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Our Pasadena Courthouse at 300 E. Walnut Street has two Family Law courtrooms, Departments “L” and “K,” each with its own Family Law bench officer. Judge Harvey A. Silberman covers Department “L” on the second floor of the Courthouse’s West wing. Judge Sarah J. Heidel is responsible for Department “K” on the fourth floor, reached using the elevators just inside the Walnut Street entrance.

Consider saving your department’s phone number, noted below. Should you encounter an emergency that will cause you to be late arriving at the courthouse, communicate your situation to your department’s clerk right away.

Pasadena Courthouse
Department “K” 4th Floor
Judge Sarah J. Heidel
300 E Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 396-3355

Pasadena Courthouse
Department “L” 2nd Floor
Judge Harvey A. Silberman
300 E Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 396-3315

Tips for Appearing in Court

1) Sleep Well: Get a good night’s sleep the night before. It’s easier said then done, but courthouse mornings can be long and arduous, and you’ll benefit from lower stress and better focus during any last-minute “hallway” negotiations and, ultimately, presenting your position in front of your bench officer.
2) Dress Professionally: Slacks and a dress shirt are fine. Women can wear a skirt and blouse or dress if they prefer. I encourage male clients to wear coats, belts, and ties, and to arrive clean-shaven. The point is to look your best.
3) Eat Breakfast:  And make it as healthy as you can.  Think protein.  Growling stomachs are distracting and project discomfort, which is not the message you want to send to your opposition in a high-conflict case. Proper nourishment is essential to being fully attentive, so if you’re unable to eat before you leave for court, tuck a granola bar or piece of fruit into your bag for later.

Arriving at the Courthouse

1) Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at your Department at least thirty minutes prior to your hearing.  That buffer should provide any extra space you might need to find parking, clear metal detectors, negotiate elevators, and acclimate in the hallway.
2) Park in a Lot: Most local meters have two-hour limits. Don’t put yourself in the position of worrying about a parking ticket on your court date.
3) Come Prepared: Make sure you have copies of all your pleadings and any evidence you wish to present on the day of your court appearance.  For any documents you wish to show the court, bring four copies: Your personal working copy, which you can mark-up for your own reference.  One for your opposition. Another for the court.  And a last copy for you to show witnesses if you are offering testimony involving the documents.
4) Sit in the Back:  The value of this suggestion corresponds to the conflict level of any individual case.  I try to avoid the potential of opponents sitting behind my clients, which could otherwise make my client feel self-conscious when I want them confident.

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