Courthouse Damage Means Cases Moved, Delayed


The downtown Harris County Criminal Justice Center at 1201 Franklin St. will remain closed "indefinitely, due to flooding and other related damage," the court says.

That means court cases will be moved to other buildings and dockets will be postponed.

"This affects all cases in the county’s criminal district courts trying felonies and the county criminal courts-at-law that handle Class A or B misdemeanors," according to Presiding Judge Paula Goodhart, who explained the situation to Newsradio 740 KTRH.

Those courts will be temporarily relocated and people with cases pending are expected to appear in the locations below.

The Harris County Civil Courthouse at 201 Caroline is fully functional.

Harris County is assessing the Juvenile Justice Center and will announce the location of regular juvenile and CPS dockets as soon as possible. Juveniles on probation should contact their probation officers. Juvenile detention hearings and CPS emergency hearings will be conducted in the detention courtroom on the first floor of the Juvenile Justice Center at 1200 Congress.

Temporary Criminal Court Locations

Criminal district courts will move from the CJC to the Civil Courthouse at 201 Caroline and the Juvenile Justice Center at 1200 Congress. The civil district, family district and county probate courts will combine courtrooms to make room for the criminal district courts. The county’s misdemeanor courts will move from the CJC to the Family Law Center at 1115 Congress.

Jury Service

Jury duty has been cancelled through Sept. 15th. People summoned before Sept. 15th do not need to appear and do not need to reschedule. Jury service will resume as soon as possible and jurors summoned after Sept. 15th should contact the District Clerk’s Office or go online to confirm their summons (832-927-5800; www.hcdistrictclerk.com).

Docket Schedules and Court Dates

Dockets for people in jail charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor or a felony will continue to be held in the jail at 49 San Jacinto but will soon move to 1307 Baker Street for male defendants and 1200 Baker Street for female defendants. Contact the District Clerk’s Office or go online for docket information (832-927-5800; www.hcdistrictclerk.com).

Dockets for people on bond charged with a misdemeanor or felony will resume Sept. 11th at the locations listed above. Specific locations – court numbers and floors – will be posted as soon as possible on the following websites or social media outlets: (1) attyportal.harriscountytx.gov, (2) www.justex.net, (3) www.ccl.hctx.net/criminal, (4) The Harris County District Courts Facebook Page and (5) The Harris County Criminal District Courts Facebook Page.

Defendants who cannot appear for a scheduled court date due to hurricane-related issues should contact the court where their case is pending, their attorney and, if applicable, Harris County Pretrial Services and their bonding company. The courts will address such circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Bonds

Courts will not forfeit bonds based on a person’s failure to appear for a court date from Aug. 28th through Sept. 8th. For information about bond conditions, contact your attorney or Harris County Pretrial Services (713-755-8700 or 713-274-0920; www.pretrial.harriscountytx.gov). Your private bonding company may also have information concerning surety bond conditions.

Trials

Jury trials will be rescheduled as soon as the District Clerk can secure an appropriate venue to assemble jurors and courts can properly notice parties. Jury trials in criminal bond, juvenile and family cases will resume as soon as possible after Oct. 1. Jury trials in civil and probate cases have been postponed until after Nov. 1.

Criminal trials for defendants in custody and juvenile trials for detained respondents will immediately resume when the clerk can provide jurors and attorneys are properly noticed.



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