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  #1  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:08 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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Default Questions about the Federal Court System

I have some questions about the United States District Court especially in the Middle District of North Carolina. 2 women in my city have pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court for defrauding food stamps and their sentencing is scheduled for August 22nd, 2017 at 2 p.m. I have never been to a federal court before so I have a lot questions to ask.

My mother and I are interested in going to the sentencing to observe what's going on in that case. Do we have to go to the same district court where they pleaded guilty at? Would it be fine if we can sit in the courtroom to observe? If so, would it be fine if we show up around 2 p.m. just to hear about that case or do we have to show up early in the morning and hear the other cases first before they can get to their case? We might have to leave after we hear that case. Will they allow us to leave early? What time do they normally start court there in the mornings just in case we have to hear about the other cases? What time does court usually ends each day? Are there any breaks between each case? If so, how long are the breaks?

What can I bring into the building? I know I can't bring my phone but if someone does bring their phone, do they have a locker for it? If so, how much do they charge to use a locker? I was planning on bringing my state ID and my debit card. Also, would they allow a purse? I know they might allow a purse but I'm just checking to be sure.

Please give me all information about federal courts since this would be my first time going to a federal court to observe. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:13 AM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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The case will be on the daily court docket for each courtroom (schedule) with a time. That is the court where you will need to go to observe the case.

Probably 9 AM or 1PM start time, and anyone can observe. That is the same time for everyone who will have their case addressed in that session, but her case could be first (or possibly the only case for sentencing that morning or afternoon) or last one called.

You can come and go whenever you choose to. If your state ID doesn't live up to the "real ID" law, you may not be allowed into the court building, Call the US Marshal or the court clerk to find out if that is an issue in your state, or not. The same thing for purses or cellphones, find out before you arrive.

The judge may call for a short recess whenever they choose to, and a lunch break between AM & PM sessions, but it will be up to them.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:48 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
The case will be on the daily court docket for each courtroom (schedule) with a time. That is the court where you will need to go to observe the case.

Probably 9 AM or 1PM start time, and anyone can observe. That is the same time for everyone who will have their case addressed in that session, but her case could be first (or possibly the only case for sentencing that morning or afternoon) or last one called.

You can come and go whenever you choose to. If your state ID doesn't live up to the "real ID" law, you may not be allowed into the court building, Call the US Marshal or the court clerk to find out if that is an issue in your state, or not. The same thing for purses or cellphones, find out before you arrive.

The judge may call for a short recess whenever they choose to, and a lunch break between AM & PM sessions, but it will be up to them.
So, if the sentencing is not until the afternoon, would it be fine to show up that afternoon or that morning just in case? What is the "real ID" law and what does my state ID have to do with it? How long is the lunch break?
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:33 PM
de8er de8er is offline
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You have to show ID to the CSO Marshals at the door when you go through the metal detector. A driver's license should suffice.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:20 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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You have to show ID to the CSO Marshals at the door when you go through the metal detector. A driver's license should suffice.
Thanks. I know some courthouses are probably complying with Real ID and North Carolina has an extension for Real ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from North Carolina through October 10, 2017 but I'm planning on asking the courthouse will they accept a normal state ID before I go there.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:54 AM
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Real ID is a federal law that dictates to the states what they must require to issue driver's licenses, state ID cards, etc. Washington state is also on a short waiver, but once it expires, the local US Attorney has said that WA residents without "enhanced" DLs will not be admitted to any federal buildings, airports, etc.

Some states are fighting this unfunded mandate in court, but the federal congress isn't showing much interest in amending real ID.
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Old 04-23-2017, 11:53 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
Real ID is a federal law that dictates to the states what they must require to issue driver's licenses, state ID cards, etc. Washington state is also on a short waiver, but once it expires, the local US Attorney has said that WA residents without "enhanced" DLs will not be admitted to any federal buildings, airports, etc.

Some states are fighting this unfunded mandate in court, but the federal congress isn't showing much interest in amending real ID.
Oh ok. So, it should be fine to just show my regular ID at the courthouse right?
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:17 AM
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Yes, I think you will be admitted to the court, it looks like the feds are still in the threatening phase.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:19 PM
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Did you know you can sign up for Pacer and read the orders online? That might save you some time from actually going.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2017, 04:54 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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Yes, I think you will be admitted to the court, it looks like the feds are still in the threatening phase.
Thank you and I hope the feds do something soon
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2017, 04:58 PM
mariaacharles mariaacharles is offline
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Did you know you can sign up for Pacer and read the orders online? That might save you some time from actually going.
Yes and I'm still planning on going since I would like to see what happens and I've been so interested in the case lately
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