How to Write an Apology Letter to a Judge

By Kelli Peacock Dunn - Updated June 05, 2017
Retro typewriter writers desk

If you have been ordered to present an apology to a court or if you just feel compelled to offer an apology to a judge, you'll want to write a proper letter. Take your time as you put your words on paper and follow these steps to create an appropriate apology letter.

Include Your Personal Information

In the beginning of the letter, provide return address, using your full name and mailing address. This can either be centered or flushed to the left side of the page.

Don't forget to include the date. If you are presenting the letter in court and want the date to reflect the day you will appear, use that date.

Include the Judge's Information and Case Number

The proper way to address a judge in a letter is with the word "honorable" in front of his name. For instance, "The Honorable Wayne Smith" would be an acceptable way to open the letter. The next line would be the court he presides over such as "Judge, Marlow County Court." Follow that with the street address, city, state and zip code.

Reference the case number. If you have a court case number, you can do this by writing, "RE: Case," and then the number of your case.

Write the Apology Letter

Open your letter with, "Dear Judge Smith," (or whatever the judge's name may be) followed by an explanation of why you are writing the judge. If you exhibited poor behavior in court on April 4, 2017, you might state, "Your honor, I want to sincerely apologize for my rude and inappropriate behavior during a court hearing before you on April 4, 2017." If you committed a crime and the court expects a public apology, you could say, "Your honor, I am writing this letter to publicly apologize to you and the citizens of my community for vandalizing the Main Street Park on January 23, 2017." After you open the letter with an explanation of why you are writing the apology, go into detail about what you have done and how sorry you are. Be sincere and specific.

Conclude Your Letter

Close your letter by reiterating your apology. For example, "In closing, I would again like to tell you how sorry I am for burglarizing the homes in my neighborhood. I assure you I will behave appropriately in the future." Then close your letter with a "Sincerely" or "Thank you" and sign your name.

Before sending the letter, remember to spellcheck and have someone you trust proofread for grammatical errors.

About the Author

Kelli Peacock Dunn has been a news editor and photographer since 1998, working at a weekly newspaper in Northwest Florida. Her articles have also appeared in "Panama City Living" magazine and "The Lookout."

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