Entrance to Courthouse

The courthouse arrival point must be as close as possible to an accessible entrance while allowing for security measures. The exterior route to the entrance should provide a safe and integrated way for people with disabilities to access the courthouse.

Though not required, a passenger drop-off area is often needed for individuals with mobility impairments who may find travel distances from parking areas excessive. Where practical, and in climates with inclement weather, it is desirable to provide overhead protection from the curb to the entry. Where a passenger loading/drop-off zone is provided, an access aisle that is 60 inches wide and the same length of the vehicle pull-up space must be provided adjacent and parallel to the zone.

Public entrances are used by spectators, visitors, witnesses, jurors, attorneys, public safety officers, victim and witness advocates, and court employees. Restricted entrances are used by judges, jurors, public safety officers, victims, and court employees. Detainees enter the courthouse only via secure entrances. It is important that access is provided for each type of entrance, including public, restricted, and secure entrances.

Minimum Requirements

In new construction, the guidelines require that, at a minimum, the following entrances be accessible:

  • At least 60% of public entrances must be accessible. Public entrances are those entrances that are not a service entrance or a restricted entrance.
  • All entrances from parking garages that provide direct pedestrian access between the garage and the building or facility.
  • At least one entrance from each tunnel or elevated walkway that provides direct pedestrian access.
  • At least one restricted entrance, which is an entrance that is made available for common use on a controlled basis, but not for public use, and that is not a service entrance.
  • At least one detainee entrance. Doors operated solely by security personnel are exempt from the specific requirements for hardware, opening force, closing speed, and automation. Only doors operated solely by security personnel qualify for this exemption. Entrance doors operated sometimes by security personnel and sometimes by employees or the public must meet all requirements for accessible entrances.
  • At least one entrance to each tenancy in the building or facility.
  • At least one service entrance if it is the only entrance to a tenancy.
  • At inaccessible entrances, signage is required to direct people to the accessible entrance.