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Observe Court

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COURT TOURS - JOURNEY THROUGH JUSTICE:
Take a Closer Look at Your Court System

Cloaked in robes and steeped in rituals, the judiciary is the least known and almost always the least understood branch of government. Through courthouse tours, visitors gain direct access to justice. With direct access comes increased public awareness and understanding of the impact the judicial system can have on the lives of citizens from all walks of life – from students to visiting dignitaries.

“Journey through Justice” is geared for students beginning at 4th grade. Last year, almost 30% of the tours conducted were for public schools. Staff also conducted tours for private schools, technical colleges and professional organizations and visiting dignitaries. Tours are organized according to the group needs. Because staff have other responsibilities, one week notice is required to organize the tour.

To request a tour, submit a court tour request form
or for more information contact Tracy Wells, Court Operations Consultant, at (813)-972-5368 or e-mail wellstb@fljud13.org.

 

POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE TOUR

  • Meet judges, attorneys and court staff
  • Learn about courthouse history and George Edgecomb
  • Observe court in session and see how conflicts are resolved
  • See different career opportunities in the justice system
  • Check out how technology is used in Preliminary Presentations Court
  • Visit a Holding Cell

COURTROOM ETIQUETTE

Before taking a tour, it is important to understand courthouse etiquette. Educators are encouraged to talk to students about these “courthouse do’s and don’ts” prior to their tour. Please read the below list or let Gary the Gavel explain them. Click here to view proper Courtroom Behavior with Gary the Gavel.
• DO dress neatly.
• DON’T bring food or beverages into a courtroom.
• DON’T bring cameras or tape recorders (we can take a picture for you!)
• DON’T chew gum in the courtroom.
• DO turn pagers and cellular telephones off while visiting the courthouse.
• DO speak softly and maintain a professional demeanor in the hallways.
• DO be respectful to the judge; address him or her as “your honor” or “judge.”
• DON’T speak in the courtroom during a court proceeding (blend in with the furniture).
• DON’T leave the courtroom while a witness is on the stand. Wait until there is a break.
• When there is no action in the courtroom, leave quickly and quietly. DON’T talk until the door is closed and your group is outside the courtroom.
• DON’T talk about court cases in the hallway because there may be jurors, attorneys or parties that may hear information from you that they are not allowed to hear.

COURT TOUR FAQs

Where are courthouse tours conducted?
George Edgecomb Courthouse,
800 E. Twiggs Street
Tampa, Florida

How many individuals may I have in a visiting group?
The Courthouse Tour Program can best accommodate between 10 and 40 individuals.

How may I arrange a tour for my group?
Contact Tracy Wells, Court Operations Consultant, at (813) 272-5368, or submit form
.

Who may participate in the Courthouse Tour Program?
The Courthouse Tour Program is designed to accommodate school-aged children (4th-12 grades), college students, technical students, professional organizations and visiting dignitaries from foreign countries.

Is there a cost to participate?
No. Tours are provided free of charge.

Do you arrange transportation?
No. Transportation arrangements, including costs, need to be coordinated by the group.

Do you arrange for lunch or snacks?
No. Lunch or snack arrangements need to be made by the group and must take place before or after the scheduled tour.

How long is a court tour?
Tours are usually scheduled in the mornings and last two hours.