How to Address a Letter to a Judge





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Published on Jul 28, 2010

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Follow these steps to correspond effectively with the person who has the power to swing the gavel.

Step 1: Include your contact info
Write the date, your name, and your address at the top right corner.

Step 2: Indicate the recipient
Write the judge's name and the court's address along the left margin, beneath your own. Use the title "Honorable" before the judge's name -- for instance, "Honorable John Smith."

Step 3: Include a salutation
Open your letter with "Dear Honorable John Smith," "Dear Judge John Smith," or "Your Honor."

Step 4: State your purpose
State your purpose for writing the judge very clearly in the first sentence. Keep the letter brief and to the point -- a maximum of one page is ideal.

Write the letter in the language you know best, as most judges have interpreters available to them.

Step 5: Identify your case
Include the case number to which you are referring and be sure to sign your name to the letter.

Refer to the case using the parties involved, such as "People vs. Name of Defendant," if you don't know the case number.

Step 6: Don't write in vain
Don't present evidence in your letter. Most judges will stop reading and you will fail to get your point across.

Did You Know?
Two court systems exist in the U.S. -- federal court and state court. State courts have the broadest jurisdiction.


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