Related Information

Frequently Asked Questions for the Courthouse Visit Program

 

QWhere are Courthouse Visits offered? 
A

Visits are usually offered at the following court facilities:

QHow many people may I have in a visiting group?
A
The Courthouse Visit Program can best accommodate groups of 10 to 25 individuals.
QHow may I arrange a visit for my group?
AA 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.

 

QWho may participate in the Courthouse Visit Program?
A

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.

QIs there a cost to participate?
A
No. Visits are offered free of charge.
QDo you arrange transportation?
A
No. Transportation arrangements should be coordinated by the group.
QDo you arrange for lunch or snacks?
A
No. Lunch or snack arrangements should be coordinated by the group and can take place before or after the scheduled visit.
QHow long is a Courthouse Visit?
A
The program is usually two hours long. The program agenda may be modified based on the group’s interests and needs.
QWhat activities are included in the Courthouse Visit Program?
A

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 Miami-Dade Children's Courthouse Visit 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.

QCan the visit include the Dade County Jail?
A
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.
QWhat if I need special accommodations as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990?
A
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.
QWhere do I call for more information about the Courthouse Visit Program?
A
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.