Tough Former Prosecutors

40+ Years Trial Experience

What To Know About Harris County Courts

** THIS WILL BE UPDATED DAILY**

Harris County Courts, and the obligation to appear on your scheduled court date, are changing on a day-to-day basis.

We have included links and explanations below to help guide you.

**NOTE** If you have a Court date scheduled in the immediate or near future, contact Mingledorff Law immediately. It is our position that any demand for physical presence in Court, a building which will undoubtedly contain countless strangers and generally lacks cleanliness, is an egregious violation to your personal safety, a public health violation, and likely a violation of a public order. Mingledorff Law has been successful thus far at keeping all of their clients from physically going to Court during these times. We will fight to make sure those whom we represent are safe from unnecessary risk to themselves and the public, including a physical appearance at Court until this situation subsides.

FELONY COURT SETTINGS:

Pursuant to a District Court Statement issued on March 18th, 2020, Effective through May 8 2020:

  1. DEFENDANTS ON BOND SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT BEFORE MAY 8, 2020
    • Defendants who have not previously appeared in the assigned Court must contact the Court or their attorney to determine whether or not they must appear following release from custody or after posting bond. If a Defendant is sick or in an at-risk group, the Defendant should alert the Court immediately.
    • Defendants who have previously appeared in the assigned Court will automatically be rescheduled. Defendants and attorneys do not need lo appear if automatically rescheduled
  2. DEFENDANTS IN CUSTODY
    • Preliminary Assigned Court Appearance (PACA)
      • Defendants must appear before the Court (physically or remotely) unless quarantined, sick, or at risk.
      • This setting is to ensure the prompt appointment of counsel, as well as to review bail.
    • Other (Court) Settings
      • Defendants and attorneys should only appear in Court if a matter is essential or time sensitive and has been docketed.
        • If the matter has been docketed as essential or time-sensitive, Defendants and attorneys may request to appear remotely.
      • Attorneys should request to docket a matter if the parties believe it will lead to the disposition of the case.

Generally, this means that you do not have to Court but should consult an attorney first. If you have any questions about your upcoming setting, please call Mingledorff Law at 281-4971-7180.

See link: Harris County Felony Court Statement

MISDEMEANOR COURT SETTINGS

  1. DEFENDANTS ON BOND SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT
    • County Criminal Courts at Law will suspend dockets for accused individuals on bond until further notice, or until the state of emergency is lifted. All individuals with an attorney, hired or appointed, shall not attend their court settings until further notice. Please continue to contact your attorney if you have questions. If you do not have an attorney, please contact the court for your future date. The court’s contact information can be found on the individual court’s website.
  2. JURY TRIALS
    • Al jury trials (in misdemeanor court) will be suspended until further notice.
  3. DOCKETS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN CUSTODY
    • County Criminal Courts at Law will reduce operations to jail cases only in four courtrooms with two courtrooms on the 8th floor and 2 courtrooms on the 9th floor of the Criminal Justice Center.
      Courtroom 1
      8th Floor
      Courtroom 3
      8th Floor
      Courtroom 5
      9th Floor
      Courtroom 6
      9th Floor
      Courts 1 – 4 Courts 5 – 8 Courts 9 – 12 Courts 13 – 16

The policies and procedures amid this pandemic are fluid and are constantly being revised with public safety as the paramount concern. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

See link: Harris County Misdemeanor Courts Update

GENERAL COURT ANNOUNCEMENT MARCH 24th, 2020

  • To reduce unnecessary risk to the public, in-person gatherings will only be permitted when necessary to accomplish essential court functions.
  • All courts operating within county buildings are required to limit all gatherings to a maximum of ten people with the exception of grand juries and mandated Chapter 81 jury trials, mental health trials or as determined constitutionally necessary by a Judge.
  • The maximum occupancy of all courtrooms is limited to ten people with the exception of grand juries and mandated Chapter 81 jury trials, mental health trials or as determined constitutionally necessary by a Judge.
  • The maximum occupancy of all other spaces is limited to that which can ensure the comfortable social distancing of at least six feet between all persons, and at no time more than ten people.
  • All courts will enforce procedures to ensure the comfortable social distancing of at least six feet between all persons at all times.

Courtroom Elevators:

  • The maximum occupancy of all elevators is limited to no more than one person or one pre-existing family or social unit, unless posted to greater capacity. Harris County Criminal Courts at Law:
  • No more than two County Criminal Courtrooms are permitted to operate on any given day within the Criminal Justice Center.
  • Courtroom Locations in CJC on the 8th Floor: 8-1 & 8-3.

Harris County Criminal District Courts:

  • No more than eight District Courtrooms will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Criminal Justice Center (CJC).
  • Courtroom Locations in CJC on the 14th and 15th Floor: 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, & 14-4; 15-1, 15-2, 15-3, & 15-4.

Harris County Civil District Courts:

  • No more than six District Courtrooms will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Harris County Civil Courthouse.
  • Courtroom locations in the Civil Courthouse: 80th District Court – 9th Floor, 129th District Court — 10th Floor, 152nd District Court-11th Floor, 165th District Court -12th Floor, 215th District Court -13th Floor, & 333rd District Court -14th Floor. 3.22.20

Harris County Family District Courts

  • No more than three Family Courtrooms will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Harris County Civil Courthouse
  • Courtroom Locations in the Civil Courthouse: 310th District Court – 15th Floor & 312th District Court – 16th Floor.
  • Courtroom location in the Juvenile Justice Center: 280th District Court -7 th Floor

Harris County Civil Courts at Law:

  • No more than one Civil Court at Law Courtroom will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Harris County Civil Courthouse.
  • Courtroom Location in the Civil Courthouse: County Civil Court at Law 2 – 5th Floor.

Harris County Juvenile Courts:

  • No more than one Juvenile Courtroom will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Juvenile Justice Center in the 314th District Court, 5th floor.
  • No more than one Detention Hearing Courtroom will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Juvenile Justice Center on the 1st floor.
  • No more than one public viewing by video will be permitted to operate on any given day within the Juvenile Justice Center at the Juvenile Probation Training Room on the 1st Floor.

Harris County Family Law Center

  • All IV-D matters will conducted via virtual courtroom.

See link: Harris County Courts COVID Regulations

HARRIS COUNTY COURT LINKS:

Harris County Courts COVID Regulations

Harris County Misdemeanor Courts Update

Harris County Felony Court Statement