Texas Justice Court Training Center
Ensuring Justice and Fairness Through Education
New Rules on Virtual Hearings; New Judgment Requirements; New Emergency COVID Order
The Supreme Court issued new TRCP 500.10, which gives guidance to courts in remote court proceedings in justice court civil cases. This rule allows judges to decide whether to allow or require participants to appear remotely in court proceedings, and requires judges holding remote proceedings to still be located in their courtroom or other place provided by the commissioners court for holding court. The court must provide the public the opportunity to observe the court proceeding, unless the judge has determined that the proceeding must be closed to protect an overriding interest, considered all less-restrictive
alternatives to closure, and made findings in a written order adequate to support closure.
Additionally, Rule 505.1 was amended to require judgments in civil and eviction cases to contain language related to the parties' right to appeal, effective February 1, 2023. In an eviction case:
“You may appeal this judgment by filing a bond, making a cash deposit, or filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs within 5 days after this judgment was signed. See Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 510.9(a).”
In a case other than an eviction:
“You may appeal this judgment by filing a bond, making a cash deposit, or filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs within 21 days after this judgment was signed. See Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 506."
Note that this language must be included in a Repair and Remedy judgment, even though Rule 509.8, not 506, governs those appeals and a bond/deposit/statement is not required to appeal. TJCTC recommends verbally instructing parties in Repair and Remedy cases of the proper appeal procedure unless and until the Rule is updated to reflect the Repair and Remedy appeal procedure.
Lastly, the Supreme Court issued its Final General Covid Emergency Order, though a new order related to the Eviction Diversion Program may still be issued. See our COVID-19 page for details.
OCA Website for Standing Orders is Live
The Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals have approved amendments which remove the requirement that the Supreme Court approve local rules, provide that local rules, forms, and standing orders must not conflict with other law or rules. Additionally, beginning January 1, 2023, local rules, forms, and standing orders are not effective unless published on the OCA’s website. Judges should review the Notes and Comments included with the changes to ensure that local rules, forms, and standing orders comply with statutory and rule-based requirements.
Courts can post local rules, forms, and standing orders on OCA’s Court Tools website. Posted documents will be viewable by the public on OCA’s TOPICs website starting January 1, 2023. Additional information regarding the website and webinars will be posted at the OCA order info page and you may view a presentation on the sytem.
Texas Supreme Court Issues New Statement of Inability Form
The Texas Supreme Court has issued a new Statement of Inability form that is a bilingual fillable PDF. This form is available on the TJCTC forms page under both Civil and Evictions forms. As a reminder, courts must make this form or one that contains the same information available to all potential parties without cost or requiring a request.
Texas Supreme Court Extends and Modifies Covid Emergency Orders
The Texas Supreme Court has issued its 58th and 59th Emergency Orders. Zoom hearings are still allowed, however, a justice of the peace conducting a Zoom hearing must actually be in the place designated for holding court during the hearing unless necessary for addressing court backlog and the judge is a visiting judge.
For more information, visit the TJCTC Covid-19 page.
New Supreme Court Rules Related to Judgments and Receivers Went Into Effect on May 1!
The Texas Supreme Court has issued modifications to rules related to civil judgments, garnishments, receiverships, and exempt property hearings. Read the Supreme Court Order. Be sure to visit our forms page for updated forms for civil judgments, writs of garnishment, and a new form that must be used any time a justice court appoints a receiver.
Damon Allen Act Went Into Effect on April 1!
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Post-Judgment Interest Rate
Remember to check the OCCC site every month for the current post-judgment interest rates! Click here to see the current rates and click on "Future Rate" at that link after the 15th of the month to see the next month's rate.