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    COVID-19 and Justice Court, Pct. 1

    What you need to know about how Coronavirus is affecting Justice Court 1 Procedures and Docket

    Executive Orders

    JP1-Law-Books-Gavel

    Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has signed a declaration of local disaster due to a public health emergency.

    The order was signed to help contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Tarrant County.(1) Tarrant County COVID-19 Information

    Click here to view Tarrant County COVID-19 Information

    33rd Emergency Order

    The Supreme Court of Texas has issued its 33rd Emergency Order, related to Jury Trials.

    • The hold on Jury Trials has been extended through April 1, 2021.

    Click here to read the 33rd Emergency Order in its entirety.

    32nd Emergency Order

    The Supreme Court of Texas has issued its 32nd Emergency Order, extending the Cares Act and CDC Declaration Requirement until January 31, 2021. Below are some important highlights:

    • LANDLORDS
      • The landlord must include in an original, amended, or supplemental petition information related to the CARES Act, as well as whether a Declaration under the CDC moratorium has been provided. This requirement applies to ALL evictions, even though the CDC moratorium and the 30-day notice to vacate under the CARES Act only apply to evictions for nonpayment.
    • TENANTS
      • Under the CDC’s order, you MUST file the declaration with the Justice Court and serve a copy of the declaration on the landlord, owner of the residential property where you live, or other person who has a right to have you evicted or removed from where you live.
        • IMPORTANT: Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete this declaration.
      • If a tenant provides a Declaration after an eviction suit is filed, they must file it with the court and serve it on the plaintiff. The court must then abate the case unless the plaintiff contests the Declaration and the court holds a hearing to determine next steps.
      • The court may not proceed unless the judge holds a hearing to determine whether they can proceed and enters a written order detailing why the case may proceed.

    Click here to read the 32nd Emergency Order in its entirety.


    State of Texas Eviction Diversion Program- EFFECTIVE February 1, 2021

    The Supreme Court of Texas has issued its 28th Emergency Order, delaying the implementation of the State of Texas Eviction Diversion Program in counties that are not designated by OCA as pilot counties until Spring 2021. Below are some important highlights:

    The Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) helps Texas tenants stay in their homes and provides landlords an alternative to eviction. The TEDP may provide up to six months of rental assistance for eligible tenants who are behind on their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been sued for eviction. Both the tenant and the landlord must agree to participate and meet the requirements in the chart below. This temporary program is a unique partnership between the Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Office of Court Administration, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).

    • Assistance can be used to pay the full contracted rent that is past due (up to five months), and the remainder may be used to pay for subsequent months of assistance (up to a total of six months).
    • The TEDP uses a special court process that allows courts to put eviction lawsuits on hold and divert them to the TEDP. Under the TEDP, lump sum payments are provided to landlords for rental arrears in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes and forgiving late fees. Diverted cases will be dismissed and made confidential from public disclosure.

    For more information on the State of Texas Eviction Diversion Program Click on the links below.

    Texas Judicial Branch

    Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

    Texas Eviction Diversion Program (TEDP) Overview

    Click here to read the 31st Emergency Order in its entirety.

    TEDP Informational Brochures

    TEDP Brochure (English)

    TEDP Brochure (Spanish)

    TEDP Brochure (Vietnamese)

    The 31st Emergency Order expires March 15, 2021.

     

    Court Procedures and Operating Plan

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    With the recent developments regarding COVID-19,  we are experiencing heavier than normal call volume. If you have any questions or concerns, we strongly encourage you to email these to JP1Court@tarrantcounty.com. We will answer your email at first come-first served basis and as soon as possible.

    Thank you,

    Justice Court, Pct. 1

    Justice Court, Pct. 1 is now open for all matters to include weddings. We encourage our customers to continue to utilize E-File Texas and E-File Texas Self-help to file new cases or file into your existing case. In cases where utilizing our online tools is not feasible, please call in advance to schedule an appointment.   

    During any crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, safety comes first. Recognizing the need to ensure the health and safety of litigants, attorney, visitors, court staff, judges, and other individuals, the below court procedure changes have been made;

    Before being allowed access to the court room as well as the court’s office area. Visitors will be asked the following questions:

    • Are you experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit?
    • Is a member of your household experiencing any of these symptoms?
    • Have you, or any member of your household, been tested for COVID- 19?
    • Have you been in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19?
      • Close contact is defined as…
        • Spending more than a few minutes near someone confirmed to have COVID-19. This could be anything from riding in the same car as an infected individual, holding an extended conversation, working together in a confined space such as a conference room, or eating lunch next to each other.
        • Living, caring for, or visiting an infected individual or sharing a health care waiting room or treatment room.
    • Have you or a member of your household been directed to quarantine by a health care provider or government agency?
    • Have you, or a member of your household, recently traveled internationally?

    If you answer YES to any of the questions outlined above, please DO NOT come in person. Contact the court at 817-884-1395 or JP1court@tarrantcounty.com.

    If you answer NO, you will be required to follow the social distancing and health guidelines below.

    • Respect Social Distancing as it will be strictly enforced in our office.
    • Face coverings MUST be worn at all times.
      • If a visitor does not have a face covering, one will be provided to them.
    • Hand sanitizing – visitors will utilize the hand sanitizer provided to sanitize their hands before entering the court room as well as the courts office area.
    • No more than 3 visitors will be allowed in the court office area at one time.
    • Until further notice, all weddings will be limited to the wedding party ONLY.

    All Jury Trials have been postponed through April 1, 2021.

    The court understands that timely resolution of cases is important to all parties. Therefore, we want to make you aware of several options that will allow you to continue with your case without further delay.

    •  If you wish to withdraw your jury request, please submit your request in writing to JP1court@tarrantcounty.com.  Once the request is received by the court, your case will be set for our earliest E-Court Hearing/Trial docket date through ZOOM.

    Click here to download a copy of the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in English and Spanish

     

    MOBILE TESTING

    cq5dam.web.1280.1280

    Tarrant County COVID-19 Mobile Testing

    https://www.txcovidtest.org/

    COVID-19 ASSISTANCE OPTIONS

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    COVID Related Job Loss Eviction Assistance

    Tarrant County’s Human Services Department may be able to provide you assistance if you have been evicted or about to be evicted due to a reduction of income related to a Covid related job loss and your income is below 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.  To learn if your situation is one that may qualify, contact Human Services by calling 817-531-5620,  Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m..

    Emergency Help for Fort Worth Families (Assists Renters and Homeowners with a Mortgage)

    The City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department is accepting applications to help residents with housing and other household expenses resulting from COVID-19. CARES Act Funds helps residents who have suffered economically from the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.

    Click here to download a copy of the Emergency Help for Fort Worth Families

    Tarrant County Rental Assistance Program

    http://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county/social-services/rental-assistance-program.html

    Tarrant County Homeless Coalition

    https://ahomewithhope.org/

    Catholic Charities of Fort Worth

    While many community agencies may have to close their doors, Catholic Charities Fort Worth is open and still serving clients as usual while accepting new clients. Anyone seeking help should call CCFW’s main line at 817-534-0814. The agency’s friendly staff will be working to solve for limited financial assistance and long-term case management needs and will be happy to direct calls to community partners if they are unable to provide assistance for any reason.

    • Crisis Assistance: Financial assistance for rent and utilities, gift card distribution for food and basic necessities, SNAP enrollment assistance, and case management assistance (this means we offer immediate relief for this crisis, as well as holistic services to help you build financial stability - thus preparing you for any potential future crisis).
    • Transportation: Transportation for employment, medical, education, public benefits offices and quality of life trips.
    • Immigration Services: We cover all areas of family-based immigration, humanitarian relief, and citizenship services.
    • Dental Clinic: We are open for emergency needs.

    Click here to visit Catholic Charities Fort Worth for Crisis Assistance  

    Continue to check our website for updates as more information becomes available.

    Accessibility Notice: Due to the complexity of the preceding documents, these documents are scanned images. If you require assistance in accessing the information, please contact Justice Court One at 817-884-1395.

    TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS



    County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111

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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196