A criminal calendar is a calendar which provides information about criminal cases which are scheduled to be heard in court. The criminal calendar provides detailed information about which cases are to be heard and when, and because changes can happen, it is often released only a few days before court is in session. People can look up copies of the criminal calendar at the courthouse and sometimes online, and parties involved in criminal cases are sent written notices about calendar items which pertain to them, often well in advance of formal publication of the calendar.
A typical entry in a criminal calendar goes through a single day of court proceedings. The top of the calendar lists the court, the location, the date, and the time period in which court is in session. It also gives the name of the presiding judge who is scheduled to be in court on that date. Clerks and other officers of the court may also be listed on the criminal calendar. Contact information for the court may also be provided.
For each entry in the calendar, a time is given, along with the name of the party involved, and a brief description of why he or she is on the criminal calendar. The calendar also notes what kind of proceeding is occurring, such as an arraignment hearing, a bail hearing, a preliminary hearing, a trial, or a sentencing hearing. This alerts officers of the court and parties involved about what to expect when they arrive in court.
Criminal calendars can also note events such as continuances, in which case a scheduled event is put off for another time, changes in pleas, motions by attorneys involved in the case, and so forth. In a busy court, multiple events may be going on at once in different courtrooms, in which case there may be a criminal calendar for each room, or all rooms may be displayed on the same calendar with information about where each event is taking place.
It is important to check the criminal calendar before going to court. People are responsible for checking to see when and where the court is expecting them. If people notice errors or discrepancies, they should contact an officer of the court for more information. Even a sharp eyed legal team can miss something, so if an aspect of the criminal calendar appears amiss or confusing, the accused should not hesitate to ask his or her counsel to clarify or doublecheck.