Court Conduct & Dress Code
Court is held on the third Wednesday of each month unless your citation states otherwise (holiday scheduling). Your first appearance in court is to determine your plea.
If you plead
nolo contendere (no contest), you will also waive your non-jury and jury trial options. You will then speak with the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want to be considered when determining your fine amount. The judge is not required to reduce your fine.
Upon entering a
not guilty plea, you will be required to attend a pre-trial conference with the city prosecutor. The court will schedule your trial either by jury or before the judge. If you do, the trial will be before the judge.
Pre-trial conferences are typically held the same day as the initial court appearance.
Judge Richard Cope, Jr. strictly enforces a proper dress code in Court. The following clothing articles are prohibited: shorts (any kind), hats (all types except religious headwear), muscle shirts and tank tops, torn clothing, flip-flops, and any item of clothing that displays offensive, vulgar, racist, sexist, gang-related, obscene language and/or graphics. Cell phones need to be on vibrate or silent mode during court and may never be used to take pictures or video in the courtroom. No chewing gum is allowed. No weapons of any kind are allowed in the courtroom, including but not limited to guns and/or holsters, knives, mace, scissors or medical tools, glass objects or containers, sharp objects (including tweezers, screwdrivers, knitting needles, etc.). Please note that you will pass through building security, including metal detectors upon entry to the building. This could include random searches of strollers, bags, purses, briefcases and any other personal items as required by security personnel. These security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all persons who enter the courthouse.