How to Address a Letter to a Judge

by Shala Munroe

Sending a letter to a judge means using the correct formal form of address. Whether the judge is a man or woman, the way you address the letter is the same. On the letter and the envelope, start the recipient's address line with **"The Honorable" and the judge's first and last name**. If the judge typically goes by a nickname for the first name, such as "Tom," it's acceptable to use the nickname. List the formal name of the court over which the judge presides as the second line of the address, followed by the mailing address.

Salutation and Within the Letter

In the salutation line of the letter, address the judge as **"Judge" and his last name**, such as "Judge Smith." If you want to use the judge's name again in the letter copy, use the same style as the salutation rather than "The Honorable" and his full name.

Exception to the Rule

The only time you use a different style to address a judge is when that judge is actually a **justice of a state or federal Supreme Court**. At the federal level, address the letter to "Justice" and her last name, and treat the salutation the same way. Address a letter to the chief justice as "The Chief Justice of the United States." The salutation should read "Dear Chief Justice." At the state level, use "The Honorable" and her full name in the address, but use "Justice" and her last name in the salutation.

About the Author

Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.

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