It’s always good to make a good impression when going into a Florida Family Law Court, and one of the best ways to make a good impression is to follow proper etiquette. Fortunately, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit has published its Rules of Etiquette for Family Law cases in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto Counties:
1. Be aware that the judges, general magistrates, hearing officers, or any other court personnel cannot give you legal advice. You may only obtain legal advice from an attorney. You may obtain general information from the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s website at www.jud12.flcourts.org.
2. Arrive at least twenty (20) minutes before your hearing is scheduled to begin. There are unpredictable times when legal emergencies pressure the court to begin as early as possible. You should know that a judge may also dismiss your case if you are not present at the scheduled time.
3. All persons appearing before the court must dress in an appropriate manner. Shorts, hats, flip-flops, jeans, sneakers, tee shirts, and tank tops are not suitable for the courtroom.