Court Coronavirus Information
The Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals, working with the Office of Court Administration are committed to ensure that justice continues to be served to all Texans in the current pandemic situation.
Current Emergency Orders Issued
In response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court has issued the following Emergency Orders that are still in effect.
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.
Extends the deadline for payment of State Bar membership fees is extended to October 31, 2020.
Requires certain information in an eviction petition and included with an eviction citation; limits proceeding with eviction proceedings in certain circumstances.
Replaces Emergency Order 22 on 10/1 and permits courts to modify or suspend deadlines and procedures through 12/1; requires courts to continue to use all reasonable efforts to hold proceedings remotely and to follow OCA's Guidance for All Court Proceedings; prohibits Justice and Municipal Courts from holding an in-person jury proceeding prior to 12/1; permits district, county, and probate courts to hold in-person jury trials after certain actions; permits courts to hold virtual jury proceedings in certain cases with certain technology provided to prospective jurors; extends the possession and access to a child provisions from previous orders; extends the ability for an attorney professional disciplinary or disability proceeding to conduct proceedings remotely.
Establishes eviction procedures (Texas Eviction Diversion Program) for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent. The order allows an eviction proceeding to be abated by agreement for 60 days, requires courts to provide tenants with information about the program, and makes court records for participants confidential while eviction cases are delayed. The order also outlines procedure for reinstating evictions. Without such reinstatement, eviction cases will be subject to dismissal. The order, expires December 18, and is effective October 12 for “pilot” counties established by the Office of Court Administration and November 9 for all other Texas counties.
The Texas Eviction Diversion Program is supported by Gov. Greg Abbott's commitment of $171 million in federal money for landlords to provide an eviction alternative. Eligibility for rental assistance under the program will be administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.