Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 15, 2013

New proper dress code enforced at courthouse

MT. VERNON — Beginning Monday, all visitors to the Jefferson County Courthouse will be required to "wear proper dress."

"Dress at the courthouse has been a problem for quite some time," said Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch. "That's the reason Judge (JoBeth) Weber and I decided to address it."

New signs will be posted at the entrance tot he courthouse and courtrooms explaining the new dress code.

"The deputies and those working at the courthouse have been addressing problems verbally for quite some time," Mulch said. "We ask people to take their hats off, pull their pants up, that type of thing. When you try that for a period of time and don't see anything improving, ... it's time to address it in a firmer manner."

According to information from the sheriff's office, appropriate dress will be observed by all persons entering the courthouse.

"The following is not appropriate dress," information states. "Shorts of any type, house slippers/shoes or comparative footwear, cut-offs, tank tops, muscle shirts, halter tops/half shirts, mesh or see-through shirts, hats or do-rags, pajama tops or bottoms, clothing with inappropriate or offensive pictures or writing, clothing shall be worn correctly and as designed. ... If a judge, office holder or sheriff's deputy determines your attire is not appropriate, you shall be asked to leave the court house immediately."

Mulch said when asked to leave, the individual will be given a 30 minute time frame to return and still be considered on time for a court appearance.

"They have a 30 minute grace period," Mulch explained. "Deputies are training on what adheres to the signs. If what someone is wearing is not appropriate, they will let the person know they will notify the judge and they can still keep their appointment in court. ... We worked very hard to be sure we aren't violating any civil rights."

Mulch said he expects some "waves" the first month or two the new dress code is in effect.

"It is a respect issue," Mulch said. "But you have to remember that some people have not been taught that. They think their dress is perfectly acceptable when it's not."

The signs and the dress code will go into effect on Monday, Aug. 19.

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