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Each courtroom is staffed with personnel. In addition to the judge hearing your case, there are one or more court clerks, several uniformed court officers, an official court reporter, and an official court interpreter.

The court clerk sits at a desk in the well of the court. He or she supervises the court personnel and is in charge of the court's paper work. He or she also swears in witnesses and calls the cases on the calendar.

The official court reporter keeps a record of all the court proceedings. He or she records each and every word that is stated for the record. Upon request of a party or the judge, the court reporter prepares a transcript of the proceeding.

The official court interpreter interprets for the defendant. If a witness does not speak English, the interpreter will interpret for the court and jury.

If you are in jail, you will have frequent contact with the uniformed court officers, whose duties are listed below:

- maintain order in the courtroom;

- provide court security;

- safeguard all people in the courtroom;

- transport defendants from the pens. If a defendant is not being kept on the same floor as the courtroom, the defendant must be handcuffed with his or her hands behind the back while being brought from the pens to the courtroom.

In order for the uniformed court officers to maintain security and order in the courtroom, certain rules have been established governing courtroom behavior for defendants who are in jail. Those defendants may not:

- make sudden movements;

- leave their chairs;

- scream or talk loudly;

- argue with witnesses;

- speak to people in the audience when the court is in session;

- move except when instructed.

The foregoing information has been taken from the New York Unified Court System- Criminal justice system hand book on the nature of the proceedings.

To learn more about how I can help protect your rights, call my office at 718-720-1000 for a free initial consultation


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Kurt T. Richards, P.C.
1200 South Avenue, Suite 201
Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: 718-720-1000
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