Page 2 of 5
State invokes its right to appear remotely in all proceedings in the above styled and numbered
cause for so long as the aforementioned emergency order remains in effect.
4. In pertinent part, this order provides as follows:
Subject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case,
civil or criminal—and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors,
and the public— . . . [a]llow or require anyone involved in any hearing,
deposition, or other proceeding of any kind—including but not limited to a party,
attorney, witness, or court reporter, but not including a juror—to participate
remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means . . . .
First Emergency Order, at 1 (emphasis added).
5. The order also explicitly calls upon the courts of this State to “[t]ake any other
reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19.” Id. at 2.
6. Paragraph 4 of the Twelfth Emergency Order states “Courts must not conduct
in-person proceedings contrary to guidance issued by the Office of Court Administration
regarding social distancing, maximum group size, and other restrictions and precautions. Courts
should use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely.” Twelfth Emergency Order at 2
7. The Office of Court Administration has issued guidance which includes
The following guidance is provided for all courts:
• In-person proceedings of any size should be delayed until at
least June 1.
• Essential proceedings should occur in-person only if holding
the proceeding remotely is not possible or feasible.
• If essential proceedings must be held in-person, the court
should ensure that:
• No more than 10 persons are gathered in the courtroom or in
areas around the courtroom (see EXCEPTION below);
• Participants wear face coverings where possible; and
• Participants in the courtroom are separated consistent with
social distancing and other precautions.
• EXCEPTION: Essential proceedings may occur in-person in
excess of the 10-person maximum if the law requires more than
10 persons for the proceedings, such as grand jury