April 22, 2020
Pursuant to the Order of The Supreme Court of Texas (Misc. Docket No. 20-9042) and The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas (Misc. Docket No. 20-007) FIRST EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER and subsequent Orders and by recommendation of the State Office of Court Administration and the Presiding Judge of the Third Administrative Judicial Region, Billy Ray Stubblefield:
HAYS COUNTY COURTS AT LAW DOCKETS: Effective immediately, Nonessential In-Person Hearings and Court Appearances are reset until June 1, 2020. Cases will be given a new date and you will receive notice in the mail of your re-set date. No warrants shall issue for a failure to appear on those dates. Any party who wishes to enter a plea may do so remotely. Please call or email the court for a hearing date. On criminal cases, please contact the District Attorney’s Office for information on obtaining plea paperwork, signatures and fingerprint on the Judgment or other documents needed for a remote plea.
The Hays County Courts at Law Jury Dockets will be reset until June 1, 2020. Jurors will not be required to appear before that date.
Jail Docket will be held via video conferencing.
Through May 31, 2020, the only in-person hearings will be limited to Essential Proceedings. Essential Proceedings will include CPS removal hearings, temporary orders, juvenile detention hearings, family violence protective orders, emergency guardianships, writs of habeas corpus and mental health proceedings. This date may be extended based on recommendations of the OCA, CDC and by Order of the Supreme Court of Texas.
Uncontested or other non-essential contested matters, including civil, probate and guardianship cases, will be held remotely. Hearings may be conducted via telephone, a reliable video-conferencing method currently available (FaceTime) or via Zoom. The Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA) has provided for the ability to conduct court proceedings remotely via Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. All documents, including proposed orders, shall be e-filed prior to the hearing. Please call or email the court for a setting date and time.
For the public, The Open Courts Provision of Texas law allows all Texans access to court proceedings. The Judge, Bailiff and Court Reporter will conduct the hearings in open court. In addition, Zoom allows a judge to easily stream the proceedings to the public via YouTube or Facebook. The public may view or listen to the proceedings, but VIDEO OR AUDIO RECORDING IS PROHIBITED. All courtroom rules and safety measures MUST be followed by Order of the Court.
IF ANYBODY IS HAVING SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO COVID-19, RECENTLY TRAVELLED INTERNATIONALLY OR OUT OF STATE, OR HAS COME IN CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS TRAVELLED OR IS SICK, DO NOT COME TO COURT. CONTACT THE COURT AND THE COURT WILL MAKE THE NECESSARY SCHEDULING CHANGES TO ACCOMMODATE YOU.
DOCUMENTS WHICH REQUIRE THE COURT’S SIGNATURE SHALL BE SUBMITTED VIA E-FILE.
The Hays County Courts at Law are open and working to serve the citizens of Hays County and all litigants. However, the health and safety of everyone, including our staff, is of the upmost concern. We appreciate your consideration and cooperation during this unprecedented time. Please call or email with any questions.
Hays County Courts at Law (512) 393-7625 or email@example.com. Please feel free to call or email us at any time with questions.
I expect the dates above to change and/or be extended as this is an everchanging national emergency. Please visit the Official Hays County Court at Law website for up-to-date information. I can be personally contacted at Tacie.Zelhart@co.hays.tx.us.
Hays County Government Center
712 South Stagecoach Trail Ste 2292
San Marcos, TX 78666
Judge, County Court-at-Law, # 1
Robert Updegrove (R)
Term: 4 years – expires in 2022
Judge, County Court-at-Law, # 2
Chris Johnson (R)
Term: 4 years – expires in 2022
Judge, County Court-at-Law, # 3
Tacie Marie Zelhart (R)
Term: 4 years – expires in 2020 (appointed in 2018)
County Courts at Law No. 1 & No. 2