Courthouse Visits

Courtroom proceedings in Jackson County are open to the public with the exception of most juvenile matters which are confidential by law. As a member of the public, you are always welcome to observe a trial.

If you are a teacher and you’d like to bring your class to watch a trial, it is recommended that you call the court in advance to make sure there is something happening. Cases have a way of settling when the parties see the jurors take their seats in the courtroom.

Jurors are normally chosen on Monday, and opening arguments begin late Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. The best days for observing a trial are Tuesday and Wednesday. If time allows, your class may be able to talk with a judge during your visit to the courthouse. The Judicial Cannon of Ethics prohibit judges from talking about a specific case, but they can explain the judicial process. Alternatively, the judges always appreciate an invitation to visit schools and talk to students in the classroom about the U.S. legal system.

Please contact Valerie Hartman, Public Information Officer, to schedule a courthouse visit or invite a judge to talk with your class. She may be reached by phone at 816-881-3552 or by e-mail at: valerie.hartman@courts.mo.gov.