Smith County Announces Changes to Court Procedures During COVID-19 Outbreak

On March 17, 2020, Smith County announced the following changes to court procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

JURY DUTY


Smith County has suspended jury duty until April 13, to follow guidelines announced by the Texas Judicial Branch – Office of Court Administration. Jurors who have received a summons to appear in court from Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, April 1, do not have to appear at the Smith County Courthouse. No jurors were scheduled for the week of April 6-10.


The jurors will be rescheduled and will receive a new summons.
Grand jury service has not been cancelled. Grand jurors are still to report when scheduled.


COURTS


District Courts will continue conducting non-jury court cases.
County Court-at-Law Judges are rescheduling all non-essential court cases, but continue to handle non-jury criminal proceedings. All judges continue to hear cases deemed essential by the Texas Judicial Branch – Office of Court Administration.


All of the judges are asking those who have court appearances to limit who comes to court with them to the party and their counsel, if possible. Specific questions about judicial proceedings should be directed to each Court where a case is pending.


If you have questions about your court case setting, please call the specific court.


JUSTICE OF THE PEACE/CONSTABLES OFFICES


Justices of the Peace Offices have worked to clear their court dockets until April 13, and are limiting public traffic in their offices throughout the county. The JP’s and Constables have closed their offices to the public and are asking people to call ahead and make an appointment if they have business they must do with their office in-person. Most of the JP’s Offices take payments online or by phone. (Phone numbers to the JP Offices are listed below).

COUNTY AND DISTRICT CLERK

The County and District Clerks are encouraging all members of the public to access records on-line. Most records obtained from the Clerks’ Offices can be ordered and paid for online.

To obtain certified copies of documents or marriage licenses from the County Clerk’s Office, the public is requested to call 903-590-4670 and make an appointment.

The District Clerk’s Office and County Clerk’s Office remains open.

Bryan Willis
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Smith County Announces Changes to Court Procedures During COVID-19 Outbreak

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