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Tips on Preparing the Day Before Your Hearing

Do's

  • Do be on time.  Early is better.
  • Do give proper notice when filing a document with the court.  Follow the rules when mailing or handing something to the court.
  • Do prepare a notebook or file, keep everything related to your case.  Always keep good notes.
  • Do bring extra copies of any documents so that you can give them to the judge and the other side.
  • Do confirm that any witnesses will attend and know the correct time and place.
  • Do plan on having someone else drive if you have a suspended license.  Someone will notice.
  • Do keep the court informed of changes in your contact information during your case. (When you move or change your phone number.)
  • Do call the Clerk's office for information on your case. You will need to have your name and that of the opposing party and the case number ready. Don't call the judge directly.
  • Do familiarize yourself with the rules of the court. This includes rules about parking and other incidentals, like cell phone usage.

Don'ts

  • Don't postpone answering notices from the court - Answer Now .
  • Don’t memorize answers to questions you expect to be asked. It will show and seem unnatural.  Others may not believe you. You may forget what you planned to say.
  • Don’t lie about anything, not even white (small) lies. If you are discovered to be lying, the judge may find it hard to believe you when you are telling the truth.
  • Don't bring sharp metal objects. You will go through a metal detector. Here is a sample list of objects NOT to bring with you:
    • Knives, including a Swiss army knife or other weapon-life object
    • Knitting Needles
    • Scissors
    • Firearms
    • Illegal Drugs
    • Many courts do not allow cell phones or camera. Look up the cell phone policy for your court.
  • Don't fax documents to the Court. You must file documents in person (make sure you request a receipt). You can also have someone else take them into the court to file. You may also send the document to the clerk via the U.S. postal service.
  • Don’t ignore “interrogatories” (written lists of questions from the other side).
Source: 
A special project of the Eastern Shore Regional Library under a Library Services Technology Act grant from the Division of Library Development Services/MD State Department of Education (author: Ayn H. Crawley).
Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”