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Writing a letter to judge

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Writing a letter to judge
September 25, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

Are you looking to progress in your career? Check out the judge cover letter from JobHero to see if your writing is sharp enough to make the cut.

    Christian Orthodox       
    Christian Orthodox        
Acting Official       
Adjutant General     
Admiral, Texas Navy  
Adventist Minister       
Archbishop, Catholic        
   Christian Orthodox        
Archdeacon, Episcopal        
Ambassador, Goodwill
Ambassador of one country
   to another country      
Ambassador of the U.S.
   to another country
   by a U.S. citizen       
Ambassador of the U.S.
   to the U.K.  
American Indian Chief        
   U.S., State / or           
Assistant Secretary
Associate Justice,
   U.S. Supreme Court          
Associate Justice of a
   State Supreme Court
Attorney General           
Attorney General,
Attorney, U.S.         
Australian Officials    
Awards, Name on an

Baron, Baroness           
British Officials,
   Royalty, Nobility     
Brother, Catholic         
   Christian Orthodox          
Bishop, Catholic            
   Christian Orthodox         
Bishop, Episcopal        
Board Member     
Brigadier General       
Business Cards      

Canadian Officials    
   USA, USAF, USMC     
Certificate, Name on a 
    Federal Reserve      
Chaplain in the
    Armed Services        
Chaplain of Congress          
Chargé d’Affaires         
Chief Executive Officer 
Chief Judge          
Chief Justice,
      U.S. Supreme Court 
Chief Justice, of a State
      Supreme Court             
Chief of Police          
Chief of Staff     
Chief Operating
City Manager    
Clergy & Religious
Club Official          
Colonel, Kentucky      
Colonel, USA, USAF,
    or USMC     
Commissioner, Court     
Commodore of a         
      Yacht Club         
Congressman, U.S.               
Congresswoman, U.S.   
Consul and or
   Consul General    
Corporate Executive         
Counselor (Diplomat)     
County Officials       
    U.S. Military
    U.S. Officials
    Private Citizens    
    Same Sex

Dalai Lama          
Dean, academic            
Dean, clergy            
Deceased Persons        
Degree, honorary      
Delegate, U.S., State            
Deputy Chief of Mission
Deputy Marshal
Deputy Secretary      
Designate, Elect,
    Pro Tempore      
Diploma, Name on a   
District Attorney           
Doctor, Chiropractor     
Doctor of Dentistry           
Doctor of Medicine              
Doctor, Military           
Doctor of
   Veterinary Medicine          
Doctor, Optometrist   
Doctor of Osteopathy            
Doctor, Other Disciplines     
Doctorate, honorary      

Elect, Designate
   Pro Tempore      
Esquire, Esq.       

First Names, Use of
   Formal / Informal    
First, Second,
   Third, etc .       
First Lady, Spouse
   of thePresident of
   the United States 
First Lady, Member
    of Her   
    White House Staff      
First Lady, Spouse
   of a U.S. Governor
   or Lt. Gov.    
First Lady, Spouse
   of a U.S. Mayor    
First Lady
   of a Church      
First Lieutenant   
Former Officials    

Gay Couple      
Goodwill Ambassador      
Governor General         
Governor, Lieutenant 
Governor, Lt., Spouse   
Governor, Tribal Council          
Governor, U.S. State       
Governor, Former    
    Spouse of     
Governor's Staff,
    Member of     
Governors, Board of 

High Commissioner    
Honorable, The          
Honorary Ambassador      
Honorary degrees
Honorary doctorate    
Honourable, The       

Indian Chief         
Inspector General    
Interim Official   
   Writing &  
    Writing &

Judge, former     
Judge of US City
     County or State     
Judge, US Federal            
Junior, Senior,
    I, II, III, etc.       
Justice, Associate
     Supreme Court
Justice, Associate
     Supreme Court


Late, The
   (deceased persons)        
Lesbian Couple    
Lieutenant Colonel,     
   USA, USAF, USMC          
Lieutenant General,
   USA, USAF, USMC      
Lieutenant Governor         

Major General,
Man, business          
Man, social          
Marquess / Marchioness  
Married Women       
Marshal for a
   Judicial District, U.S. 
Mayor, U.S. City   
Mayor, Canadian City    
Mayor Pro Tempore      
Mayor, Vice    
   Protestant Clergy       
   Christian Orthodox     
Most Reverend, The        
Mother Superior     
Mr. (Social)      
Mr. (Business)      

The character reference for court is to provide the Judge a family member, friend, When selecting an individual who will write a character reference, it is.

Writing a character reference

writing a letter to judge

Character credibility letters are used in a variety of settings to help figures like hiring managers and judges gain a stronger understanding of an individual. An effective credibility letter objectively states facts about the individual's personality, past and the situation he is currently facing.

If you have been asked to write a reference letter to a judge to discuss an individual’s character, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. Your credibility letter will help the judge gauge that person’s character and it may play a role in determining the sentence she faces if she is convicted of the charges against her. Take time to write your recommendation letter to a judge with care to ensure that it accurately depicts the character of the person on trial.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Make sure to proofread your letter for grammar and spelling mistakes before you send it to the judge.

Address the Judge Properly

When you write a reference letter to a judge, be sure to address the judge correctly. In a letter, the proper way to address a judge is by using his title. Instead of starting your letter with "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To whom it may concern," begin the credibility letter with Dear Judge [Surname].

Then, later in the letter, refer to the judge as Your Honor, if the letter requires you to address her directly.

State Your Relationship to the Person

In your vouch letter’s opening paragraph, state your relationship to the individual who is on trial. He might be a friend, a family member, a coworker or simply an acquaintance whose character you are qualified to discuss. In this paragraph, briefly state your profession and any relevant qualifications you hold, such as a degree in psychology or any experience working in the field relevant to the alleged offense. In this paragraph, you should also state how long you have known the person on trial.

Discuss the Issues Truthfully

In the next paragraph, truthfully discuss the individual’s experience with the issues related to the case. If he has gone to counseling or completed an anger management course, mention this fact in your letter. Discuss whether he has expressed remorse for his actions and how the charge has impacted his professional and social lives.

If there are relevant facts about his upbringing or current circumstances, include these in your letter as well. Relevant facts include: hardships he currently faces or has faced in the past; relationship challenges that might have put him into compromising positions that led to the charge; addiction and related difficulties he has faced; and any previous convictions on his record that could be related to the charge he currently faces.

Be Completely Honest

Embellishing the subject’s previous actions or characteristics in your vouch letter will not help her. In fact, it can backfire if the court finds you have submitted a letter that is not 100 percent truthful. In your letter, stick to objective facts and use observations you have made about the subject to illustrate her character.

For example, writing “Stacy is the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever met” in your letter is not as effective a character reference as “In the years I have known her, Stacy has always been a pillar of her community through projects like Toys for Tots and volunteering at a local soup kitchen.”

Keep the Letter Concise

A reference letter to a judge does not have to be long. In fact, it should only be about one page in length. Keep this in mind when writing your vouch letter and use it as a guide when you edit redundant and irrelevant points out of the letter.

Once you have stated all your relevant points in the credibility letter, close it with a brief summary that emphasizes the letter’s primary points. Following this paragraph, close your letter with "Sincerely,” followed by your signature.

•••Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA

July 09, 2019

By: Lindsay Kramer

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LawAccess NSW

writing a letter to judge

Why Can’t I Talk or Write to the Judge?

“Ex Parte” Contact with the Judge is Not Allowed

What is an “ex parte communication”?

Ex parte” is a Latin phrase meaning “on one side only; by or for one party.” An ex parte communication occurs when a party to a case, or someone involved with a party, talks or writes to or otherwise communicates directly with the judge about the issues in the case without the other parties’ knowledge. Under the Judicial Code of Conduct, judges may not permit or consider “ex parte communications” in deciding a case unless expressly allowed by law. This ban helps judges decide cases fairly since their decisions are based only on the evidence and arguments presented to the court and the applicable law. It also preserves public trust in the legal and court system.

What is a “party”?

“Party” refers to any person or organization who sues or is sued. In a civil case, the party who initiates the lawsuit is called the plaintiff (or, sometimes, the petitioner or complainant). In a criminal case, it is the State of Hawai`i – generally represented in court by either a county deputy prosecutor or a state deputy attorney general – that initiates the lawsuit. The party against whom the lawsuit is brought is called the defendant (or, sometimes, the respondent).

Why are judges not allowed to consider ex parte communications?

Would you like it if the judge spoke to the other parties about your case without your knowledge? Probably not! The rule banning ex parte communications ensures that the court process is fair and that all parties have the same information as the judge who will be deciding the case. When all parties have the same information, a party who disagrees with the information can contest it in court.

What if I want to tell the judge something about my case?

If you want to tell the judge about your case or ask the judge to take a certain action in your case, you should file a written motion with the clerk of the court in which your case was filed explaining what relief you are seeking and why you are entitled to that relief. (“Relief” means what you are asking the court to do.)

If you file a written motion, you must send a copy of your motion to every other party to your case (or the party’s attorney) before you send it to the court. (This is called “service.”) Make sure you attach the appropriate documentation showing that a copy of the motion was served on all the other parties and explaining how (e.g., by personal delivery, or mail, postage prepaid) and when service was made. Usually, the judge will schedule a hearing on your motion. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain your position to the judge in court. Judges must make their decisions based only on the relevant facts or issues of the case and the applicable laws. Therefore, please be sure that the facts or issues that you plan to tell the judge about are relevant to your case. This helps ensure that your case will proceed more quickly.

I sent a copy of my motion, letter, or document to the other parties. Now what happens?

You must file your motion, letter or document with the court. Remember to attach the document as proof that a copy of the motion, letter or document was given to the other parties. This document also must be filed with the court. The clerk of the court will indicate on your motion, letter, or document, the time and date it was received and file it with the other case records. After your motion, letter, or document has been filed, the judge will consider it as well as any responses from the other parties and other information provided to the judge during a court hearing before making a decision.

What happens if I send a letter or other document directly to the judge without providing a copy of it to the other parties to my case?

If you send a letter or other document directly to the judge without providing a copy of it to every other party on your case (or the party’s attorney, if the party has an attorney), the judge or court staff will be required to notify all parties (or their attorneys) about your communication so the other parties can respond to it. This is called “disclosure” and helps to ensure that your case is handled fairly. You may also cause your case to be delayed or even dismissed. Also, the court may “strike” (delete or ignore) any evidence affected by your ex parte communication.

Can I ask the judge to keep information I share in a letter or document confidential?

No. Sometimes people will send a letter or document to the judge and ask the judge not to tell the other party. Although you may have information that you want the judge to know about and keep in confidence, the judge is still required to disclose any ex parte communications to all parties.

Can I ever communicate directly with the court?

Yes. Certain ex parte communications to a judge or court personnel are allowed by law. For example, if you are contesting a citation (commonly called a “ticket”) for a traffic infraction, the law allows you to submit a written explanation directly to the court. The instructions on how to do so are on the ticket, and a pre-addressed envelope to mail your written statement is provided with the ticket. Also, judges may hear ex parte emergency requests for a temporary restraining order when the other parties cannot be told in time. In certain situations, judges may also consider confidential letters from a settlement conference ex parte. Finally, communications regarding case scheduling or status are allowed.

Is there anything I can do if I disagree with the judge’s decision in my case?

If you believe the judge made the wrong decision in your case, you may have the right to file an “appeal,” asking an “appellate court” to review the decision the judge made in your case. The process for filing an appeal is explained in the Hawai`i Rules of Appellate Procedure. There is no right of appeal in small claims cases.


This guide is intended to provide you with information about a legal problem. It is not legal advice. If you have questions about this information or your rights under the law, you should seek the advice and counsel of an attorney licensed in the State of Hawai`i.

A letter expert reader must write a letter to a judge to defend his case. This answer offers advice on the format of such a letter, how to address.

Why Can’t I Talk or Write to the Judge?

writing a letter to judge

There are many reasons why people write letters to judges. Someone convicted of a crime might want to bring new evidence to light that could justify a new trial, or a juror might feel guilty about inappropriate behavior during their case and want to get it off their chest. A letter to a judge should be professional, polite, and to the point. Some people send letters to judges thinking the letters will not get read, but it would surprise many people to find out just how many judges do read their mail.

Start With The Address

Regardless of what anyone might tell you, form and format matter a great deal when writing a letter to a judge. The first part of your letter is placed in the top left-hand corner and it is your address.

Professional Format

A business letter is always left-justified and single-spaced. Below your address would be the date you sent the letter, and under that would be the judge’s name and address. This is usually the address of the courthouse with the letter being sent to the attention of the judge. Be sure to put one space in-between each block of text and use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman at 12-point size.

The Body Of The Letter

The first paragraph of your letter introduces who you are and why you are writing. You should use very concise language and get right to the point with each paragraph. Your paragraph’s should be three to four sentences in length, and each paragraph has its own purpose.

Once you identify yourself and why you are writing the letter, the next paragraph will give the specific information you feel backs up your reason for writing. If you are asking for a convicted person’s early release, then the second paragraph would explain what evidence you have that would indicate that a release is necessary. It is not uncommon for this part of the letter to go on for two paragraphs, but keep your information brief. Judges do not have time to read long, drawn-out letters.

The final paragraph thanks the judge for their time and gives the judge your contact information. It is always best to indicate the best way to contact you, and alert the judge if you plan on sending a follow-up letter.

At the bottom of the letter, you can use the CC designation to indicate anyone else who might be getting the letter, such as an attorney. You can also indicate that there are attachments included in your letter by putting down the word “attachments.”

When you write a letter to a judge, you should always be professional and courteous. You are addressing a lead member of the court, and threatening letters will definitely get you in trouble with the law. Make your point and then let the judge know how they can get back to you on their decision.

Jim Treebold

Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!

Jim Treebold

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 5 Tips on Writing Character Letters to Influence the Judge in a Criminal Case.

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writing a letter to judge
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