The Honorable David Farr of the 312th Judicial District Of Harris Court Texas Family Court is located on 201 Caroline 16th Floor Houston, Texas 77002 as of June 2, 2014. I have 14 years of practicing law before the 312th Judicial District of Harris County Texas Divorce Court. Judge Squire and Judge Burg were for many years looked at as non-confrontational and more of mediating judges than straight and fast ruling judges. Judge Squire left the bench and was replaced by Judge Farr. Judge Farr for many years was the associate in the 257th Divorce Court of Harris County, Texas. During the 2008 election in Harris County, the democrats made some surprising election wins with the Obama excitement. This resulted in a Democrat, Judge Hinojosa beating Judge Farr in the general election. Not to be undone, Judge Farr was quick to come back in 2010 and defeated the democrat to take back his place in the 312th. Judge Burg, the associate for years, passed away and then was replaced by Judge Shelton, who was the former associate for Judge Warne in the 311th. Judge Shelton retired in 2012 and Judge Gaffney took her place. This Court calls its docket at 9:00 a.m. every day and is typically on time. The Court also allows late calls for those stuck in traffic or conflicted another court without incident. The Court requires mediation before a hearing on temporary orders in child custody cases and also requires mediation before all final hearings. Judge Farr is a Colonel in the Texas National Guard. His Court is orderly and well respected. He has had logistical issues in running his court due to a car accident with several of his staff at the beginning of 2012. He quickly took steps to keep the cases moving and give families the court they need. Cases are typically brought to trial within 8 months in this court. Continuances are given without comment if agreed. This court is considered conservative, but by no means outdated or old fashioned. Families in this court who need emergency relief can usually get a hearing within 6 to 8 days. Others hearings typically take 20-30 days from the date of the pleading filed to be heard. My firm has tried over a dozen cases in the 312th Divorce Court in the last 12 years. I typically appear once a week in this court for some type of hearing.
Mediation prior to a temporary order is requested only in the case where custody is in issue. On the other hand, mediation prior to the final trial is needed in most instances unless the Court decides otherwise. The parenting classes will be taken according to the local rules. Although, in the cases of not attending them, it will not hold up an agreement. The name changes are made through TFC, which is heard by the District Judge in present times. Pre-trials are set in several cases. For instance, in cases with jury trials. On terminations or adoptions. And in the case they are requested. A scheduled order will be issued in about 4 months since the case was filed.
The Dismissal without prejudice (DWOPs) are set 4 months after the case is filed. The new date is set for about 2 or 3 months away. The situation applies for the inexistence of answers, waives or citations on file. It will apply as well if a waiver or citation is present in the file, but there is no answer for them. A case can as well be dismissed for not appearing at a pre-trial ordered by the Court, not being present at a trial or not being able to submit the final orders.
Parental coordinators or facilitators are very rarely needed. The choice for children preferences will be presented on modification per before temporary orders. In this case, the child is interviewed first, after a final trial or hearing on temporary orders, as foreseen by Texas Family Code, or in any other way the Court will consider appropriate. The presence of attorneys is not necessary. The record will be made as required by Texas Family Code.
Preferential setting can be made on request. In case the final trial or a temporary orders hearing, which are disputing a custody, these settings will be done after mediation. The motions for continuance are made through Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Amicus appointments are made through TFC and as deemed warranted. Any further information can be given by Michael Busby, a Houston divorce attorney.
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Michael Busby Jr.
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Houston, Texas 77036