The Administrative Judge of Anderson County, the honorable Deborah Oakes Evans, has developed a COVID-19 operating plan for the county courts. Open hearings will begin again on June 1.
According to Oakes, this operational plans were made in conjunction with Anderson County officials, the Office of Court Administration, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
These measures are being made to ensure the health and safety of the attorneys, judges, litigants and other individuals in the courthouse and courts.
Through this plan, all judges will use reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely, doing telework when possible, however, non-essential in-person hearing will begin to be scheduled as of June 1.
Vulnerable people will be given the opportunity to appear by teleconference, to submit necessary information in written form or by rescheduling of the in-person hearing until a time after the COIVD-19 crisis has diminished.
Any person attending a court proceeding or appearing in court shall be required to wear a facial covering. Individuals are encouraged to bring cloth face covering with them, but if an individual does not have a cloth face covering, a disposable face covering will be provided.
Screening will be conducted prior to admission into the courtroom.
All court attendants, not from the same household, will be required to maintain social distancing of at lease six feet.
Measures have been taken to ensure safety in public spaces, including elevators, restrooms and hallways.
Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout the courthouse.
Maximum capacity of courtrooms will be posted and strictly observed.
Cleaning schedules and hygiene measures have been adopted to conform with the order.
Local authorities will continue to provide updates to these rules as needed.
A copy can be found on the Anderson County webpage, www.co.anderson.tx.us.