Court Coronavirus Information
The Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals, working with the Office of Court Administration are committed to ensure that justice continues to be served to all Texans in the current pandemic situation.
Current Emergency Orders Issued
In response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court has issued the following Emergency Orders that are still in effect.
Emergency Order 42 - Issued 9/21/2021 (effective immediately)
Renews the Texas Eviction Diversion Program for tenants and landlords under a statewide rental assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent. The order allows an eviction proceeding to be abated by agreement for 60 days, requires courts (including county courts hearing trials de novo on appeal from a justice court) to provide tenants with information about the program, and makes court records for participants confidential while eviction cases are delayed. The order also outlines procedure for reinstating evictions. Without such reinstatement, eviction cases will be subject to dismissal.
The new order also allows legal aid or volunteer legal services representatives to be present at an eviction case trial to assist eligible applicants; clarifies that that in addition to applying to plaintiffs who have submitted an application for rental assistance, the program also applies to plaintiffs who have provided any information or documentation directly to a rental assistance provider for the purposes of receiving rental assistance; and provides that if the judge must dismiss the action because the plaintiff has not filed and served a motion to reinstate an abated action within the abatement period, the judge must dismiss the action the day after the abatement period expires without the need for a party to file a motion or make a request for the court to do so.
Eligibility for rental assistance under the program will be administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. More information and online application for rental assistance is available at the Texas Coronavirus Relief Bill Rental Assistance Program website.
Emergency Order 43 - Issued 9/21/2021 (effective 10/1/21)
Replaces Emergency Order 40; discontinues the blanket authority provided by prior emergency orders for all courts to modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures prescribed by statute, rule, or order; continues justice and municipal courts’ authority to modify or suspend trial-related or pretrial hearing-related deadlines and procedures through 4/1/22; continues the authority of courts to modify certain procedures and deadlines in CPS cases for certain stated periods of time and clarifies this may be done without a participant’s consent; permits courts to continue to use reasonable efforts to hold proceedings remotely; permits all courts to hold in-person proceedings, including jury trials; encourages the adoption of minimum standard health protocols and an in-person schedule and adds that the chief justices of the courts of appeals and local administrative district judges/municipal court presiding judges have the authority to mandate compliance with their adopted standards and protocols; and permits courts to hold virtual jury proceedings in certain cases with technology provided to certain prospective jurors.