Erin Crum reports:
"When writing a letter to a judge or to the court, it is essential to address the letter professionally in a formal matter. For many small-business owners who are just starting up a company, taking leave for jury duty is an impossible burden. In those instances, courts will often allow small-business owners to postpone jury duty for a later time, when it would be a less difficult task. Small-business owners also must communicate with the court when responding to lawsuits or when filing demand letters against other businesses. Regardless of the purpose, it is important to always maintain a polished tone in every piece of correspondence with the court...In the top left line, include the date you are writing the letter. Spell out the month, add the numerical day and put a comma in front of the year...Leave one blank line of space below the date and then type your name and address on the left. Put the name of your business under your name and above the address if the letter is business-related. Include your mailing address, including city, state, suite or apartment number (if applicable) and ZIP code...Leave one blank line of space below your name and address and type the name of the judge or the name of a member of the court staff for whom your letter is intended. If you are sending the letter to a judge, the words 'The Honorable' are always used before her name. On the next line below the name, include the name of the court in which the judge presides...Directly under the name, include the judge's address, city, state and ZIP code. If you are sending the letter to a member of the court staff, use a proper title, such as Mr., before his name. If you do not have the name of a specific person, use the title listed on any paperwork you have received from the court. If you are still unsure, you may use 'Clerk of Court,' 'Court Clerk' or 'Jury Commissioner.'...Leave one blank line of space below the name and address of the letter's recipient. If the letter is intended for a judge, type 'Dear Judge (Last name):' and include a colon after the judge's name. If you are addressing it to a member of the court staff, type 'Dear Ms. Smith:' and include a colon after the person's name. If you are addressing the letter generally, type 'Dear Clerk of Court:' and include a colon after the last word...Leave one blank line after the opening address to the judge or member of the court staff before the body of the letter...Include one blank line of space between each paragraph. End the letter professionally, such as 'Sincerely' or 'With regards' and a comma. Before sitting down to write your letter, have all important documents that you need to support your letter. It may be necessary to request some documents or information from a CPA or accountant in advance. Save a copy of the letter for your future reference. Never send original documents, such as sales contracts, insurance policies and invoices, unless required by the court...Be sure to use a professional tone in the letter so as not to offend the judge or the court staff. Include all of the necessary information, but try to keep the letter as brief as possible."
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