Courtroom Code of Conduct
DESMOND’S ARMY IS A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE CONDUCT OURSELVES IN AN ORDERLY AND PROFESSIONAL MANNER AT ALL TIMES.
BEFORE COURT IS IN SESSION
- Always wear your Desmond’s Army gear. If you don’t have it, please wear a dark purple top. Dress appropriately for a professional and respectful appearance in the courtroom.
- No offensive language in public or on signs.
- Protest peacefully and somewhat quietly.
- Do not harass the defendant or his/her council as they enter the courthouse.
- Appoint a spokesperson to speak to the media should we be asked to make a statement.
- Put signage away before going inside. Some courts allow us to leave signs inside the door with wording facing the wall. Ask a marshal if you are unsure.
ONCE INSIDE THE COURTHOUSE LOBBY
- Speak quietly.
- DO NOT SPEAK TO OR HARASS THE DEFENDANT.
- NO PHOTOS are to be taken inside the courthouse.
- Do not block hallways, doorways, etc.
ONCE INSIDE THE COURTROOM
- Sit on the side of the courtroom behind the prosecution’s table (if you know which side that is – usually the right side)
- DO NOT SIT NEXT TO THE DEFENDANT.
- Turn phones off or to silent BEFORE going into the courtroom. Do not use phones while in the courtroom.
- Be quiet and stop talking once the judge enters.
- Be respectful, do not put your feet up, slouch or stare at the defendant.
- Remain quiet after the case is heard – wait for defendant to leave, then exit the courtroom quietly. Do not interrupt while a case is being heard.
- Remain quiet in the hallway and until you exit the building.
- If the advocate or prosecutor asks to speak to a DA member, please do not gather around unless invited. Allow them to speak together and wait for the DA representative to update you.