What Time Does the Courthouse Close?

Courthouses handle important legal matters that require set business hours. Knowing your local courthouse’s hours of operation can help you plan visits and ensure you arrive on time. While hours vary by location, some general courthouse hours and closure information applies nationally.

Typical Courthouse Hours

Courthouse hours differ between regular business days, evenings, and weekends.

Regular Business Hours

On regular business days, most courthouses are open from 8 or 9 AM to 4 or 5 PM. These span typical business hours so people can access the court during the workday. Courts are busiest in the mornings, so arriving early is best.

Evening and Weekend Hours

Some courthouses offer extended hours into the evening or on weekends to accommodate people who can’t visit during regular business hours. For example, a courthouse may be open until 7 PM on Wednesdays or from 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays. However, these extended hours are not universal.

Closures and Modified Hours

Courthouses close or alter their schedules on holidays, for inclement weather, and in special circumstances.

Holidays

Courthouses close on major federal holidays like Christmas, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day. They may remain open on minor holidays with reduced staff. Check with your local courthouse around holidays.

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Inclement Weather

Courthouses may close, open late, or close early due to inclement weather like snowstorms, hurricanes, or flooding. Court closures are often aligned with local government and school closures.

Special Circumstances

Unique circumstances may cause last-minute courthouse closures, like power outages, security threats, or other events. Call ahead if something seems amiss.

Checking Your Local Courthouse Hours

You can check your local federal, state, county, or city courthouse hours through various methods.

Contact the Court Directly

Calling the court clerk directly provides the most accurate hours. They can advise of any closures or modified hours.

Check the Court Website

Many court websites list business hours and alert visitors to any closures or changes. This information is usually on the homepage or under a tab like “Hours and Information.”

Call Ahead

If you are unsure of hours due to a holiday, weather, or other event, call the courthouse to confirm when they open and close for the day. Don’t rely on assumptions.

Planning Your Courthouse Visit

With courthouse hours in mind, plan your visit to maximize efficiency:

Arrive Early

Aim to arrive 20 to 30 minutes early, especially for morning appointments. You’ll have time to get through security, locate the right office, and get settled.

Allow Plenty of Time

Give yourself plenty of time for courthouse business that may take hours, like pulling records or sitting through a court case. Save extra time for lines at security or clerks’ offices.

Have Documentation Ready

Bring any documentation like IDs, paperwork, or reference numbers so you have what you need when you arrive.

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Conclusion

Courthouse hours vary by location and day, with typical business hours on weekdays and occasional evening/weekend hours. Holidays, bad weather, and special circumstances can prompt closures or changes. Contact your local courthouse directly, check their website, or call ahead to confirm hours before visiting. With the courthouse’s schedule in mind, arrive early and allow plenty of time during your visit.

FAQs

Are courthouses open on weekends? Some are open for limited hours, but weekend and evening hours are not universal. Check with your local courthouse.

How do I check if the courthouse is closed? Contact the court directly by phone or check their website for notices about closures and modified hours. Calling ahead is wise around holidays, inclement weather, or other events.

What if I arrive late to the courthouse? If you arrive after the courthouse has closed for the day, you will not be able to enter or conduct business. You’ll have to return during business hours instead.

Do courthouses close for lunch? Most stay open during lunch with staff rotating breaks to continue serving the public. However, some smaller local courthouses may close over the lunch hour.

What are the latest courthouse hours? Even courthouses with extended hours typically close by 7 PM at the latest. Very few are open past this time, even on certain weeknights or Saturdays. Check with your court for their latest hours.

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