Justice of the Peace AMENDED Notice
This memo supersedes meeting information.
Effective immediately this date, March 17th, 2020, all Justice of the Peace Courts in Nueces County will not be scheduling or placing any Criminal Cases Or Civil Cases on the docket to be heard by the Judges' until 30 days after the Governor's state of disaster due to COVID-19 has been lifted (Expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). This will include but is not limited to the following types of cases:
- All criminal type of cases including traffic violations and trial/pre-trial cases involving the Nueces County District Attorney
- All civil types of civil cases including evictions
- OFFICE WILL BE OPEN FROM 10AM TILL 3PM FOR BUSINESS
This rule is in correspondence to recommendations set forth by the Supreme Court of Texas (Misc. Docket No, 20-9042) and The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas (Misc. Docket No. 20- 0007).
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Judge Joe Benavides, USMC Retired
Presiding, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Pl. 1
Nueces County, Texas
March 17, 2020
Honorable Barbara Canales
Nueces County Judge
Nueces County Courthouse
90 I Leopard Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Dear Judge Canales,
I appreciate your leadership in issuing a Declaration of Local Disaster for Nueces County due to the Public Health Emergency created by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). I respectfully request that you please consider amending your order to include a moratorium on evicting renters for at least the next 30 days. Halting eviction orders will protect the community and limit exposure to COVID-19. In addition, the amendment should prohibit Justice Courts from holding an eviction setting for the same corresponding period. No writs of possession should be issued by a Justice Court for 60 days after the date of your amendment. Justice Courts should be prohibited to act on any current eviction case already filed until after the moratorium.
The amendment is in line with the emergency order issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals on March 13, 2020. The emergency order states that all courts in Texas, subject only to constitutional limitations, must avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public. It also states that courts may "modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor's state of disaster has been lifted." It is in the public's interest to prevent people from becoming homeless and continue to social distance themselves. This is the right thing to do for our families, as we are trying to contain the spread of the virus. Thank you for your leadership.
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
State Senator, District 20
Trump: HUD to suspend foreclosures, evictions through April
The announcement was made while the American economy is starting to feel the impacts of the new coronavirus.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump announced that his administration will halt foreclosures and evictions on mortgages.
The announcement was made during the White House briefing on Wednesday when Trump said he had directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend all evictions and foreclosures on properties until the end of April.
"The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April," Trump said during the White House briefing. "So we're working very closely with [HUD Secretary] Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD."
It's unclear at this time how many U.S. homeowners and renters would be impacted by this decision.
The announcement was made as the American economy is feeling the impacts of the coronavirus. Restaurants, bars, venues and workplaces across the country have closed for weeks or possibly months to stop the outbreak.
Several states have already taken steps to slow the impacts of foreclosures and evictions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order Monday to temporarily allow local governments to stop evictions and it directed the state's Department of Business Oversight and Housing to collaborate on efforts to help Californians avoid foreclosure.
Congress members have also taken steps to help the American people during this serious time. Sen. Warner and Sen. Brown wrote a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday urging it to provide servicers with guidance to help facilitate access to affordable mortgage credit to affected borrowers, consistent with safety and soundness of the housing finance system.
During the press briefing Wednesday, Trump also announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act to marshal the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-9042
IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-007
FIRST EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING
THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
- Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code
- Subject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case, civil or criminal-and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public without a participant's consent:
- Modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor's state of disaster has been lifted;
- Allow or require anyone involved in any hearing, deposition, or other proceeding of any kind-including but not limited to a party, attorney, witness, or court reporter, but not including a juror-to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;
- Consider as evidence sworn statements made out of court or sworn testimony given remotely, out of court, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;
- Conduct proceedings away from the court's usual location, but in the county of venue, and only with reasonable notice and access to the participants and the public;
- Require every participant in a proceeding to alert the court if the participant has, or knows of another participant who has, COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or a fever, cough or sneezing;
- Take any other reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat ofCOVID-19.
- All courts in Texas may extend the statute of limitations in any civil case for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor's state of disaster has been lifted.
- This Order is effective as of March 13, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to:
- post a copy of this Order on www.txcourts.gov;
- file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and
- send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and each member of the Legislature.
- The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members of the Texas bar of this Order.
Dated: March 13, 2020