Where is the Court? Where am I Going?

Where is the Court? Where am I going?
The Essex Probate and Family Court has two sessions. The main courthouse is in Salem and there is a satellite session in Lawrence. The Lawrence court covers the cities of Methuen, Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Haverhill. Therefore, if either party lives in either one of those towns, the case will be heard in Lawrence. All other cases are heard in Salem.

In Salem, you should look to arrive sometime between 8:15 and 8:30 in the morning. The address of the court is at 36 Federal Street, and parking is very limited. Your best bets for parking are either the T station near the court or at the parking lot on Federal Street. In the Salem session, cell phones are permitted. You should also be prepared to go through the metal detector and be scanned at the entrance.

In Lawrence, the court is located at 2 Appleton Way. There are two main parking lots very close by, and both are pay lots. Please know that unlike the Probate and Family Court in Salem, cell phones are not permitted in this courthouse. If you go through the line and have your cell phone with you, you will be told to bring it back to your car. You will also have to go through a metal detector.

What should I bring?
Be prepared that this day could take some time. You should bring something to pass the time, whether it be a book or a friend to talk to, and make sure someone is available to take care of children while you are away at court or can be available to pick them up from school or activities if the day runs long. There is no way to tell how long a court hearing will take and, even in the best of circumstances, may not end quickly. The judges will typically take a break at 1 o'clock, and return to the bench at about 2:15, going until the end of the day at 4 PM.

Where do I go when I get there?
In preparing for court, Don will provide you with a specific location for the two of you to meet. Generally, in Salem this will either be by the courtroom where your case will be heard or in the lobby of the courthouse. If your case is on for a motion, you will likely have to know which judge you have in order to know where to go. While the judges will occasionally change court rooms, your case is generally assigned to one judge and will follow that Judge wherever they go in the courthouse.

In the Lawrence Probate and Family Court, take the elevator to the third floor take a left off the elevator and go to court room 10. It is the last court room at the end of the hall on the third floor. There are several benches near the courtroom and we will be meeting there in order to get your documents in order before we check into the courtroom with the clerks in the session.
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