FAQ - Court Appearance / Bailiff
Anything else I should know?
Always arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled court time. This allows for time to find parking, move through the security check point, wait for elevators, and find your courtroom. Smoking inside the building will NOT be tolerated. Individuals caught smoking in the bathrooms are subject to prosecution for violation of the city ordinance. Designated smoking areas are available outside the front doors. Food and drinks are not allowed inside the courtrooms. There is a phone available inside the Bailiff's office on the 4th floor for public use. Only local calls are permitted, and there is a 2 minute time limit on the phone. Please adhere to this limit.
Are children allowed into the courthouse?
Bringing children to the courthouse (especially small children, infants, and toddlers) is discouraged because of the uncertain amount of time spent in court. Children get bored, impatient, and want to move around, so they tend to be disruptive in the courthouse. It is advised to make arrangements for someone to care for your child. The only exceptions are if the child is required to be seen in court, such as a juvenile matter, teen court, truancy, etc.
How long will court last?
It is hard to say when a particular court docket will end. Judges work at their own pace, so it is always a good idea to plan to be there for the entire day. Make sure your place of employment and child care arrangements are aware of this.
I have a subpoena or summon to appear in court. Where do I go and where do I park?
It is important to always keep court summons or subpoenas as this will help the staff to direct those who are lost. If summons or subpoenas are misplaced, please report to the second floor Clerk of Court office. There is metered parking surrounding the courthouse, but they are limited to a first-come, first-served basis and have a time limit. Public parking is also available in the parking tower on Buchanan Street. It is operated by the Lafayette Consolidated Government and costs are subject to change. It currently costs approximately 25 cents per fifteen minutes, or $2.50 for the day. Be aware that the garage will close at 8:00 PM, and if court runs late, your car will remain there overnight. Please do NOT park in any of the private parking lots located adjacent to the district courthouse. You WILL be towed in these areas.
I saw a friend of mine who is an offender. Why can't I talk to him/her?
Due to security issues, civilians must not attempt conversation or contact with inmates when they are being escorted into or out of a courtroom or the courthouse. They should also refrain from signaling, speaking, or communicating with inmates in court. Also, when deputies are moving inmates to elevators, always allow them the right of way. Non-offenders are not permitted to ride the elevator if offenders are aboard it.
What should I wear to court?
Pants, not shorts, must be worn. Women may wear knee-length dresses or skirts
Pants must be worn at the proper waist level with a belt and must not be baggy
Clothing must not contain vulgarity, drug promotion, or violent images/words
Men may not wear head covers, hats, or doo-rags. However, women are allowed to wear hats or head coverings, but they will be asked at security check points to remove them and are subject to search
Why can't I bring my cell phone in? Why do I have to empty my pockets?
Cellular phones with cameras on them are not allowed in by the general public. Regular cameras, recorders, weapons of any kind, sharp implements such as nail files or hair pick combs, etc. are also prohibited. Those entering the building are required to remove belts, jewelry, hats, and sometimes even shoes (especially boots with steel toes or metal pieces). Please be aware that anything metal will set off the detectors. This procedure is instrumental in keeping the District Courthouse a safe place.