Be safe and remember to stay clean!
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NEWS: COURTS EVERYWHERE ARE CLOSING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Due to the Coronavirus, courts everywhere are closing. Here is the info so far:
- Tarrant County criminal courts are closed until April 20 .
- Dallas County criminal courts are closed until May 8.
This applies to court proceedings for citizens accused charged with crimes who are out on bonds. Incarcerated persons will have court settings as set by the courts. Some courts may choose to have limited dockets. Please contact our firm and we will verify what your status is. Our goal is to contribute to everyone’s safety by rescheduling your court date until the President of the United States and the Governor of Texas declare the COVID-19 State of Emergency over.
In an effort to service our clients and out of a concern for everyone’s safety, we are offering our clients an option to have their meetings and case evaluations done by virtual office (google hangouts). Please call our office to coordinate. We can also reschedule if this better suits your needs. The Coffey Firm is wishing you much health, safety and happiness during these dangerous times and beyond. We are here to help.
All criminal courts must follow the directive of the highest criminal court of Texas, the Court of Criminal Appeals. They have issued the following order applicable to all criminal courts:
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-9042
IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-007
FIRST EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
- Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code.
- Subject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case,civil or criminal-and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public- without a participant’s consent:
- Modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted;
- Allow or require anyone involved in any hearing, deposition, or other proceeding of any kind-including but not limited to a party, attorney, witness, or court reporter, but not including a juror-to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;
- Consider as evidence sworn statements made out of court or sworn testimony given remotely, out of court, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;
- Conduct proceedings away from the court’s usual location, but in the county of venue, and only with reasonable notice and access to the participants and the public;
- Require every participant in a proceeding to alert the court if the participant has, or knows of another participant who has, COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or a fever, cough or sneezing;
- Take any other reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19.
- All courts in Texas may extend the statute of limitations in any civil case for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted.
- This Order is effective as of March 13, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to:
- file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and
- send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and each member of the Legislature.
- The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members of the Texas bar of this Order.
Dated: March 13, 2020