Harris County 1910 Courthouse
JUSTICE COURTS TO RESUME IN-PERSON DOCKETS
Beginning June 1, 2020, the Harris County Justice Courts will resume holding in-person dockets in compliance with the Emergency Orders issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and according to the guidance issued by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size, and other restrictions and precautions. You may view the orders and guidance here.
IF YOU ARE EXHIBITING ANY COVID-19 SYMPTOMS, INCLUDING FEVER, COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR DIFFICULTY BREATHING, CHILLS, REPEATED SHAKING WITH CHILLS, MUSCLE PAIN, HEADACHE, SORE THROAT, LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL, OR DIARRHEA -- OR IF YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 -- YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE COURT BEFORE APPEARING. Individuals who are age 65 or older and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised such as by chemotherapy or other conditions requiring such therapy are considered to be vulnerable populations and may contact the Court to identify themselves as such to receive accommodations. The Court may allow or require anyone involved in any proceeding to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing or videoconferencing.
Please be aware that all courthouse visitors are subject to screening upon entering the building/courtroom. You may have your temperature taken with an infrared (contactless) thermometer and/or may be asked if you are feeling feverish; have a cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing; or have been in close contact with a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Individuals whose temperature exceeds 100.4 °F or individuals who indicate yes to any of the screening questions may be refused admittance to the building.
All courthouse visitors not from the same household will be required to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and practice appropriate hygiene recommendations at all times while in the building. You are encouraged, and may be required, to wear face coverings at all times while in the building, and the Court reserves the right to turn away any individual who declines to wear a mask if so requested. For information on how to make and properly wear a home-made face covering, visit the CDC's website here or view the Harris County Public Health Department's notice on properly wearing face coverings here.
For information from the Harris County Public Health Department on how and where to get tested for COVID-19, click here.
UPDATE ON EVICTION CASES
The Harris County Justice Courts will begin issuing citations in residential eviction matters on May 19, 2020 consistent with the guidelines set out by the Texas Supreme Court in its Fifteenth Emergency Order, viewable here. In accordance with the Supreme Court’s Twentieth Emergency Order (viewable here), For any eviction proceeding filed from March 27, 2020 through August 24, 2020, the sworn petition for eviction must contain a statement that the premises is not subject to the moratorium on evictions imposed by Sections 4023 or 4024 of the CARES Act, and that the plaintiff has complied with the 30 day notice to vacate requirements in Section 4024. The temporary moratorium provides that landlords of covered properties (federally subsidized apartments including those supported by HUD, USDA, and the US Treasury; and homes covered by federally-backed mortgages) may not file a new eviction cases for nonpayment of rent for 120 days from the Act’s effective date of March 27; furthermore, landlords may not serve any notice to vacate until the 120 day period has expired and such notice must give at least 30 days. For more information, please see the COVID-19 FAQs for Public Housing Agencies published by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development here.
The required statement can be included in your sworn petition for eviction or you may submit a separate affidavit. Click here for a sample affidavit.
UPDATE ON CONSUMER DEBT CASES
The Harris Court Justice Courts will also resume processing consumer debt cases consistent with the Supreme Court’s Sixteenth Emergency Order (view here). The Order requires judgment creditors and receivers to provide additional notice to judgment debtors, in the same manner prescribed for service of a writ of garnishment under Rule 663a of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, that reads as follows: IF YOU RECEIVED A STIMULUS PAYMENT FROM THE IRS UNDER THE CARES ACT, THE AMOUNT YOU RECEIVED MAY BE SUBJECT TO A COURT STAY PROTECTING THOSE FUNDS DURING THE CURRENT EMERGENCY. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REQUEST A HEARING WITH THE COURT, AND THE COURT WILL CONSIDER YOUR REQUEST ON AN EXPEDITED BASIS.
Please see the individual court pages (below) for further information applicable to specific courts.
We continue to encourage litigants to file all civil and some criminal filings through efiletexas.gov (see link to the right) or through other such means as the individual court may permit. We also encourage defendants who are wishing to sign up for driving safety courses, enter no contest pleas and pay their criminal citations, pay deferred disposition costs (new option), or make partial payments on judgments (new option) to use the Online Payment options. Search for your case below to see if you are eligible for any of these options.
Please keep in mind that the Harris County Justices of the Peace and the clerks of the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice. You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.
Online Services for Criminal Cases
for Driver Safety Course
Defendants with eligible offenses may use this service
to apply for the Driving Safety Course or Motorcycle Operator Training Course dismissal and to pay the required court
You will be asked to pay court costs as part of the application process.
Do not take the course before you receive approval from the Court.
If you intend to apply for a driving safety course or motorcycle operator training course, do NOT pay
- OR -
Defendants who are not otherwise required to make a personal appearance in court may use this service to pay their citations online with a credit card. You may search for your case at the link below to see if your case is eligible for online payment.
If there has been a warrant issued for your arrest for your failure to appear or failure to pay, you may still be eligible to pay online. However, the warrant will not be recalled until payment is received by the court. This can take up to the next business day.
If you are convicted of a criminal offense, the sentence will include payment of a fine and court costs. If you are unable to pay that amount, bring this to the court's attention immediately. The judge can provide you with alternatives to full payment if you are determined to have insufficient resources or income to pay all or part of the fine or costs. For more information, consult an attorney or contact the court.
Find Information about Cases and Dockets