How to Address a Judge

Judge of a U.S. Court

—-Envelope, official:
—-—-The Honorable
—-—-(Full name)
—-—-(Name of Court)
—-—-The Honorable (Full name)
—-—-(Name of Court)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Judge (surname):

—-—-Judge (surname)

—-Direct address in the courtroom:
—-—-Your Honor *

His Honor, Her Honor Your Honor
Your honor is an oral form of address used in conversation with a presiding official. Both a judge in his or her courtroom and the mayor in his or her city may be addressed as Your Honor. Neither a visiting judge in another judge’s courtroom nor a former mayor are addressed as Your Honor.  You honor is not used in writing — use it orally in direct conversation.

—-—-—-— From: Honor & Respect by Robert Hickey

– Robert Hickey    How to Address a Judge of a Federal Court


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Judge and Spouse?

How to I address a letter’s envelope to a judge and her husband?
——————– Sam O’Brien

I am writing a letter to a Judge and his wife. What is the proper salutation for the letter?
——————– Thanks, D.N.

Dear Sam & D.N.:
—-The formula for the envelope is

——-The Honorable (Full Name)
——-and Mrs. (Surname)

—-—-Which looks like
—-—-—-The Honorable Stephen Jennings
—-—-—-and Mr. Jennings

——-The Honorable (Full Name)
——-and Ms/Dr.. (Full Name)

—-—-Which looks like
—-—-—-The Honorable Thomas Jennings
—-—-—-and Dr. Linda Nelson

——-The Honorable (Full Name)
——-and Mr. (Full Name)

—-—-Which looks like
—-—-—-The Honorable Nancy Jennings
—-—-—-and Mr. Franklin Jennings

—-The most formal salutation for a judge and spouse (if the spouse uses the same last name) would be:
——–Dear Judge Jennings and Mrs. Jennings
——–Dear Judge Jennings and Mr./Ms./Dr. Nelson
—-Dear Judge Jennings and Mr. Jenning

—-In a salutation you always use the form of the name used in conversation.

Formally people who hold high offices get their full name as a unit … so Dear Judge and Mrs. Jennings – is informal.

Wives who use the same surname as their spouses traditionally lose their given name when addressed with their husband: They become simply Mrs. (Surname).   Thist is not a tradition everyone follows, but it is the traditional format. See the post on Mrs. & Ms. in the list of links at right for more on writing women’s names.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Judge of a Federal Court How to Address a City County or State Judge

Related Posts:
Couples: Private Citizens
Couples: Christian Clergy
Couples: Rabbis
Couples: Military
Couples: U.S. Officials
Couples: Same Sex

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”