Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – SDTX Related Orders and Courthouse Statuses (Updated 10/19/2020)
To Prospective Jurors: We in the federal judiciary know how difficult the last months have been. The federal courts in the Southern District of Texas have continued working throughout, but until now, we have been unable to hold jury trials. Because the delay affects important rights, it is urgent that we resume trials as quickly as possible. We can’t do that without you.
The judges in each of the seven divisions in the Southern District are deciding when to resume jury trials in that division, based on local conditions. Safety is our top priority. Because community conditions differ, each division is separately deciding when to resume jury trials. For example, the Houston Division is resuming jury trials on October 13, 2020, with a detailed plan in place to provide as safe an environment as possible. Most of the other divisions plan to resume jury trials soon thereafter. We are following all requirements for social distancing, masks, and cleaning at every step in every trial.
To view the precautions that have been put in place to protect the health and safety of the jurors, the parties, the lawyers, and the court staff during jury selection and jury trials, please refer to the letter you received with your summons or visit the court’s webpage for Jurors and the Divisional Office link for your local courthouse. If you have questions or concerns about your jury service, please contact the Clerk’s Office. Contact information can be found on your summons and on the court’s website.
We thank you in advance and look forward to welcoming you to your courthouse and to the important public service you will provide.
Lee H. Rosenthal