There’s a new sign on the door of one of the Ohio County Circuit Courtrooms.
It’s titled “Appropriate Courtroom Apparel.”
Judge James Mazzone says the clothing people wear to court is getting more and more bizarre, so he wants to make it clear what is and isn’t OK to wear in his courtroom.
If you had to appear in court, what would you wear?
And what wouldn’t you wear?
“Well, I most definitely would wear a shirt and tie and have my hair done and no sunglasses and look presentable,” says Donnie Myers of Wheeling. “What I would not wear is cut-off T-shirts and flip flops, looking like a hoodlum.”
“I’d wear a dress shirt and slacks,” says Glen Donaldson of St. Clairsville. “I wouldn’t wear a tank top or shorts or anything like that.”
But not everyone has such good sense.
So Judge Mazzone has put it in writing.
It’s a list of what you can’t wear in his courtroom.
It starts with pajamas and slippers!
“We’ve seen people come into court with the flannel pajama bottoms that are pretty popular now and matching tops,” the judge noted. “Actually people have come in wearing pajamas and slippers, if not flip flops.”
Also on the list is sagging pants with underwear prominently displayed.
“We’ve had those people leave the courtroom and pull their pants up before they’re allowed back in.” said Judge Mazzone.
People also wear T-shirts with inappropriate images and slogans.
Those will also get you invited to go home and change your clothes.
Judge Mazzone says the sign on the door is to save people the embarrassment of being lectured in front of the whole courtroom.
In the three weeks the sign has been up, he says nobody has complained, and nobody has come in dressed improperly.
“A lot of blood was shed to ensure the rights that these courtrooms were built to protect,” said Judge Mazzone. “And I feel that the least we can do is show respect by dressing appropriately.”
And there’s also the concept of respect for yourself.
“I think a person’s clothing shows their attitudes toward their lifestyle,” said Glen Donaldson of St. Clairsville. “And I think they should give it as high a standard as possible.”