Frequently Asked Questions
How do I obtain an ex parte restraining order?
See the Montgomery County Standing Order Regarding Children, Pets, Property and Conduct of the Parties. Should you be requesting extraordinary relief, such orders must be obtained in person by the attorney requesting same with an affidavit supporting the request.
How do I obtain an ex parte protective order?
Temporary ex parte protective orders must be obtained in person by the attorney requesting same with an affidavit supporting the request. Of course, the applicant must be present, and statutory requirements met, for a "kick-out" order.
How do I obtain a hearing for temporary orders?
Contact the Court Coordinator or the Assistant Court Coordinator.
Do I obtain the date first and then contact opposing counsel or does the court?
Counsel requesting a hearing date has the responsibility of properly notifying all parties.
Are there time limitations for hearings regarding temporary orders?
Yes. In all matters in which managing conservatorship is at issue, the parties shall be granted no more than three (3) hours to present the case, with the time to be equally divided. In all other temporary matters, the parties shall be granted no more than two (2) hours to present the case, with the time to be equally divided.
Do you require mediation before hearing a case?
Yes, unless an objection to mediation has been granted by the court. This requirement does not apply to protective orders.
Are there any special requirements for Protective Orders?
Upon a Protective Order being granted, the Applicant or Applicant's attorney must complete the Protective Order - Data Entry Form for Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and file same with the clerk before leaving the Courtroom. (This form is also available in MS Word FormatThis form is also available in MS Word Format).
When does the court hear uncontested cases?
Almost daily, the court hears uncontested matters at 8:30 a.m. You must sign up for such docket (telephonically with the court) at least 2 days prior, or you will not be heard.
Do you automatically appoint an Ad Litem or an Amicus Attorney?
No. You must request one.
How do I get a trial setting?
Trial settings are issued through a scheduling order after the case has been on file for a few months.
When is docket call?
Refer to your scheduling order. Typically, docket call will take place two Fridays before the trial date at 9:00 a.m.
Do I have to be present with my client at docket call?
Yes, unless your presence or your client's presence is expressly waived by the court.
Do you hold telephone conferences and how do I arrange that?
Yes, the court will hold telephone conferences for the convenience of out-of-town attorneys who must travel a great distance (from non-contiguous counties). You must handle all of the technical matters, and arrange with the Court Coordinator or the Assistant Court Coordinator as to the date and time.
Are there time limitations for voir dire, opening statements, final arguments, etc.?
There are no set time limits. However, time limits will be imposed on a case-by-case basis.
What about jury charges?
See your scheduling order and/or trial preparation order. You must provide the court with a disc for the Judge's preview and editing (MS Word format).
What audio and visual equipment does the court have for trial purposes?
The 418th District Court is equipped with a document Presentation Cart that contains a Qumo Document Camera, DVD/VHS player and a connection for an attorney's laptop for PowerPoint presentations or other digital media. The presenter is able to annotate on the image displayed with the touchscreen monitor mounted on the cart. The images are displayed on a 42" LCD monitor mounted on the wall, monitors on the lawyer tables, a monitor for the witness and three monitors mounted in the jury rail.
All media is controlled from a panel on the Judge's bench that determines what monitors will display the media presented. The Judge also has control of the microphones and speakers and can broadcast white noise over the jury and gallery speakers to mask bench conferences.
The court has a Sony Video Conference camera for video arraignment and video conferencing.
Wireless access to the internet is available to attorneys using a Guest account.
Do you have any special rules governing courtroom decorum?
Exhibits which may be offered into evidence should be pre-marked and exchanged before any hearing or trial. All such exhibits having no objection shall be admitted prior to the hearing or trial. Any request to call a witness "out of order" should first be discussed with opposing counsel. Food and beverages generally are not allowed in the courtroom. Otherwise, follow applicable rules and use common sense and courtesy.