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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. See Evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic.     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • 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.   
                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Texas Supreme Court's Ninth Emergency Order: This order extends the timeline of their Fourth Emergency Order and halts residential eviction proceedings through April 30, unless there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity. See Evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Texas Supreme Court's Tenth Emergency Order:  This order halts garnishments and default judgements, for a specific period of time, in consumer debt cases.            

  • Texas Supreme Court's Eleventh Emergency Order:  This order extends deadlines related to the issuance or renewal of certifications, licenses, or registrations issued by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's Twelfth Emergency OrderThis order lets courts continue to modify their procedures to allow videoconference appearances and take other protective measures; extends service and filing deadlines; clarifies that child visitation orders remain in effect as written; and extends eviction deadlines.        
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Texas Supreme Court's Thirteenth Emergency Order: Establishes the timing of this year's Texas bar examination and updates the state's supervised practice rules as a bridge to licensure for any who need to delay the exam.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's Fourteenth Emergency Order: This order renews the Tenth Emergency Order and extends deadlines for garnishments and default judgments.
  • Texas Supreme Court's Fifteenth Emergency Order: This order allows eviction proceedings to resume beginning May 19 and for warning to be posted and writs of possession executed beginning May 26.  It also requires eviction petitions to state the premises are not subject to the CARES Act eviction moratorium. 
     
  • Texas Supreme Court's Sixteenth Emergency Order: This order allows consumer debt actions to resume upon the expiration of Emergency Order 14.  Upon request, an individual debtor or receiver is entitled to a hearing within two business days of the court's receipt of the request to determine what money might be attributable to the CARES Act stimulus payment.  Courts and appointed receivers must release or refund that money affected by a garnishment or turnover order. 
     
  • Texas Supreme Court's Seventeenth Emergency Order: Extends deadlines in civil and criminal cases until no later than September 30, 2020 (except in child-welfare cases); allows courts to keep holding remote proceedings and requires courts holding in-person hearings to follow guidance by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size and other restrictions and precautions; generally no jury proceedings before August 1, 2020 (although a limited number may be possible); existing grand juries may meet remotely or in-person; extends deadlines in attorney licensure and discipline cases.

 

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. 

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.