Members of the public needing to access the courthouse will enter using the front lobby doors closest to the Sheriff’s Tax office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays, exclusive of holidays. All patrons will be screened at this location via metal detector, and all personal baggage will be X-rayed for prohibited items.
Items such as illegal narcotics, firearms, knives, scissors, carpet or box cutters, letter openers or other edged weapons are considered contraband unless it can be shown that the person in possession has a legitimate need to possess the item inside the courthouse. If the possession of contraband constitutes a criminal violation, the items shall be seized and the person taken into custody or issued a criminal citation.
Individuals found with items that would otherwise be legal to carry, such as small pocket knives and pepper spray, will be advised that they will not be allowed entry with the items in their possession. In addition, security personnel will NOT store the items or accept them as discarded property. Therefore, courthouse visitors are advised to leave such items at home or in their vehicles before entering the building.
Courthouse security will also be manned according to the schedule of after-hours activities that take place within the building, including early voting, Election Day voting, public meetings and court proceedings.
The general public is also reminded that cell phones, cell phone watches and electronic devices are prohibited in all of the courthouse’s three courtrooms. Visitors may wish to leave these items in their vehicles. Only court personnel or attorneys appearing before the court will be allowed to retain their cell phones while inside a courtroom. Failure to comply with this provision may subject the violator to contempt of court proceedings.
For more information, contact the Courthouse Security Office at (985) 783-6237 extension 2023. The full rules and regulations regarding courthouse security may be accessed under legislative file 2013-0440 at stcharles.legistar.com.