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Court Closures, Orders, Postponements, and Updated Procedures Due to COVID-19

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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. Orders in effect as of August 21, 2020, are in boldface type. 

  • Texas Supreme Court's 2nd 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' 3rd 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 4th 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 5th 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 6th 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 7th 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 8th 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 9th 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 10th Emergency Order:  This order halts garnishments and default judgements, for a specific period of time, in consumer debt cases.            

  • Texas Supreme Court's 11th 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 12th 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 13th 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 14th Emergency Order: This order renews the Tenth Emergency Order and extends deadlines for garnishments and default judgments.


 

  • Texas Supreme Court's 15th 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 16th 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 17th 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.
     
  • Texas Supreme Court's 18th Emergency Order:  Gives Texas courts the power, through September 30, 2020, to extend their civil- and criminal-case deadlines and procedures; extends ban on jury proceedings to September 1, 2020; extends deadline to September 1, 2020, for limited jury proceedings; extends civil-case filing and service deadlines to September 15, 2020; extends deadlines in child-protection cases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Texas Supreme Court's 19th Emergency Order: Cancels the July bar exam, leaves in place the September 9–10 bar exam subject to guidance from public health authorities, and approves an online bar exam on October 5–6. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Texas Supreme Court's 20th Emergency Order: Amends paragraph three and extends Emergency Order 15 through August 24, 2020. 
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 21st Emergency Order: extends until September 15 the limitations on civil case filings and service of them for deadlines that fall between March 13, 2020, and September 1, 2020. 
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 22nd Emergency Order: extends until October 1 the limits on jury proceedings in previous pandemic-related orders. Renews certain parts of the 18th emergency order.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 23rd Emergency Order: extends bar dues deadlines for lawyers.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 24th Emergency Order: extends until September 30 the limits on eviction proceedings: Eviction petitions must state whether the premises is a “covered dwelling” subject to Section 4024 of the CARES Act; the plaintiff is a “multifamily borrower” under forbearance subject to Section 4023 of the CARES Act; and the plaintiff has provided the defendant with 30 days’ notice to vacate under Sections 4024(c) and 4023(e) of the CARES Act.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 25th Emergency Order
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 26th Emergency Order: extends restrictions on in-person jury proceedings to December 1, 2020; requires courts to follow the Office of Court Administration guidance on safety; holds that child custody and visitation orders are still not superseded by shelter-in-place orders or school closures.
     

  • Texas Supreme Court's 27th Emergency Orderestablishes new procedures for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent. Allows an eviction proceeding to be abated by agreement for 60 days. Courts will give tenants information about the program. Court records for participants will be confidential while eviction cases are delayed. Outlines procedure for reinstating evictions (without reinstatement, eviction cases will be subject to dismissal). The order takes effect October 12, 2020, and expires December 18, 2020.
     

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.