Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
FRIEND OF THE COURT HANDBOOK - RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES
Each party has the right to:
- Expect the FOC office to perform the duties listed in this pamphlet. Duties and tasks listed as "MiCSES" or "MiSDU" are not controlled by the FOC office.
- Request the FOC office to explain its procedures.
- Be treated with courtesy by FOC employees.
- File a grievance with the FOC office concerning an employee or office procedure.
- Consult an attorney regarding questions or concerns.
Each party has the responsibility to:
- Inform the FOC, in writing, of the following information:
a. Current address
b. Current income status or source of income
c. Current children's residence
d. Current information regarding health care coverage
- Provide information to the FOC office to assist it in carrying out its duties as required by law.
- Obey all orders of the court until changed by the court.
- Keep appointments made with the FOC office, or take the time to reschedule an appointment.
- Treat the FOC employees with courtesy.
- Treat the Judge, court employees and attorneys with fairness, respect and courtesy.
- Monitor your own behavior, attitudes and comments to ensure that you do not display race, ethnic, religious affiliation or gender bias.
As a citizen using the court you have a right to:
- Be treated with fairness, respect and courtesy.
- Expect court proceedings to be conducted in an orderly manner.
- Expect un-biased treatment from Judges, court employees and attorneys.
- Object to statements or remarks made by Judges, court employees or attorneys that they feel display bias toward gender, race or sexual orientation.
- Expect that the Judges and attorneys are prepared to try your case.
- Consult with an attorney regarding a legal proceeding.
- Ask questions of your attorney before or after you appear in court. If you are representing yourself, you may ask the court for clarification on an action or procedure.
- Request that the court provide an interpreter if you are unable to communicate in English or are hearing impaired.
If You Have a Court Hearing
- Arrive at the hearing room or courtroom about 15 minutes before the scheduled time on the date of the hearing. Bring your witnesses with you to the hearing. Be prepared to spend most of the morning or afternoon in court.
- Clothing for a court appearance should be neat, clean attire suitable to a business environment. Inappropriate attire includes t-shirts with swear words, depicting violence or sexual acts, promoting drug or alcohol use; halter/tank tops; muscle shirts; undergarments worn as outer garments; shorts; jeans or cut-off jeans; baggy pants which fall below the hips; micro-mini skirts; clothing with holes/patches that are part of the design or construction of the garment; exercise or sportswear; and hats (except those worn for religious purposes). If the Referee/Judge decides that attire is inappropriate for court appearances, the offending person may be asked to leave the court and return in more appropriate attire.