OCA Update Amidst Historic Winter Storm

As Texas struggles to safely emerge from an historic winter storm, we know many of you are dealing with significant challenges. On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, David Slayton, Administrative Director of the Courts with the Office of Court Administration sent the following update. We are posting here in case you did not receive it. Stay safe and stay warm.

Judges, Clerks, and Court Staff:

 

The weather, power, and road condition situations have compounded difficulties in courts hearing cases. We have received many inquiries from judges, clerks, court staff, and attorneys requesting whether there will be any additional emergency orders from the Supreme Court responsive to the power/weather/road condition situations and permitting extensions of deadlines, etc. The Supreme Court wishes to remind judges, clerks, and court staff that the 33rd Emergency Order remains in effect and, subject to constitutional limitations, permits judges – and requires judges to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public – without a participant’s consent to modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule or order, for a period ending no later than April 1, 2021. Suspensions and modifications of deadlines in CPS child termination cases are permitted, and the dismissal date for those cases can be extended up to July 13, 2021 (6 months from the date of the 33rd Emergency Order). Parties wishing to obtain extensions should consult with the judge presiding in the case. Judges should use their discretion in determin`ing when the provisions of the 33rd Emergency Order can or should be applied.

 

Please stay safe,

David Slayton

Administrative Director of the Courts

Office of Court Administration

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