As the coronavirus continues to adversely impact so many, the court systems across the country are adapting in kind, with many of them suspending jury trials and moving to reduced-contact scenarios for other matters. Below is a digest of the most up-to-date information regarding courts in Texas as of the time of this posting. Please check back often as this information may be updated.

  1. Eastern District of Texas: Attorneys and parties were ordered to communicate if court proceedings could cause someone to come into contact with an individual exposed to or infected with the virus.
  2. Northern District of Texas: All courthouses are open. However, civil and criminal bench and jury trials from March 13th to May 1st will be continued and rescheduled for a later date.
  3. Southern District of Texas: All jury trials are suspended until May 1st. The federal courthouse in Houston and Galveston will remain open for other matters, including matters scheduled for hearing in bankruptcy court. Docketing and most other tasks will be handled remotely. Bankruptcy judges have agreed to conduct most hearings by telephone or video conferencing.
  4. Western District of Texas: All civil and criminal bench and jury trial cases will be continued and rescheduled from now until May 1st.
  5. The Texas Supreme Court: Issued guidance calling on courts to suspend proceedings or schedule them to avoid gatherings of large groups of people until at least April 1st, including jury trials and large docket calls. It is encouraging courts to implement remote appearances by phone or video for all proceedings that may occur remotely.
  6. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit: Plans to hold pending oral arguments as scheduled as of this posting.
  7. Harris County Civil District Court: All civil jury trials are suspended through April 30th. Effective March 18th, the Harris County District Clerk’s office will suspend in-person services to the public. The county courthouses remain open. Parties with cases in district or county courts should contact their courts regarding their respective dockets. The courts will review this situation regarding plans on an ongoing basis. The Harris County District Attorney’s office is closed. Effective March 23rd, the Criminal Justice Center, the Juvenile Center and the Civil Courthouse will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
  8. Bexar County: All jury trials are suspended jury trials from March 16th to April 16th. Dismissal Docket for the weeks of March 24th, April 7th and April 14th have been cancelled. Only the Reinstatement Docket will be heard on those dates in the 408th District Court.
  9. Brazoria County: Jury duty is cancelled through end of April. The courthouse and all annexes will remain open, with reduced staff.
  10. Cameron County: Jury duty is cancelled. Further court information still pending.
  11. Collin County District Courts: All nonessential court matters, in-person hearings, and trials from March 16th to April 1st are rescheduled. Essential matters, including temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions and any suits or hearings with jurisdictional deadlines, are not affected as of the time of this posting. Attorneys must contact each court regarding each setting. No uncontested matters will be heard. The courts are developing a plan for electronic appearances. All walk-in traffic at county buildings is suspended.
  12. Dallas County: No civil or criminal jury trials held through May 8th. The District Clerk’s office is closed to in person services. Dallas County Tax Offices and Passport Offices are closed to in-person services.
  13. Fort Bend County: The District Clerk’s office is closed to the public until April 3rd. Jury service has been suspended for ALL district, county and justice of the peace courts through May 8th.
    • 268th District Court – All dockets have been cancelled through March 20th. Civil cases: All parties should contact the Court to reschedule all hearings and trials.
    • 328th, 387th and 505th – Family Courts. If a party requests a reset between now and April 3rd, that reset will be granted. All other cases will be heard as scheduled subject to the Court’s discretion. Hearing dates and reset dates will be given for dates after April 13th.
  14. Jefferson County: Each court shall exercise its own discretion on a case-by-case basis regarding hearings and the calling of bench trials and jury trials.
  15. Montgomery County: As of the time of this posting, all court operations, including jury service, will remain open and normal with all services available. The District Clerk’s office will be operating with reduced staff. The office will be open, but the public is strongly urged to call instead of coming in person.
    • 284th District Court – All jury trials for the month of March and April are cancelled. Courtroom activity will be limited to bench trials, temporary injunction hearings, minor settlements, Robinson Challenges, and structured settlements. Reset matters by calling at least 3 days in advance. All other matters will be moved to and set on a submission docket.
  16. Nueces County: All jury trials canceled. All other court business will continue as normal. Courts are basically adjourned unless there is an urgent matter. Remote proceedings will begin.
  17. Tarrant County: Jury trials are suspended until April 20th. This affects criminal district courts, county criminal courts, county courts at law, civil, family, probate courts and justice of the peace courts.
  18. Travis County: Civil and family courts are suspending non-emergency hearings until April 13th, impacting all jury trials, bench trials, and non-essential hearings.