The Boone County Courthouse is located at 705 E. Walnut Street in downtown Columbia, Missouri. If you need to appear in court for whatever reason or are a client of our firm and need to make an appearance, we have compiled this blog to answer common questions we often receive at our firm.
In front of the Courthouse (pictured above), there are four columns which run along Walnut Street. Here are some other important things to know about the Courthouse:
- Only attorneys and Court personnel are permitted to bring their cellphones into the Courthouse. If you are not an attorney and do not work at the Court, do not bring your cellphone into the Courthouse. You will be asked to leave and return without it. The bailiffs will not hold onto your phone for you.
- There is a metal detector at the front entrance. You will be asked to empty all items and remove anything from your person that might set the metal detector off. This is for your safety and the safety of others at the Courthouse. Arrive early and expect a line. Don’t bring a gun into the Courthouse.
- The bailiffs are friendly and helpful, and are there to protect you and keep Court personnel safe. They don’t make the rules (especially the ones about cellphones) and are only there to enforce them. You will find that the process for getting in the Courthouse is easier when you cooperate.
- You should arrive at least fifteen (15) minutes before your Court appearance. If asked to come earlier, then arrive earlier. See 1 and 2 above for ways to make sure you get in the Courthouse quicker.
- Dress as if you are appearing for an interview. Do not wear a hat. Do not bring in outside food and drinks.
- Directly inside the Courthouse and to the left is a bulletin board with information about where your Courtroom is. The bulletin board will have your Judge’s name and your room location. There are three floors and a “ground floor” in the Courthouse. When you enter the front entrance, you are on the first floor.
- Directly ahead of the bulletin board is a set of stairs. They lead up to the second and third floor courtrooms, and down to the ground floor courtroom. Each floor on the first and second floor will have an east and west wing. The third floor has a west wing and also has the ceremonial courtroom.
- Also act respectful and courteous to the Judges and to people you interact with in the Courthouse. Mid-Missouri is a small place. That person you just bumped into might also be the Judge in your next hearing. Act accordingly.
- In addition to #8, make sure you act as if you’re in a library when you enter a courtroom. Some of the courtrooms are small and voices carry. That conversation you’re having with your friend can likely be overheard at the bench where the Judge sits.
I will always try to meet you right where people enter the Courthouse and pass through the metal detectors. However, sometimes I have multiple cases going in several different Courtrooms and am unable to meet with you before we go into the Courtroom. If you have an absolute emergency and you need me immediately, you can always ask a bailiff to help. If you just are looking for me, trust that I will be in the Courtroom where you are scheduled to appear.
Parking at the Courthouse
When it comes to parking at the Courthouse, there’s generally one good rule to follow: Plan ahead and arrive early. There is paid meter parking along Walnut Street, and behind the Courthouse on Ash Street. You should bring plenty of change if you plan to park on the street (or use the parkmobile app — see below). The bailiffs at the Courthouse will not give you change or make change for you, and there’s no businesses in the area that will either.
There is a parking garage across Walnut street from the Courthouse. You can only park on the top floor (uncovered) of the Parking Structure and only in “hourly” spots. This parking garage fills up when there are jury trials, so plan accordingly. You can only pay with cash at this parking garage.
There is additional parking option available at fifth and walnut in the large parking garage. You must pay on the bottom floor after you park (you will be asked to enter your parking zone). You can pay at the machine with cash or credit card. Again — remember what zone you parked in so you can put that info. in the machine.
*One last note: If you park on the street, you can also download the “parkmobile app.” If you regularly park downtown, this is a must have. Download the app, follow the instructions, and enter your zone number from the parking meters wherever you park.