Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1st Avenue
Miami FL 33128
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR THE COURTHOUSE VISIT PROGRAM

Where are Courthouse Visits offered?

How many people may I have in a visiting group?

How may I arrange a visit for my group?

Who may participate in the Courthouse Visit Program?

Is there a cost to participate?

Do you arrange transportation?

Do you arrange for lunch or snacks?

How long is a Courthouse Visit?

What activities are included in the Courthouse Visit Program?

Can the visit include the Dade County Jail?

What if I need special accommodations as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990?

Where do I call for more information about the Courthouse Visit Program?

 


Where are Courthouse Visits offered?
Visits are usually offered at the following court facilities:
Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street - Civil Court
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building, 1351 NW 12 Street - Criminal Court
Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW 1 Avenue - Family Court
Juvenile Justice Center, 3300 NW 27 Avenue - Juvenile Court Upon special request, visits can also be arranged at any of these branch courts:
Coral Gables, 3100 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Miami Beach, 1130 Washington Avenue
North Dade Justice Center, 15555 Biscayne Boulevard
South Dade Justice Center, 10710 SW 211 Street

How many people may I have in a visiting group?
The Courthouse Visit Program can best accommodate groups of 10 to 25 individuals.

How may I arrange a visit for my group?
A Courthouse Visit may be arranged by calling the Office of Government Liaison and Public Relations for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit at 305-349-7189 at any time during normal business hours.

Who may participate in the Courthouse Visit Program?
The Courthouse Visit Program is designed for school-aged children (any grade), college students, adults and visiting dignitaries from foreign countries. The program can be tailored to the group’s interests and needs.

Is there a cost to participate?
No. Visits are offered free of charge.

Do you arrange transportation?
No. Transportation arrangements should be coordinated by the group.

Do you arrange for lunch or snacks?
No. Lunch or snack arrangements should be coordinated by the group and can take place before or after the scheduled visit.

How long is a Courthouse Visit?
The program is usually two hours long. The program agenda may be modified based on the group’s interests and needs.

What activities are included in the Courthouse Visit Program?

The Dade County Courthouse Visit (Civil Court) is geared for school-aged children (all grades). The two-hour visit includes an overview of Florida’s State Courts System offered by one of our judges or staff members, a Q&A session with a judge, a mock trial based on a fairy tale story (for younger students), or a typical case, where the children play the roles of judge, attorney, witness, juror, etc., and a visit to a courtroom to observe a live legal proceeding, as time and availability permit. The program is customized for college students, adults and foreign dignitaries based on their interests. Participants get an in-depth dissection of the State Courts System and how the Eleventh Judicial Circuit – the largest in Florida – serves the Miami-Dade County community. Specialized court visits are designed to address a particular area of interest within the state court system. These visits are tailored to foster and enhance the understanding of the state courts system via the cooperation and collaboration of the Judiciary, Court Administration and Clerk of Courts. Depending on the special interest of the visitors these visits may include the collaboration of our justice partners, State Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Department of Corrections, Sherriff’s Office, City of Miami Police, University faculty, the media, an array of state and county agencies and Bar Associations.

The Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building Visit (Criminal Court) is designed for older children, such as those in 7th through 12th grades, but is adaptable to college students, adults and foreign dignitaries as well. The two-hour visit includes an overview of Florida’s State Courts System offered by one of our judges or staff members, a Q&A session with a judge, and the opportunity to observe arraignments, trials and/or Drug Court proceedings, as time and availability permit.

The Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center Visit (Domestic Violence and Family Court) is suitable for older children, such as those in 7th through 12th grades, as well as for college students, adults and foreign dignitaries. The two-hour visit includes an overview of Florida’s State Courts System offered by one of our judges or staff members, a Q&A session with a judge, a walk-through of the Domestic Violence Intake Unit, Family Care and Family Operations areas, and a visit to a courtroom to observe Family and/or Domestic Violence Court in session, as time and availability permit. The program can be customized for college students, adults and foreign dignitaries based on their interests.

The Juvenile Justice Center Visit (Juvenile Court) is appropriate for older children, such as those in 7th through 12th grades, as well as for college students, adults and foreign dignitaries. The two-hour visit includes an overview of Florida’s State Courts System offered by a judge or staff member, a Q&A session with a judge, and a visit to a courtroom to observe a live proceeding, as time and availability permit. All programs can be adapted to the interests of the group. Branch court visits may be arranged upon special request.

Can the visit include the Dade County Jail?
No. Visits to the Dade County Jail are arranged separately by contacting the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, Public Affairs Unit, at 786-263-6100.

What if I need special accommodations as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990?
Please indicate what your special needs are at the time you schedule a visit. We will arrange for reasonable accommodations to the best of our ability.

Where do I call for more information about the Courthouse Visit Program?
Please call the Office of Government Liaison and Public Relations for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit at 305-349-7189, at any time during regular business hours.
 
 

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