Yelp reviews are all the rage, even for local courthouses.
If you're involved in a court case, answering a jury duty summons, or even if you're just curious, courthouse Yelp reviews offer a way to gauge honest opinions about what to expect the next time you visit the halls of justice.
But don't just take our word for it. Check out these Yelp reviews of select courthouses in the 10 largest U.S. metro areas:
- New York City Criminal Court: One of the Big Apple's many courthouses, Yelp reviewers say Manhattan's Criminal Court features "amazing Chinatown lunches," "rich bored college girls with Louis Vuitton purses," and a "bad tempered police officer overseeing the courtroom spectator area. He won't let people take notes." Average Yelp rating: 3.5 stars (though the jury room only gets 3 stars).
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Courthouse: This central Los Angeles courthouse boasts people sleeping while waiting for jury duty and a perfect place to go if your "b f got a tickets [sic]." But one Yelper warns: "This courthouse is so old you can't take the stairs down to the street level ... [Everyone] has to cram into the packed elevators during lunch. And the elevators are often broken." Let's hope that's not the case at other L.A.-area courthouses. Average Yelp rating: 2 stars.
- Cook County Circuit Court (Chicago): Although there are many Chicagoland courthouses, jurors at this particular location complain that the food served to them is "the same thing they serve the inmates." Another reviewer who "braced [herself] and headed to skid row" says, "Yes, it's a rather scary area ... but there are enough OK people around to feel pretty safe." Average Yelp rating: 3 stars.
- Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center (Dallas): This courthouse, one of several in Dallas County, apparently has restrooms with "a rough, textured substance similar to stucco." One Yelper guessed it was so that juvenile delinquents "can't scribble notes about their baby mamas in the restroom." Average Yelp rating: 2 stars.
- Harris County Criminal Justice Center (Houston): There's only one Yelp review so far for this Houston courthouse. In case you're wondering, reviewer Jonathan Z. (whose profile proclaims "Not guilty!") says: "This courthouse is crowded and it stinks. Also, the whole elevator situation is ludicrous." Current Yelp rating: 2 stars.
- Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice (Philadelphia): Stroll through Philly's many courthouses and you may find yourself at the Criminal Justice Center, where the elevators also "suck." But with its "high ceilings" and "fab architecture," this courthouse is "GORGEOUS!" Average Yelp rating: 3.5 stars.
- The Supreme Court of the United States (Washington, D.C.): Though D.C. is home to several local and federal courts, the biggest legal attraction is the one located at 1 First Street NE. While the U.S. Supreme Court has tackled discrimination many times, one Yelper complained there seems to be no rational basis for letting ticketholders in first. Also of note: "There is a change machine if you need the 25-cent lockers to attend oral arguments (you can't take anything in, no coats, purses, cell phones, etc.)" Average Yelp rating: 4.5 stars.
- Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building (Miami): Pitbull hails from Miami-Dade County where there are many different courthouses, but Mr. Worldwide probably wouldn't want to be caught in the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building. In a word, one Yelper described this court as "HELL." Also, it apparently features Sandra Bullock movies. Average Yelp rating: 2.5 stars.
- Fulton County Justice Center (Atlanta): In the heart of Hotlanta, this Fulton County courthouse is only open on Mondays and Fridays. One aghast Yelper called it "a place for criminals" and another described the pot roast as "3 cubes of meat total." High on criminals, low on protein. Average Yelp rating: 2.5 stars.
- John Joseph Moakley Courthouse (Boston): Boston's federal courthouse has Yelpers raving... about the Local Craft Brewfest held there in November. Maybe the rest of Beantown's courts should offer jurors and defendants a chance to sample local hefeweizens and small batch ciders. Average Yelp rating: 5 stars.
The verdict is in: Don't slack off on Yelp next time you're in court.
- Yelp Reviews Brew a Fight Over Free Speech vs. Fairness (The Wall Street Journal)
- Prison Yelp Reviews: 5 Do's and Don'ts (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- What Does it Take to Unmask an Anonymous Yelp Reviewer? (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Yelp Lawsuit Lesson: Fake Reviews Can Be Costly (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)