How To Address a Letter to a Judge

Judge gavel photo

There are set rules when you are writing formal letters.  Take the case of writing a letter to a judge.  If you are a divorcee, you may be required to get in touch with the judge to discuss child support and more.  If you are a part of an on-going litigation, either as a plaintiff or as a defendant, writing a letter to a judge may become necessary, too. Your effort to address the letter properly can eventually serve you well.  Here are some pointers on how you can address your letter to a judge:

  • Use the first line of your envelop to address the judge.  You can write: The Honorable Timothy Brown.  See to it that the first name comes before the last name.  You can also opt to abbreviate the title “Honorable”.  So, you can also write: The Hon. Timothy Brown.
  • Reserve the second line for the judge’s official title.  After the title, indicate the complete name of his court.  Separate the title and court’s name with a comma.  You can write: Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court. Below that, provide the court’s complete address.  Kindly note that you are expected to repeat the whole address when you begin your letter.  This is consistent with the standard format of writing a business letter.
  • On the return address, provide your complete name (first name, middle initial, and last name).  On the next line, supply your street address. On the third line, put your city, your state, and your zip code.
  • Greet the judge.  Simply write: Dear Judge Brown.  End the greeting with a comma.
  • Leave a blank space after your greeting.  Then, proceed in composing the body of your letter. You should able to clearly state your particular role in the case. You should also include the name of the case and it specific number.  After that, explain the main reason why you have written the letter.
Leave a blank line before your begin your next paragraph.  Express what’s in your mind. Be objective and respectful.  Be direct to the point and limit your letter between one and three pages.  Don’t forget to leave a blank line as you start a new paragraph.  End your letter with a closing and a signature line.
  • Make it as habit to proofread your letter, particularly the name and the address.  Typographical errors may delay the delivery of your letter to the judge.
  • A handwritten letter is acceptable.  However, it is important that you keep your writing legible. 
  • Keep an extra copy of any letter that you sent to a judge.  If it is handwritten, photo copy it.  If it is computer-generated, print another one.  The extra copy is going to be useful in emergency cases.  You can also use it as a reference in case you need to check it out again.

If you need to communicate with a judge about your on-going case, don’t send it with the knowledge of your lawyer.  Your lawyer needs to be informed of all your moves and your correspondences.


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