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Court closures, orders, postponements, and updated procedures due to COVID-19

This page contains information regarding Texas court orders, postponements, closures, and updates due to COVID-19.  It also provides information and links to the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals emergency orders.

Texas Supreme Court Emergency Orders Due to COVID-19

The Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals have issued a series of emergency orders related to COVID-19.  These orders can also be found here.  

  • Texas Supreme Court's Second Emergency Order: The Texas Supreme Court emphasizes that court-ordered child-custody schedules following school calendars shall follow the original school schedule as published even as so many schools close to constrain the developing coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus and Child Visitation
                                                                                                                                            
  • Texas Supreme Court's and Court of Criminal Appeals' Third Emergency Order: This order clarifies the First Emergency Order and contains important information regarding Section 263.401 of the Texas Family Code. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Texas Supreme Court's Fourth Emergency Order:  This order delays eviction proceedings. No trial, hearing, or other proceeding may be conducted, and all deadlines are tolled, until after April 19, 2020. Evictions can still proceed in cases involving threats of harm or criminal conduct.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Texas Supreme Court's Fifth Emergency Order: This order delays all deadlines related to attorney professional disciplinary and disability proceedings. The order is retroactive to March 13, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020. 
     
  • Texas Supreme Court's Sixth Emergency Order: This order mandates that the 2020 elections for presidents-elect and directors of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association must be conducted online only, by electronic vote, and not by paper ballot. The voting period is extended to May 29, 2020, at 5 p.m. 
     
  • Texas Supreme Court's Seventh Emergency Order: This order clarifies what to do about possession and access of children when shelter-in-place orders are in effect.
  • Texas Supreme Court's Eighth Emergency Order: This order modifies the language of the first order and delays all service and filing deadlines from March 13, 2020 until June 1, 2020. The tolling does not affect deadlines for filing appeals or other appellate proceedings, but the order notes that requests for any such relief should be “generously granted” by the particular court.

Court Operation Guidance

The Office of Court Administration has released updated guidance on court procedures for the coronavirus. 

 

Information on Court Closures, Postponements, and Changes in Procedure

You can check the Office of Court Administration’s website here anytime for information on court closures or delays reported to the OCA. Please note that the OCA link currently features full court closures and may not include partial closures announced by local courts. Texas Lawyer is compiling a list of those closures, which is available here.

For justice court updates, you may also want to check the Texas Justice Court Training Center website.

Please contact the county and/or court directly for the most up to date information, especially if you have an upcoming court date. We will continue to add to this list as we become aware of updates.