The coronavirus is impacting courts across Texas. Kaufman County Judges have issued the following orders to reduce the number of hearings and to help with the social distancing recommendation by the CDC.
These guidelines are effective from March 23, 2020, until further order of the Courts-
- If a Person is Sick- Everyone who is sick or who thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact (phone or email) the court to reschedule their hearings or trials. These individuals should not appear in court.
- Non-Essential Court Matters are Rescheduled-Unless a case is designated below as an Essential Court Matter, all in-person hearings and trials will be rescheduled during the time this order is in effect. Essential Court Matters will proceed. You must contact each court regarding any setting scheduled during the effective time frame.
Essential Court Matters Defineda.
a. Any suits or hearings with jurisdictional deadlines
b. Family law cases (including IV–D Court):
- Texas Family Code Title 4 — protective orders and family violence
- Texas Family Code Chapter 157, Subchapter H — habeas corpus and writs of attachment for children.
- Texas Family Code Chapter 261-263 — child welfare suits filed by the government
- Texas Family Code Chapter 33 — judicial bypass
- Texas Family Code Chapter 157 enforcements, only if a respondent is in custody
- Emergency Relief — after reviewing an affidavit, the court may decide to set a hearing on a motion for emergency relief/injunction hearings based on a TRO.
c. Criminal Cases:
1. Writs of habeas corpus
2. Any dispositive nearing before the court of where a defendant has requested
a speedy trial or speedy disposition
3. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17 bond hearings
4. Any time-sensitive hearing required to be conducted by an Appellate Court
5. Defendants who are free on bail and represented by counsel need not
appear for any announcement setting in person, but the defendant’s lawyer
is required to email pass slips to the court with the defendant’s signature
within 24 hours after the appearance date. Attorneys representing clients
who are in-custody are required to obtain the client’s signature and follow
the procedure above. All self-represented individuals are required to appear
6. Plea dockets will proceed as scheduled by the respective court.
d. Civil Cases:
1. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 7A protective orders
2. Temporary restraining orders and temporary injunction
e. Juvenile Cases:
1. Texas Family Code Title 3, if a child is in detention
2. Unless Set for a trial or plea or a Motion for Deferred, juveniles who are not
in custody and their parents/guardians are not required to appear in person
for appearance and announcement settings unless the child is not yet
represented by counsel. When juveniles are not yet represented by counsel,
they and their parents/guardians must appear in court to address the lack of
attorney and to get a new Setting.
3 Any dispositive hearing where a defendant as requested a speedy trial or
4. Any time-sensitive nearing required to be conducted by an Appellate Court
or emergency issues arranged with the Judge and opposing counsel
f. Probate Court:
1. Mental Health Docket
2. Temporary Restraining Orders hearings
3. Temporary Injunction Hearings
4. Texas Health & Safety Code Chapter 48, Removal Hearings
h. Grand Jury
i. Justice Courts
1. Writs of Re-Entry
2. Writs of Restoration
3. Repair and Remedy
4. Emergency Detention Warrants
5. Criminal Magistration
j. Any other matters that may be designated by a court at its discretion
4. No Jury Trials
The undersigned courts will not be conducting any jury trials for the period of March 23, 2020 through May 22, 2020.
5. Uncontested Matters and Prove-Up’s by Submission Only
Beginning immediately, all uncontested matters will be considered by SUBMISSION or telephone conference. if a prove-up by telephone appearance is needed, call the court’s coordinator to get a setting.
There may be some cases, depending on the type and facts of the case that require an in-person appearance; these cases will be set at the discretion of the court.
All agreed orders and matters that can be heard by submission should be electronically filed.