Trials and Litigation

Court ban on PJs, fuzzy slippers, attire with 'obscene language' and more based on actual incidents


Once upon a time, it was commonplace for those appearing in court to wear suits and dresses.

Today, a list of banned apparel outside the Texas courtroom of tate District Judge Brenda Kennedy reflects a different norm, in which pajamas, fuzzy slippers, low-cut blouses and “booty shorts” would proliferate if they weren’t prohibited, Austin American-Statesman columnist Ken Herman wrote in a story appearing in the Longview, Texas, News-Journal .

“It’s not like we require everybody to come in wearing their Sunday best,” an unidentified court official told the Herman. “Some people are poor, and it’s understandable. But we’ve had people come in with pajama pants that have cartoon characters all down the pants and fuzzy house shoes.”

Despite a lengthy list of no-nos, which also includes exposed underwear and attire featuring “obscene language” and requires shirts to be tucked in, there are still a few situations that need to be covered in future revisions, Herman writes.

Nowhere on the list is there any mention of utensils, he notes. Yet, the court official says: “We’ve had stuff as silly as defendants going up to plea before the bench, and they’ve got a crack spoon hanging around their neck.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Workers protest courthouse dress code: ‘Don’t hate, we look great!’”

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