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.
TIP: 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.
TIP: 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.
FACT: Two court systems exist in the U.S. -- federal court and state court. State courts have the broadest jurisdiction.