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RULES OF PRACTICE
DISTRICT COURTS OF COLLIN
CIVIL AND FAMILY LAW CASES
Part One (Conduct and Decorum)
All counsel shall conduct themselves according to
the standards of professionalism as described in the TEXAS LAWYERS CREED - A MANDATE FOR
PROFESSIONALISM as adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal
Appeals, November 7, 1989.
1.2 LITIGANTS AND SPECTATORS
All litigants and spectators shall wear appropriate
attire and conduct themselves in a dignified and courteous manner. Each Court may post
Standards of Conduct in or near its chambers.
Part Two (Filing and Assignment of
All civil cases shall be filed in rotating order.
2.2 TEMPORARY ORDERS
a. Except in emergencies when the District Clerk's
Office is not open for business, no application for immediate or temporary relief shall be
presented to a Judge until it has been filed and assigned to a Court. If the Judge of the
Court to which such case is assigned is absent or is occupied with other matters, any
District Judge may sit for the Judge of the Court to which the case has been assigned and
shall make all writs and process returnable to that Court. Hearings on applications for
temporary injunctions, temporary receiverships and the like shall be set in the Court to
which the case has been assigned.
b. Whenever immediate action of a Judge is required
in an emergency when the Clerk's Office is not open for business, the case shall
nevertheless at the earliest practicable time be docketed and assigned to a Court , and
all writs and process shall be returnable to that Court. If the Judge of such Court is not
available to hear the application for temporary relief at the time set, any District Judge
may preside in the case.
2.3 EX PARTE ORDERS
a. All applications for ex parte orders shall be
presented in accordance with Rule 2.2.
b. Counsel presenting any application for an ex
parte order shall, before presenting any such application to any District Judge, determine
whether there has been any previous application for the same or similar relief, or whether
the relief sought will conflict with any previous order. Where there has been any previous
application for the same or similar relief, or where the relief sought will conflict with
any previous order, counsel shall so inform the Judge to whom the application for an ex
parte order is presented. Depending on the circumstances, the Judge may decline to act
and/or refer the entire case to the Judge of the appropriate Court.
Part Three (Continuances and
3.1 MOTIONS FOR CONTINUANCE AND REQUESTS FOR
a. An agreed continuance is not automatic and must
be approved by the Court.
b. No continuance shall be granted unless counsel
for all parties involved give consent, or unless upon motion timely filed with notice to
all parties and after a hearing, or unless upon the Court's own motion.
c. No motion for continuance shall be considered as
having been timely filed unless such filing is made and a hearing upon such motion is held
before the date of the setting for which a continuance is requested, except on good cause
3.2 CONFLICTING ENGAGEMENTS OF COUNSEL
a. Where counsel has more than one case set for
trial in the District Courts in Collin County in the same week, the Court in which a case
is first reached for trial shall have priority, except that if the cases are reached in
more than one court for jury trial on Monday morning, the older case shall have priority.
However, this Rule is subject to the discretion of the District Judges after conferring
with each other.
b. Where counsel for either party has a conflicting
trial setting in another county, upon prior written notice to the Court and opposing
counsel of such conflicting setting, the Court may hold the Collin County case until trial
in the other county is completed.
c. Where counsel has a conflicting engagement in any
Court of the United States or in the Supreme Court of Texas, the Court of Criminal Appeals
or any Court of Appeals, upon prior written notice to the Court of such conflicting
setting, the case in Collin County may be held until such engagement has been completed.
d. Nothing in this Rule shall imply that any Judge
of a District Court in Collin County acquiesces in any other Court's claim of priority to
the appearance of counsel.
Part Four (General Provisions)
4.1 SUITS ON PROMISSORY NOTES (Note: Rule 4.1 required amendments before
it was approved by the Supreme Court. The amended version is contained in the .pdf version
posted in the Download Center.)
4.2 DISMISSAL FOR WANT OF PROSECUTION
a. A case may be dismissed for want of prosecution
for any of the following reasons:
(1) Failure of Plaintiff to request a setting or
take other appropriate action after notice from the Clerk that the case has been pending
without action for more than sixty (60) days.
(2) Failure of Plaintiff's counsel to appear for
pretrial, docket conference, or other preliminary hearing, especially where there has been
a previous failure to appear or where no amendment has been timely filed to meet
exceptions previously sustained.
(3) Failure of Plaintiff to make an announcement of
"ready" when a case is called for trial or hearing of any preliminary matters.
(4) For any other reasons provided for by these
Rules, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or the general law.
b. Subject to other provisions of these Rules, the
Clerk shall mail a written notice of such dismissal to all parties or their counsel of
4.3 ORDERS, JUDGMENTS, AND DECREES
Within thirty days after rendition or an announced
settlement by counsel, counsel shall cause, unless ordered otherwise, all judgments,
decisions, and orders of any kind to be reduced to writing approved as to form by opposing
counsel, and as to contents, if an agreed order, judgment, or decree, and delivered with
copies required to the Court Clerk for signature of the trial Judge. Upon failing to
furnish the Court Clerk with such a judgment or order finally disposing of case, the Court
shall presume that counsel wishes the Clerk to present for Judge's signature an Order of
Dismissal with prejudice with costs taxed at the Judge's discretion.
4.4 WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL
No attorney of record shall be permitted to withdraw
from any case without presenting a motion and obtaining from the Court an order granting
leave to withdraw. When withdrawal is made at the request of or on agreement of client
such motion shall be accompanied by the client's written consent to such withdrawal or a
certificate by another lawyer that he has been employed to represent the client in the
case. In the event the client has not consented a copy of such a filed motion shall by
certified mail and regular first class mail be mailed to the client at his last known
address, with a letter advising that the motion will be presented to the Court on or after
a certain hour not less than ten (10) days after mailing the letter and that any objection
to such withdrawal should be made to the Court in writing before such time, and a copy of
such letter shall be attached to the motion. A copy of the motion shall be delivered or
mailed to the opposing counsel. Unless allowed in the discretion of the court, no such
motion shall be presented within thirty (30) days of the trial date or at such time as to
require delay of the trial. After leave is granted, withdrawing attorney shall send the
client a letter by regular mail notifying him of the withdrawal, stating any settings for
trial or otherwise, and advising him to secure other counsel, and shall send a copy of
such letter to opposing counsel and to the Clerk of the Court in which the case is
4.5 NOTICE BY THE CLERK
a. All parties desiring mail notice of any setting
by the Court or receipt of any correspondence from the Clerk of the Court shall furnish
the Court Clerk return envelopes properly addressed and stamped. Counsel desiring
conformed copies shall conform same and only ask the clerk to affix the Judge's facsimile
stamp. Except as provided elsewhere in these rules, no conformed copies shall be made or
furnished nor shall searches or research be performed for counsel or the public, free of
charge. All mail received with postage due will be returned to sender.
b. Counsel seeking entry of an interlocutory
judgment, judgment or order involving final disposition shall furnish the Court Clerk a
stamped envelope addressed to all other parties or counsel. Immediately upon the signing
of such an order the Clerk shall mail a conformed copy thereof to the party against whom
the order was rendered. Failure to comply with the provisions of this rule shall not
effect finality of the order or judgment.
c. The Court Clerk shall limit response to telephone
requests for information to the following:
(1) If answer has been filed;
(2) Existence and setting of a case;
(3) Return of service and date; and
(4) Correct style of a case when correct case number
The Court Clerk shall not receive and relay personal
messages and/or telephone calls, read pleadings to attorneys, their secretaries or the
4.6 WITHDRAWAL OF FILE
a. No pleading or paper belonging to the files of
the Court shall be taken from the office or custody of the Clerk except that any file of
the Court may be taken to the Judge thereof by an attorney of record as shown by the file
or by a party appearing pro se as shown by the file.
b. A receipt shall be given to the Clerk by the
party withdrawing a Court's file.
4.7 DISCOVERY MOTIONS
All motions for discovery sanctions, requests for
rulings on discovery objections, and motions to compel discovery shall set out within the
body of the motion, the interrogatory or request which is in dispute, and the objection
and answer or response which is in dispute, so that all matters necessary for the Court's
consideration are set out in one concise document.
Part Five (Family Law Matters)
5.1 HEARINGS ON TEMPORARY ORDERS
Each party present at any hearing on temporary
orders shall be limited to twenty (20) minutes total to present its evidence,
cross-examine, rebut, and argue its case, unless the Judge affirmatively orders otherwise.
5.2 SEMINAR FOR DIVORCING PARENTS
The Court may require the parties to a suit
affecting the parent-child relationship to successfully complete the "For Kids'
Sake" Seminar (972-519-8720).
Part Six (Miscellaneous Provisions)
6.1 AUTHORITY FOR RULES
These rules are adopted under and by virtue of
Articles 200b and 209ef, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes and Rule 3a, Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, and the constitutional statutory and inherent powers of the courts to regulate
proceedings before them and to provide for the orderly and efficient dispatch of
6.2 TITLE AND CITATION
These rules shall be known as the "Rules of
Practice in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas", and particular rules may be
cited thus: "District Court Rule 3.2"
6.3 PARTIAL CIVIL INVALIDITY
In the event any of the foregoing rules or any part
thereof is held to be invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect the
validity of the remaining rules and parts of rules, all of which have been separately
considered and adopted.
6.4 PUBLICATION OF AMENDMENTS AND RULES APPROVED FOR
Local rules approved by the Supreme Court of Texas
pursuant to Rule 3a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which supplement or amend these rules
may be published together with these rules.
Signed this the 16th of January, 1998.
/S/Robert T. Dry, Jr.,
199th Judicial District Court
/S/Curt B. Henderson
219th Judicial District Court
296th Judicial District Court
/S/Nathan E. White, Jr.
366th Judicial District Court
380th Judicial District Court
Approved by the Presiding Judge of the First
Administrative Region on the _________ day of ___________________, 1998.
/S/Judge Pat McDowell
Presiding Judge, First Administrative Judicial Region
Approved by the Supreme Court of Texas on the
_________ day of ___________________, 1998.
Supreme Court of Texas