Chapter 4: Courtrooms
side or behind the bench. For ceremonial functions, indirect access may also be
provided from the bench down to the well. Circulation space behind the bench
must allow a judge to arrive and depart without disrupting others.
U.S. District Court and Magistrate Judge Courtrooms
Typically, the trial courtroom must provide the following three types of access: 1)
public circulation and access for spectators, news media representatives,
attorneys, litigants, and witnesses; 2) restricted circulation and access for judges,
law clerks, courtroom clerks, court reporter/recorders, and jurors; and 3) secure
circulation and access for prisoners and USMS personnel. These three circulation
and access patterns must be separate to provide security for all groups. The
courtroom must have separate entrances from restricted circulation for the judge;
jury, courtroom deputy clerk, and court reporter/recorder; prisoners and USMS
personnel; and the public. Entrances for the various groups must be located as
close as possible to their stations in the courtroom. As in the USCA, courtrooms
are separated from the public corridor by a soundlock.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Access in USBC courtrooms is similar to that of the USDC, except there is no
need for prisoner access.
The net areas specified in the Guide are exclusive of the area required to
accommodate circulation among spaces. The courtroom is programmed as a net
usable space with no additional circulation space. Circulation space is added only
when considering the courtroom in conjunction with chambers suites and auxiliary
facilities. While the amount of circulation space required varies with each
facility's specific design, an additional percentage of 17% is generally applied to
courtroom/chambers floors during preliminary planning to determine the total
usable area of the facility.