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Local Rules


Court Operations Under Circumstances Created by the COVID-19 Pandemic

After Texas Governor Abbott's disaster proclamation entered March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals  entered their "First  Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster" modifying and suspending certain provisions related to court proceedings. The order that applies in all courts and to all case types is meant to provide courts with flexibility to delay or modify proceedings as necessary to address the threat of the COVID-19 disaster. 

Due to the Court following the recommendations of the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, the Amended Order of Declaration of Local Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency for Smith County, Texas, and for the health and safety of the citizens of Smith County and Court Staff, the Court will contact all parties to either reschedule an in-court appearance to a date in May or to set an online videoconferencing court hearing.

All videoconferencing hearings will be conducted by ZOOM and available for viewing by clicking on the link to the Court’s YouTube account below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB8fVUFpVAw7yR5Zyikdrtw?view_as=subscriber

  • Each person (attorney, staff, witness) appearing at a videoconference hearing must have access to a computer or other device capable of utilizing Zoom. Zoom supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. The Court has a premium Zoom license and can host meetings of up to 300 participants and for an unlimited time period. All other users can use the basic Zoom license, available from Zoom at no cost.
  • All videoconference court proceedings will be broadcast over the Court's YouTube channel. The Texas Supreme Court has determined that this procedure satisfies the Open Courts Provision of the Texas Constitution.
  • No video or audio recording of the hearings is permitted.
  • Witnesses will be sworn by the Court, without the need for a notary. The Supreme Court has suspended certain procedural rules, such as those restricting remote testimony.
  • Prior to the scheduled hearing, the Court will send an email inviting all attorneys to the Zoom meeting. Attorneys, please be sure to forward the link to your client and any testifying witnesses.

Additional tips:

  • If you are not currently speaking, mute your own zoom account.
  • Multiple users should not physically be in the same room. This will prevent echoing/feedback on the equipment.
  • Please speak one at a time. Zoom conferencing works best when there is a pause between speakers, so please wait a brief moment before speaking after someone else.

NOTE: The “virtual courtroom” is subject to the same provisions as physical courtrooms. Please exercise proper courtroom decorum at all times.

COVID-19 Operating Plan for Smith County Judiciary dated May 27, 2020


Court Dockets

County Court Docket Calendar

All dockets are subject to change.

Select a date below to retrieve docket: