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Chapter 4 - Hearings Before the Immigration Judges

4.14 - Access to Court

(a) Security Screening  

          (1) All immigration courts — All immigration courts require individuals attending a hearing to pass through security screening prior to entering the court.  All individuals attending a hearing should be mindful that they may encounter delays in passing through the security screening.

          (2) Detention facilities — For hearings held in Department of Homeland Security detention facilities or federal, state, or local correctional facilities, compliance with additional security restrictions may be required.  For example, individuals may be required to obtain advance clearance to enter the facility.  In addition, cellular telephones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices are not allowed at some of these facilities.  All persons attending a hearing at such a facility should be aware of the security restrictions in advance.  Such individuals should contact the immigration court or the detention facility in advance if they have specific questions related to these restrictions.

          (3) Timeliness required — Respondents, practitioners, and witnesses must always be present in the courtroom at the time the hearing is scheduled.  This applies regardless of any delays encountered in complying with the mandatory security screening and, if the hearing is held at a detention facility, with any additional security restrictions.  See Chapter 4.8 (Attendance).

          (b) No Access to Administrative Offices — Access to each immigration court’s administrative offices is limited to immigration court staff and other authorized personnel.  Parties appearing in immigration court or conducting business with the immigration court are not allowed access to telephones, photocopying machines, or other equipment within the immigration court’s administrative offices.