U.S. Courts Design Guide
restricted circulation area. All must provide direct access to the bench. See ADAAG
and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) for detailed accessibility
Storage is provided at the judge's bench for the following items:
Office supplies: A drawer for writing instruments, paper, and legal pads
Books: At least six linear feet of shelf space for statute books and other
The bench must accommodate a typical judge's chair with swivel and rock
mechanisms. To allow for differences in judges' physical stature, a footrest (e.g., a
built-in but removable rail or shelf, or a free-standing element) should be provided.
Bench security must be provided as follows:
Judges must be able to alert the USMS Command and Control Center
without being noticed. A silent duress alarm button must be located at the
bench. In appeals courtrooms, the center position of the panel must be
equipped with the alarm button. Additional bench locations for alarms
must be provided in en banc courtrooms.
The bench must be lined with ballistic material (UL Standard 752, Level
III) on all vertical surfaces.
Wall or ceiling air registers must be carefully located so they do not produce
undesirable drafts in the raised judge's area. The area may require supplemental
The judge's bench must accommodate a microphone connected to the courtroom's
amplification/audio recording system. Controls for video equipment, where
applicable, should also be provided. An intercom system to chambers and staff
must be provided, and may be accommodated on the telephone system.
Courtroom Deputy Clerk Station. The courtroom deputy clerk station must be
one step above floor level, and must be set so that the judge and courtroom deputy
clerk can easily see and confer with each other. In trial courtrooms, a pass-through
between the judge's bench and the courtroom deputy clerk station can be provided.
The pass-through allows for convenient and inconspicuous transfer of case files and
The courtroom deputy clerk also must be able to see and hear all court participants
clearly, especially witnesses. The courtroom deputy clerk station must be adaptable
for barrier-free accessibility. See ADAAG and UFAS for detailed accessibility