Going to court
Will I have to go to Court?
It is not always necessary to go to Court to attend hearings (for divorce matters), e.g., Decree Nisi – this hearing is for the Judge and is an administrative hearing.
For all other hearings, unless you have specifically been excused attendance by the Judge, you will have to go.
Where do I go when I arrive at Court?
Whichever Court you go to, inform the security staff why you are at Court and they will direct you to the appropriate waiting area. We have maps for different Courts that we can give to you.
Will I be by myself or will somebody be there to support me?
Whether you are in receipt of public funding or are paying privately, you will be represented by your solicitor or a barrister. If you have a barrister at Court, it is usual for a member of our staff to attend Court to take notes of the hearing and to offer support to you.
What will I have to do at Court?
This depends on the type of hearing. You may simply need to give your instructions to the person representing you so that they can negotiate with the other side.
Alternatively, if it is a final hearing, you may need to give evidence and be crossexamined. However, if this is the case your solicitor will advise you with regard to what you can expect so that you can prepare yourself for the hearing.
Can I leave the Court building?
If your matter breaks for lunch then the Judge will “release” you until a certain time. Please make sure that you return to the Court building in plenty of time so that the matter can continue as scheduled without any delay.
Can I smoke at Court?
If you smoke, please make sure that your legal representative knows where you are going and how long you are likely to be.
Please ask the security staff at the Court to direct you to where you are allowed to smoke.
Allowable smoking places will not always be just outside the front door and you may have to go around the side of the building.
In some cases you may need to go off site completely.
Can I eat and drink at Court?
Some Court buildings have canteen facilities. Those that do not, allow you to take your own food and drink
However, no food or drink will be allowed inside the Court Room.
Can I take my mobile phone or laptop to Court?
You can take your mobile phone or laptop to Court.
If you are allowed to take your mobile phone or laptop into the building past security, please make sure that they are turned off before you go into the Court Room.
How long will I be at Court for?
Your matter will be listed at a certain time and will have a time estimate for how long the matter will take.
However, please ensure that the whole day is kept free. Going to Court is very much like going to hospital – you cannot tell exactly when you will be seen or how long it will take! It often depends on what other hearings are listed that day.
If you have any questions or need any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.