COVID-19 continue to persist in Harris County. The Harris County District Clerk’s Office (DCO) still considers the COVID-19 virus to be a public health threat. However, it is working hard to move forward with re-opening the justice system.
The DCO is open by appointment only starting today, June 15. Unique emails have been created for communication with the various departments. Attorneys can contact the DCO or individual courts by phone or email to schedule an onsite appointment.
As of Friday, June 12, all Harris County courthouses are now open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Personnel from the Constable’s office will be conducting medical screenings and requiring face coverings as the public enters the courthouses. A mask will be provided if persons arrive not wearing a mask.
Jury service in Harris County is resuming on July 6. Harris County has contracted with NRG Arena to hold Jury Assembly and voir dire at NRG for the remainder of 2020. The larger facility was necessary in order to allow sufficient room for social distancing. In July, Grand Jury panels will be called. In August, regular criminal and civil trial juries will be called. Once a jury panel is seated, they will be directed to appear at the courthouses for the trial the next day or soon thereafter.
As of June 12, the post-Harvey renovations to all the Criminal Justice Center courtroom floors, except the 20th floor, have been completed and reoccupied permanently. The elevator system remains inadequate. Four units are currently offline for renovation. In an effort to alleviate some of the pressure on the elevators, the Felony judges have worked out a staggered docket schedule. The schedule is at www.hcdistrictclerk.com
The third floor where the DCO Criminal operations and Grand Jury are housed has not yet even started renovations and work is not anticipated to be completed before mid-2021. Further information at www.facebook.com
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