County offices including the courts in the courthouse will have a delayed opening at 10:30am. Jurors are requested to report at 10:30am.
This page is maintained by the Council of Judges for the sole purpose of providing the public with i
County offices including the courts in the courthouse will have a delayed opening at 10:30am. Jurors are requested to report at 10:30am.
National Adoption Day is Saturday, November 19th. Attached is an announcement from the Family District Court, 65th Judicial District.
Thanks to the hard work of the Judges and all our justice system partners, the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court highlights El Paso's efforts to resolve cases during the pandemic.
The Council of Judges welcomes Judge Anna Perez of the 41st District Court as our new Local Administrative Judge. The Local Administrative Judge (LAJ) serves as chair of the Council of Judges and oversees administration for the District, County and Probate courts. The LAJ also fulfills a number of other responsibilities conferred by law or assigned by the Chief Justice of Texas or the Regional Presiding Judge for the region.
We thank Judge Chew for her dedication and stewardship over her three years as LAJ and look forward to continued advancement under the leadership of Judge Anna Perez. Judge Chew will remain as Judge of the 327th District Court through the rest of her term.
Next week, May 2-6, is Jury Appreciation Week. Thank you to all who serve and protect the integrity and fairness of our justice system!
Masks are no longer required to enter the Enrique Moreno Courthouse in El Paso County, Texas effective March 16, 2022, although people are recommended to wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated, are at higher risk, or if they have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Judges may continue to require masks in courtrooms and their office suites.
This morning (Nov. 1) the El Paso County Commissioners Court approved a resolution re-naming the county courthouse in honor of lawyer Enrique Moreno, known for his community service and selflessness.
From the resolution:
"Whereas, Mr. Moreno's charity knew no boundaries, he represented clients at no cost and was known for winning
large cases in the name of civil rights and returning his monetary part to those in need; and,
Whereas, those who knew and loved him knew him as the Abogado del Pueblo; and,
Whereas, the El Paso County Courthouse is now honored by the name of a Giant of the People; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the El Paso County Judge and Commissioners Court that October 27th 2021 be known as
'Enrique Moreno County Courthouse'"
After considering the advice of the Department of Public Health, Local Administrative Judge Linda Chew has decided that trials scheduled on or after October 4 may proceed according the jury trial procedures approved by the Council of Judges for the safety of jurors and participants. The Council of Judges will continue to monitor the risk in the community and remain in contact with the Department of Public Health.
VETERANS TREATMENT COURT PRE-ADJUDICATION REFERRAL
The 346th District Court and the El Paso District Attorney’s Office have agreed to allow cases to be referred to the Veterans Treatment Court prior to adjudication.
This will make participation in Veterans Treatment Court more appealing to those veterans and active duty military who are eligible. This special court program is intended to provide service members with rehabilitation support through vocational opportunities, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and other community services all while under the supervision of the Court. The 346th District Court’s Veterans Treatment Court was the second of its kind in Texas and was established in 2009.
This new policy is intended to expand interest and participation in Veterans Treatment Court. Through this program, defendants who meet the criteria will no longer be required to plead guilty to join the program. The added incentive is that those who complete the program will no longer face prosecution. By going through the program, defendants may have their charges dismissed and, in some cases, might have the offense expunged. If the defendant fails to complete the program, they will remain subject to prosecution.
For more information, you may contact Yvonne Whitaker, Veterans Treatment Court Program Director, at (915) 546-2119, extension 4478 or [email protected].
Recently an attorney contacted the County regarding a recurring issue with case information, particularly searches. This is a recognized problem that County IT is actively trying to address. A notice was issued today that configurations have been implemented in an effort to stabilize the online criminal, civil, and jail records search function. The intermittent failures are less frequent. The County will continue to monitor the search site's functionality and seek continued improvements including a long term modernization plan.
JURY SELECTION DATES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6TH TEMPORARILY POSTPONED
Texas is currently experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections. While El Paso has not seen the increases suffered in other parts of Texas, the CDC reports that El Paso County has SUBSTANTIAL rate of COVID-19 transmission that is trending toward HIGH.
Working together with the County Judge, Commissioners Court and the City Department of Public Health, El Paso judges continue to keep health risks to a minimum while at the same time keeping courts open.
As a result of the recent increase in COVID-19 infections, the Council of Judges will postpone all jury trials scheduled through September 6, 2021. If you are scheduled for jury service on or before September 6, you will be sent notice that your jury service date has been cancelled. Trial dates after September 6 remain active at this time.
The Council of Judges supports vaccination efforts and use of face coverings. As a community working together, we can reduce the risk of COVID-19 and save lives. For more information, you may contact Mike Cuccaro, Executive Director of the Council of Judges, at [email protected] or Jury Hall at (915) 546-8102.
Our Local Administrative Judge has authorized updated Minimum Health Standards Protocols for the courthouse. These include:
All individuals entering the courthouse will be required to wear face coverings in common areas at all times unless otherwise requested by a judge, a law enforcement officer, justice of the peace or other court officer. Common areas at the courthouse include lobbies, hallways, elevators, public bathrooms and other areas. They do not include offices or office suites that are not generally used by the public.
Face coverings are required in courtrooms and court chambers unless the judge grants permission to remove them.
All judges will continue to use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely.
The full set of protocols can be accessed at:
After discussions with the local public health authority and community stakeholders, our Local Administrative Judge has signed minimum health standards protocols for the courthouse that will continue to strongly encourage remote proceedings but allow limited in-person proceedings starting on April 1. These are minimum standards and each court may require additional protections as the judge sees fit to require for their court. All persons entering the courthouse will still be required to abide by requirements for face coverings and social distancing.
The link to the protocols is here: http://www.epcounty.com/information/eptxmhsp3-22-2021.pdf
Looking forward, the Council of Judges will be updating the Jury Trial Addendum originally promulgated in June of 2020.
The Texas Supreme Court today has issued its 36th Emergency Order governing pandemic safety precautions in our courts. The Order is effective immediately and expires in June. Among other things, the Order expands the discretion of the Regional Presiding and Local Administrative Judges to promulgate plans that could include in-person proceedings and jury trials.
First, Local Administrative Judge Linda Chew reiterates that the Council of Judges will continue its current moratorium on nonessential in-person proceedings until at least April 1st.
Second, Judge would like everyone to know the Courts will continue to exercise caution and consult with the Department of Public Health, our County Judge and our justice system stakeholders in reacting to the new Order and considering any changes after April 1st.
The Texas Supreme Court issued Emergency Order #33 on January 14, 2021, which among other items extended limitations on jury trials until April 1, 2021. http://txcourts.gov/media/1450329/219004.pdf
The Council of Judges has amended its Jury Trial Procedures in accordance with Texas Supreme Court Order No. 26. This document is now entitled the Jury Trial Addendum. Among the changes are a new Juror COVID Questionnaire and that the Courts will check with the Department of Public Health no more than five days prior to jury selection regarding local health conditions and planned precautions. http://epcounty.com/information/JuryTrialAddendum.pdf
On September 17, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia awarded Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the Center's Liberty Medal for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all. Below is the Center's information on the award as well as a video of the award ceremony. https://constitutioncenter.org/liberty-medal
The National Constitution Center awarded the 32nd annual Liberty Medal to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all. To celebrate Justice Ginsburg, the Center aired a video tribute featurin...
"It is a gift to have a judge who has been a positive influence, not only to our judicial system, but to our American way of life. Justice Ginsberg has shown us the true face of courage with grace, dignity and wisdom. We, as a society, have been blessed by her love and devotion to our great country."
-- Local Administrative Judge Linda Chew
Resumption of Jury Trials at the Enrique Moreno County Courthouse
The Council of Judges has resumed scheduling jury trials on a limited basis pursuant to its Jury Trial Plan. The first jury trials are scheduled for October. The Jury Trial Plan adopted by the Council builds upon the COVID-19 Operating Plan that has been in place since the end of May. Both plans were developed with the guidance and cooperation of state and local authorities.
As announced in August, the health and safety of all involved is of paramount importance in the planning for trials. The number of jury trials scheduled will be limited for the foreseeable future, and each one requires a series of approvals to proceed. The Jury Trial Plan includes detailed pandemic safety precautions for jury selection and for conducting trials. Among those precautions are:
• the number of jurors summoned to appear at any one time will be limited;
• social distancing will be enforced in the courtrooms and throughout the courthouse;
• jurors will report directly to their assigned courts and will be seated immediately upon arrival;
• jurors will not be seated next to one another;
• face coverings (masks) are required and face shields will be available;
• prepared lunches will be made available to jurors during trials to reduce mingling; and
• the number of people allowed in any courtroom will be strictly monitored based on the size of the courtroom.
For additional information, please see the jury trial plan posted at
or contact the Council of Judges office at (915) 546-2143.
The Texas Office of Court Administration has issued its report to the Texas Supreme Court on safe conduct of jury trials.https://txcourts.gov/media/1449660/jury-report-to-scotx-final.pdf
AUSTIN — While there may be less traffic on the roads this Labor Day weekend, TxDOT is urging those who choose to go out and celebrate to plan ahead for a sober ride before any drinking begins.
Your Courts in El Paso County and across Texas have been taking advantage of technology to remain open and serving the public during the pandemic.
The move to virtual courts is forcing judges to balance privacy and transparency.
Practicing Law During the Pandemic and Tips for Online Advocacy, a free webinar for El Paso TX lawyers, recorded yesterday. Sponsored by the El Paso County Council of Judges.
Recording of the El Paso Council of Judges' presentation Practicing During the Pandemic and Tips for Online Advocacy. June 22, 2020.
Monday, June 22 at Noon - free Zoom webinar for attorneys
Practicing During the Pandemic and Tips for Online Advocacy
Sponsored by the El Paso County TX Council of Judges
https://txcourts.zoom.us/j/97646670431 (click this link to join meeting online)
Zoom Meeting ID: 976 4667 0431 (open Zoom and enter meeting ID)
Hosted by: Judge Reed Leverton
Speakers: Judge Bonnie Rangel
Chris Ritter, TLAP Executive Director
Mike Cuccaro, COJ Executive Director
• Welcome and Introduction (5 minutes)
• TLAP: pitfalls of the pandemic for attorneys (15 minutes)
• Expectations for online hearings (10 minutes)
• Tips from the bench for online advocacy (10 minutes)
• Tips from court staff (5 minutes)
• Court Operational Plans (5 minutes)
• Resource references and Questions (open, time remaining)
Currently seeking CLE certification
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...
Congratulations to El Paso attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth on her election to become the State Bar of Texas president-elect for 2020-2021!
What you may need to know about coming to the courthouse for court.
County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Local Administrative Judge Linda Chew provide a video "welcome" to the El Paso County TX courthouse, and the video also re...
Court procedures during the COVID-19 emergency may be found athttp://www.epcounty.com/information/CourtResponse.pdf
500 E. San Antonio
El Paso, TX
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