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County Court at Law 1

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Important Notice

 

FOURTH AMENDED COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 1 COURT PROCEDURES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 EMERGENCY

Last Updated: March 31, 2020

 

In compliance with the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance regarding Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events,  Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order relating to COVID-19 issued on March 19, 2020, the Supreme Court of Texas Third and Fourth Emergency Order Regarding The COVID-19 State of Disaster issued on March 19, 2020, and out of a concern for public health, safety and well-being, County Court at Law No. 1 is extending its cancellation of all criminal, juvenile, probate and/or civil dockets through May 8, 2020.

 

Attorneys, Defendants and Litigants are Instructed NOT to Appear in Court

All County Facilities have been CLOSED to the Public

 

All criminal cases will need to be reset.  To ensure the health and safety of court staff and the public, the Court has adopted the following procedure:

 

  1. the attorney of record will contact the Court Coordinator to receive a new date and an electronic reset form to be signed by the attorney of record on behalf of their client.It is the attorney’s responsibility to notify his/her client of the new court date, and ensure their appearance; and
  2. unrepresented defendants may schedule a time with the Court Coordinator to electronically sign a reset.

 

You may not meet with the Court Coordinator. All resets for the missed dockets must be completed by May 11, 2020.  This reset policy does not apply to the Court’s juvenile dockets.  Those cases will be rolled until after May 11, 2020. The attorney of record and/or the juvenile’s family will be contacted by Juvenile Probation Office Heather Boswell to schedule the court setting. Capiases will not be issued during the Court’s closure. 

 

If you have questions please contact Regina G. Green, Court Coordinator, at (832) 471-2822 or via email at regina.green@fortbendcountytx.gov.

 

However, in order to ensure our judicial system continues to function, and in accordance with the Supreme Court of Texas’ Third Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster, County Court at Law No. 1 will continue to hear Essential Judicial Proceedings (magistrate, juvenile detention hearings, temporary restraining orders/temporary injunctions, misdemeanor jail docket, temporary guardianship, temporary administrations and civil mental health commitments) and matters deemed non-essential by the Court.  Non-essential matters will be scheduled through the Court Coordinator or Probate Auditor, and will be conducted via remote video conferencing methods.  If an attorney feels a matter is an emergency or absolutely needs to conduct a hearing, please contact the Court.  The Court will assess each matter on a case by case basis and take the necessary steps to set up the remote video conferencing.

 

If you wish to view a live stream of these hearings, you may subscribe to the County Court at Law No. 1’s YouTube channel titled: Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 1, channel ID UCH78cuOArJw7qkjtun3p1VQ.   Per guidance from the Office of Court Administration, this channel adheres to the open courts provision of the Texas Constitution.

 

Additionally, during this time of emergency, County Court at Law No. 1 will conduct all civil default judgments, summary judgments and appointment of receivers scheduled during the closure (March and April) via submission.  These will be heard on April 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., unless an objection is made by either party.  If your case is not scheduled during the closure, the Court will not allow you to place the default hearing, summary judgment or appointment of receiver on the submission docket.  The Court asks that all plaintiffs’ counsel send out notice regarding the submission date of April 29, 2020, to all defendants just as if a normal hearing were to be held.  Your notice should include language that unrepresented defendants should contact the Court.  Failure to send out notice and file a Notice of Hearing, will result in your matter being passed.

 

We ask that the public be patient and understanding for any inconvenience these changes may cause.  The Court is following all governing guidance.  These measures are in place for the public’s safety and court personnel safety.  

 

Continue to look to the Court’s website for further details and information.

 

Again, if you have questions or concerns, please contact Regina G. Green, Court Coordinator, at (832) 471-2822 or via email at regina.green@fortbendcountytx.gov, and Anita Ayala, Probate Auditor, at (281) 633-7413 or via email at anita.ayala@fortbendcountytx.gov.

Christopher G. Morales, Judge

Judge Christopher G. Morales

Christopher Morales was elected as Judge of County Court at Law No. 1, in 2014. As Judge of County Court at Law No. 1, he manages a multitude of cases that impact the daily life of every citizen in Fort Bend County. Judge Morales oversees such matters as probate and guardianship cases, juvenile cases, civil litigation cases up to $200,000, condemnation proceedings, civil mental health commitments, and criminal misdemeanor cases. Most importantly, Judge Morales also oversees Fort Bend County’s only misdemeanor Criminal Mental Health Court, a program designed to reduce recidivism rates among defendants with mental illness.

Office Address
Fort Bend County Justice Center
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Courtroom 2C
Richmond, TX. 77469

Mailing Address
County Court at Law No.1
301 Jackson Street
Richmond, TX. 77469

Telephone: 281-633-7415
Fax: 832 471-1861

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - Noon; 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM