PA Court Warns Against Pajamas, Refuses Underwear Money

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 09, 2014 1:53 PM

A district court in Pennsylvania is apparently fed up with underdressed court visitors and money pulled from places the sun don't shine.

A pair of signs recently posted in York County District Court Judge Ronald J. Haskell Jr.'s courtroom made the court's feelings on the matter clear, reports The York Daily Record. One sign reads, in Spanish we well as English "Money from undergarments will not be accepted in this office." The other sign, taped just below the first, cautions in all capital letters "PAJAMAS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE ATTIRE FOR DISTRICT COURT."

In light of the judge's all-caps admonition, what would be appropriate attire for court?

Court Dress Codes

Judges can, to a certain degree, set their own dress codes for their own courtrooms. In addition, some jurisdictions may have specific dress codes applicable to that jurisdiction's court.

For example, the Montgomery, Alabama Municipal Court has a dress code that requires men to tuck in their shirts, wear their pants "around the waist," and wear shorts that are "of a reasonable length." For the ladies, Montgomery prohibits clothing "which reveals a bare midsection."

What to Wear to Court

In lieu of or in addition to any posted dress code, there are some style choices that should be avoided in court no matter what jurisdiction you're in. These include:

  • Pajamas,
  • Flip-flops,
  • Hats,
  • Gym clothes or exercise gear,
  • Exposed undergarments,
  • Short skirts or low cut tops, and
  • Jeans.

Though you don't necessarily have to wear your Sunday best, the courtroom is a serious place. Your attire, and your conduct, should reflect that. For men, that means a collared shirt, preferably with a tie. For women, that means conservative and tasteful. For both sexes: Think less "night on the town/on the couch" and more "job interview."

Ultimately, this means keep the pajamas at home and keep your money in your wallet, or, at the very least, your pocket.

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