Court Etiquette and Security
Pursuant to San Benito Rule of Court 2.6, all persons present before the Court are required to dress and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the traditional dignity of the Court and the judicial process. The bailiffs of the Court are to remove any person violating this rule.
No person shall appear in Court barefoot, shirtless, wearing a tank top, wearing sunglasses, or dressed in any manner reflecting poorly upon the dignity of the Court and its decorum.
Mouth and nose coverings to prevent the spread of contagious diseases (e.g. surgical masks) are allowed in courtrooms. Other types of masks (e.g. Halloween masks, full-face masks, or masks covering the upper portion of the face) are prohibited in courtrooms.
Pursuant to San Benito Rule of Court 2.6:
- All electronic devices (such as cell phones and computers) must be silenced at all times within a courtroom;
- No electronic device may be used to photograph, record, or broadcast in a courtroom without the prior permission of the judge or commissioner;
- No person may handle an electronic device in a courtroom in any way that suggests that a photograph or other recording is being taken.
A judge or commissioner may regulate the use of electronic devices in his or her courtroom. By way of example, a judge or commissioner may, for a specific hearing or trial:
- Prohibit some or all electronic devices, or
- Require that some or all electronic devices be turned.
All persons entering (or re-entering) the courthouse, and all personal belongings carried into the courthouse, shall undergo security screening procedures. Security screening includes metal detection, x-ray equipment, visual inspection, and other procedures.
Watches, phones, keys, hats, coats, and other loose items must be placed in the scanning bins. Rings and small necklaces do not need to be removed. If screening equipment is triggered, security personnel may hand wand the area in the zones indicated by the equipment.
Any person refusing to undergo security screening, or who fails to comply with the lawful order of security personnel, may be refused entry into, or required to leave, the courthouse.
The following items are prohibited in the courthouse:
- Aerosol and flammable sprays (including mace and pepper spray)
- Animals (except service animals)
- Belt buckles resembling or containing firearms and other weapons
- Bicycles, bicycle parts, rollerblades, skates, skateboards, and scooters
- Box cutters, razors, razor blades, and any bladed device or device with sharp edges or points
- Ceramic and glass containers
- Cigarette lighters, gas lighters, matches, any device that emits a flame, and lighter fluid
- Electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and similar devices
- Explosives and explosive devices
- Flashlights (longer than 3” in length)
- Graffiti tools and large marking pens
- Handcuffs and handcuff keys
- Harmful biological and chemical materials
- Illegal narcotics and controlled substances
- Knitting and crochet needles
- Knives (including pocket knives)
- Laser pointers
- Manicure sets, metal nail files, and nail clippers
- Martial arts equipment of any kind
- Metal hair picks, pointed metal combs, and ice picks
- Metal and studded belts
- Metal utensils (knives, forks, spoons, corkscrews)
- Replicas of firearms and weapons of any sort
- Rope (longer than 2” in length)
- Safety pins (larger than 2” in length)
- Sporting equipment
- Stun guns and tasers
- Swords and cane swords
- Weapons or items that can be used as a weapon (at the discretion of Sheriff and security personnel)
Certain exemptions are applicable to law enforcement personnel, security personnel, and attorneys.