Court Operations Under Circumstances Created by the COVID-19 Pandemic
In response to Texas Governor Abbott's disaster proclamation entered March 13, 2020, as well as subsequent Executive Orders, the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals entered multiple Emergency Orders modifying and suspending certain provisions related to court proceedings. These Orders apply in all courts and to all case types and are meant to provide courts with the flexibility to delay or modify proceedings as necessary to address the threat of the COVID-19 disaster.
In compliance with the above-referenced Orders, Wood County prepared the COVID-19 Operating Plan for the Wood County Judiciary ("Operating Plan"). This Operating Plan has been reviewed and approved and may be viewed by clicking on the following link:
COVID-19 Operating Plan for the Wood County Judiciary
All videoconferencing hearings will be conducted by ZOOM.
- Each person (attorney, staff, witness) appearing at a videoconference hearing must have access to a computer or other device capable of utilizing Zoom. Zoom supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. The Court has a premium Zoom license and can host meetings of up to 300 participants and for an unlimited time period. All other users can use the basic Zoom license, available from Zoom at no cost.
- No video or audio recording of the hearings is permitted.
- Witnesses will be sworn by the Court, without the need for a notary. The Supreme Court has suspended certain procedural rules, such as those restricting remote testimony.
- Prior to the scheduled hearing, the Court will send an email inviting all attorneys to the Zoom meeting. Attorneys, please be sure to forward the link to your client and any testifying witnesses.
- For those wanting to observe the hearing, you will need to come to the courtroom. Limited seating is available.
- If you are not currently speaking, mute your own zoom account.
- Multiple users should not physically be in the same room. This will prevent echoing/feedback on the equipment.
- Please speak one at a time. Zoom conferencing works best when there is a pause between speakers, so please wait a brief moment before speaking after someone else.
NOTE: The “virtual courtroom” is subject to the same provisions as physical courtrooms. Please exercise proper courtroom decorum, including proper attire, at all times.