Civil Court Room Observation

Civil Court Room Observation


This project supports the following objectives:

 Explains the civil court procedures in your own community
 Analyze different responsibilities of the court personnel
 Differentiate the types of cases
 Define the basic principles of court organization
 Distinguish the various agencies affiliated with the operation of the court

Project Overview:

This is NOT a required project.
However, for the students that wish to participate in this project it requires you to visit a local felony criminal court in your area. This

part is not negotiable. You MUST attend a felony civil court to receive credit for this project. All students have the opportunity to achieve

100% in this course without submitting the Final Project. If you are satisfied with your total score at the end of the semester you may choose

to drop this project.
It will be up to the student to go to the courthouse and find a court that is in session so that they may observe. This part is truly a

challenge. The courthouse is a very busy place. You will have to be persistent and ask a lot of questions to accomplish this goal. But it is

truly one of the best experiences a student can have of our justice system at work. A textbook cannot prepare you for this first hand


If you DO want to participate in the project you must develop a 3 page research paper of your experience at the felony criminal court that you

attended. Describe fully the type of case the court was hearing, what other activities were conducted in the court while you were observing

(hearings, pleas, etc.). You MUST get the attached form filled out and signed by the court as proof of your attendance. Without this form you

will NOT receive any credit. Your court attendance MUST be for at least 2 hours.

Final Project Details and Instructions:

The project will be an essay that will require at LEAST three pages in length with 1”margins, double spaced with 12 pt font or smaller using a

regular font (Times Roman) with only one line name headings allowed. But you MUST put your name on your paper. There should be NO space

allocated between paragraphs so go into your settings and reduce the space between paragraphs to ZERO. This assignment requires that you follow

the instructions carefully and fulfill the requirement. Late papers are not accepted. Make sure you produce college level papers. Make sure you

paper fits the formatting requirements – do not manipulate margins or fonts to falsify your entry.

Make sure you fully read the instructions for this assignment and discuss these topics in your research assignment.

Do Not cut and paste from the Internet. This must be your own work.

Your paper must include:
1.The information of what court you attended; completed signed attendance form
2.Discuss different court personnel and their court functions
3.Explain what type of case or activity you observed on your visit and case disposition if applicable
4.Describe the Defendant(s) position at court appearance/ was the defendant on bond, in custody, taken into custody at court, etc.
5. Describe the various agencies affiliated with the courts and their responsibilities

You may attend the family civil court in your area at any time during the semester so that you are able to utilize your off time in an efficient

manner. Just make sure that you get the attendance form filled out and signed the day you attend. Take detailed notes while you are there so

that you may use them to assist you later when you write your essay. I have visited with several of the courts and had a great response from the

judges and staff. They welcome your visit. Do not go to the courthouse on a holiday when you are off of work or out of school for the day

without checking first to make sure court is in session.

The total points allowed for this project will be determined at a later date. This is to benefit the students. I will evaluate to see how many

points will benefit the class as a whole at the end of the semester. These points will be added to your final score. This may not seem like a

lot of points but for many students it is the difference from an 87 (B) to a 93 (A) or from a 65 (D) to a 70 (C) for an overall score for the

course. I feel that the physical court appearance of a student is worth much more than what a classroom or textbook can offer. This is an

excellent learning experience for any student and I encourage all of you to participate.

1. Make sure you download and copy the form to be filled out by the court.
2. Visit a Felony court in your area and take notes
3. Write a short paper (MUST be at least 3 full pages for any credit) about your experience