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The short answer is: “if you live in Texas, yes.” Pursuant to Section 51.115 of the Texas Family Code (FC), each of you shall attend each hearing in your child’s case unless the following are true for you:
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Juvenile cases are confidential and online access and access to the entire docket would violate that confidentiality.
Children’s cases in Juvenile Court are confidential. There is no way to guarantee over the phone that the person speaking has a right to the confidential information of a particular child. We would prefer, and are in fact required, to err on the side of caution to protect the rights of the child.
When a Petition and/or Motion to Modify has been filed against your child, the law generally requires that the child be represented by an attorney. Thus, you must employ an attorney for the child. That attorney must be present at the time and date of the Appearance Hearing referenced in the Summons which was served upon you and your child along with the Petition and/or Motion.
Yes, the following rules apply.
Everyone should be attired in a manner enhancing the dignity of the Court. Except with prior permission of the Court, the following are not allowed:
Weapons are not allowed unless you are visiting the court building in your official capacity and that official capacity requires/allows you to carry a weapon.
If you are claiming indigence and an inability to employ an attorney for your child, you must appear in the Juvenile Court within five working days after the date the Petition/Motion was served on your child to show proof of your indigence.
If you are seeking the appointment of an attorney for your child, any and all persons responsible for the support of that child and all adults living in the household must bring to court current year-to-date pay check stubs and the last three years’ tax returns and any and all written documentation to support the claim of indigency or disability.
210 S Woodrow LaneDenton, TX 76205
Mondays through Thursdays1:30 pm
Mondays through Fridays9 am
Generally all communications with the judge must be done in open court with all parties present. Please do not attempt to call the judge or contact her by e mail or other method of communication outside of court.
It may be possible to talk to the judge during her "open docket times," which are: Mondays through Thursdays1 pm
Please contact the court administrator to make sure the judge will be in on the day that you are planning to attend the "open docket."
Under Section 54.041 of the Texas Family Code (FC), the Court can, upon a finding of delinquency or a finding of a child in need of supervision, enter orders that affect adults, including ordering them to do any act reasonable and necessary for the welfare of the child or to refrain from doing any act that is injurious to the welfare of the child. These orders can require an adult to make financial restitution for damages or injuries resulting from the child’s actions and an adult could be ordered to attend a class such as a G.E.D, E.S.L. or parenting skills course. Further, an adult can be ordered to pay the following fees:
These orders are enforceable by Civil Contempt proceedings, which could result in confinement in jail for a period not to exceed six months and/or a fine up to $500.
Family members, friends, and relatives of a criminal defendant often experience frustration because the lawyer refuses to discuss with them the pending criminal case. This is often due to the lawyer’s ethical obligations to the client. The Texas State Bar Rules and the "Texas Rules of Evidence" govern the circumstances under which a lawyer may reveal confidential information.
In criminal cases, a defendant and the lawyer have a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services. Furthermore, in criminal cases, a client has a privilege to prevent the lawyer from disclosing any fact which came to the knowledge of the lawyer by reason of the attorney-client relationship.
Friends, family, and relatives of a criminal defendant often wish to speak with the defense attorney about the facts of a particular case. The attorney may choose to discuss a particular case, in general terms, with individuals after consent has been given by the client. These discussions may involve the general nature of the particular criminal accusation, the criminal justice and court systems, and other basic types of information that do not involve confidential or privileged information.
Often, an apparent conflict arises between the lawyer and the person or persons who are paying the attorney on behalf of a criminal defendant. Sometimes, the person or persons who are paying the attorney believe they are entitled to receive any information from the attorney regarding a criminal case. This is often the situation in a juvenile case. Third parties must recognize that the lawyer’s duties regarding the privilege of confidential information is the same, whether the lawyer is "court-appointed’ or has been hired by friends or family. Even if the accused is a juvenile, the lawyer may not reveal confidential information to anyone, including the parents or guardians of the juvenile. Lawyers are prohibited from taking payment of fees into account in representing their client: the defendant or juvenile.
Under certain circumstances, an accused, or criminal defendant, may authorize his or her lawyer to discuss a case with third persons. Any such authorization will usually involve only unprivileged client information, and then only in the event of express authorization by the client.
Third persons must recognize that the attorney-client privilege may be waived, or lost, if privileged communications are revealed or disclosed to others. Another area of concern is friends or family members who call the attorney on the telephone with requests for information. It should be recognized that the attorney often does not know the identity of the person or persons on the telephone. Most attorneys will simply refuse to discuss a client’s case over the telephone with persons the attorney does not know. Attorneys will often allow a family member to schedule an appointment to discuss, in general terms, a client’s case, if the client has given express authorization to do so.