possible, avoid wearing things with metal on them, like a watch, a belt buckle or boots with metal accents, as it will set off the security alarms and increase the time it takes to get through security.

What Is The Dress Code?
If you are appearing to file a document with the Clerk of Court, you may dress casually. Should you choose dress casually, your clothing should not be revealing or display profanity. If you are attending a Court hearing, you should dress like you are going to an interview. It is not appropriate to wear revealing clothing such as shorts, miniskirts, or spaghetti strap tank tops.

How Long Should I Expect to be in Court?
Plan to spend most of the day in the Court house; arrange for childcare or pet care as necessary, and be sure to take the entire day off of work.

Who May Attend Court Hearings?
Anyone may attend Court hearings, even if they are not a party named in the case. If the Court room becomes too crowded, security will ask that any parties present for moral support wait outside the Court room.

What Should I Expect At My Court Hearing?

Your attorney will discuss what will happen at your particular hearing with you in advance of the hearing. There are many types of Court hearings, and the possibilities of outcomes are nearly endless. Attorneys may not select what Judge hears your case, and as such, they cannot guarantee a result because every Judge will view each set of circumstances in their own unique manner. Be prepared to leave the Court house without a complete resolution, with a poor resolution, or with a great resolution.

Court Room Etiquette
When attending a Court hearing, keep the following in mind:

  • Food and drink are not permitted in Court rooms; there is a café on the lowest level of the Court house where parties may obtain refreshments when the Court breaks for lunch.
  • All individuals present in a Court room should be as quiet and polite as possible, only speaking loudly when their case is called.
  • Should a party have a question for their lawyer as they await the Judge to call their case, they may whisper the question to their lawyer. If in close proximity of the opposing party, any sensitive questions should be withheld or communicated by writing on a note pad to their lawyer.
  • Everyone should be seated in a respectful manner, sitting upright with good posture.
  • When a case is called, lawyers will step forward and indicate to their clients if they should step forward as well.
  • If a party to a case is on the witness stand for questioning, they should answer the lawyer’s questions as concisely as possible, and speak to the Judge when providing an answer. Parties may not ask Judges questions from the witness stand.
  • No one may directly approach the Judge’s desk without permission.
  • Each party to the case will have a turn to speak as indicated by the Judge; they may not speak freely.
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