Due to the current public health concern associated with the COVID-19 virus, the Texas Office of Court Administration has recommended that courts in the State of Texas modify their calendar for court proceedings to minimize the risk of exposure to court participants, staff and the public. ln response, Judge Kennon, Judge King and Judge Mathews have determined that modifications to our dockets are necessary. lt is important to remember that the virus presents a rapidly changing situation that is being closely monitored but will necessitate further docket modifications as time goes on. ln an effort to balance constitutionally protected due-process rights during this emergency that affects the public health and safety of the citizens of Williamson County, the Judges have established the following procedures for conducting court business.
- The Courts will maintain regular business hours until further notice.
- All jury trials are cancelled until April 5, 2020. Future jury settings will be evaluated on or before April 6th. Parties will be notified of jury setting changes by the court administrator and will have and opportunity to schedule pre-trial conferences as necessary.
- Current criminal dockets through April, 2020 will be reset as determined by each respective court. Court administrators will notify attorneys, bondsman and pro se defendants of their next setting by email or regular mail, if email address is unknown. ln order to expedite the resolution of a matter, counsel may request an interim setting as needed.
- Future dockets will be limited in size to minimize the number of individuals convened in the courtroom at one time. Dockets will be conducted on a staggered schedule as determined by each respective court. The Judges are meeting to set the interim schedule. Thereafter, Court calendars will be available at: http: //www.wilco.org/Elected-officials/District-Courts
- Setting information may be confirmed online via the District Clerk portal at: http://judicialrecords.wilco.org/PublicAccess/Search.aspx?t D=26
- Jail cases will take a priority over cases that are on bond
- Jail call will be held on designated days as determined by each respective Court. Attorneys may schedule a plea on a jail case in another court, as needed to expedite resolution of the case.
- To reduce court appearances, defendants on bond will receive extended reset dates when appropriate.
- Jail cases will be reviewed and approved for release on pre-trial contract, when appropriate.
- Pre-trial supervision reporting requirements may be modified to reduce in-person contacts.
- Magistration will continued in compliance with the indigent defense plan.
- First appearance settings will be extended 60 days from the date of magistration.
It is important to note that the COVID-19 situation is fluid and will require the Courts to amend and supplement these basic procedures as circumstances arise. lf your case presents specific concerns, please contact the appropriate court. Thank you in advance for your patience during this process and dedication to the service of your clients. With the cooperation of the District Attorney, all key personnel and each of you, we will ensure that the interest of justice is served.
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