Odessa Courtrooms Adopt Dress Code

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Odessa Judges were tired seeing inappropriate dress attire in their courtrooms so they decided to so something about it. They recently adopted a dress code that has been applied to all Ector County Courtrooms.

Judge Jim Bobo tells NewsWest 9 the dress attire of defendant's and plaintiff's was getting out of control. Therefore, judges decided to implement a dress code but some residents are divided on that decision.

"Out of all the things they have to worry about they're worried about what we are wearing? To get sentenced or to get fined, I just think they should be worried about other things," Odessa Resident, Audie Elder, said.

"I think it should be enforced because there is no telling what people will wear," Odessa Resident, Ashley Putty, said. 

Bobo says the dress attire in courtrooms has gotten worse in the past 10 years. Over the summer, he presented a dress code to the other judges and all agreed that dress code changes needed to be enforced in their courtrooms.

"I just brought it up at that meeting for my juvenile board to approve. The district judges and county court judge here everybody jumped on the bandwagon and said we want that. It's been needed for a long time," Bobo said. 

Bobo says not only did he see saggy pants and see through shirts in his courtroom, the dress code was getting out of control.

"We've had people come in with see through clothing, we've had them come in with tube tops, short shorts. We've had people come in with shirts that are not appropriate, have all kinds of symbols on them, some of them are obscene," Judge Bobo said.

Judge Bobo says unfortunately we live in a society where people are very judgmental and the way you dress will say more than actual words.

"The way you dress shows me you don't have a lot of respect for yourself, and I think by dressing better knowing that you presented yourself in the best light possible you will feel like you had the best hearing that you can have," Judge Bobo said. 

The bottom line is if you are set to go to court, Judge Bobo recommends you dress your best.

"You have a freedom of speech in your place, I have a freedom of speech in mine and in my house, you're going to dress appropriately," Judge Bobo said.

Judge Bobo says the first time you show up to court not wearing the proper dress attire, you will be sent home to change. If you come back and you are not within code standards, you could be charged with contempt of court, fines and jail can also be handed down.