Court is no day at the beach

Going to court is serious business.

The days of powdered wigs may be behind us, but courtrooms are still far from casual environments. And that is what leads at least one Lucas County judge to warn the public, defendants, and witnesses each summer that she will not tolerate inappropriate dress or behavior in her courtroom.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings posts a sign at the beginning of each summer when warmer weather may tempt people to dress too casually. The judge does not want to see anyone wearing shorts or tank tops. She does not want to see any bare midriffs.

It is astonishing that these guidelines need to be spelled out.

But since they do, good for Judge Jennings.

Serious events happen in courtrooms. People’s lives are substantially altered by the decisions made there. People are sent to prison, victims of crimes are made whole, families are both united and broken apart.

This should be a solemn and serious atmosphere. It is not, as another judge sometimes points out, a trip to the gym.

If you are headed to a courtroom, check a mirror and ask yourself, “Do I look like I am headed to the beach?” If you do, rethink your wardrobe. Court is no day at the beach.

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