After Governor Abbott’s disaster proclamation entered last week, the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals entered an emergency order modifying and suspending certain provisions related to court proceedings. The order that applies in all courts and to all case types is meant to provide courts with flexibility to delay or modify proceedings as necessary to address the disaster.
When asked what this means for Big Spring and Howard County residents, Big Spring Municipal Judge Timothy Green, advised that the emergency order is a set of guidelines that local courts will use to create a plan to keep court personnel and the public safe amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.
"What they're saying is, 'Be mindful of your court personnel. Keep them safe, not only them, but also people who are coming in to do business with the court," said Judge Green.
"I think what the Texas Supreme Court understands is that if the courts are going to be in compliance with some of the things that are coming out of Washington and some of the things you got coming out of the Governor's office, we need guidance. This is the effort from the Texas Supreme Court giving courts guidance on how to proceed from now."
The guidelines listed in the emergency order will remain in effect until May 8, 2020, but can be extended if needed.
Judge Green advised that the Big Spring Municipal Court is in the process of putting a plan together for how will continue to proceed through this time period. Their goal is to keep people safe and still give justice to people who are innocent until proven guilty.