This information is provided as a courtesy for visitors to the Smith County courthouse and other county buildings. The information contained herein is not intended to conflict with established rules of any individual court or county office. In the event of a conflict, the established rules of the individual court or county office take precedence.
RULES OF DECORUM
Each court may have its own rules for courtroom conduct. This information is intended to prepare visitors for typical rules that may be common to all courts.
The following information may not apply in the central jury room which is the general assembly room for all jurors. Vending machines are provided within the central jury room. Please follow the specific instructions given to you by court personnel.
If you are selected for jury duty, typical courtroom rules are as follows:
- No tobacco use;
- No chewing gum or candy;
- No reading of newspapers or magazines while court is in session;
- No bottles, cups, or beverage containers except water pitchers and cups used by jurors or court personnel and participants;
- No edibles of any kind;
- No propping of feet on tables or chairs;
- No noise or talking that interferes with court proceedings, including but not limited to cellular phones and digital pagers.
- Dress appropriately for court. Typical court rules prohibit the following attire: shorts, capri pants, tank tops, mini-skirts, or inappropriate t-shirts.
- Men should remove hats or ball caps before entering the courtroom.
The following items are not allowed in the Smith County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, or other county buildings:
- Knives (Pocket knives, dinner knives, etc.)
- Blades (Scissors, glass scrapers, box cutters, etc.)
- Defensive Sprays (Mace, Pepper Spray, etc.)
- Electronic Shock Devices (Tasers, Stun-guns, etc.)
- Tools (Screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.)
- Any object with a sharp point (forks, combs, etc.)
- Any object not mentioned here that is deemed inappropriate or dangerous by a staff member or law enforcement officer of that building.
WARNING: Any object may potentially be deemed as a prohibited item by security. You may not leave prohibited items with security personnel. All weapons, illegal items, and suspected stolen property carried into a county building will be confiscated by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and may be used in further investigations. If you have any of these items in your possession, please return them to your vehicle.
Any person showing a deliberate, reckless, or negligent disregard for safety or instructions given by Sheriff’s Deputies or Staff Members will be subject to Texas Penal Code Section 30.05 (Criminal Trespass) and will be removed from the property regardless of purpose of entry.
Video surveillance, metal detection devices, body scanners and other security devices are in use in and around all county facilities to ensure security of staff, participants, and visitors.
All persons and property entering county facilities are subject to search and will be required to proceed through security checkpoints (with law enforcement approval) as a condition of entry.
Smith County Sheriff Deputies are in charge of security. Any verbal or physical resistance, attempts to enter with prohibited or illegal items, or failure to pass through security checkpoints (with law enforcement approval) may result in refusal of admittance to county facilities and/or criminal prosecution.