How to Write a Letter of Recommendation to the Court

Updated March 23, 2017

A person writes a letter of recommendation to the court typically to provide a character reference about one of the parties in a trial or lawsuit. A close friend or family member writes this letter to the judge about the person to offer information about the person's skills, qualifications or character traits. This letter may also be called a reference letter or a character reference letter.

Make sure you know the person well. Many times, the court asks defendants to obtain one or more letters of recommendation to help prove the person's case. If someone asks you to write this type of letter, take the request seriously. If you do not know the person well enough, do not vouch for him. Do not let the person pressure you into writing it and include only honest feelings and facts.

Address the letter. If you know the judge's name, address it directly to him, otherwise address it to the court handling the case.

Introduce yourself. Begin the letter by telling the court who you are and how you know the person. Describe the details of your relationship with the person such as "He is my brother." Describe any facts about yourself that would offer credibility to your information and feelings. This information should be contained to one paragraph.

Describe the person you are writing about. The next two or three paragraphs are dedicated to describing the person. Include details about the person's skills and history. Avoid saying negative things but do not make things up or lie. Write also about character traits that best describe the person using adjectives and examples.

Offer an overall assessment of the person. The last paragraph should contain a summary of your feelings about the person and his character. When writing this paragraph, include a sentence stating that you highly recommend this person for whatever reason is in question.

Close the letter. Thank the court for taking the time to read and consider the thoughts in this letter. Include your contact information such as phone number, address and e-mail address and sign and date the letter.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.