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As a visitor to the Criminal Justice Center, you must first pass through a metal detector similar to those used in most airports. You may also be subject to search by a hand-held device or a pat-down search. Personal items, including packages, briefcases, and other containers, will be screened by x-ray and are subject to additional search.

It is not unusual to spend at least 30 minutes in the security line when appearing for court. You should allow time for this.

CHILDREN - There are no child care facilities in the courthouse. Many courtrooms do not allow children.

WEAPONS are not allowed in the courthouse. Also, items such as pocket knives, scissors, sharp objects and self-defense sprays should be left at home.

BEFORE walking through the metal detector remove the following for x-ray screening: shoes, coats, belts, phones, keys, and loose change.

COURTHOUSE OCCUPANCY is limited by the Houston Fire Code. Priority is given to defendants, lawyers, and witnesses under subpoena. Members of the general public are allowed as space permits.


Dress the Part- Security officers must identify any metal that is detected at the checkpoint. If the alarm sounds as you walk through, you will be required to undergo additional screening, including a hand-wand and pat-down search. Items that may set off an alarm:

  • Shoes, including athletic shoes
  • Belt buckles
  • Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
  • Heavy jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, cuff links, lanyards or bolo ties)
  • Keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs)
  • Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
  • Under-wire bras
  • Body piercings

Head Coverings and religious garments are permitted during screening. Additional screening may be required if headwear or clothing (religious or otherwise) is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS are made for visitors with a hearing, visual, or physical impairment, or who use a service animal. Please advise the security officer if you are wearing orthopedic shoes that cannot be removed or other devices attached to your body such as a prosthetic limb, hearing device, pacemaker or other metallic implant.

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Harris County Administrative Offices of the District Courts
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