There are many reasons why people write letters to judges. Someone convicted of a crime might want to bring new evidence to light that could justify a new trial, or a juror might feel guilty about inappropriate behavior during their case and want to get it off their chest. A letter to a judge should be professional, polite, and to the point. Some people send letters to judges thinking the letters will not get read, but it would surprise many people to find out just how many judges do read their mail.
Start With The Address
Regardless of what anyone might tell you, form and format matter a great deal when writing a letter to a judge. The first part of your letter is placed in the top left-hand corner and it is your address.
A business letter is always left-justified and single-spaced. Below your address would be the date you sent the letter, and under that would be the judge’s name and address. This is usually the address of the courthouse with the letter being sent to the attention of the judge. Be sure to put one space in-between each block of text and use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman at 12-point size.
The Body Of The Letter
The first paragraph of your letter introduces who you are and why you are writing. You should use very concise language and get right to the point with each paragraph. Your paragraph’s should be three to four sentences in length, and each paragraph has its own purpose.
Once you identify yourself and why you are writing the letter, the next paragraph will give the specific information you feel backs up your reason for writing. If you are asking for a convicted person’s early release, then the second paragraph would explain what evidence you have that would indicate that a release is necessary. It is not uncommon for this part of the letter to go on for two paragraphs, but keep your information brief. Judges do not have time to read long, drawn-out letters.
The final paragraph thanks the judge for their time and gives the judge your contact information. It is always best to indicate the best way to contact you, and alert the judge if you plan on sending a follow-up letter.
At the bottom of the letter, you can use the CC designation to indicate anyone else who might be getting the letter, such as an attorney. You can also indicate that there are attachments included in your letter by putting down the word “attachments.”
When you write a letter to a judge, you should always be professional and courteous. You are addressing a lead member of the court, and threatening letters will definitely get you in trouble with the law. Make your point and then let the judge know how they can get back to you on their decision.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!