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*** TEMPORARY OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COUNTY COURT NO. 2 ***
 
As most of you are aware, the Office of Court Administration recently issued new mandates in response to covid.  The following provisions are an effort to balance continuity of service with community safety. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.  
 
Effective January 4, 2021, the Courts will begin coverage on a rotating schedule. There will always be one County Court available at the courthouse during business hours. The other Courts will be operational and available from a remote location. This is an attempt to limit the number of people at the courthouse. Until further notice, the Court is best accessible via email or telephone.  
 
In compliance with the OCA instructions, County Court No. 2 is implementing the following rules on a temporary basis, effective January 4, 2021:
 
 
 
HEARINGS
 
ALL hearings and bench trials will occur electronically, via Zoom or LifeSize, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Court.  Attorneys will receive a Zoom link for any hearing requested.  Attorneys are expected to have the ability to participate in hearings electronically.                                                                                                          
 
Attorneys should prepare their witnesses to appear electronically.   
 
In person hearings will be permitted only if a Party does not (and cannot) have the ability to participate electronically.  
 
All exhibits must be exchanged and emailed to the Court Reporter, at least 24 hours prior to hearing. 
 
It is the responsibility of the Attorney/Party requesting the hearing to notice, in writing, the opposing party.  Proof of delivery of notice must be filed with the appropriate clerk or brought to court at the time of setting. 
 
 
 
MISDEMEANOR DOCKETS
 
Cases involving Defendants with Counsel should appear electronically on their assigned court date. No personal appearance by the Defendant or his/her Attorney is required once a letter of representation has been filed.  In keeping with the OCA requirements, Attorneys may not make a personal appearance in the Coordinator’s office to discuss their cases.   
 
 Instead, the Attorney of Record should:
 
(1)            Discuss the case with the Assistant District Attorney assigned the case prior to noon on their date of setting; and, 
 
(2)           An email should be sent to the Court (through the Coordinator and copying the ADA) notifying the Court of case status before 5:00 p.m. on the docket date.  The email shall notify the Court of any future action needed to progress the case forward. 
 
If a reset is requested, the email must state the reason for the reset.  A case shall not receive multiple resets for the same reason.   A request for resets in excess of three (3) must be approved by the Judge.    
 
It is the responsibility of the Attorney of Record to contact the Prosecutor, review the case file and notify the Court of case status.  Court Prosecutors shall make themselves available to discuss cases prior to the docket setting.  
 
Failure to follow the appearance procedure stated above will result in the case being reset on the Court’s docket for mandatory electronic (Zoom) appearance for both the defendant and the defense counsel within 3–5 days.  Failure to appear for the mandatory electronic appearance date shall result in forfeiture of the bond and a warrant for the defendant. 
 
(3)           In the event that personal appearance is required, the Attorney of Record shall notify the Court Coordinator in advance and arrangements will be made for the hearing to occur via personal appearance. Only the Defendant and his/her Attorney of Record will be allowed in the courtroom.  Defendants shall not bring guests into the courthouse with them. 
 
 
 
 
 
DISPOSITION DOCKET
 
When a case is ready for disposition, the Attorney shall notify the Court Coordinator; and they will be assigned a mutually acceptable court date.  The Disposition docket is held by assignment only.  The assigned date/time is specific for your plea.  The Attorney shall have the necessary documents (all plea paperwork) completed and submitted to the clerk at least one hour prior to their designated hearing time.   Please, do not be late, as that will negatively affect others waiting for hearings.  The Attorney and Defendant will appear, via Zoom, from the attorney’s office (or from some other outside location) for the disposition hearing.  
 
Following the hearing, the Defendant will have 24 hours to appear in court and be fingerprinted.  The Court will not sign the order until the Defendant has been fingerprinted.   Failure by the Defendant to appear within 24 hours will result in a warrant being issued.  
 
Failure to timely complete plea documents will result in the plea being moved to the end of the docket, which will likely be the afternoon.  
 
If the Attorney needs an “in person” disposition setting due to exceptional circumstances, arrangements can be made with the Court in advance.  
 
 
 
UNREPRESENTED DEFENDANTS
 
Unrepresented defendants will be placed on the bond docket.  Only the Defendant will be allowed into the courtroom.  If Counsel is hired before the unrepresented docket, they should notify the Court Coordinator of their representation before 9:00AM.  
 
 
 
PRE-TRIAL DOCKETS
 
The pretrial docket will be held on Friday, ten (10) days prior to the trial date.   Uncontested Pre-Trial hearings shall occur by Pre-Trial Report. 
 
In the event that you have contested issues which require the Court’s intervention, please email the Court Coordinator; and we will arrange for a Zoom Pre-trial hearing.  
 
With regard to the filing and hearing of motions, the Docket Control Orders are the controlling instrument.  Failure to comply with the DCO may result in the exclusion of evidence or witnesses at trial.  
 
In a criminal case, failure to comply with the DCO by Defense Counsel may result in a waiver of Pre-trial issues or objections.  Failure to comply with the DCO by the State may result in the exclusion of evidence.  
 
 
 
AWAITING FELONY DOCKET
 
     The Awaiting Felony Disposition Docket is generally administrative in nature. There is no requirement for attendance on this docket.  If a Defendant is represented by an Attorney, the Attorney may communicate a reset to the Court; or the Court will see the new felony date in the system and move the AFD date accordingly.
 
 
 
     FAMILY/CIVIL DOCKET
 
     Hearings on the Family and Civil dockets are held by appointment only.  A case must be set on the docket by the Court staff. All trials and motion hearings shall occur electronically.    
 
     If a case is set for a “deadline to complete,” the case will be dismissed for failure to appear if no appearance is made by Petitioner or Plaintiff at the setting. 
 
     It is the responsibility of the party filing the motion or requesting the hearing to notice, in writing, the opposing party.  Proof of delivery of notice must be filed with the appropriate clerk or brought to court at the time of setting. 
 
     Uncontested Family Cases, with legal representation, shall be finalized by affidavit.  
 
 
 
     JURY TRIAL
 
     At this time, Jury Trials are unaffected by the new mandates.  The County Courts plan to resume jury trials on a rotating basis on or about January 19, 2021.     
 
 
 
     STATUS CONFERENCES
 
     Status Conferences will be held by report.  The status report should be filed or sent to the Coordinator before the status conference setting.  A copy of the status report is located on the Court’s website under “Forms and Documents.”  
 
Pro Se litigants shall appear at the date and time specified on their notice.   
 
Again, we in County Court No. 2 appreciate your understanding and cooperation.  
 
                
600 59th Street, Suite 2204
Galveston, Texas 77551-4180
Phone (409) 766-2405
Fax (409) 795-3034
 
 
Contact with the Court
 
"A Judge….shall not directly or indirectly initiate, permit, nor consider ex parte or other private communications concerning the merits of a pending or impending judicial proceeding. A Judge shall require compliance with this subsection by court personnel subject to his or her direction and control…"
Judicial Code of Conduct Cannon 3 Section A(5)
None of the information contained in or referred to by this website is intended to give legal advice or comment on pending or potentially pending litigation. This website was created as a public service. The County of Galveston and County Court #1 do not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein nor are they responsible for any errors or omissions and assume no liability for it's use.