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More Judges Take on Role of Fashion Police; Reporter Banned for Short Dress

Posted Aug 18, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Judges across the country are cracking down on people who come to court dressed in inappropriate attire.

Judges in Delaware's Kent County are so fed up that they instituted a dress code, adopted after one woman showed up for court in her pajamas, the Wilmington, Del., News Journal reports. Banned are saggy pants, exposed undergarments, bare feet, curlers, gang clothes, muscle shirts, tank tops, halters, bare midriffs, and hemlines more than 4 inches above the knee.

The new rules ensnared a News Journal reporter, who had to change clothes because of her short dress, the story says.

Judges in Kent County aren’t the only ones cracking down on bad clothing, according to the News Journal and USA Today. Detroit judges adopted a dress code after a woman wore sweatpants with the words “hot stuff” on the seat. Judges in Trophy Club, Texas, banned excessive body piercings and tattoos, unless they are covered.

USA Today also cites these instances:

• A woman in Bakersfield, Calif., was sent home from court for wearing flip-flops.

• A man in Hamilton County, Ohio, received a warning of potential jail time if he showed up again in inappropriate attire. He wore a T-shirt to court featuring the Chucky horror movie character and the words, “Say goodbye to the killer.”

The aim of the dress codes is to maintain dignity in the courtroom, court security consultant Timothy Fautsko told USA Today. "I had a report of one court that had an individual keep coming into court dressed like a clown," he told the newspaper. "Again, that pushes the dignity of the court."

Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.

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