What is the COVID Impact Court?
Recognizing the impact of the COVID Pandemic on case processing, particularly in felony criminal matters, the District Judges have established the COVID Impact Court (CIC). This is a collaborative effort with the Courts and the DA’s Office that is designed to provide additional trial time and docket time as a means of bringing cases to a quicker resolution. The operations of the CIC are funded, in part, by a grant from the Texas Office of Court Administration.
How is the CIC Scheduled/Used?
- The CIC will have 2 jury trial weeks each month
- SVU Cases: One date will be dedicated to cases assigned to the DA’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU), placing the SVU cases on an expedited track to disposition.
- Referred Cases: One date will be utilized on rotation by the District Courts hearing criminal matters. During Civil weeks, Judges often have criminal cases as backup. This will allow the Judge to refer the backup criminal case to the CIC for trial, reducing delay.
- The CIC will have at least 2 docket days per month
- The CIC will be holding Adult and Juvenile Docket days. This will allow for cases to be moved through the process more expeditiously when the District Courts are in hearings or other trials.
What do I need to do?
- For SVU Cases, you will be contacted by CIC Staff and advised of your new Jury Trial Date, as well as the dates for Pretrial Conference and Jury Selection.
- For Referred Cases, the “Sending Court” will advise you when your case is referred to the CIC for trial. This will generally happen no more than a week before your trial date and will depend on which case(s) from the trial docket resolve before jury selection.
I have questions, who do I call?
- Amber Norton will be serving as the Administrator for the CIC.
- A Visiting Judge, assigned by the Regional Presiding Judge, will hear these cases. Though the Judge assigned is subject to change, in many instances, it will be Judge Rick Kennon, retired Judge of the 368th District Court.
- The Court may be contacted through District Court Administration: firstname.lastname@example.org 512-943-1286.