So you think you know all there is to know about Courthouse Security?
It used to be easy. With time to spare, you would hustle out the door toward the local courthouse clerk’s window in time to file that five-pound baby pleading for your attorney. You know, the one that has to be done before the end of the day. And bing bang bong, you’d be done.
Banking on past experience, you pack up your brief, your service copies, your parking fare and rush out the door. Plenty of time, you think. But think again. If you haven’t been to court for a while, their rules could have changed for what is allowed through the door. Local jurisdictions vary, which adds to the fun. Be sure to check with the court’s website to see what those rules are.
They can be confusing. Some courts allow phones in the door and some confiscate them. Some courts tell you to take the phones and electronic devices back to the car. And then there are the humane middle of the road courts that allow the guards to hold your electronic gear until you are finished with the clerks’ office. All of this takes time.
It also takes time to get through the metal detectors. Why? Because of field trips from local schools. I recently went to court and got caught up in a crush of kids from one of the schools.
Fifty high school students, no teachers in evidence and a few courthouse locals and me. Joy, joy, What normally would have taken five minutes to get through took 15 minutes and a few sharp elbows with one of the other folks caught up in the stream. All the aerobic exercise of a health club and none of the fees.
So stay aware of these unstated rules and avoid any delay in making your filings. As you run out the door of the attorneys’ office to the court, make sure you have your brief, your service copies, your parking fee, and most important, your sense of humor.
You are going to need it.