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Contact

County Court at Law Two
Williamson County, Texas
405 M.L.K. Street
Georgetown, TX 78626
Main Line: (512) 943-1410
Fax: (512) 943-1414
Click here for directions

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m.-12 p.m.
1 p.m.- 5 p.m. 

Uncontested Docket Call:
Tuesday & Thursday
8:45 a.m.

Judge Laura Barker
County Court at Law Two Judge
Main Line: (512) 943-1410
Fax:   (512) 943-1414

 
Announcement
The Court publicly encourage persons with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, a fever, or who are coughing or sneezing, to contact the court before appearing. TheCourt also publicly encourages attorneys who know that clients, witnesses, or others have such a condition to alert the court in advance. The Court  will make reasonable accommodations and reschedule appearances and hearings as needed.
 
Judge Laura Barker, County Court at Law Two

On June 7, 2016, following her runoff election victory, Laura Barker was appointed by the Commissioners Court as judge of Williamson County Court at Law Two. Judge Barker was sworn in on June 17, 2016.

Prior to being appointed as judge, Judge Barker had a private law practice concentrating in criminal and juvenile law. She previously served as President of the Williamson County Bar Association, is a Co-Founder of the Women Lawyer’s Section of the Williamson County Bar Association, and is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, an honor bestowed on only the top third of 1% of Texas attorneys each year.

Judge Barker graduated from Bowie High School in Austin, Texas in 1995. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in 1999. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas in 2002.

Judge Barker lives in Georgetown with her husband, Allan Jones, and her son, Gavin. Judge Barker and her family are members of Wellspring United Methodist Church in Georgetown.

 
Announcement to the Public and to the Bar

The Judges of Williamson County take the health and safety of the litigants, attorneys, witnesses and staff seriously.Williamson County is monitoring a variety of sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) for the latest updates and recommendations affecting our operations regarding COVID-19. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Williamson County, or surrounding counties.The risk in Texas continues to be ranked low as COVID-19 is not currently spreading in Texas.However, it is important to have a plan.

PREVENTION FIRST:One of the recommended preventative measures is to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Williamson County has a reputation for being forward leaning when facing any challenge, so we have instructed our custodial services to increase their cleaning standards. They already have begun using hospital grade cleaning products and increased cleaning in common areas including wiping down surfaces.

In addition, they will begin cleaning all desks and surfaces that have been cleared off on Friday evenings, so please make sure to clear off your desks or counters. We also will be purchasing hand sanitizer for public areas of county buildings.

Again, the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like the flu and novel coronavirus are by following these simple steps recommended by the WCCHD:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Get a flu shot. Flu shots are available at no cost through the county health insurance at local pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreen’s and HEB. In addition, the WCCHD will give flu shots to county employees at their clinics.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

DSHS, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Williamson County Emergency Management, Williamson County and Cities Health District and other state and local agencies continue their ongoing preparations so that all of state government is working together to limit the spread of the virus and protect Texans.

This situation is very fluid.Please continue to check the Williamson County and each individual court website for updates about the Williamson County Courts response to COVID-19.Because this is an evolving situation, court processes may change.Please consider the potential exposure to your clients/witnesses who are over the age of 60 or may have underlying medical conditions.Their appearance at the courthouse should be avoided if possible.

 
Ciminal Misdemeanor Courts Under the 2020 State of Disaster COVID-19 and Related Coronavirus

This General Order is issued in response to the Local State of Disaster that has been declared by the County Judge of Williamson County, as well as the declarations by the Governor of the State of Texas, and by the President of the United States, and in conformance with First Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals. (Misc. Docket No. 20-9042 (Tex.) Misc. Docket No. 20-007 (Tex. Crim. App.), accessed at https://www.txcourts.gov/med ia/1446056/209042.pdf )

The Courts of Williamson County are open, "and every person ... shall have remedy by due course of law." (Tx. Const. Art. I Sec. 13). The Court finds that the State of Disaster requires certain steps to be taken in order to mitigate risk to the health and safety of the public, parties, and employees of the Court, and so it is therefore ORDERED that, effective March 19, 2020 and continuing until May 11, 2020, unless extended by further orders:

  1. Due to the limitations on mass gatherings limiting the Courts' ability to impanel juries, all jury trials in ALL MISDEMEANOR matters scheduled through May 11, 2020 are CONTINUED without prejudice to either party and, consistent with the directive of the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals, this Court finds that the ends of justice are served by this continuance.
  2. Magistration of Defendants taken into custody shall continue as it takes place at present, as a critical function of the Courts.
  3. All misdemeanor criminal matters with the exception of jail dockets scheduled for an in-court appearance before any County Court at Law Judge in Williamson County, between March 19, 2020 and May 11, 2020, including any associated deadlines are CONTINUED and will be reset, subject to the restrictions set out below. This General Order shall be extended beyond May 11, 2020 commensurate with disaster declarations issued by federal, state and local authorities.
    1. The Court Administrator of each court shall notify Counsel and/or the Defendant in each case of the new Court Date, once set.
    2. With respect to cases where the Defendant is held in custody of the Sheriff of Williamson County, Defense Cousel shall contact the Court Administrator.
    3. The County Courts at Law hearing misdemeanor matters will remain open for emgerency hearings and plea and sentencing hearings with preference given to in custody cases.
  4. During this period, the parties are strongly encouraged to continue to conference in order to resolve cases, where appropriate.
    1. With respect to cases where the defendant is held in the custody of the Sheriff of Williamson County, defense counsel and the state are ORDERED to conference (in person, telephonically, or via other means) within 7 days of this order, or as soon as is practicable, to confer regarding: the status of the case, any request concerning bond, discovery and any recommendation to resolve the case.
    2. Thereafter, defense counsel shall contact their client (in person, telephonically, or via other means) within 3 days to advise their client of the progress of the case.
  5. Counsel shall notify the Courts through each Court Administrator of all necessary requests for hearings, or entry of a plea.
    1. Under no circumstances should a person appear in Court who is experiencing symptoms of any illness.
    2. The Court will have the capability to conduct hearings in person, telephonically, and electronically.
    3. Each court has the availability to conduct hearings through a virtual courtroom. Please contact each court for their availability to conduct a virtual/electronic hearing. These platforms include CourtCall and Microsoft Teams.
    4. Attorneys shall confer regarding preparation of paperwork prior to the setting and must appear on time.

The Court reminds counsel and the public that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the County Courts at Law function effectively and efficiently during this disaster period. As this situation continues to evolve, this order may be modified or extended. We take seriously our obligation to balance the interest of justice and the health and safety of our courthouse community and the community at large. All are requested to exercise patience in this unprecedented situation. 

This order shall be filed with the Williamson County Clerk and shall be published on each County Court at Law webpage. 

IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 19th DAY OF MARCH 2020. 

Click here for a signed copy

 
Regarding court hearings in misdemeanor cases due to the inaccessability of the courthouse caused by circumstances related to COVID-19

The Courts of Williamson County remain open, and this order is entered with the intent of ensuring that misdemeanor criminal cases may be heard in the County Courts-at-Law of Williamson County. 
Because of the state of emergency ordered by the Governor of Texas, and in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court of Texas, the Texas Cou11 of Criminal Appeals, the Office of Court Administration, and local authorities, the Courts ORDER that, until fu11her order, hearings in misdemeanor cases are restricted to the following issues: 

  1. Plea
  2. Emergency Hearings: and
  3. Bail Hearings

Additionally, because of the public health risk associated with in-person gatherings as articulated in various executive orders issued by the President, Governor, and County Judge, the court ORDERS that EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2020, hearings in misdemeanor cases shall be conducted exclusively on an electronic basis, and in conformance with the "Procedure for Setting and Conducting Electronic & Telephone Court Hearings in Misdemeanor Cases·· attached as Exhibit A. 
As in previously adopted orders, the Courts remind counsel that we take seriously our obligation to balance the interest of justice and the health and safety of our courthouse community and the community at large. 
IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 25th DAY OF MARCH, 2020 

Click here for a signed copy of this order

EXHIBIT A 
PROCEDURE FOR SETTING AND CONDUCTING 
ELECTRONIC & TELEPHONE COURT HEARINGS IN MISDEMEANOR CASES

  1. Hearings in misdemeanor criminal cases are limited to Pleas, Emergency Hearings, and Bail Hearings.
  2. Hearings will be conducted electronically using the Microsoft Teams application. In the event a hearing or other meeting is scheduled you will receive an email with a calendar invitation to the meeting. At the
    appointed time, all invitees will join the meeting by selecting the link provided.
  3. Counsel may access Microsoft Teams to join a meeting anytime, from any device, with or ·without a
    Microsoft Teams account. To join as a guest:
    1.  You will receive an email from the Court with a link ro "Join Microsoft Teams Meeting.'· Click on this link.
    2.  It will bring you to a webpage where you can choose to "Download the Teams App" or "Join on the Web." You can choose either one.
      1. If you are on a desktop computer, "Join on the Web" is easiest. Note: You must use
        Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your web-browser to use Teams on the web.
      2. If you are using a mobile device, downloading the Teams App is easiest.
    3. It will ask you to allow Teams to use your Audio and Video from your computer (you must have a camera and a microphone), and it will ask you to type in your name and click "Join Now."
    4. This will place you in the "Lobby" for the Videoconference to begin.
    5. The person coordinating the call will let you into the Videoconference once it begins.
    6. Please be advised that the call may be recorded by the Court or Court Staff for record purposes
  4. Key Parties
    1. County Court Judges wi II conduct Plea Hearings related to jail cases on a rotating basis.
    2. Other than Plea Hearings related to jail cases, each of the Judges will manage all other hearings on their respective dockets.
    3. Diana Jackson, Criminal Court Coordinator for Court Three, will manage the centralized hearing schedule for hearings involving inmates and will schedule all electronic hearings based on the centralized hearing schedule. There will be limited time slots available/or hearings involving inmates.
    4. The Court Administrator of the Court in which the matter is set is responsible for sending out notices of hearings (including Teams invitations).
    5. The Sheriff's Office will manage the paperwork flow in the jail and ensure that signed paperwork is scanned and provided to the Court.
  5. PROCESS FOR SETTING PLEA HEARINGS RELATED TO JAIL CASES
    NOTE: AGREED DISPOSITION REQUIRED PRIOR TO REQUESTING SETTING
    1. After an agreed disposition is reached, the state will email all required paperwork, including the judgement, to the defense attorney.
    2. PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED HEARING:
      1. Defense attorneys will schedule a time to meet with defendant via phone call taking the following steps:
        1. Call 512-943-1365 to schedule phone call with defendant, and at the same time as the call is scheduled forward paperwork to Jail.Teams@wilco.org.
        2. Sheriffs officers will print out the Plea Paperwork and provide to Defendant prior to scheduled phone call
        3. Participate in phone call with Defendant. If Defendant agrees to plea, instruct Defendant to sign plea paperwork and thumbprint judgment.
    3. Once ready to schedule a plea related to a jail case, the defense attorney will email Diana Jackson at diana.jackson@wilco.org, including the completed plea paperwork, to ask for a setting.
    4. Ms. Jackson will schedule the hearing in an available time based on the hearing schedule set by the Judges. She will then email the Court Administrator for the Judge hearing the docket for that day, sending the time and date of the hearing and the plea paperwork.
    5. The court administrator will send a Teams Meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the setting to the following distribution list:
      1. Jail Staff: Chris Watts & Phillip Schmidt to facilitate having the defendant appear via email at cwatts@wilco.org. and pschmidt@wilco.org
      2. Jail.Teams@wilco.org
      3. Defense Attorney
      4. The State
      5. The Judge, and
      6. The Court Reporter
    6. The Court Administrator will initiate the hearing as the "meeting organizer" in Teams. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will electronically sign the paperwork and forward to the county clerk for filing.
      1. i.    All originals will be filed with the papers of the Court.
      2. ii.    The clerk will email file stamped copy of judgment to jail staff to be forwarded to the
        defendant.
    7. If it becomes necessary for the defense attorney and client to speak privately, the defendant will have access to a phone which will allow for unrecorded conversations with counsel, and the hearing will be recessed to allow for this to happen. Teams should be muted from the jail and attorney inputs.
  6. PROCESS FOR SETTING ALL OTHER NECESSARY ON RECORD HEARINGS
    1. The Moving party will submit paperwork through eFile, as usual, and should separately notify the Other Party that paperwork is being filed and a hearing is being sought.
    2. The Moving party will contact Court Administrator to request hearing and will advise the Court Administrator as to whether the Defendant needs to be present for the hearing, and whether the defendant is in custody.
    3. If the defendant is in custody and needs to be present for the hearing, the Court Administrator will contact Ms. Jackson to ask for a jail hearing slot (see 5d, above).
    4. The court administrarator will send a Teams Meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the setting to the following distribution list:
      1. Dfense Attorney
      2. The State
      3. The Judge, and
      4. The Court Reporter.
      5. Jail Staff: Chris Watts & Phillip Schmidt (if the Defendant is in custody and needs to be present)
      6. Jail.Teams@wilco.org (if the Defendant is in custody and needs to be present)
    5. The Hearing will take place, and the Judge will sign necessary paperwork in Odyssey. The Court Administrator wi II ensure that the County Clerk is aware that there has been an update to the case.
    6. If it becomes necessary for the defense attorney and client to speak privately, the defendant will have access to a phone which will allow for unrecorded conversations with counsel, and the hearing will be recessed to allow for this to happen.
    7. The procedure under this section applies to plea hearings for cases involving defendants not in jail. For such pleas, the attorney will email the plea paperwork directly to the Court Administrator for the court conducting the hearing.
  7. PROCESS FOR SETTING NON-RECORD TELEPHONIC CONFERENCES
    1. The Party seeking a non-record telephonic hearing will contact the Court Administrator, with a copy to the other party, via email asking for a non-record telephonic hearing.
    2. Any necessary paperwork must be submitted through eFile before hearing is scheduled.
    3. The Court Administrator will work with the Judge to set a time and will notify the Judge and all parties of the time, via an appointment.
    4. The Judge will initiate the conference call and will add the parties into the call.
    5. The hearing will take place.
    6. The judge will direct one of the parties to send an email to the Court and participants confirming the outcome of the hearing.
    7. The Judge will make a docket entry to reflect that the hearing has taken place and its outcome.
 
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