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    324TH DISTRICT COURT COVID-19 PROCEDURES AND COURT RULES FOR REMOTE HEARINGS/TRIALS

    The 324th District Court will conduct “virtual” hearings/trials for non-essential matters if the parties have the technology and desire to do so.  The following restrictions and limitations will apply.  Any requests for an in- person courtroom hearing/trial will be considered but likely postponed unless it is considered essential, i.e., CPS removals, Protective Orders and Writs.  It is anticipated most parties will agree to a “virtual” hearing/trial.

     

    JURY TRIALS

    Tarrant County has suspended all jury trials until the week of May 8, 2020.

     

    STANDING ORDERS  

    The six Tarrant County Family District Courts have issued a Temporary Emergency Standing Order which is effective immediately and continues through May 31, 2020.  A copy of the standing order must be attached to all initial pleadings filed during the relevant time period. For more information regarding these and other COVID-19 orders, please see below.

     

    TELEPHONE CONFERENCES

    If appropriate, in lieu of a Zoom hearing attorneys and Pro Se litigants may schedule a telephone conference with the Court. Please be advised that the telephone conference would not be used for hearings/trials where testimony or evidence would be presented.

     

    HEARINGS/TRAILS

    Hearings/trials will be heard using Zoom video conferencing. It is free to download at zoom.us or you can download the app directly to your cell phone. The Court Reporter or Coordinator will email you a link to the hearing/trial. Your computer must have internet access, a video camera and voice capability (either your phone or a built in microphone). If you can only participate via Telephone, you must coordinate with the court coordinator by noon the last business day before the hearing/trial. 

     

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    To participate in a setting before the District Court, please email your email address to both the Court Reporter (jenhuntercourtreporter@gmail.com) and the Coordinator (papoyner@tarrantcounty.com) by noon on the last business day prior to your hearing/trial setting. The Court Reporter or Coordinator will email you a link to the hearing/trial. To participate in a setting before the Associate Judge, please email your email/contact information to the Associate Judge (bapoulos@tarrantcounty.com) and the Court Coordinator ( papoyner@tarrantcounty.com).

     

    WITNESSES

    Witnesses MUST appear by video conferencing. The attorney calling a witness is responsible for ensuring the witness has a separate video and audio feed. Attorneys will not be allowed to "share" a connection with a witness. Witnesses should have a valid form of photo identification. It is the responsibility of the attorney offering the witness to ensure that the witness has proper identification and a link to the proceedings and that all exhibits are available to a witness, including exhibits of opposing parties.

     

    EXHIBITS

    If you intend to offer any exhibits during the hearing/trial, you need to email them to all parties and the Court Reporter ( email above) by noon on the last business day prior to your hearing/trial setting. The subject of the email should include the cause number and Petitioner/Movant or Respondent's Exhibits. The documents must be in pdf format. The Court cannot consider any exhibits not emailed to the court reporter in a timely manner. If you fail to follow this requirement, the court reporter will not maintain these documents in the record.

    Responses or replies e-filed with the Clerk less than 48 hours before a hearing/trial should also be emailed in pdf format to the Court Reporter. They will NOT be considered filed and must be e-filed with the Clerk as usual. Cases for the Judge's reference need not be e-filed with the Clerk  but should be emailed to the Court Reporter by noon on the last business day prior to your hearing/trial setting to allow consideration. Documents e-filed and accepted need not be emailed to the Court Reporter or re-filed with the Clerk.

    All parties participating in a Zoom proceeding are to be dressed as if they were appearing in person in court.

     

    FOR THE PUBLIC

    The open courts provision of Texas law allows all Texans access to court proceedings. As such anyone may call the court coordinator at 817-884-1571 OR bailiff at 817-884-1432 to get access codes to hearings/trials. If you are viewing, please mute your connection to prevent disruption to the proceedings. The public may view or listen to proceedings but video and/or audio recording is prohibited and violations will be subject to contempt.

     

     

    Accessibility Notice: Due to the complexity of the preceding documents, some of these documents are scanned images. If you require assistance in accessing the information, please contact the court coordinator at 817-884-1571.

     

    TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS



    County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111

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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196