Criminal Practice Guidelines

I. General

  1. All persons shall show respect for the law, parties, counsel, deputies, and staff.
  2. During trials, pleas or other business will be conducted during breaks and/or at lunch.

II. Continuances

  1. Defendants must appear in person to execute a continuance with their counsel. We do not accept electronic motions for continuance.
  2. If there is a conflict with a court date please contact the prosecutor’s office prior to contacting the Court about appearing to execute a continuance.
  3. The bailiff or assignment will provide a court date after the continuance is executed.

III. Motions and Memoranda

  1. All motions should be accompanied by a separate proposed entry. Such proposed entry shall be prepared in Word and uploaded in the e-filing system.

IV. Trial Procedures

  1. Trials commence at 9:00 a.m. A request for a jury panel will not be called until the arrival of all parties and confirmation that the defendant is dressed appropriately. Generally, the Court will recess for the day at 5:00 p.m. however, these hours may be altered to accommodate jurors and witnesses’ schedules. Once a jury is sworn, we make it a priority to move trials to completion.
  2. Proposed jury instructions should be submitted to defense counsel and to the Court’s bailiff and staff attorney by no later than the second day of trial. Prior to opening statements, the Court gives an oral charge to orient jurors to their role. The final jury charge is submitted to each juror in writing in all cases.
  3. Challenges for cause and preemptory challenges are exercised outside the presence of the jury.
  4. Stipulations should be presented as early as possible during trial to minimize confusion and avoid unnecessary questioning thereafter.
  5. Juror note-taking is permitted.
  6. Questions from jurors during trial are not permitted.
  7. Counsel is expected to remain available on a ten (10) minute’s notice during jury deliberations and should provide contact information to the bailiff.