Character references for court hearings must be addressed to the judge or magistrate of the court. The letter should introduce the author's affiliation to the subject and provide an opinion of their general character in an honest and formal tone, according to Victoria Legal Aid.
The document should describe any additional details regarding the relationship with the individual and an acknowledgment of the charges, according to Victoria Legal Aid. Specific examples of conversations with the subject and their actions and how they are working to right the situation must be included. It is important to discuss feelings of both remorse and responsibility for one's actions experienced by the person in question as reassurance that prior behaviors will not be repeated.
Positive attributes of character should be discussed, including details surrounding their reputation in the community, general character and personality traits, contributions to local organizations and personal achievements. Relevant obstacles or tragedies the subject has overcome and the actions taken to rectify these obstacles should also be mentioned.
The letter should be formatted with the date, followed by the address of the court and name of the judge or magistrate at the top of the page and a signature at the bottom of the letter, according to Victoria Legal Aid. Contact information for the author must be included within the document for court reference.