What should I do on the day of the hearing?

  • Be on time.
  • Have your witnesses there and ready.
  • If you have subpoenaed witnesses and they are not come, you should let the judge know.
  • Dress neatly.
  • Speak directly to the judge; he or she will understand if you feel nervous.
  • Always address the judge as “Your Honor.”
  • Be prepared to spend all day in court. (There may be hearings before yours.)
  • If your abuser comes to court with a lawyer and you don’t have one, ask the judge for a “continuance” so you can look for a lawyer.
  • Once your case is called, enter the courtroom and find a seat. It is your right to take another seat if the abuser sits next to you, and to receive help from court staff in keeping the abuser away from you.
  • Stand when the judge enters and sit when the judge or bailiff asks you to.
  • Relax and remain calm.
  • Take deep breaths if you feel yourself getting tense. Never lose your temper in the courtroom.
  • Always tell the truth.
  • If you don’t understand a question, just say so.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say so. Never make up an answer.

Atlanta Victim Assistance, Inc. does not discriminate against or harass any employee, applicant for employment or any potential recipient of services because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.

© 2017