Thursday, December 19, 2019


Law enforcement and the Courts maintain a working relationship, each entity rely on the other so that each can be effective in maintaining order in society. All LEOs will attend court proceedings, majority will do so on the regular basis for the duration of their careers. In fact, it will get to a point where both the judges and lawyers know the officers through name and reputation. Not all officers have a good reputation, however all officers will attend court at least once in their career. 

That being said, the topic of discussion today will be that of court proceedings. Specifically, I will taking you through a normal court day of a Law enforcement officer. 

The courts maintain a docket list of all the cases that need to be heard for the day, each case when submitted is assigned to a specific court and given a number assignment. Majority of cases are heard in General District Court, this can be both criminal and traffic related incidents. 

General District Court is open to the public unless otherwise stated by the judge. When the case involves families, juveniles, or an incident that is sensitive in nature it will moved to the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court.

Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court is not open to the public and are heard with only those essential in the courtroom. 

Last but not least, there is Circuit Court that takes place usually in another part of the building separate from General District and Juvenile & Domestic Courts. Circuit Court is the big one, jury trials, grand juries, etc. are held here. In addition to that, when someone appeals a case from General District or Juvenile & Domestic Relations it goes up the chain to the Circuit Court for further review. 

All of these courts have judges in them and decisions are made every day in their courtrooms. This is just a general overview of the system to assist with understanding how the courts work and how LEOs respond to court.

Law enforcement officers are issued or are able to designate court dates in reference to hearing cases that they investigate. Both criminal and traffic related offenses requiring court are assigned a specific day to be utilized by the LEO during the appropriate times. LEOs are given days for both General District and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court and must attend court on their designated days or they attend when they are subpoenaed to do so by the court requiring their attendance.

So on a designated court day, the LEO will respond to the courthouse in reference to attending all the cases he/she are involved with that are being heard that day. This usually is a combination of criminal and traffic offenses in both General District Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. 

If two cases are being heard at the same time the courts have set up a system to allow the LEO to attend both upon notification to the designated courtroom and the judges overseeing the case being heard. Upon completion of the court day, the LEO usually goes home, but on some days he/she returns to normal duty for the duration of the tour. 

Again, this is a general overview of the system but it should serve its intention of allowing for understanding of what a normal day is like for LEOs attending court when required to do so. 

Balancing Court & Law Enforcement Actions…