JULY 1, 2020 Update:
On June 3, 2020 the Pandemic Operating Plan for Tarrant County District Courts was approved by both the Local Administrative Judge (Jerry Hennigan, 324th District Court) and the Regional Presiding Administrative Judge for the 8th Judicial Region (David Evans, 48th District Court). A Supplement to this Plan was added on June 5th. All orders can be found in the “COVID-19 Court Guidelines” section below. You will also find a copy of the Texas Supreme Court’s June 29th 18th Emergency Order, May 26th 17th Emergency Order, and the June 1st Guidelines issued by the Office of Court Administration. This Court encourages all interested individuals to read these documents to understand fully the mandated restrictions that the 67th District Court must follow, including this Court’s ability to conduct “live” hearings. As of July 1, 2020 this Court continues to hold hearings by Zoom (see “Remote Hearing Procedures” below) or telephone conference. This Court is also requesting, and at times ordering, attorneys to allow this Court to review and rule on motions by submission.
As for jury trials, the present schedule is to begin trials after September 1, 2020. The Regional Presiding Judge has communicated to the civil district judges that a 12 person jury trial will probably not occur in 2020 despite continued efforts to maintain social distancing and mandatory mask usage. As a trial court, It is difficult for this Court to agree with this assessment but at this time, this Court concurs. If the parties and attorneys can agree to a 6 person jury trial, the chances of having your case tried in 2020 greatly increase. This Court requests that everyone consider this option since this Court has over 100 jury trials to reset and this number is only increasing. Additionally, this Court is reviewing its pending trial docket to determine if additional efforts at mediation are warranted.
This Court has remained open throughout all of the pandemic and will remain open. All court personnel (judge, coordinator and reporter) have chosen to work daily at the courthouse. However, with the recent increase in virus case numbers, the judge has asked its staff to work now full time from home. Please be advised that this Court’s ability to answer telephone calls promptly is limited and your call will roll over to voicemail which will be regularly checked. Elaine Langford, the Court’s Coordinator, does prefer email communication instead of phone. Live hearings will be limited. In summary, this Court’s successful efforts in promptly and efficiently handling matters for attorneys and litigants will now be a little less prompt. Be patient, please.
The Court appreciates your consideration and patience. Please contact this Court, email (EMLangford@tarrantcounty.com) or telephone (817.884.1452) with any questions or concerns. We are all in this together. Stay Healthy!
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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