Courtroom Rules

The following comprise general practice guidelines for County Court at Law No. 2 of Taylor County. The information is tendered to answer the most frequently asked questions:

Division of Caseload, Taylor County Courts at Law. Cases for Defendants with a surname ending in A through K are filed in County Court at Law No. 1. Those beginning with L through Z are filed in this Court.

Criminal Arraignments. An attorney may waive arraignment by letter addressed to this court indicating the name of the defendant, the charge, the cause number if known, and the date of birth of the defendant if the cause number is not known. The letter should be received by the court by Wednesday preceding the Thursday arraignment setting. If the letter cannot be delivered by that day, a telephone call will extend the time to the following Monday.

Reset Cases. For Court appointed attorneys the Court Administrator may reset the case up to three times. After 3 setting the Defense Attorney must have the Judge’s permission. For retained attorneys the Court Administrator may reset up 4 resets. After the fourth reset the attorney must talk to the Judge to get a reset. After four resets the defendant decides that he or she wants a jury trial then the trial will be scheduled on a preferential setting trial docket. This will mean a trial setting will occur 6 weeks.

If the Defendant decides to plea then the plea date will be scheduled within two weeks of the reset date. Resets are for a period of six weeks.

Please Note: Any Defendant who has been reset on a current case and while out on bond commits another offense will have their bond declared insufficient.

Sentencing Guidelines: In the event a defendant requests to plea to an offense on the scheduled docket date but does not want to go to jail until a later date, the Court will hear the plea but delay the sentence until a later agreed date but not later 10 days after the plea. The defendant will be given a sentencing date and time to return. If the defendant does not return on the date set for sentencing the defendant’s bond will be found to be insufficient and a warrant will be issued. In addition the he or she may be held in contempt of court.

Bonds in Criminal Cases. The policy of this court now is seldom to allow any defendant to be released on a personal recognizance bond. If you as an attorney wish to make the bond, you may do so. If not, on a request for a P.R. bond, the case will be referred to the Court Supervised Release Program instead. The cost of these bonds is 3% of the bond amount with the money going to the county.

Failure to Appear for Criminal Case.
As a courtesy to those involved, this court notifies the bondsman of a missed appearance, 7 days for the problem to be rectified. If you appear for someone for whom a failure to appear notice has been sent, call that to the Court's attention as you appear, asking that the judgment nisi not be issued.

Early Release from Probation. A motion for early release from probation will be considered after one half of the original sentence. An earlier motion will be granted only in exigent circumstances. When the motion is received in this office, the Probation Office is asked for a report. The procedure normally takes about a week. Early Release will not be granted if fine, costs, and restitution are not paid in full and probation fees are not current. There is no early release on Driving While Intoxicated cases.

Occupational Drivers Licenses. If a conviction for a pending case will result in the driver's license of the defendant being suspended, an application for occupational drivers' license may be filed in the same court that suspended the license or the county of residence. All cases of suspension dealing with alcohol related offenses will require a hearing and be put on a supervision program through the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.

Civil Jurisdiction, Taylor County Courts at Law.
Cases in which the amount in controversy is at least $5000.00 and not more than $200,000.00, exclusive of interest, statutory or punitive damages and penalties, and attorneys' fees and costs may be filed in this Court. Probate cases may be filed in this Court by requesting the County Clerk to do so at the time of filing the case. Civil cases are assigned by the Clerk to one court or the other unless specific request is made for a particular court. Eminent Domain cases must be filed in a County Court at Law. Taylor County Courts at Law do not have family law jurisdiction.

Civil Pretrial Notice and Trial Settings. If you have been notified of a pre-trial setting in a civil case, the hearing was set 60 days after the answer was filed and at the direction of the judge, in most cases knowing that neither party had requested a pretrial. This was done pursuant to the obligation of the judge set out in Rule 6 of the Rules of Judicial Administration (found printed at the end of Chapter 75 of The Government Code) to dispose of civil jury cases within the first 18 months from the Defendant's appearance date and of civil nonjury cases within the first twelve months. The questions to be addressed are these: Is there anything unusual about this case which would require a longer time table than the normal? When do you anticipate having completed discovery? Is there a necessity for a pretrial conference to consider motions, etc.? Is there a request for a jury? Based on these responses, the Court will set a deadline for discovery and set the case for trial. The two attorneys can request that the hearing be waived, and if the answers to these questions have been tendered to the court, the motion will be granted. Out of town attorneys may appear by telephone if the pretrial is not waived. Contact the Court staff prior to the date of hearing to arrange the appearance.