Local Rules of Practice
84TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
Ochiltree, Hansford And Hutchinson Counties
84TH DISTRICT COURT LOCAL RULES OF PRACTICE (PDF DOWNLOAD)
1. Settings. All cases, contested and uncontested, jury and non-jury, will be set for trial at the request of any counsel or party in the case. The cases will be set for trial in the order that such request for trial setting is filed with the Court Administrator at P. O. Drawer 3437, STINNETT, TEXAS, 79083-3437. Contact numbers in Stinnett are phone: (806) 878-4022 or fax (806) 878-3117. Contact numbers in Spearman are phone: (806) 659-4160 or fax (806) 659-4160.
All requests for setting must contain an estimate of the length of time required to conduct the trial or hearing with a copy of same sent to opposing counsel and the District Clerk of the county the case is filed in. If the setting is contained in an Order Setting Hearing, a letter should accompany said Order setting out the length of time required for hearing.
2. Jury Trials. All jury weeks begin on Monday unless Monday is a Court holiday. The jury will report at 9:00 a.m. All juries for the week will be selected on Monday. Counsel should be present in the courtroom at 8:30 a.m. for docket call and announcements unless the notice of setting by the Court Administrator advises otherwise.
The party requesting the setting of a case on the jury docket must certify that all discovery has been completed. If opposing counsel objects to the immediate setting of the case, he must notify the Court in writing, within 14 days of receipt of said request, setting out his objections to same in detail (e.g., if additional depositions are necessary, the names of those needing to be deposed, etc.). The original of said objections must be sent to the clerk of the county the suit is filed in, with a copy of same provided to the Court.
If no objections are received within 14 days, the case will be set for trial.
Suggested special issues are to be provided to the Court no less than one (1) week before trial. At the same time, each attorney will provide to the Court a brief summation of his case. Said summation is to be mailed, faxed, or emailed to the Judge and not filed with the Clerk.
3. Pre-Trial Hearing. No pre-trial hearings will be ordered in civil cases except in unusually complicated cases. Pre-trial hearing will be scheduled when counsel for one of the parties to the case shows cause and requests same. All motions, exceptions and other pre-trial matters, except motions in limine, filed in the cases must be called to the attention of the Court and set for hearing at least 14 days prior to the date of trial or same will have been waived.
Each criminal case set for jury trial shall have a mandatory pre-trial hearing no less than 14 days prior to trial.
The Court will allow conference calls on pre-trial matters when possible. All conference calls should be prearranged with the Court Administrator.
4. Domestic Cases. In all cases where support, either temporary or final, is an issue, financial information statements shall be filed before the temporary hearing, per 84th District Court Standing Order.
5. Motions for Continuance. All motions for continuance shall be made in writing and signed by the client, or shall contain a certification by counsel that a copy has been mailed to the client. The motion or request shall state, in detail, the reason for the delay. A motion for continuance will not be considered unless the foregoing has been complied with.
6. Lack of Prosecution. Family law actions and actions for liquidated monetary claims on file over 12 months and not tried and all other civil actions on file over 18 months and not tried are subject to being placed on the inactive docket and may be subject to dismissal for lack of prosecution pursuant to Rule 165, T.R.C.P.
7. Miscellaneous. Counsel should notify the Court immediately upon settlement of any case.
The central office of the 84th Judicial District is maintained in the Hutchinson County Courthouse in Stinnett. The Court Administrator can be reached either in the central office or in the Hansford County Courthouse in Spearman. One of these offices is staffed during normal working hours. All correspondence concerning cases on file in the District should be addressed to the Court at the following address: P. O. Drawer 3437, Stinnett, Texas 79083. The telephone and fax numbers for both offices are listed below.
My Court Administrator has full authority to make settings and can be reached at the address above.
/s/ Curt Brancheau
Curtis W. Brancheau, District Judge
84th Judicial District of Texas
Effective January 1, 2017.
|Effective January 1, 2017.
84th Judicial District Court
Hon. Curtis W. “Curt” BrancheauCourt email: email@example.com Court Reporter:
Debbie MartinCourt Administrator:
Jan M. Lewis
The appropriate Clerk should be contacted for their specific fee schedule.
|Janet Torres, Hansford County
15 Northwest Court
Spearman, Texas 79081-0397
Phone: (806) 659-4111
Shawn Bogard, Ochiltree County
|Robin Stroud, Hutchinson County
P. O. Box 580
Stinnett, Tx 79083-0580
Phone: (806) 878-4017
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-9050
SEVENTH EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING
THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
1. Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code.
2. This Order supplements and does not replace or amend prior Emergency Orders Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster.
3. This order applies to and clarifies possession schedules in Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. For purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the existing trial court order shall control in all instances. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in-place order or other order restricting movement issued by a governmental entity that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including what is commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Nothing herein prevents parties from altering a possession schedule by agreement if allowed by their court order(s), or courts from modifying their orders on an emergency basis or otherwise.
5. This Order is effective as of March 24, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
6. The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to:
a. post a copy of this Order on www.txcourts.gov;
Misc. Docket No. 20-9050 Page 2
b.file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and
c.send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and eachmember of the Legislature.
7.The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members ofthe Texas bar of this Order.
Dated: March 24, 2020
Misc. Docket No. 20-9050 Page 3
Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice
Paul W. Green, Justice
Eva M. Guzman, Justice
Debra H. Lehrmann, Justice
Jeffrey S. Boyd, Justice
John P. Devine, Justice
James D. Blacklock, Justice
J.Brett Busby, Justice
Jane N. Bland, Justice
The 84th District Court recognizes the concern about a potential outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). The health and safety of employees, attorneys, litigants, and the public remain a paramount concern. The district courts are doing their part to address these concerns in the following manner. Pursuant to the First Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster jointly issued on March 13, 2020, and the Third Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster jointly issued on March 19, 2020, by the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, these guidelines are effective until May 8, 2020.
- Public Health and Maximum Group Size
The district courts will not conduct proceedings which exceed the maximum group size restrictions in effect in Hutchinson County. Anyone who is sick or who thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19 should not come to the courthouse and should contact his or her court by phone or email regarding any questions. Any concerns regarding deadlines set by rule or statute may be extended by the Court as needed in the interest of public health. In other words, please err on the side of caution rather than appear in court due to a time constraint.
- All Court Matters Will Proceed by Remote Appearance
All court proceedings will proceed by remote appearance via the Zoom app if possible. All essential proceedings will absolutely go forward using the Zoom App. You must contact each court regarding each setting. The courts will do their best to maintain the present schedule of essential and non-essential hearings using the Zoom App.
- Remote Appearances and the Zoom App
- Zoom hearings require an internet device with the Zoom application installed; the service is free. Please familiarize yourself with the application prior to the hearing time.
- The Court rules regarding dress code and decorum still apply. Please note to comply with the Open Courts provision of the Constitution, all hearings will be broadcast on YouTube.
- All exhibits the parties wish to admit at the Zoom hearing must be marked and emailed to opposing counsel and the Court (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 2 p.m. the day before the set hearing.
- You will receive an invitation from the Court via email with a link to join the Zoom hearing shortly before the scheduled hearing time.
- Please note in lieu of a 10 and 1:30 docket, the Zoom hearings will be set at specific times throughout business hours by the Court Coordinators.
- Essential Court Matters
Defined Essential proceedings include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal magistration proceedings,
- CPS removal hearings,
- Temporary restraining orders / temporary injunctions,
- Juvenile detention hearings,
- Family violence protective orders,
- Certain mental health proceedings,
- Criminal pleas that will result in the immediate release of the defendant from county jail, and
- Any other matters that may be designated by a court at its discretion
- No Jury Trials
The district courts will not be calling any jury trials during the time this order is in effect.
- Uncontested Matters by Submission Only
Beginning immediately, no uncontested matters will be heard. All agreed orders and matters that can be heard by submission should be electronically filed.
- Contact the Courts
Look on your court’s website for up to date information. Please be patient and flexible as we are all trying to adapt to a new way of doing things. If you have any questions, please email the court coordinator.
SIGNED on 3/23/20
/s/ Curt Brancheau
84th District Court Judge
Emergency Standing Order
84TH DISTRICT COURT EMERGENCY STANDING ORDER (PDF Download)
(Issued March 19, 2020)
84TH DISTRICT COURT STANDING ORDER REGARDING POSSESSION SCHEDULE DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES
This order is a standing order of the 84th District Court that applies in every suit affecting the parent-child relationship filed in Hansford, Hutchinson, and Ochiltree Counties. This includes any pending divorce case with children. Hereinafter "child “refers to a child or children the subject of a court order. IT IS ORDERED THAT:
For purposes of determining a person's right to possession and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the original published school schedule shall control in all instances. Possession and access shall not be affected by the school's closure that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including but not limited to, what is commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic. A person currently in possession of the child who is not entitled to possession of the child under the original published school schedule SHALL immediately return the child to the person entitled to possession under that schedule.
Example A: If a person had possession of the child for Spring Break, but the school has cancelled classes for the week following Spring Break, that person is NOT entitled to possession of the child. That person MUST return the child as if school had resumed following the Spring Break vacation as set out in the original published school schedule.
Example B; If a person has the right to possession of the child on Thursdays during the regular school term, that person is still entitled to that possession while the school is closed, until the regular school term ends, based on the original published school schedule.
Example C: In the event closures of school continue through summer, the parties shall follow the original published school schedule for the purposes of selecting and exercising their Extended Summer Possession.
WARNING TO PARTIES: FAILURE TO OBEY A COURT ORDER FOR POSSESSION OF OR ACCESS TO A CHILD MAY RESULT IN FURTHER LITIGATION TO ENFORCE THE ORDER, INCLUDING CONTEMPT OF COURT. A FINDING OF CONTEMPT MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY CONFINEM ENT IN JAIL FOR UP TO SIX MONTHS, A FINE OF UP TO $500 FOR EACH VIOLATION, AND A MONEY JUDGMENT FOR PAYMENT OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COURT COSTS.
SIGNED THIS THE 19TH DAY OF MARCH, 2020.
/s/ Curtis W. Brancheau
CURTIS W. BRANCHEAU, JUDGE
84th DISTRICT COURT