Texas Supreme Court Emergency Orders Due to COVID-19
The Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals have issued a series of emergency orders related to COVID-19. Current orders still in effect can also be found here.
Texas Supreme Court's 35th Emergency Order: The order extends until May 12 the force of pleading requirements to forestall evictions for certain tenants behind on rent. The state’s voluntary eviction-diversion program now reaches statewide after a limited pilot program.
- Texas Supreme Court's 34th Emergency Order: The order mirrors federal regulations to extend to March 31 protections for certain tenants facing eviction proceedings.
Texas Supreme Court's 33rd Emergency Order: Renews the 29th Emergency Order and lets courts modify or suspend deadlines and procedures through April 1, 2021; requires courts to continue to use all reasonable efforts to hold proceedings remotely and to follow OCA's Guidance for All Court Proceedings; extends the possession and access to a child provisions from previous orders.
Texas Supreme Court's 32nd Emergency Order: Extends deadlines for eviction procedures for tenants and landlords under the federal stimulus passed by Congress to reflect its continuation of a CARES Act section and eviction protections issued in September by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). This revised order was issued to answer issues prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, is effective January 1 and expired January 31, acknowledging deadlines in the newly enacted federal stimulus bill. The order renews a requirement that landlords give a tenant behind on rent 30 days’ notice to vacate and the tenant to follow CDC requirements by declaring the rental property as “covered” by the law and provides that justice courts abate an eviction under certain provisions. The order continues means for a landlord to contest such an abatement.
Texas Supreme Court's 31st Emergency Order: Renews the Texas Eviction Diversion Program for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-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 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 order expires 3/15 and is effective 10/12 for “pilot” counties established by the Office of Court Administration (OCA) (or on the date that OCA designates them for counties identified after 10/12) and at a later date (to be determined) for all other Texas counties
Texas Supreme Court's 30th Emergency Order: Replaced Emergency Order 25 and requires certain information in an eviction petition and included with an eviction citation; limits proceeding with eviction proceedings in certain circumstances.
Texas Supreme Court's 29th Emergency Order: Replaces Emergency Order 26 and permits courts to modify or suspend deadlines and procedures through 2/1; requires courts to continue to use all reasonable efforts to hold proceedings remotely and to follow OCA's Guidance for All Court Proceedings; prohibits Justice and Municipal Courts from holding an in-person jury proceeding prior to 2/1; permits district, county, and probate courts to hold in-person jury trials after certain actions; permits courts to hold virtual jury proceedings in certain cases with certain technology provided to prospective jurors; extends the possession and access to a child provisions from previous orders; extends the ability for an attorney professional disciplinary or disability proceeding to conduct proceedings remotely.
Texas Supreme Court's 28th Emergency Order: Amends the 27th Emergency Order.
Texas Supreme Court's 27th Emergency Order: Establishes new procedures for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent. Allows an eviction proceeding to be abated by agreement for 60 days. Courts will give tenants information about the program. Court records for participants will be confidential while eviction cases are delayed. Outlines procedure for reinstating evictions (without reinstatement, eviction cases will be subject to dismissal). The order takes effect October 12, 2020, and expires December 18, 2020.
Texas Supreme Court's 26th Emergency Order: Extends restrictions on in-person jury proceedings to December 1, 2020; requires courts to follow the Office of Court Administration guidance on safety; holds that child custody and visitation orders are still not superseded by shelter-in-place orders or school closures.
Texas Supreme Court's 25th Emergency Order: Amends the 24th Emergency Order.
Texas Supreme Court's 24th Emergency Order: Extends until September 30 the limits on eviction proceedings: Eviction petitions must state whether the premises is a “covered dwelling” subject to Section 4024 of the CARES Act; the plaintiff is a “multifamily borrower” under forbearance subject to Section 4023 of the CARES Act; and the plaintiff has provided the defendant with 30 days’ notice to vacate under Sections 4024(c) and 4023(e) of the CARES Act.
- Texas Supreme Court's 23rd Emergency Order: Extends bar dues deadlines for lawyers.
- Texas Supreme Court's 22nd Emergency Order: Extends until October 1 the limits on jury proceedings in previous pandemic-related orders. Renews certain parts of the 18th emergency order.
- Texas Supreme Court's 21st Emergency Order: Extends until September 15 the limitations on civil case filings and service of them for deadlines that fall between March 13, 2020, and September 1, 2020.
- Texas Supreme Court's 20th Emergency Order: Amends paragraph three and extends the 15th Emergency Order through August 24, 2020.
- Texas Supreme Court's 19th Emergency Order: Cancels the July bar exam, leaves in place the September 9–10 bar exam subject to guidance from public health authorities, and approves an online bar exam on October 5–6.
Texas Supreme Court's 18th Emergency Order: Gives Texas courts the power, through September 30, 2020, to extend their civil- and criminal-case deadlines and procedures; extends ban on jury proceedings to September 1, 2020; extends deadline to September 1, 2020, for limited jury proceedings; extends civil-case filing and service deadlines to September 15, 2020; extends deadlines in child-protection cases.
Texas Supreme Court's 17th Emergency Order: Extends deadlines in civil and criminal cases until no later than September 30, 2020 (except in child-welfare cases); allows courts to keep holding remote proceedings and requires courts holding in-person hearings to follow guidance by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size and other restrictions and precautions; generally no jury proceedings before August 1, 2020 (although a limited number may be possible); existing grand juries may meet remotely or in-person; extends deadlines in attorney licensure and discipline cases.
Texas Supreme Court's 16th Emergency Order: This order allows consumer debt actions to resume upon the expiration of the Fourteenth Emergency Order. Upon request, an individual debtor or receiver is entitled to a hearing within two business days of the court's receipt of the request to determine what money might be attributable to the CARES Act stimulus payment. Courts and appointed receivers must release or refund that money affected by a garnishment or turnover order.
Texas Supreme Court's 15th Emergency Order: This order allows eviction proceedings to resume beginning May 19 and for warning to be posted and writs of possession executed beginning May 26. It also requires eviction petitions to state the premises are not subject to the CARES Act eviction moratorium.
Texas Supreme Court's 13th Emergency Order: Establishes the timing of this year's Texas bar examination and updates the state's supervised practice rules as a bridge to licensure for any who need to delay the exam.
- Texas Supreme Court's 12th Emergency Order: This order lets courts continue to modify their procedures to allow videoconference appearances and take other protective measures; extends service and filing deadlines; clarifies that child visitation orders remain in effect as written; and extends eviction deadlines.
Texas Supreme 's 11th Emergency : This order extends deadlines related to the issuance or renewal of certifications, licenses, or registrations issued by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission.
Texas Supreme 's 10th Emergency : This order halts garnishments and default judgements, for a specific period of time, in consumer debt cases.
- Texas Supreme This 's 9th Emergency : extends the timeline of their Fourth Emergency Order and halts residential eviction proceedings through April 30, unless there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity. See Evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Texas Supreme Court's 8th Emergency Order: This order modifies the language of the first order and delays all service and filing deadlines from March 13, 2020 until June 1, 2020. The tolling does not affect deadlines for filing appeals or other appellate proceedings, but the order notes that requests for any such relief should be “generously granted” by the particular court.
- Texas Supreme : This 's 7th Emergency clarifies what to do about possession and access of children when shelter-in-place orders are in effect.
- Texas Supreme 's and of Criminal Appeals' 1st Emergency : It enables courts to extend deadlines, require remote appearances, extend the in civil cases and take other actions, as needed, to avoid the coronavirus threat.
Court Operation Guidance
The Office of updated guidance on for the coronavirus. proceduresAdministration has released
Information on Court Closures, Postponements, and Changes in Procedure
You can check the Office of website here anytime for information on closures or delays reported to the OCA. Please note that the OCA link currently features full closures and may not include partial closures announced by local courts.Administration’s
For justice court updates, you may also want to check the Texas Justice Court Training Center website.
Please contact the county and/ordirectly for the most up to date information, especially if you have an upcoming court date. We will continue to add to this list as we become aware of updates.
- Bexar County
- Collin County
- Dallas County
- Denton County
- El Paso County
- Fort Bend County
- Harris County
- Hidalgo County
- Tarrant County
- Travis County
Some Texas courts are holding hearings by videoconference, usually using Zoom.
You can ask the court to appear by videoconference (like Zoom) or telephone; to allow "unsworn declarations" as evidence; to interview the children...
This article tells you general information on what to do and not to do in a courtroom.
FM-DivAD-500 Motion for Use of Emergency Procedures