Bell County Bar Association News

  • 03/19/2020 3:48 PM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    Effective immediately, felony defendants on bond should not appear in court as all of those cases are being reset for a later date.  If the attorney for the state or the defense has good cause for scheduling a case prior to the reset date, please contact the appropriate court.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

     Gwenda Thompson

    Administrative Coordinator

    169th District Court Coordinator

    Bell County District Courts

    254-933-5265

    Gwenda.Thompson@bellcounty.texas.gov

     

  • 03/19/2020 10:59 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    Please see attached listings for new dates on the plea settings on bonds for the week of 3/23/20 to 3/27/20.

    Bond plea settings week of Mar 23 to Mar 27 2020.pdf

  • 03/19/2020 8:42 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR STAFF AND THE PUBLIC, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY,

     THE BELL COUNTY

    DISTRICT CLERK’S OFFICE

     IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.

     HOWEVER, OUR OFFICE REMAINS FULLY STAFFED TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR NEEDS. FOR SERVICE PICK-UP, PLEASE CONTACT 933-5196 TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS.

    WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.

  • 03/19/2020 7:01 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    Please see attached notice from Joanna Staton, Bell County District Clerk.

    Due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 {Coronavirus), the Bell County District Clerk's Office has implemented a few changes, effective immediately. It is our hope and plan to remain open to continue to serve the citizens of Bell County; however, the health of the employees and their families is certainly a priority of mine. It is my goal to eliminate as much public contact and traffic in and out of our office as possible; therefore, I am asking each of you to comply with the following temporary guidelines:

    • JURY SUMMONS: If you have received a jury summons for March 23, March 30, or April 6, YOU DO NOT NEED TO APPEAR. All jury questions should be directed to our jury coordinator by phone at {254) 933-5949.

    • TITLE COMPANY COPY REQUESTS: Please email jina.boydstun@bellcounty.texas.gov and she will email your copy. Certified copies can be mailed or picked up. You may also reach her by
    phone at (254) 933-5958.

    • ATTORNEYS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Please conduct as much business as possible online or by phone. The majority of our services are available to you online or we will be happy to answer your questions by phone by calling {254) 933-5197 for Civil or {254) 933-5200 for Criminal.

    • PRO SE LITIGANTS: Please mail in your documents along with your payment to Bell County District Clerk, PO Box 909, Belton, Texas 76513, or you may file your petitions electronically through www.efiletexas.gov, if possible. If you need assistance withe-filing, please contact their help line at 1-855-839-3453.

    • ALL OTHER COPY REQUESTS: FAMILY/CIVIL copy request may be made through e-file, by phone (254) 933-5198, by fax {254) 933-5292, or emailed to dccopyrequest@bellcounty.texas.gov.

    CRIMINAL copy requests may be made through e-file, by phone {254) 933-5193, by fax {254) 933-5199, or emailed to dcfelonycopy@bellcounty.texas.gov. We also accept all copy requests
    by mail to Bell County District Clerk, PO Box 909, Belton, Texas 76513. All copy requests are handled expeditiously.

    With the above said, I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we all need to work together and do our part to keep ourselves and our community healthy! Thank you for your understanding during this time.

    Respectfully,

    Joanna Staton
    Bell County District Clerk

    Bell Co Dist Clk COVID-19 protocol.pdf

  • 03/18/2020 8:33 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    To:        Attorneys representing defendants in felony courts
    From:   J Gauntt, J LePak, and J Jezek
    Re:       Interim Procedures in Felony Criminal Courts
    Date:    March 17, 2020

    We are instituting the following interim procedures immediately:
    1.    Please instruct your client, witnesses, etc to remain in the hallways until their case is heard.  We are under directives to maintain social distancing.  You should maintain a minimum distance of 3’ to 6’ between yourself and all other persons.

    2.    Cases (pleas and uncontested sentencings) will be scheduled at 15-minute intervals.  We will try to accommodate your schedules as much as possible.  If you will contact the court coordinator no later than noon on the day before the setting, the coordinator can set your cases for specific
    times during that day.  It is absolutely essential that you appear at the time of your specific setting.  The number of inmates in holding tanks is further limited by new requirements and your inmate will not be available for long period of time.  If your client is on bond, it will be your responsibility to notify them of the specific time of their setting.

    3.    Non-jury trials, contested sentencing hearing, and contested revocation hearing, pre-trial motions, etc. will be specially set as time permits.  Please advise the court or the coordinator of the estimated length of the hearing at the time the case is set.  If witnesses and spectators at a hearing exceed 12 people, please talk with the court regarding scheduling.  You can expect a  delay in hearings where 12 or more people are expected to appear.

    4.    Do not appear at Thursday or Friday docket calls (pre-trial, revocation announcements, arraignment, jury docket calls).  Advise your client not to appear for routine Thursday or Friday docket calls.  You should send an email to the coordinator  with a copy to the State’s attorney, by
    noon on the day before docket call.  In that email you should make your announcement to the court and advise a proposed date for the next setting.  Also, if you are setting a plea or uncontested sentencing, please suggest a proposed time for the setting.  If an email is submitted to a
    coordinator that does not include notice to the State’s attorney, that email will be returned to you without action.  Cases requiring a record will still require the presence of you and your client.

    5.    So long as no jury panels are available, all jury trials will be reset 90 days.  If the new date is not convenient for you or the State, please contact the coordinator or court for an agreed reset date.

    We are hopeful that these new procedures will reduce the number of persons in the courthouse and in our courtrooms at any particular time.  We want to continue to hear criminal matters without creating unnecessary backlogs.  However, if you or your client are ill or not feeling well, please
    advise the court prior to your setting.  We do not want to risk anyone’s health.  Cases can be reset.

    Thank you for your cooperation and your patience.

  • 03/18/2020 8:12 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    March 16, 2020

    Attorneys/self represented litigants:

                    The Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals here ordered all courts in Texas to take action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19.  To accommodate this directive until further notice, all proceedings in the 146th District Court will be subject to the following:

    • 1.       “Essential hearings” that will be conducted as usual are only for family violence protective orders, temporary restraining orders and other matters approved by the Court.
    • 2.       Any other hearing will be conducted by telephone only, provided that all parties agree to a telephone hearing.  In such instances, the attorneys/self-represented litigants must make arrangements at least one day in advance through the court coordinator, who will provide further instructions.
    • 3.       If you have a hearing already scheduled, contact the Court Coordinator (by telephone or email) and advise her of your plans.  If we do not hear from you your hearing will be removed from the docket.
    • 4.       All statutory and court imposed deadlines are suspended until further notice.
    • 5.       Please be patient.  We do not like this any more than you.  We will attempt to accommodate you as much as we reasonably can.

     Jack Jones
    146th District Court Judge

    Stacy Dunivent
    146th District Court Coordinator

     

     

  • 03/18/2020 7:02 AM | Cynthia Helmandollar (Administrator)

    See below regarding standard possession order.


    Supreme Court - Standard Possession Order.pdf



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The Bell County Bar Association is a non-profit organization. Post Office Box 282, Belton, Texas 76513