With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak forcing so many cancellations and closings in Houston and indeed nationwide, you may be wondering if law firms near you are open.
While we can’t speak for everyone, we can tell you that the Neal Davis Law Firm is open and ready to assist you with your criminal defense case.
Despite the fact that many courts are closed in the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County, we can assist you and your family in building a strong defense.
Jury trials are not being called
According to KPRC NBC Channel 2 at Click2Houston, Harris County Civil District Courts will not call any jury trials for the rest of March 2020. Also, each court will exercise its own discretion on a case-by-case basis when it comes to calling bench trials, which involve a judge but not a jury.
Judge Michael Gomez of the 129th Civil District Court, who is also the civil administrative judge in Harris County’s district courts, said in a public notice that the decision to stop calling civil jury trials for March occurred in response “to the growing public health concerns and to protect the due process rights of all residents of Harris County.”
The decision means that 2 dozen Harris County judges who handle civil cases will not hold any jury trials in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gomez said each court “will exercise its discretion on a case-by-case basis regarding the calling of bench trials” for which no jury is called.
Harris County District Courts have suspended jury service through Friday, March 20, 2020, and after that will reassess each week.
According to Harris County District Clerk Marilyn Burgess,
“Jurors who have received a summons for these dates do not need to appear and do not need to reschedule. Jurors summoned for JP (Justice of the Peace) Court will need to call the JP Court to which they have been summoned.”
As for Harris County Criminal District Courts, the county advises that “parties with cases in District or County Courts may wish to contact their courts regarding their respective dockets.”
Jury service in criminal district courts is suspended through Friday, March 20, 2020. Jurors who have received a summons for this week do not need to appear or to reschedule.
Federal courthouses throughout the large Southern District of Texas will remain open, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The newspaper reported that federal clerks’ offices will become a virtual operation, with aides available to the public by phone and by responding to postal service mail, and intake desks will process electronic court filings.
Also, juvenile courts were open in Harris County on Monday, March 16.
Neal Davis Law Firm remains open
None of these measures should prevent you from contacting a criminal defense lawyer if you need assistance.
The Neal Davis Law Firm remains open and is available to help you with your criminal defense case, whether it concerns a sex crime, a drug crime, theft or other white collar crimes, domestic violence, driving while intoxicated or many other criminal offenses.
As of today (Monday, March 16th), we plan on staying open during normal business hours and are available to take your call. While we may shift our availability to respond to the rapidly changing news, rest assured that that we will give your case the time and attention it deserves no matter what.
It’s never too early to start planning your criminal defense when you face a criminal charge.
Contact us today for a legal review of your case — and please stay safe amid the coronavirus outbreak.