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Contact

26th Judicial District Court
Judge Donna King
405 Martin Luther King, Box 2
Georgetown, TX 78626
Office: (512) 943-1226
Fax: (512) 943-1188
Driving Directions

Deb Lewis
Court Administrator
dlewis@wilco.org
(512) 943-1226

Cindy Kocher
Court Reporter
ckocher@wilco.org
(512) 943-1228

Steve Miller
Bailiff
smiller@wilco.org

 
26th District Court
Judge Donna King

Judge Donna King

 
Williamson County Justice Center Fourth Revised COVID Operating Plan Quick Reference

Statement of Intent

The intent of this plan is to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff of the Justice Center while ensuring access to a fair and effective justice system.

Health and Safety

  • The Local Health Authority has indicated that vaccination is the most effective mechanism to mitigate against spread of COVID and severity of infection. We urge justice system stakeholders to consult with their medical provider to determine if they should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Individuals are responsible for self-monitoring and should not enter the Justice Center if symptomatic for COVID-19. Staff must inform supervisor of COVID-19 symptoms, positive test, or exposure.
  • Specific minimum health protocols in the Justice Center are tied to the Gating Stages used by the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD), and outlined in the chart below.
  • Unvaccinated persons are requested to use face coverings during all stages. Judges may require mask use in their court room at any time. In addition, depending on the status of COVID spread in the jail and in consultation with the Local Health Authority, judges may require in-custody inmates appearing in-person to wear masks.
  • Unvaccinated persons are requested to observe social distancing during all stages. All persons are required to observe social distancing when Williamson County enters the Orange and the Red stages.
Health District Gating Stage Green
Normal Community Spread
Yellow
Moderate Community Spread
Orange
High Community Spread
Red
Uncontrolled Community Spread
Face Coverings Requested of unvaccinated individuals; individual courts have discretion to require in their courtroom. Requested of unvaccinated individuals; individual courts have discretion to require in their courtroom. Requested of unvaccinated individuals; individual courts have discretion to require in their courtroom Requested of all individuals; individual courts have discretion to require in their courtroom.
Social Distancing Unvaccinated individuals are asked to observe social distancing. Unvaccinated individuals are asked to observe social distancing. Required through the building. Required throughout building
Courtroom Capacity Not required Not required Limited to allow for social distancing. Limited to allow for social distancing
In Person Proceedings (including Jury Trials) No Limitation No Limitation No limitation, subject to capacity requirements to allow for social distancing. No limitation, subject to capacity requirements to allow for social distancing

Hearings and Courtroom

Use Each court will use their own courtroom to conduct proceedings without limitation other than capacity restrictions noted above to allow for social distancing. The IV-D Courtroom, the Auxiliary Courtroom, and the Jury Impaneling Room are designated for Jury Deliberation Space, jury selection, and special proceedings, and will be scheduled by the Director of District Court Administration.

Jury Trials

Judges have prioritized setting cases for trial and, to that end, have adopted a Jury Trial Rotation Schedule, which will be published separately and updated as-needed. It is designed to allow for adherence to the health and safetyrelated provisions of the operating plan. Judges may trade trial weeks for orderly management of their dockets.

Special Health Concerns for Jury Trials

  • Trial participants are required to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and must advise the court of any symptoms, positive test or exposure.
  • A person who has tested positive for COVID within the last 14 days, had symptoms of COVID within the last 14 days, or had recent known exposure to COVID within the last 14 days may not participate in person in a jury proceeding. If permissible, they may participate via remote technology.
  • Counsel are specifically required to communicate these health requirements to witnesses they plan to call.
  • Information regarding COVID concerns will be included in the jury summons process and the court will be liberal in excusing jurors for health reasons.

Logistics for a Jury Trial

  • The Director of District Court Administration is available to assist the court and counsel with jury trial logistics.
  • Voir dire may be conducted off-site for space and social distancing needs. • Jurors may use either the IV-D Courtroom, the Auxiliary Courtroom, or the Jury Impaneling Room as the Jury Room.
  • Seating may be different in the Courtroom. For example, the Jury may be seated in the gallery, and the witness may be seated in the Jury Box or the Bailiff stand.
  • Public attendance will be permitted as normal, but seating may be limited due to social distancing and the location of the Jury