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Chapter 4 - Hearings Before the Immigration Judges

4.12 - Courtroom Decorum

(a) Addressing the Immigration Judge — The immigration judge should be addressed as either “Your Honor” or “Judge __.”  See Chapter 4.3 (References to Parties and the Immigration Judge).  The parties should stand when the immigration judge enters and exits the courtroom.

          (b) Attire — All persons appearing in the immigration court should respect the decorum of the court.  Practitioners should appear in business attire.  All others should appear in proper attire.

          (c) Conduct — All persons appearing in the immigration court should respect the dignity of the proceedings.  No food or drink may be brought into the courtroom, except as specifically permitted by the immigration judge.  Disruptive behavior in the courtroom or waiting area is not tolerated.

          (1) Communication between the parties — Except for questions directed at witnesses, parties should not converse, discuss, or debate with each other or another person during a hearing.  All oral argument and statements made during a hearing must be directed to the immigration judge.  Discussions that are not relevant to the proceedings should be conducted outside the courtroom.

          (2) Practitioners — Practitioners should observe the professional conduct rules and regulations of their licensing authorities.  Practitioners should present a professional demeanor at all times.

          (3) Minors — Children in removal proceedings must attend all scheduled hearings unless their appearance has been waived by the immigration judge.  Unless participating in a hearing, children should not be brought to the immigration court.  If a child disrupts a hearing, the hearing may be postponed with the delay attributed to the party who brought the child.  Children are not allowed to stay in the waiting area without supervision.

          For immigration courts in Department of Homeland Security detention facilities or federal, state, or local correctional facilities, the facility’s rules regarding the admission of children, practitioners, witnesses, and family members will apply in addition to this subsection.  See Chapter 4.14 (Access to Court).