257th Judicial District Court of Harris County Texas is located at 201 Caroline, 16th Floor Houston, Texas 77002 as of June 2, 2014. Judge Judy Warne is the presiding Judge and Judge Patterson is her associate. You can find information about your case from the district clerk at district clerk. You can find contact information for the court on the court’s website here. This court hears divorces cases and other family law matters to include child protective services cases, contempt action, suit affecting the parenting child relationship, and adoptions in Houston, Texas. Judge Warne took over after Judge Motheral retired in 2004. Judge David Farr was the associate for Judge Motheral and worked for a time with Judge Warne.
Appearing before the Court
257th Judicial Court Of Harris County Texas Divorce Court most noticeable changes in the court after the change in Judges was the move away from a pre-trial of the case to setting them straight for trial. Uncontested divorces are heard from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Docket call is at 9 a.m. with order entries on Fridays. Mediation is required before final trial and also before a temporary orders hearing regarding child custody. This court is considered conservative on social issues. The logistics of the court in the management of its docket are efficient. Cases are brought to trial in 8 months if a bench trial. Trials before a jury take longer. I have tried several cases in front of both judges. Judge Warne is considered a no nonsense judge. She is short but precise. She does not joke nor make out of topics comments during trial. Judge Patterson smiles more than Judge Warne but her rulings are along the same line as Judge Warne. Trials are scheduled on a rotating two weeks basis. Fridays are order entry days in the 257th Judicial District. Attendance at the parenting class is not enforced in the court before someone wants to finalize their divorce in Houston, Texas. Michael Busby Jr. recently tried a grandparent access case in this court. In representing the mother of the child, I successfully motioned the court for a directed verdict on the evidence as to the grandparents access to the grandchild. This case was dismissed and no final order allowing the grandmother access was granted. One may think that Grandparents should have access for which I would not disagree, but to ask the state to intervene in a family relationship is a high evidentiary standard in Texas. I also appear frequently for divorce and other family law matters in this Houston, Texas divorce court.
Meditation prior to temporary orders is needed only in the cases where custody becomes an issue. The aspects regarding meditation prior to final trial and parenting classes will follow the local regulations. Name changes can be made in the auxiliary docket and will require a birth certificate. The coordinator will set any pre-trials, if the case. And he will also manage the issuance of scheduling orders, including their issuing.
If there is the need for dismissal without prejudice (DWOPs), the Court will send out notices, and that file will be set for 9 a.m. The need to use parenting coordinators or facilitators will be decided on each case in part and will be appointed if considered necessary. In the situation for children’s preferences, a motion must be filed, and the other part must be announced. The child will not be brought to Court until the Judges will decide so. In the case the interview concerns in preferences for purposes of TO hearing; then the Court will announce both the counsel and the parties if any nomination has been made after the interview is finished. No further actions will be required. If the Court needs to discuss with the child regarding a testimony, then the interview will be granted after the testimony is made. Also, if the child will be brought to Court, without prior permission given by the Court or Coordination, there is the chance the child will be immediately sent home or to school.
There is the need to contact the Coordinator for any preferential settings. The Court is rather flexible and, if requested in a timely manner, TOs and final trials can be set according to preferences. If there is the need of motions for continuance, these should be placed 10 days prior to the final trial. If one shows at the Court on the day of the final trial and expresses the wish of having a motion for continuance, this might be rejected.
The Court may appoint Amicus by respecting the code. Also, Amicus may be appointed if the Court decides the circumstances needs it. Neither the parties nor the counsel may choose the Amicus. The parties must be careful is asking for an Amicus appointment and afterwards to announce the court the absence of money to pay for it.
There are other aspects that must be respected during the presence in the Court. Always stand up when addressing the Court. Contrary, the Court might reject your objections. A docket call is not final and can be changed if an honest time estimate is made and announced. Also, courtesy is required, especially in opposing the counsel. Sniping behaviors, particularly in front of the bench, is not considered amusing or proper.
About the Author
Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce and bankruptcy attorney in Houston, Texas who appears in court at least 3 times a week. He has 14 years experience in the Houston, Texas family law and federal bankruptcy courts. Call me for your questions on the 257th Judicial Court Of Harris County Texas Divorce Court. 257th Judicial District Court of Harris County Texas is written by Michael Busby Jr. Houston divorce attorney.
2909 Hillcroft Suite 350
Houston, Texas 77057
Vist me on the web at www.busby-lee.com