How do I obtain an ex parte restraining order?
See the Montgomery County Standing Order Regarding Children, Pets, Property and Conduct of the Parties. Should you be requesting extraordinary relief, such orders must be obtained in person by the attorney or party requesting same with an affidavit supporting the request.
How do I obtain an ex parte protective order?
Temporary ex parte protective orders must be obtained in person by the attorney or party requesting same with an affidavit supporting the request. Of course, the applicant must be present, and statutory requirements met, for a "kick-out" order.
How do I obtain a hearing for temporary orders?
Contact the Court Administrator or the Court Coordinator.
Do I obtain the date first and then contact opposing counsel or does the court?
The attorney or party requesting a hearing date has the responsibility of properly notifying all parties.
Are there time limitations for hearings regarding temporary orders?
Yes. In all matters in which managing conservatorship is at issue, the parties shall be granted no more than three (3) hours to present the case, with the time to be equally divided. In all other temporary matters, the parties shall be granted no more than two (2) hours to present the case, with the time to be equally divided.
Do you require mediation before hearing a case?
Yes, unless an objection to mediation has been granted by the court. This requirement does not apply to protective orders and motions for enforcement.
Are there any special requirements for Protective Orders?
Upon a Protective Order being granted, the Applicant or Applicant's attorney must complete the Protective Order - Data Entry Form for Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and file same with the clerk before leaving the Courtroom. (This form is also available in MS Word FormatThis form is also available in MS Word Format).
What are the Court's rules or policies regarding a parenting course?
See the Order Regarding Persons Seeking Conservatorship. The 418th District Court requires parties to complete an "in person" parenting course unless an alternative has been approved by the Court in advance. During the COVID-19 State of Disaster, the 418th District Court will accept an "online" parenting course.
Do you automatically appoint an Ad Litem or an Amicus Attorney?
No. You must request one.
How do I get a trial setting?
Trial settings are issued through a scheduling order after the case has been on file for a few months.
When is docket call?
Refer to your scheduling order. Typically, docket call will take place two Fridays before the trial date at 9:00 a.m.
Do I have to be present with my client at docket call?
Yes, unless your presence or your client's presence is expressly waived by the court.
Do you hold telephone conferences and how do I arrange that?
It depends. The court may hold telephone conferences on non-evidentiary matters for the convenience of out-of-town attorneys who must travel a great distance (from non-contiguous counties). Contact the Court Administrator or the Court Coordinator to request same.
Are there time limitations for voir dire, opening statements, final arguments, etc.?
There are no set time limits. However, time limits will be imposed on a case-by-case basis.
What about jury charges?
See your scheduling order and/or trial preparation order. You must provide the court with a disc for the Judge's preview and editing (MS Word format).
What audio and visual equipment does the court have for trial purposes?
The 418th District Court is equipped with a document presentation cart capable of presenting documents or photos to the entire courtroom. Annotations can be made on via a touchscreen mounted on the cart, as well as from the witness stand. There are two ceiling mounted 65 inch TV’s facing the gallery, one wall mounted 85 inch TV facing the jury box, and smaller monitors on the attorney tables, witness stand, and in the jury box. There are HDMI connections at each attorney tables to connect laptops or tablets to present to the TV’s and speakers in the room. There are multiple microphones around the room, including one at each attorney table, one at the witness stand, and two wireless mics.
All audio and video is controlled by the Judge from a touch panel at the bench. The Judge can also broadcast white noise when needed to mask bench conferences from the jury and the gallery.
The Courtroom is also equipped with a full Zoom room suite, which allows video, sound, and presentations to be shared to a Zoom meeting, which can be viewed remotely should the Judge so choose.
Wireless internet access is also available to attorneys via a guest account.
Do you have any special rules governing courtroom decorum?
Exhibits which may be offered into evidence should be pre-marked and exchanged before any hearing or trial. All such exhibits having no objection shall be admitted prior to the hearing or trial. Any request to call a witness "out of order" should first be discussed with opposing counsel. Food and beverages generally are not allowed in the courtroom. Otherwise, follow applicable rules and use common sense and courtesy.
What if I need an interpreter?
You MUST contact the Court at least two (2) business days prior to the date on which you need an interpreter, as the Court will attempt to arrange an interpreter through the Montgomery County Office of Court Administration.