Court Consultant Services
Time Standards for Disposition of Cases in Trial Courts
District and statutory county court judges of the county in which cases are filed should, so far as reasonably possible, ensure that all cases are brought to trial or final disposition in conformity with the time standards outlined in Rule 6 of the Texas Rules of Judicial Administration.
- View/Print Complete Texas Rules of Judicial Administration, available on our Rules & Standards page.
- Criminal Cases - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 32A.02.
- Non-Family Jury Cases - within 18 months from appearance date.
- Non-Family Non-Jury Cases - within 12 months from appearance date.
- Contested Family Law Cases - within 6 months from appearance date or within 6 months from the expiration of the waiting period provided by the Family Code where such is required, whichever is later.
- Uncontested Family Law Cases - within 3 months from appearance date or within 3 months from the expiration of the waiting period provided by the Family Code where such is required, whichever is later.
- Juvenile Cases, in addition to requirements of Title 3, Texas Family Code -
Dentention Hearings - next business day following admission to any detention facility;
Adudicatory or Transfer (Waiver) Hearings - Juvenile in a detention facility: not later than 10 days following admission;.
Adudicatory or Transfer (Waiver) Hearings - Juvenile not in a detention facity, not later than 30 days followng the filing of the petition.
Disposition Hearings- not later than 15 days following the adjudicatory hearing. The court may grant additional time in exceptional cases that require more complex evalution.
Differentiated Case Management (DCM)
Using the time standards in Rule 6, cases should be identified to determine the level of preparation and court intervention to achieve timely and just resolution. Some elements to remember when developing your Differentiated Case Management (DCM) plan are:
- Obtain a consensus among judges, attorneys and persons involved in the caseflow process and the degree a court will become involved and the processing time required to dispose the of the various cases;
- Strive for uniformity between a county Indigent Defense Plan, your court Local Rules and your DCM plan for your court;
- Incorporate these factors into formal criteria for defining the different case management or tracks, timelines and events, appropriate for each type of case, and applying this criteria to a case as soon as possible after the case is filed. Notify attorneys and court staff of case track;
- Create a sufficient number of processing tracks to facilitate timely dispositon of all cases with a meaningful distribution of the caseload among these tracks;
- Each event scheduled should contribute to case preparation and promote case disposition, not merely another setting;
- The timeframes and events should accomodate the range of management and processing needs for each case;
- Cases should be monitored as they proceed to disposition according to the procedures and deadlines for their assigned tracks. All events scheduled should occur; ensure that deadlines are appropriate and applicable to case type; and, identify cases in danger of exceeding tracks and deadlines;
- Avoid granting deadline extensions, except for good cause; and,
- Utilize available resources: