Federal courts in Texas and Arkansas issue orders concerning virus


Courts in the Texarkana area are taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Federal courts in both Arkansas and Texas are suspending jury selections, courthouse tours, nationalization services and are implementing other measures to help halt the spread of the virus. Civil hearings and other non-essential proceedings will be delayed.

Chief judges in both the Eastern District of Texas and Western District of Arkansas issued general orders Monday concerning the virus. The Speedy Trial Act will be suspended for criminal defendants whose trials must be postponed to avoid gathering large groups together for jury selection.

Bowie County, Texas, is rescheduling court hearings for defendants in criminal cases who are currently free on bond but Miller County has currently not announced any changes. Miller County has not altered court settings for Tuesday, March 17. Circuit Judge Carlton Jones said defendants scheduled to appear Tuesday, March 17, before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson for criminal hearings should plan to be there.

Bowie County’s criminal cases scheduled for hearings in March have been rescheduled for dates in April. Defendants should contact their attorney, their public defender, the district attorney’s office or court for information about their next court date.

Civil hearings that are deemed “non-essential” are being delayed also.

Cass County and Red River County, Texas, are implementing measures similar to Bowie County.

Anyone with civil or criminal hearings currently scheduled in any local, state or federal court should contact their attorney or the court assigned to supervise their case if they have questions.

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