Court Policies Relating to Covid-19
Posted by Ramos Law Group, PLLC | Client Area, Courts, News
Covid-19 Court Policies (as of May 3, 2021)
As the State of Texas is “officially open,” many Texans who are litigants to pending family law suits may be wondering how that affects their case. Each county has handled court matters differently. This is a short summary (current as of the date of publication) as to how counties are handling their family law dockets. Please note this is NOT all encompassing and it is vital you confirm with either your attorney or the court itself as to whether your setting is virtual or in person.
- All family law docket calls remain virtual at this time.
- In-person proceedings in the family courts will be set one at a time as preferential settings and as scheduled by the individual courts. In-person settings require prior approval.
- If a request for an in-person hearing has been approved by the Court, the self-representing litigants or the attorneys must notify the Court how many parties are expected to appear.
- Each court will ensure compliance with the capacity limits set by the fire marshal and the COVID-19 Operating Plan for the Harris County District Courts, County Courts at Law & Probate Courts, implemented May 21, 2020. All courts will continue to comply with the social distancing and safety protocols set out in the COVID-19 Operating Plan for the Harris County District Courts, County Courts at Law & Probate Courts.
- The Harris County Judiciary has issued a Jury Proceeding Addendum to COVID-19 Operating Plan that all courts must comply with if conducting a jury trial in-person.
- Many of the courts have established submission dockets for certain types of matters and a Zoom hearing may not be required. Uncontested matters or agreed judgments may be submitted with an affidavit of support or unsworn declaration, no Zoom appearance is required.
Fort Bend County
328th Judicial District Court
At this time, the 328th is continuing to hold its daily docket via Zoom. If a party desires to have an in-person setting, they must file a Motion for In Person Hearing and the Court may grant it if good cause is shown as to why circumstances necessitate an in-person hearing.
For uncontested divorces or other agreed judgments, the Court requires an Affidavit or Declaration be attached to the proposed judgment as an exhibit, eliminating the need to appear, whether in person or via Zoom.
The entirety of the 328th district court’s Covid-19 policies may be found here:
387th Judicial District Court
There is currently no in-person uncontested docket, all agreed judgments or orders shall be submitted with an affidavit for prove-up.
At this time, both essential and non-essential matters are being heard via Zoom. The Court also has a submission docket where certain motions may be submitted and the Court will decide if an additional hearing is required.
All of the 387th’s current Covid-19 policies may be found here:
The 306th Judicial District Court is holding its normal docket in person; however, the County is making accommodations for vulnerable litigants. For anyone over the age of 65 or those with underlying health conditions, the Court may schedule teleconferences or video hearings if possible.
Effective March 2021, the County Court at Law, 410th District Court and 418th District Court are holding in-person settings. The Montgomery County judges are coordinating their dockets to minimize the number of settings and people that will be in the Courthouse and the county is taking extra safety precautions. If good cause is shown a court may hold a Zoom hearing.
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, the courts will update their policies accordingly. It is a litigant’s responsibility to ensure that they follow a specific court’s guidelines and policies. The Ramos Law Group, PLLC remains dedicated to updating our clients and prospective clients of any policy changes. Please contact us at (713) 225-6200 if you need assistance with a family law matter.