The Default Start Time for Court is 9 a.m.

By Jedidah McKeehan

When there is an upcoming hearing on a case it is incredibly important that the lawyers make sure they get their clients to court in the right place and at the right time.

What time will court start? I have seen court start at many different times. 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. However, the most likely time that court will start is 9:00 a.m.

If you ever have any doubt in your mind about what time to show up, the default time is 9:00 a.m. This goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, you probably do not want to be walking into court right at 9:00 a.m. It is always a good idea to show up at least 15 minutes early, and if you are going somewhere that you have never been before, it may be a good idea to show up even earlier than that.

Why is 9:00 a.m. the default start time for court? I have no idea. Perhaps it gives the judge and court staff time to arrive at the courthouse at the normal workday start time of 8:00 a.m., get themselves settled, and then start hearing cases in the courtroom. That is just a guess though.

The takeaway for you should be that if you have to show up for court and you are unsure at what time court starts, the likely answer is 9:00 a.m.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including family law, criminal, and personal injury. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.