Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions are sorted based on the area of interest. If you do not find the answer you need, please contact your local District Clerk’s Office (contact numbers are available under “Court Info,” “Court Locations”).

Appeals

How many days do I have to file an appeal?

In a civil case, the notice of appeal must be filed with the U.S. District Clerk’s Office within 30 days after the judgment is entered. When the United States or its officer or agency is a party, the notice of appeal may be filed by any party within 60 days after the judgment is entered. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a).

What is the filing fee for a notice of appeal?

The filing fee for a notice of appeal is $505.00.

Where do I pay the appeal fee?

Upon filing a notice of appeal, you can either pay the appeal fee in person or mail it to the U.S. District Clerk’s Office. Checks are to be made payable to “Clerk, U.S. District Court.” The U.S. District Clerk’s Office receives the appellate fee for the Court of Appeals.

How long will it take for a decision on my appeal?

There is no set length of time for an appeal. As the case is being decided by the Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Clerk’s Office can make no prediction as to the length of time it will take. However, factors that may affect the length of time it takes the appeal may include the Court of Appeals caseload, complexity of the issues, etc.

What do you send to the Court of Appeals, what makes up the record?

The original papers and exhibits on file or in the custody of the Clerk of Court (except for oversized exhibits or sensitive exhibits such as drugs, firearms, currency, etc.), the transcript of proceedings, if any, and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the deputy clerk of the District Court shall constitute the record on appeal in all cases. See Fed. R. App. P. 10(a).

What type of cases need a certificate of appealability?

A certificate of appealability is needed to appeal the denial of a habeas corpus petition by a person in state custody under 28 U.S.C. §2254 or a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence by a person in federal custody under 28 U.S.C. §2255. See Fed. R. App. P. 22(b).

When is the record ready to be sent to the Court of Appeals?

It is the responsibility of the deputy clerk of the District Court to complete the record on appeal and to transmit it to the Court of Appeals. Generally in civil and criminal cases when all transcripts that have been ordered are filed and the filing fee has been paid or an application for in forma pauperis is granted the record will be transmitted. Section 2254 and 2255 cases should also include the District Court’s order ruling on the motion for certificate of appealability. Once the volumes are bound and labeled, and the transcript volumes, depositions, and exhibit containers are labeled, the record is ready for transmission to the Court of Appeals. The original record must be transmitted to the Court of Appeals within 15 days after it is complete for purposes of appeal.

When the record is at the Court of Appeals, should all subsequent filings be filed with the Court of Appeals?

Once the record is at the Court of Appeals, all further filings relating to the appeal should be sent to the Court of Appeals. However, transcript order forms should be filed in the District Court. If a pleading is filed in the District Court (and any subsequent ruling should one be necessary), it will be forwarded to the Court of Appeals as a supplement to the record.

Appendicies

Appendicies, Local Court Rules for the Western District of Texas

Appendix A, Information Required – Motion For Class Action Certification

Appendix A
Information Required – Motion For Class Action Certification

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix A – Information Required – Motion For Class Action Certification

A motion to certify a class must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. A brief statement of the case.
  2. A statement defining the class plaintiff seeks to have certified including its geographical and temporal scope.
  3. A description of plaintiff’s particular grievance and why that claim qualifies plaintiff as a member of the class as defined.
  4. Whether the plaintiff contends that the action may be maintained under Rule 23(b)(1), Rule 23(b)(2), or Rule 23(b)(3) and why.
  5. A statement respecting the four prerequisites of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). The statement shall set forth:
    1. The anticipated number of class members and how this number was determined.
    2. The common questions of law and fact involved.
    3. The reasons why plaintiff’s claim is typical of those of the other class members.
    4. The reason why representation by the named plaintiff is adequate to protect the interests of the class. This part of the statement shall specifically answer the following questions:
      1. Is the claim of the named plaintiff presently or potentially in conflict with that of any members of the class?
      2. Will the claims of the class require subclasses presently or in the future?
      3. What is the prior experience of counsel for the plaintiff that would indicate capability to handle the lawsuit?
      4. Is counsel presently representing or has he at any time represented, a class in any other class action, and if so, when and how many instances?
      5. How many cases is plaintiff’s counsel now handling in which class action allegations are made?
  6. A statement describing any other pending actions in any court against the defendants alleging the same or similar causes of action.
  7. A statement that the attorney for the named plaintiff has discussed and thoroughly explained to the plaintiff the nature of a class action and potential advantages and disadvantages to the named plaintiff by proceeding in a class action rather than individually.
  8. A statement of the proposed notices to the members of the class and how and when the notices will be given, including a statement regarding security deposit for the cost of notices.
  9. A description of the extent of any settlement negotiations that have taken place and the likelihood of settlement with the named plaintiff on an individual basis. If such settlement is likely, include a statement specifying:
    1. Whether or not counsel have any knowledge of any person who has relied on the fact that this suit was initially filed as a class action.
    2. The manner in which counsel will protect the class in the event of settlement with the named plaintiff on an individual basis.
  10. A statement of any other matters that the plaintiff deems necessary and proper to the expedition of a decision on the motion and the speedy resolution of the case on the merits.
Appendix B, Scheduling Order

Appendix B, Scheduling Order

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix B Scheduling Order

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

                DIVISION

 

                                  
Plaintiff,

                                  
Defendant.

§
§
§
§
§
§

 

 

NO.                         

SCHEDULING ORDER

Pursuant to Rule 16, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court issues the following Scheduling Order:

  1. A report on alternative dispute resolution in compliance with Rule CV-88 shall be filed by ________.
  2. The parties asserting claims for relief shall submit a written offer of settlement to opposing parties by _________, and each opposing party shall respond, in writing, by ________.
  3. The parties shall file all motions to amend or supplement pleadings or to join additional parties by _______.
  4. All parties asserting claims for relief shall file their designation of testifying experts and shall serve on all parties, but not file, the materials required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B) by __________ . Parties resisting claims for relief shall file their designation of testifying experts and shall serve on all parties, but not file, the materials required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B) by __________ . All designations of rebuttal experts shall be filed within 14 days of receipt of the report of the opposing expert.
  5. An objection to the reliability of an expert’s proposed testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 shall be made by motion, specifically stating the basis for the objection and identifying the objectionable testimony, not later than ____ days of receipt of the written report of the expert’s proposed testimony, or not later than ____ days of the expert’s deposition, if a deposition is taken, whichever is later.
  6. The parties shall complete all discovery on or before __________. Counsel may by agreement continue discovery beyond the deadline, but there will be no intervention by the Court except in extraordinary circumstances, and no trial setting will be vacated because of information obtained in post-deadline discovery.
  7. All dispositive motions as defined in Rule CV-7(c) shall be filed no later than ________________.
  8. This case is set for trial [docket call, or jury selection] on ________ at _.m. The parties should consult Rule CV-16 regarding matters to be filed in advance of trial.

SIGNED this _____ day of _________________.

 

                                                                                            
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Appendix B-1, Notice Of Right To Consent To Trial By Magistrate Judge

Appendix B-1, Notice Of Right To Consent To Trial By Magistrate Judge

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix B-1 – Notice Of Right To Consent To Trial By Magistrate Judge

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

                DIVISION

 

                                  
Plaintiff,

                                  
Defendant.

§
§
§
§
§
§

 

 

NO.                         

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO CONSENT
TO TRIAL BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), all full-time United States Magistrate Judges are authorized and empowered to try any civil case, jury or nonjury, with the consent of all parties to the lawsuit. Because of the crowded condition of the criminal docket in this District and the difficulty in reaching civil cases for trial, you may wish to consent to the trial of your case by a United States Magistrate Judge. Your decision should be communicated to the United States District Clerk’s Office. Consent forms are available in the Clerk’s office. Your consent to trial by a Magistrate Judge must be voluntary, and you are free to withhold consent without suffering any adverse consequences. If all parties do consent to trial of this case by a Magistrate Judge, the Court will enter an order referring the case to a Magistrate Judge for trial and for entry of judgment.

SIGNED this _____ day of _________________.

 

                                                                                            
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Appendix C, Local Rules For The Assignment Of Duties To United States Magistrate Judges

Appendix C, Local Rules For The Assignment Of Duties To United States Magistrate Judges

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix C – Local Rules For The Assignment Of Duties To United States Magistrate Judges

LOCAL RULES FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF DUTIES TO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGES

Rule 1. Authority Of United States Magistrate Judges

  1. Duties Under 28 U.S.C. §636(a).
      Each United States Magistrate Judge of this Court is authorized to perform the duties prescribed by 28 U.S.C. §636(a), and may:

    1. Exercise all the powers and duties conferred or imposed upon United States Commissioners by law and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
    2. Administer oaths and affirmations, impose conditions of release under 18 U.S.C. §3146, and take acknowledgments, affidavits and depositions; and (3) Conduct extradition proceedings, in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §3184.
  2. Disposition of Misdemeanor Cases —18 U.S.C. §3401.
    A magistrate judge may:
    1. Try persons accused of, and sentence persons convicted of, misdemeanors committed within this district in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §3401;
    2. Direct the probation service of the court to conduct a presentence investigation in any misdemeanor case; and
    3. Conduct a jury trial in any misdemeanor case where the defendant so requests and is entitled to trial by jury under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
  3. Determination of Non-Dispositive Pretrial Matters 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(A).
    A magistrate judge may hear and determine any procedural or discovery motion or other pretrial matter in a civil or criminal case, other than the motions which are specified in subsection 1(d), infra, of these rules.
  4. Recommendations Regarding Case-Dispositive Motions—28 U.S.C. §636(b)(l)(B).
    1. A magistrate judge may submit to a judge of the court a report containing proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition by the judge of the following pretrial motions in civil and criminal cases:
      1. Motions for injunctive relief, including temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions;
      2. Motions for judgment on the pleadings;
      3. Motions for summary judgment;
      4. Motions to dismiss or permit the maintenance of a class action;
      5. Motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
      6. Motions to involuntarily dismiss an action;
      7. Motions for review of default judgments;
      8. Motions to dismiss or quash an indictment or information made by a defendant; and
      9. Motions to suppress evidence in a criminal case.
    2. A magistrate judge may determine any preliminary matters and conduct any necessary evidentiary hearing or other proceeding arising in the exercise of the authority conferred by this subsection.
    3. Prisoner Cases under 28 U.S.C. §§2254 and 2255. A magistrate judge may perform any or all of the duties imposed upon a judge by the rules governing proceedings in the United States District Courts under §2254 and §2255 of Title 28, United States Code. In so doing, a magistrate judge may issue any preliminary orders and conduct any necessary evidentiary hearing or other appropriate proceeding and shall submit to a judge a report containing proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition of the petition by the judge. Any order disposing of the petition may be made only by a judge.
    4. Prisoner Cases under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §2241. A magistrate judge may issue any preliminary orders and conduct any necessary evidentiary hearing or other appropriate proceeding and shall submit to a judge a report containing proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition of petitions filed by prisoners pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §2241.
    5. Special Master References. A magistrate judge may be designated by a judge to serve as a special master in appropriate civil cases in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(2) and Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon the consent of the parties, a magistrate judge may be designated by a judge to serve as a special master in any civil case, notwithstanding the limitations of Rule 53(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
    6. Review of Administrative Agency Proceedings. In a suit for judicial review of a final decision of an administrative agency, a magistrate judge may be designated by a judge to review the record of administrative proceedings and submit to the district judge a report and recommendation concerning (a) any defects in the agency proceedings which constitute a violation of statute or regulation or a violation of due process, (b) whether the matter should be remanded to the agency for additional factual determinations, and
    7. whether the record contains substantial evidence in support of the agency decision.
  5. Conduct of Trials and Disposition of Civil Cases Upon Consent of the Parties– 28 U.S.C. §636(c). Upon the consent of the parties, a full-time magistrate judge may conduct any or all proceedings in any civil case which is filed in this court, including the conduct of a jury or non-jury trial, and may order the entry of a final judgment, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §636(c). In the course of conducting such proceedings upon consent of the parties, a magistrate judge may hear and determine any and all pretrial and post-trial motions which are filed by the parties, including case-dispositive motions.
  6. Other Duties. A magistrate judge is also authorized to:
    1. Exercise general supervision of civil and criminal calendars, conduct calendar and status calls, and determine motions to expedite or postpone the trial of cases for the judges;
    2. Conduct pretrial conferences, settlement conferences, omnibus hearings, and related pretrial proceedings in civil and criminal cases;
    3. Conduct arraignments in criminal cases not triable by the magistrate judge and take not guilty pleas in such cases;
    4. Receive grand jury returns in accordance with Rule 6(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
    5. Accept waivers of indictment, pursuant to Rule 7(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
    6. Accept petit jury verdicts in the absence of a judge;
    7. Conduct necessary proceedings leading to the potential revocation of misdemeanor probation and revocation of felony or misdemeanor supervised release;
    8. Issue subpoenas, writs of habeas corpus ad testificandum or habeas corpus ad prosequendum, or other orders necessary to obtain the presence of parties, witnesses or evidence needed for court proceedings;
    9. Order the exoneration or forfeiture of bonds;
    10. Perform the functions specified in 18 U.S.C. §4107, 4108, 4109, regarding proceedings for verification of consent by offenders to transfer to or from the United States and the appointment of counsel therein;
    11. Preside over a naturalization ceremony and administer the oath required by 8 U.S.C. §1448(a);
    12. Supervise proceedings on requests for letters rogatory in civil and criminal cases if designated by a district judge under 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a);
    13. Consider and rule upon applications for administrative inspection warrants and orders permitting entry upon a taxpayer’s premises to effect levies in satisfaction of unpaid tax deficits;
    14. Issue orders authorizing the installation and use of pen registers, traps and traces, and issue orders directing a communications common carrier, including a telephone company, to provide assistance to a named federal investigative agency in accomplishing the installation of traps, traces and pen registers; and
    15. Perform any additional duty as is not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Rule 2. Assignment Of Matters To Magistrate Judges

  1. General. The method of assignment of duties to a magistrate judge and for the allocation of duties among the several magistrate judges of the court shall be made in accordance with orders of the court or by special designation of a judge.
  2. Misdemeanor Cases. All misdemeanor cases shall be assigned, upon the filing of an information, complaint, or violation notice, or the return of an indictment, to a magistrate judge, who shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3401 and Rule 58, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Rule 3. Procedure Before The Magistrate Judge

  1. In General. In performing duties for the court, a magistrate judge shall conform to all applicable provisions of federal statutes and rules, to the local rules of this court, and to the requirements specified in any order of reference from a judge.
  2. Special Provisions for the Disposition of Civil Cases by a Magistrate Judge on Consent of the Parties– 28 U.S.C. §636(c).
    1. Notice. The clerk of court shall notify the parties in all civil cases that they may consent to have a magistrate judge conduct any or all proceedings in the case and order the entry of a final judgment. Such notice shall be handed or mailed to the plaintiff or his/her representative at the time an action is filed and to other parties as attachments to copies of the complaint and summons, when served. Additional notices may be furnished to the parties at later stages of the proceedings, and may be included with pretrial notices and instructions.
    2. Execution of Consent. The parties may sign separate consent forms; however, consent forms signed by all the parties or their representatives will also be accepted. The consent forms should be sent to the clerk of court. Unless all parties have consented to the reference, the decision of each party as indicated on the consent forms shall not be made known to any judge or magistrate judge. No magistrate judge, judge, or other court official may attempt to persuade or induce any party to consent to the reference of any matter to a magistrate judge. This rule, however, shall not preclude a judge or magistrate judge from informing the parties that they have the option of referring a case to a magistrate judge.
    3. Reference. After the consent form has been executed and filed, the clerk shall transmit it to the judge to whom the case has been assigned for approval and referral of the case to a magistrate judge. Once the case has been assigned to a magistrate judge, the magistrate judge shall have the authority to conduct any and all proceedings to which the parties have consented and to direct the clerk of court to enter a final judgment in the same manner as if a judge had presided.

Rule 4. Review And Appeal

  1. Appeal of Non-Dispositive Matters–28 U.S.C. §636(b) (l)(A).
    Any party may appeal from a magistrate judge’s order determining a motion or matter under subsection l (c) of these rules, supra, within 14 days after issuance of the magistrate judge’s order, unless a different time is prescribed by the magistrate judge or a judge. Such party shall file with the clerk of court, and serve on the magistrate judge and all parties, a written statement of appeal which shall specifically designate the order, or part thereof, appealed from and the basis for any objection thereto. A judge of the court shall consider the appeal and shall set aside any portion of the magistrate judge’s order found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law. The judge may also reconsider sua sponte any matter determined by a magistrate judge under this rule.
  2. Review of Case-Dispositive Motions and Prisoner Litigation–28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l)(B).
    Any party may object to a magistrate judge’s proposed findings, recommendations or report under subsections 1 (d), (e), (f) and (h) of these rules, supra, within 14 days after being served with a copy thereof. The clerk of court shall notify the parties of this right when serving copies of the report. Such party shall file with the clerk of court, and serve on the magistrate judge and all parties, written objections which shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations or report to which objection is made and the basis for such objections. A judge shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge, however, need conduct a new hearing only in his/her discretion or where required by law, and may consider the record developed before the magistrate judge, making his/her own determination on the basis of that record. The judge may also receive further evidence, recall witnesses or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
  3. Special Master Reports-28 U.S.C. §636(b)(2). Any party may seek review of, or action on, a special master report filed by a magistrate judge in accordance with the provisions of Rule 53(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  4. Appeal from Judgments in Misdemeanor Cases-18 U.S.C. §3402.
    A defendant may appeal a judgment of conviction by a magistrate judge in a misdemeanor case by filing a notice of appeal to the District Court within 14 days after entry of the judgment, and by serving a copy of the notice upon the United States Attorney. The scope of appeal shall be the same as on an appeal from a judgment of the district court of the court of appeals.
  5. Appeal from Judgments in Civil Cases Disposed of on Consent of the Parties-28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
    1. Appeal to the Court of Appeals. Upon the entry of judgment in any civil case disposed of by a magistrate judge on consent of the parties under authority of28 U.S.C. §636(c) and subsection l(i) of these rules, supra, an aggrieved party shall appeal directly to the United States Court of Appeals for this circuit in the same manner as an appeal from any other judgment of this court.
  6. Appeals from Other Orders of a Magistrate Judge.
    Appeals from any other decisions and orders of a magistrate judge not provided for in this rule should be taken as provided by a governing statute, rule, or decisional law.

Addendum

General Order of July 17, 1981

ON THIS DATE came on to be considered those causes in which Plaintiff, pursuant to 42U.S.C. § 405(g) and 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq., seeks review of a decision by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services upon an application for benefits under Title 42, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, United States Code, and

In accordance with the authority vested in the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to the Amended Order for the Adoption of Rules for the exercise of Powers and Performance of Duties by United States Magistrate Judges, adopted in the Western District of Texas on April 17, 1980.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all matters in which Plaintiff, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq., seeks review of a decision by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services upon an application for benefits under Title 42, Chapter 7, Subchapter I, United States Code, be referred by the Clerk to the United States Magistrate Judges sitting in the San Antonio Division in accordance with a random assignment procedure approved by the judges residing in the San Antonio Division.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the United States Magistrate Judge is authorized to issue all orders necessary to his/her review, and that, upon completion of his/her review, he/she shall prepare a recommendation to the Court concerning the adjudication of these causes.

Appendix E-1, Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas

Appendix E-1, Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix E-1 – Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas

Appendix E-2, Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas – Del Rio Only

Appendix E-2, Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas – Del Rio Only

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix E-2 – Application for Admission to Practice in the Western District of Texas – Del Rio Only

Appendix H, Confidentiality and Protective Order

Appendix H, Confidentiality and Protective Order

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix H – Confidentiality and Protective Order

Appendix I, Guidelines For Non-Stenographic Deposition

Appendix I, Guidelines For Non-Stenographic Deposition

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix I – Guidelines For Non-Stenographic Deposition

Depositions recorded by non-stenographic means, including videotape, are authorized without the prior necessity of a motion and court order if taken under the following guidelines:

  1. The beginning of the videotape shall contain an announcement or other indication of the style of the case, the cause number, the name of the court where the case is pending, the physical location of the deposition, and an introduction of the witness, the attorneys, any parties or party representative who may be present, the court reporter, the video technician, and any other persons present at the deposition.
  2. The witness will be sworn on camera.
  3. The camera shall remain on the witness in standard fashion throughout the deposition. Close-ups and other similar techniques are forbidden unless agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court.
  4. The arrangement of the interrogation should be such that, in responding to the interrogating attorney, the witness will look as directly into the camera as possible.
  5. No smoking shall be allowed during the videotape, and there should be no unnecessary noise or movement.
  6. The party issuing the notice of the videotape deposition shall be responsible for the original of the videotape, and other parties shall have the option to obtain copies at their cost.
  7. A time-date generator or other suitable indexing method must be used throughout the course of recording the deposition.
  8. An announcement of the time on the videotape shall be made each time the videotape is begun and is stopped.
  9. The time of conclusion of the videotape must be announced on the videotape.
Appendix J, Notice Regarding Complaints of Judicial Misconduct or Disability

Appendix J, Notice Regarding Complaints of Judicial Misconduct or Disability

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix J – Notice Regarding Complaints of Judicial Misconduct or Disability

To improve the administration of justice in the federal courts, Congress passed the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 372(c). The law authorizes complaints against United States circuit, district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges who have “engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts” or who are “unable to discharge all the duties of office by reason of mental or physical disability.” The conduct to which the law is addressed does not include making wrong judicial decisions, for the law provides that a complaint may be dismissed if it is “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling.” The Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit has adopted Rules Governing Complaints of Judicial Misconduct or Disability. These rules apply to judges of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges of federal courts within the Fifth Circuit. The circuit includes the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

These rules may be obtained from, and written complaints filed at, the following office:

  1. Clerk
  2. U. S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  3. 600 Camp Street, Room 102
  4. New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Appendix K, Plan For Prompt Disposition Of Criminal Cases Pursuant To The Speedy Trial Act Of 1974–18 U.S.C. §3165(e)(3)

Appendix K, Plan For Prompt Disposition Of Criminal Cases Pursuant To The Speedy Trial Act Of 1974–18 U.S.C. §3165(e)(3)

Download .PDF Copy of Appendix K – Plan For Prompt Disposition Of Criminal Cases Pursuant To The Speedy Trial Act Of 1974–18 U.S.C. §3165(e)(3)

SECTION II

STATEMENT OF TIME LIMITS ADOPTED BY THE COURT AND PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTING THEM

Pursuant to the requirements of Rule 50(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 (18 U.S.C. Chapter 208), the Speedy Trial Act Amendments Act of 1979 (Pub. L. No. 96-43, 93 Stat. 327), and the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (18 U.S.C. §§5036, 5037), the Judges of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas have adopted the following time limits and procedures to minimize undue delay and to further the prompt disposition of criminal cases and certain juvenile proceedings:

  1. Applicability.
    1. Offenses. The time limits set forth herein are applicable to all criminal offenses triable in this Court,1 including cases triable by United States Magistrates, except for petty offenses as defined in 18 U.S.C. §1(3). Except as specifically provided, they are not applicable to proceedings under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act. [§3172]
    2. Persons. The time limits are applicable to persons accused who have not been indicted or informed against as well as those who have, and the word “defendant” includes such persons unless the context indicates otherwise.
  2. Priorities In Scheduling Criminal Cases.

    Preference shall be given to criminal proceedings as far as practicable as required by Rule 50(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The trial of defendants in custody solely because they are awaiting trial and of high-risk defendants as defined in Section E should be given preference over other criminal cases. [§3164(a)]

  3. Time Within Which An Indictment Or Information Must Be Filed.
    1. Time Limits. If an individual is arrested or served with a summons and the complaint charges an offense to be prosecuted in this district, any indictment or information subsequently filed in connection with such charge shall be filed within 30 days of arrest or service. [§3161(b)]
    2. Grand Jury Not In Session. If the defendant is charged with a felony to be prosecuted in this district, and no grand jury in the district has been in session during the 30­day period prescribed in subsection (1), such period shall be extended an additional 30 days. [§3161(b)]
    3. Measurement Of Time Periods. If a person has not been arrested or served with a summons on a Federal charge, an arrest will be deemed to have been made at such time as the person (i) is held in custody solely for the purpose of responding to a Federal charge; (ii) is delivered to the custody of a Federal official in connection with a Federal charge; or (iii) appears before a judicial officer in connection with a Federal charge.
    4. Related Procedures.
      1. At the time of the earliest appearance before a judicial officer of a person who has been arrested for an offense not charged in an indictment or information, the judicial officer shall establish for the record the date on which the arrest took place.
      2. In the absence of a showing to the contrary, a summons shall be considered to have been served on the date of service shown on the return thereof.
  4. Time Within Which Trial Must Commence.
    1. Time Limits. The trial of a defendant shall commence not later than 70 days after the last to occur of the following dates:
      1. The date on which an indictment or information is filed in this district;
      2. The date on which a sealed indictment or information is unsealed; or
      3. The date of the defendant’s first appearance before a judicial officer of this district. [3161(c)(1)]
    2. Retrial: Trial After Reinstatement of an Indictment or Information. The retrial of a defendant shall commence within 70 days from the date the order occasioning the retrial becomes final, as shall the trial of a defendant upon an indictment or information dismissed by a trial court and reinstated following an appeal. If the retrial or trial follows an appeal or collateral attack, the court may extend the period if unavailability of witnesses or other factors resulting from passage of time make trial within 70 days impractical. The extended period shall not exceed 180 days. [§§3161(d)(2),(e)]
    3. Withdrawal of Plea. If a defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any or all charges in an indictment or information and is subsequently permitted to withdraw it, the time limit shall be determined for all counts as if the indictment or information were filed on the day the order permitting withdrawal of the plea became final. [§3161(i)]
    4. Superseding Charges. If, after an indictment or information has been filed, a complaint, indictment, or information is filed which charges the defendant with the same offense or with an offense required to be joined with that offense, the time limit applicable to the subsequent charge will be determined as follows:
      1. If the original indictment or information was dismissed on motion of the defendant before the filing of the subsequent charge, the time limit shall be determined without regard to the existence of the original charge. [§3161(d)(1)]
      2. If the original indictment or information is pending at the time the subsequent charge is filed, the trial shall commence within the time limit for commencement of trial on the original indictment or information. [§3161(h)(6)]
      3. If the original indictment or information was dismissed on motion of the United States Attorney before the filing of the subsequent charge, the trial shall commence within the time limit for commencement of trial on the original indictment or information, but the period during which the defendant was not under charges shall be excluded from the computations. Such period is the period between the dismissal of the original indictment or information and the date the time would have commenced to run on the subsequent charge had there been no previous charge.2 [§3161(h)(6)]

        If the subsequent charge is contained in a complaint, the formal time limit within which an indictment or information must be obtained on the charge shall be determined without regard to the existence of the original indictment or information, but earlier action may in fact be required if the time limit for commencement of trial is to be satisfied.

    5. Measurement of Time Periods. For the purposes of this section:
      1. If a defendant signs a written consent to be tried before a magistrate and no indictment or information charging the offense has been filed, the time limit shall run from the date of such consent.
      2. In the event of a transfer to this district under Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the indictment or information shall be deemed filed in this district when the papers in the proceeding or certified copies thereof are received by the clerk.
      3. A trial in a jury case shall be deemed to commence at the beginning of voir dire.
      4. A trial in a nonjury case shall be deemed to commence on the day the case is called, provided that some step in the trial procedure immediately follows.
    6. Related Procedures.
      1. At the time of the defendant’s earliest appearance before a judicial officer of this district, the officer will take appropriate steps to assure that the defendant is represented by counsel and shall appoint counsel where appropriate under the Criminal Justice Act and Rule 44 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
      2. The court shall have sole responsibility for setting cases for trial after consultation with counsel. At the time of arraignment or as soon thereafter as is practicable, each case will be set for trial on a day certain or listed for trial on a weekly or other short-term calendar. [§3161(a)]
      3. Individual calendars shall be managed so that it will be reasonably anticipated that every criminal case set for trial will be reached during the week of original setting. A conflict in schedules of Assistant United States Attorneys or defense counsel will be ground for a continuance or delayed setting only if approved by the court and called to the court’s attention at the earliest practicable time.
      4. In the event that a complaint, indictment, or information is filed against a defendant charged in a pending indictment or information or in an indictment or information dismissed on motion of the United States Attorney, the trial on the new charge shall commence within the time limit for commencement of trial on the original indictment or information unless the court finds that the new charge is not for the same offense charged in the original indictment or information or an offense required to be joined therewith.
      5. At the time of the filing of a complaint, indictment, or information described in paragraph (d), the United States Attorney shall give written notice to the court of that circumstance and of his position with respect to the computation of the time limits.
      6. All pretrial hearings shall be conducted as soon after the arraignment as possible, consistent with the priorities of other matters on the court’s criminal docket.
  5. Defendants in Custody and High-Risk Defendants.3
    1. Time Limits. Notwithstanding any longer time periods that may be permitted under sections C and D, the following time limits will also be applicable to defendants in custody and high-risk defendants as herein defined:
      1. The trial of a defendant held in custody solely for the purpose of trial on a Federal charge shall commence within 90 days following the beginning of continuous custody.
      2. The trial of a high-risk defendant shall commence within 90 days of the designation as high-risk. [§3164(b)]
    2. Definition of “High-Risk Defendant.” A high-risk defendant is one reasonably designated by the United States Attorney as posing a danger to himself or any other person or to the community.
    3. Measurement of Time Periods. For the purposes of this section:
      1. A defendant is deemed to be in detention awaiting trial when he is arrested on a Federal charge or otherwise held for the purpose of responding to a Federal charge. Detention is deemed to be solely because the defendant is awaiting trial unless the person exercising custodial authority has an independent basis (not including a detainer) for continuing to hold the defendant.
      2. If a case is transferred pursuant to Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the defendant subsequently rejects disposition under Rule 20 or the court declines to accept the plea, a new period of continuous detention awaiting trial will begin at that time.
      3. A trial shall be deemed to commence as provided in section D(5)(c) and D(5)(d).
    4. Related Procedures.
      1. If a defendant is being held in custody solely for the purpose of awaiting trial, the United States Attorney shall advise the court at the earliest practicable time of the date of the beginning of such custody.
      2. The United States Attorney shall advise the court at the earliest practicable time (usually at the hearing with respect to bail) if the defendant is considered by him to be high risk.
      3. If the court finds that the filing of a “high-risk” designation as a public record may result in prejudice to the defendant, it may order the designation sealed for such period as is necessary to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial, but not beyond the time that the court’s judgment in the case become final. During the time the designation is under seal, it shall be made known to the defendant and his counsel but shall not be made known to other persons without the permission of the court.
  6. Exclusion of Time From Computations.
    1. Applicability. In computing any time limit under section C (Interval I), D (Interval II), or E (Custody/High-Risk), the periods of delay set forth in 18 U.S.C. §3161(h) shall be excluded. Such periods of delay shall not be excluded in computing the minimum period for commencement of trial under section G.
    2. Records of Excludable Time. The clerk of the court shall enter on the docket, in the form prescribed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, information with respect to excludable periods of time for each criminal defendant.
    3. Stipulations.
      1. The attorney for the government and the attorney for the defendant may at any time enter into stipulations with respect to the accuracy of the docket entries recording excludable time.
      2. To the extent that the amount of time stipulated by the parties does not exceed the amount recorded on the docket for any excludable period of delay, the stipulation shall be conclusive as between the parties unless it has no basis in fact or law. It shall similarly be conclusive as to a codefendant for the limited purpose of determining, under 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(7), whether time has run against the defendant entering into the stipulation.
      3. To the extent that the amount of time stipulated exceeds the amount recorded on the docket, the stipulation shall have no effect unless approved by the court.
    4. Pre-Indictment Procedures.
      1. In the event that the United States Attorney anticipates that an indictment or information will not be filed within the time limit set forth in section C (Interval I), he may file a written motion with the court for a determination of excludable time. In the event that the United States Attorney seeks a continuance under 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8), he shall file a written motion with the court requesting such a continuance.
      2. The motion of the United States Attorney shall state (i) the period of time proposed for exclusion, and (ii) the basis of the proposed exclusion. If the motion is for a continuance under 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8), it shall also state whether or not the defendant is being held in custody on the basis of the complaint. In appropriate circumstances, the motion may include a request that some or all of the supporting material be considered ex parte and in camera.
      3. The court may grant a continuance under 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8) for either a specific period of time or a period to be determined by reference to an event (such as recovery from illness) not within the control of the government. If the continuance is to a date not certain, the court shall require one or both parties to inform the court promptly when and if the circumstances that justify the continuance no longer exist. In addition, the court shall require one or both parties to file periodic reports bearing on the continued existence of such circumstances. The court shall determine the frequency of such reports in the light of the facts of the particular case.
    5. Post-Indictment Procedures.
      1. At each appearance of counsel before the court, counsel shall examine the clerk’s records of excludable time for completeness and accuracy and shall bring to the court’s immediate attention any claim that the clerk’s record is in any way incorrect.
      2. In the event that the court continues a trial beyond the time limit set forth in section D or E, the court shall determine whether the limit may be recomputed by excluding time pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3161(h).
      3. If it is determined that a continuance is justified, the court shall set forth its findings in the record, either orally or in writing. If the continuance is granted under 18 U.S.C. §3161(h)(8), the court shall also set forth its reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by granting the continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. If the continuance is to a date not certain, the court shall require one or both parties to inform the court promptly when and if the circumstances that justify the continuance no longer exist. In addition, the court shall require one or both parties to file periodic reports bearing on the continued existence of such circumstances. The court shall determine the frequency of such reports in the light of the facts of the particular case.
  7. Minimum Period for Defense Preparation.
    Unless the defendant consents in writing to the contrary, the trial shall not commence earlier than 30 days from (i) the date on which the indictment or information is filed or (ii), if later, from the date on which counsel first enters an appearance, or (iii) the date on which the defendant expressly waives counsel and elects to proceed pro se. In circumstances in which the 70-day time limit for commencing trial on a charge in an indictment or information is determined by reference to an earlier indictment or information pursuant to section D(4), the 30-day minimum period shall also be determined by reference to the earlier indictment or information. When prosecution is resumed on an original indictment or information following a mistrial, appeal, or withdrawal of a guilty plea, a new 30-day minimum period will not begin to run. The court will in all cases schedule trials so as to permit defense counsel adequate preparation time in the light of all the circumstances. [§3161(c)(2)].
  8. Time Within Which Defendant Should be Sentenced.
    1. Time Limit. A defendant shall ordinarily be sentenced within (45) days of the date of his conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
    2. Related Procedures. If the defendant and his counsel consent thereto, a presentence investigation may be commenced prior to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or a conviction.
  9. Juvenile Proceedings.
    1. Time Within Which Trial Must Commence. An alleged delinquent who is in detention pending trial shall be brought to trial within 30 days of the date on which such detention was begun, as provided in 18 U.S.C. §5036.
    2. Time of Dispositional Hearing. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent, a separate dispositional hearing shall be held no later than 20 court days after trial, unless the court has ordered further study of the juvenile in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 5037(c).
  10. Sanctions.
    1. Dismissal or Release from Custody. Failure to comply with the requirements of Title I of the Speedy Trial Act may entitle the defendant to dismissal of the charges against him or to release from pretrial custody. Nothing in this plan shall be construed to require that a case be dismissed or a defendant released from custody in circumstances in which such action would not be required by 18 U.S.C. §§ 3162 and 3164.4
    2. High-Risk Defendant. A high-risk defendant whose trial has not commenced within the time limit set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3164(b) shall, if the failure to commence trial was through no fault of the attorney for the government, have his release conditions automatically reviewed. A high-risk defendant who is found by the court to have intentionally delayed the trial of his case shall be subject to an order of the court modifying his nonfinancial conditions of release under Chapter 207 of Title 18, U.S.C., to ensure that he shall appear at trial as required. [§3164(c)]
    3. Discipline of Attorneys. In a case in which counsel (a) knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing the fact that a necessary witness would be unavailable for trial, (b) files a motion solely for the purpose of delay which he knows is frivolous and without merit, (c) makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining a continuance which he knows to be false and which is material to the granting of the continuance, or (d) otherwise willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with 18 U.S.C. §3161, the court may punish such counsel as provided in 18 U.S.C. §§ 3162(b) and (c).
    4. Alleged Juvenile Delinquents. An alleged delinquent in custody whose trial has not commenced within the time limit set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 5036 shall be entitled to dismissal of his case pursuant to that section unless the Attorney General shows that the delay was consented to or caused by the juvenile or his counsel, or would be in the interest of justice in the particular case.
  11. Persons Serving Terms of Imprisonment.

    If the United States Attorney knows that a person charged with an offense is serving a term of imprisonment in any penal institution, he shall promptly seek to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial, or cause a detainer to be filed, in accordance with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3161(j).

  12. Effective Dates.
    1. The amendments to the Speedy Trial Act made by Public Law 96-43 became effective August 2, 1979. To the extent that this revision of the district’s plan does more than merely reflect the amendments, the revised plan shall take effect upon approval of the reviewing panel designated in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §3165(c). However, the dismissal sanction and the sanctions against attorneys authorized by 18 U.S.C. § 3162 and reflected in sanctions J(1) and (2) of this plan shall apply only to defendants whose cases are commenced by arrest or summons on or after July, 1980, and to indictments and information filed on or after that date.
    2. If a defendant was arrested or served with a summons before July 1, 1979, the time within which an information or indictment must be filed shall be determined under the plan that was in effect at the time of such arrest or service.
    3. If a defendant was arraigned before August 2, 1979, the time within which the trial must commence shall be determined under the plan that was in effect at the time of such arraignment.
    4. If a defendant was in custody on August 2, 1979, solely because he was awaiting trial, the 90-day period under section E shall be computed from that date.
  1. References:

  2. 1 118 U.S.C. §3172 defines offenses as “any Federal criminal offense which is in violation of any Act of Congress…”
  3. 2 Under the rule of this paragraph, if an indictment was 2 dismissed on motion of the prosecutor on May 1, with 20 days remaining within which trial must be commenced, and the defendant was arrested on a new complaint on June 1, the time remaining for trial would be 20 days from June 1: the time limit would be based on the original indictment, but the period from the dismissal to the new arrest would not count. Although the 30-day arrest-to-indictment time limit would apply to the new arrest as a formal matter, the short deadline for trial would necessitate earlier grand jury action.
  4. 3 If a defendant’s presence has been obtained through the filing of a detainer with state authorities, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, 18 U.S.C., Appendix, may require that trial commence before the deadline established by the Speedy Trial Act. See U.S. v. Mauro, 436 U.S. 340), 356-57 n.24 (1978)
  5. 4 Dismissal may also be required in some cases under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, 18 U.S.C., Appendix.
Appendix L, Local Court Rules of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas

Appendix L, Local Court Rules of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas

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Local Court Rules of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas

(Available by contacting the U. S. Bankruptcy Court)

www.txwb.uscourts.gov

Appendix M, Adoption of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed

Appendix M, Adoption of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed

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Attorney Admission

How do I get information on practicing in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas?

Please see the Local Court Rules and Attorney Admissions sections. You can also contact the attorney admission clerk in the divisional office in which you intend to apply. Each division has specific requirements that may be in addition to those specified in the local rules. Do not mail your application until all required letters and certificates are included. The fee for attorney admission is $201.00. If you are already admitted and are in need of a duplicate Certificate of Admission, the fee is $19.00.

How do I obtain a certificate of good standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that an attorney is a member in good standing with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. A fee of $19.00 is required for this certificate.

If you are a CM/ECF authorized user, you must request and pay for your certificate by logging into CM/ECF. Locate the Request for “Certificate of Good Standing” function, found under “Civil Events” > “Other Filings.” You must be prepared with the attorney’s bar number, a credit card for the fee, and an email address to send the certificate to. In most instances, the certificate will be emailed, in .PDF format, no later than the following business day.

If you are not an authorized CM/ECF user, you will need to register by filling out the CM/ECF Registration Form, located on the CM/ECF page to become a registered user. Once registered, you can then follow the instructions above for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing.

How do I apply for admission to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District?

If you are an attorney who is licensed to practice law by the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia, but are not admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, you must file a motion to appear pro hac vice in the division where the case is pending.

How do I obtain a duplicate Certificate of Admission?

You can submit a request stating the name of the attorney, the state bar number and the date of admission to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The fee for a duplicate Certificate of Admission is $19.00. Please mail your request and the $19.00 fee to the Division office closest to you. You can get the mailing address for any U.S. District Clerk’s Office through our website menu. Just click on “Contact Us” and select the Division office you want to mail the request to.

Attorney Rules

Attorney Rules, Local Court Rules for the Western District of Texas

Rule AT-1. Admission Of Attorneys

Rule AT-1. Admission Of Attorneys

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  1. Eligibility for Admission.
    1. In General. An attorney may be admitted to the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas if the attorney is licensed to practice by the highest court of a state, is in good standing in that bar; and has good personal and professional character. An applicant who is not licensed to practice by the highest court of any state may apply for admission, however, if admitted, such an attorney must obtain a license from the highest court of any state within one year after being admitted to the bar of this Court.
    2. Bankruptcy Court. An attorney seeking to practice before the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas must make application to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas as this rule requires.
  2. Application for Admission.
    1. Contents. An application for admission must be made on the form prescribed by the court. It must be supported by a certificate of good standing (or equivalent documentation) from the highest state court and the United States district court, if licensed, where the applicant practices. All certificates of good standing must be dated no earlier than 60 days before the date the application is filed. The application must also be supported by two letters of recommendation in the form prescribed by the court. For an applicant residing in this district, the letters must be from attorneys admitted to practice and in good standing in the bar of this court. For an applicant practicing in another federal judicial district, the letters must be from attorneys admitted to practice and in good standing in the bar of that court. The letters must be written and dated no earlier than 6 months before the date the application is filed.
    2. Seminar Requirement. Within one year before the application is filed, the applicant must complete a live, video or on-line continuing legal education program on federal court practice approved by the court, and must certify that attendance on a form prescribed by the court. This requirement does not apply to a nonresident applicant who is admitted to practice and in good standing in the bar of another U.S. district court. In the event that the applicant was previously admitted to this Court and previously fulfilled the CLE requirement, this requirement is waived.
    3. Filing. An applicant residing in this district must file the application with the clerk in the division where he or she resides. An applicant residing outside this district may file the application in any division of the district.
    4. Time for Completing Application. An applicant must complete all requirements for admission (including any requested supplemental or explanatory information) within one year after filing an application. If the applicant fails to do so, the application expires. In that event, an applicant who seeks admission again must file a new application.
  3. Divisional Committee on Admissions. In each division of this court there is constituted a committee on admissions, which reviews applications for admission to the bar of this court and makes appropriate recommendations to the court.
    1. Composition. Each committee on admissions has five or more members, including a chair. To the extent possible, the committee should include civil, criminal, and bankruptcy practitioners. Those eligible for service on the committee are attorneys licensed to practice in this district and in good standing, and maintaining a law office in the division served. The members and chair are appointed by the judges resident in, or responsible for, the division.
    2. Terms. Membership terms should be staggered so that approximately one third of the members’ terms expire each year. The term is 3 years, unless a shorter period is required to achieve staggered terms. The terms of members and the chair may be renewed one or more times.
    3. Quorum. A quorum of a committee consists of three members, participating either in person or by electronic means.
  4. Action on Applications.
    1. Clerk’s Duties. The clerk will inspect applications for completeness, and may request the applicant to provide supplemental or explanatory information. The clerk will forward completed applications to the committee chair.
    2. Examination by the Committee. The committee will meet with reasonable frequency to examine applications referred to it. The committee may request the applicant to provide supplemental or explanatory information, and may request that the applicant appear before it. If the committee determines that an applicant meets all requirements for admission, it will report that recommendation to the judge or judges of the division. If the committee does not recommend an applicant for admission, the chair of the Divisional Committee will promptly inform the applicant.
    3. Review by the Court. An applicant who is not recommended for admission may request that the court review the application. A request for review must be made in writing within 30 days of receipt of the committee’s notification, addressed to the judge or judges of the division, with a copy to the committee chair. Upon receipt of a request for court review, the chair will send the committee’s file on the applicant to the court.
  5. Procedure for Admission.
    1. In General. After approval by the committee, and upon motion of a member of the bar of this court made in open court, an attorney may be admitted to practice. To complete admission, the attorney must pay the prescribed admission fee, and must take in open court the following oath or affirmation:

      “I do solemnly [swear or affirm] that I will discharge the duties of attorney and counselor of this court faithfully, that I will demean myself uprightly under the law and the highest ethics of our profession, and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    2. Special Procedure for Non-Resident Attorney. A non-resident attorney who has completed all other requirements for admission may, with the approval of a judge of the division where the application was filed, have the oath or affirmation of admission administered by a judge in another federal judicial district. When the attorney files the oath or affirmation with the clerk and pays the prescribed admission fee, the attorney will be admitted to practice in this district.
  6. Appearance Pro Hac Vice.
    1. In General. An attorney who is licensed by the highest court of a state or another federal district court, but who is not admitted to practice before this court, may represent a party in this court pro hac vice only by permission of the judge presiding. Unless excused by the judge presiding, an attorney is ordinarily required to apply for admission to the bar of this court.
    2. Procedure. An attorney seeking admission pro hac vice must make application on a form prescribed by the court, and must pay the prescribed fee to the clerk. An attorney admitted pro hac vice must read and comply with the Local Court Rules for the Western District of Texas. By appearing in any case, an attorney becomes subject to the rules of this court.
    3. Bankruptcy Court. Admission to practice pro hac vice before the district’s bankruptcy court rests in the sole discretion of the bankruptcy judge to whom the motion is addressed. Such admission is limited to the particular case or matter for which it is approved; it is not a general admission to practice before the bankruptcy court or the district court.
  7. Special Procedures for an Attorney Employed by a Governmental Entity. An application for admission by an attorney employed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Attorney General of Texas, the Federal Public Defender for the district, or other governmental entity must be made on the form prescribed by the court, and supported with the required certificate of good standing. In lieu of submitting two letters of recommendation, an attorney covered by this subdivision need only submit a letter of recommendation from his or her supervising attorney. In addition, such an attorney is exempt while so employed from payment of any fee for admission, pro hac vice appearance, or membership renewal.
  8. Renewal of Membership. A member of the bar of this court must renew the membership every 3 years after admission by paying the prescribed renewal fee to the clerk. If the renewal fee is not timely paid, the attorney will be removed from the rolls of the court. An attorney so removed who wishes to practice in this court must reapply for admission.
Rule AT-2. Local Counsel

Rule AT-2. Local Counsel

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A judge presiding has discretion to require, upon notice, that an attorney who resides outside the district designate as local counsel an attorney who is licensed in this court and maintains a law office in this district. Local counsel must have authority to act as attorney of record for all purposes, and must be prepared to present and argue the party’s position at any hearing or status conference called.

Rule AT-3. Withdrawal Of Attorney

Rule AT-3. Withdrawal Of Attorney

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An attorney seeking to withdraw from a case must file a motion specifying the reasons for withdrawal and providing the name and office address of the successor attorney. If the successor attorney is not known, the motion must set forth the client’s name, address, and telephone number, and must bear either the client’s signature or a detailed explanation why the client’s signature could not be obtained after due diligence.

Rule AT-4. Standards For Pretrial Conduct

Rule AT-4. Standards For Pretrial Conduct

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  1. Obligation to Cooperate. Before noticing or scheduling a deposition, hearing, or other pretrial event, a lawyer should consult and work with opposing counsel to accommodate the needs and reasonable requests of all witnesses and participating lawyers. In scheduling a pretrial event, lawyers should strive to agree upon a mutually convenient time and place, seeking to minimize travel expense and to allow adequate time for preparation. If a lawyer needs to reschedule a deposition or other pretrial event, the lawyer should give prompt notice to all other counsel, explaining the conflict or other compelling reason for rescheduling.
  2. Requests for Extensions of Time. The court expects a lawyer to grant other lawyers’ requests for reasonable extensions of time to respond to discovery, pretrial motions, and other pretrial matters. Opposing such requests wastes resources, unless the client’s legitimate interests will be adversely affected.
  3. Written Submissions. Briefs and memoranda should not refer to or rely on facts that are not properly of record. A lawyer may, however, present historical, economic, or sociological data if the applicable rules of evidence support the data’s admissibility. Neither written submissions nor oral presentations should disparage the integrity, intelligence, morals, ethics, or personal behavior of an adversary unless such matters are directly relevant under the controlling substantive law.
  4. Communication with Adversaries. A lawyer’s role is to zealously advance the legitimate interests of the client, while maintaining appropriate standards of civility and decorum. In dealing with others, a lawyer should not reflect any ill feelings that the client may have toward the adversary. A lawyer should treat all other lawyers, all parties, and all witnesses courteously, not only in court, but also in other written and oral communication. A lawyer should refrain from acting upon or manifesting bias or prejudice toward any person involved in the litigation.
  5. Discovery. A lawyer should conduct discovery to elicit relevant facts and evidence, and not for an improper purpose, such as to harass, intimidate, or unduly burden another party or a witness. When a discovery dispute arises, opposing lawyers should attempt to resolve it by working cooperatively together. A lawyer should refrain from filing motions to compel or for sanctions unless all reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute with opposing counsel have been exhausted.
  6. Motion Practice. Before filing a non-dispositive motion, a lawyer should make a reasonable effort to resolve the issue without involving the court. A lawyer who has no valid objection to an opponent’s proposed motion should promptly make this position known to opposing counsel. If, after opposing a motion, a lawyer determines that the opposition was mistaken, then the lawyer should promptly so advise opposing counsel and the court.
  7. Settlement and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
    1. A lawyer should educate the client early in the legal process about various methods of resolving disputes without trial, including mediation and neutral case evaluation. A lawyer should advise the client of the benefits of settlement, including savings to the client, greater control over the process and the result, and a more expeditious resolution of the dispute. At the earliest practicable time, a lawyer should provide the client with a realistic assessment of the potential outcome of the case so that the client may effectively assess various approaches to resolving the dispute. As new information is obtained during the pretrial phase, the lawyer should revise the assessment as necessary. When enough is known about the case to make settlement negotiations meaningful, a lawyer should explore settlement with the client and with opposing counsel.
    2. A lawyer must promptly inform the court of any settlement, whether partial or entire, with any party, or the discontinuance of any issue.
    3. Stipulations; Expediting Trial. In civil cases, a lawyer should stipulate in advance with opposing counsel to all non-controverted facts; give opposing counsel, on reasonable request, an opportunity to inspect, in advance, all non-impeaching evidence as the law permits; and, in general, take reasonable steps to avoid delays and to expedite the trial.
Rule AT-5. Standards For Conduct Before The Judge And Jury

Rule AT-5. Standards For Conduct Before The Judge And Jury

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The dignity, decorum and courtesy that traditionally characterize the courts of civilized nations are not empty formalities. They are essential to a courtroom atmosphere in which justice can be achieved. Accordingly, this court requires the following:

  1. A lawyer must be punctual in making all court appearances and fulfilling all professional commitments. In case of tardiness or absence from a court appearance, a lawyer should promptly notify the court and opposing counsel.
  2. An attorney must be attired in a proper and dignified manner, and should abstain from any apparel or ornament calculated to attract attention. A lawyer should refrain from assuming an undignified posture.
  3. A lawyer must display a courteous, dignified and respectful attitude toward the judge presiding, not for the sake of the judge’s person, but to show respect for and confidence in the judicial office. A lawyer must rise when addressing, or being addressed by, the judge.
  4. A lawyer must never be unfair or abusive or inconsiderate to adverse witnesses or opposing litigants, or ask any question not intended to legitimately impeach but only to insult or degrade the witness.
  5. A 1awyer must avoid disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward opposing counsel.
  6. A lawyer must advise the client, witnesses, and spectators of the behavior and decorum required in the courtroom, and take all reasonable steps to prevent disorder or disruption of court proceedings.
  7. A lawyer must disclose to the judge and opposing counsel any information of which the lawyer is aware that a juror or a prospective juror has or may have any interest, direct or indirect, in the outcome of the case, or is acquainted or connected in any manner with any lawyer in the case or any partner or associate or employee of the lawyer, or with any litigant, or with any person who has appeared or is expected to appear as a witness, unless the judge and opposing counsel have previously been made aware of that fact by voir dire examination or otherwise.
  8. During the trial of a case a lawyer connected with the case must not communicate with or cause another to communicate with any member of the jury, and a lawyer who is not connected with the case must not communicate with or cause another to communicate with a juror concerning the case.
  9. A lawyer should avoid, as much as possible, approaching the bench. A lawyer should anticipate questions that may arise during the trial, and take them up with the court and opposing counsel in a pretrial hearing. If, however, it becomes necessary for an attorney to confer with the court at the bench, leave of court should be requested.
  10. A lawyer must question witnesses and deliver jury arguments from the lectern, which may be moved to face the jury. If it becomes necessary to question or argue from another location, leave of court should be requested.
  11. A lawyer must hand all papers intended for the court to see to the courtroom deputy clerk, who will pass them up to the judge. Hand to the clerk, rather than the court reporter, any exhibits to be marked which have not previously been identified; and give the clerk, as soon as convenient before the trial, a list of witnesses showing the probable order in which they will be called.
  12. Photographing, broadcasting or televising any judicial proceeding or any person directly or indirectly involved in a proceeding, whether court is in session or not, in or from any part of a United States Courthouse, is prohibited, except with the permission of the judge presiding.
  13. Audio recorders, audio- or video-recording cell phones, or other means of recording the proceedings must not be brought into a courtroom, except with the permission of the judge presiding. This rule does not apply to such recorders or other devices used by, and under the direction and control of, a judicial officer or the official court reporter.
  14. Cell phones, pagers, e-mail devices, and music players must be turned off while inside a courtroom.
  15. The following are prohibited in a courtroom:
    1. using tobacco in any form;
    2. consuming or possessing beverages or edibles (except as permitted by the judge presiding);
    3. chewing gum while court is in session;
    4. unnecessary talking or other unnecessary noises while court is in session.
Rule AT-6. Publicity And Trial Management

Rule AT-6. Publicity And Trial Management

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  1. In General. A lawyer should try a case in court and not in the news media. A lawyer must not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the statement has a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding.
  2. Criminal Investigation. With respect to a grand jury or other pending investigation of a criminal matter, a lawyer participating in the investigation must refrain from making any extrajudicial statement, for dissemination by any means of public communication, that goes beyond the public record or that is not necessary to inform the public that the investigation is underway, to describe the general scope of the investigation, to warn the public of any dangers, to obtain assistance in the apprehension of a suspect, or to otherwise aid in the investigation.
  3. Criminal Prosecution. From time of arrest, issuance of an arrest warrant, or filing of a complaint, information, or indictment in any criminal matter until the commencement of trial or disposition without trial, a lawyer associated with the prosecution or defense must not release or authorize the release of any extrajudicial statement, for dissemination by any means of public communication, related to that matter and concerning:
    1. the prior criminal record (including arrests and criminal charges), or the character or reputation of the accused, except that the lawyer may make a factual statement of the accused’s name, age, residence, occupation, and family status, and if the accused has not been apprehended, a lawyer associated with the prosecution may release any information necessary to aid in his apprehension or to warn the public of dangers he may present;
    2. the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by the accused, or the refusal or failure of the accused to make any statement;
    3. the performance of any examinations or tests or the accused’s refusal or failure to submit to an examination or test;
    4. the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses, except that the lawyer may announce the identity of the victim if the announcement is not otherwise prohibited by law;
    5. the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense charged or a lesser offense; or
    6. any opinion as to the accused’s guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case.
  4. Criminal Trial. During the trial of any criminal matter, including jury selection, a lawyer associated with the prosecution or defense must not give or authorize any extrajudicial statement or interview, relating to the trial or the parties or issues in the trial, for dissemination by any means of public communication, except that the lawyer may quote from or refer without comment to public records filed in the case.
  5. Sentencing Phase. After guilt is found in a criminal case and before sentence is imposed, a lawyer associated with the prosecution or defense must not make or authorize any extrajudicial statement for dissemination by any means of public communication if there is a reasonable likelihood that the statement will affect the sentence.
  6. Permitted Statements in Criminal Matters. This rule does not preclude the lawyer, in the proper discharge of his or her official or professional duty, from:
    1. announcing the fact and circumstances of arrest (including time and place of arrest, resistance, pursuit, and use of weapons), the identity of the investigating and arresting officer or agency, and the length of the investigation;
    2. making an announcement, at the time of seizure of any physical evidence other than a confession, admission or statement, limited to a description of the evidence seized;
    3. disclosing the nature, substance, or text of the charge, including a brief description of the offense charged;
    4. quoting or referring without comment to public records of the court in the case;
    5. announcing the scheduling or result of any stage in the judicial process;
    6. requesting assistance in obtaining evidence; or
    7. announcing without elaboration that the accused denies the charges made against him.
  7. Special Orders. In a widely publicized or sensational case, the court on motion of either party or its own motion, may issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements by participants likely to interfere with the rights of the accused to a fair trial by an impartial jury, the courtroom seating and conduct of spectators and news media representatives, the management and sequestration of jurors and witnesses, and any other matters the court may deem appropriate. The order might address some or all of the following subjects, among others:
    1. a proscription of extrajudicial statements by participants in the trial, including lawyers, parties, witnesses, jurors, and court officials, which have a substantial likelihood of divulging prejudicial matter not of public record in the case;
    2. specific directives regarding the clearing of courthouse entrances and hallways and the management of the jury and witnesses during the course of the trial to avoid their mingling with or being in proximity of reporters, photographers, parties, lawyers, and others, both in entering and leaving the courtroom and courthouse, and during recesses in the trial;
    3. a specific directive that the jurors refrain from reading, listening to, or watching news reports concerning the case, and that they similarly refrain from discussing the case with anyone during the trial and from communicating with others in any manner during their deliberations;
    4. sequestration of the jury on motion of either party or on the court’s own, without disclosing any movant’s identity;
    5. a directive that the names and addresses of jurors or prospective jurors not be publicly released except as required by statute, and that no photograph be taken or sketch made of any juror within the environs of the court;
    6. insulation of witnesses from news interviews during the trial period;
    7. specific directives regarding the seating of spectators and representatives of the news media.
Rule AT-7. Discipline Of Attorneys

Rule AT-7. Discipline Of Attorneys

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  1. Standards of Professional Conduct. Members of the bar of this court and any attorney permitted to practice before this court must comply with the standards of professional conduct set out in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Texas Government Code, Title 2, Subtitle G, App. A, art. X, sec. 9 (Vernon) which are hereby adopted as the standards of professional conduct of this court. This specification is not exhaustive of the standards of professional conduct. For matters not covered by the Texas rules, the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct should be consulted.
  2. District Disciplinary Committee. There is constituted a District Disciplinary Committee, which assists the district court and the bankruptcy court in investigating complaints about the qualification, conduct, and performance of members of their bar.
    1. Composition. The committee has 15 members. Those eligible for service on the committee are attorneys licensed to practice in this district and in good standing, and residing within the district. The committee should include civil, criminal, and bankruptcy practitioners. Five members must be residents of the Austin and Waco Divisions, five members must be residents of the San Antonio and Del Rio Divisions, and five members must be residents of the El Paso, Midland-Odessa and Pecos Divisions. The members are appointed by the active judges resident in, or responsible for, those divisions. The chair and vice-chair are designated by the chief judge of the district.
    2. Terms. Membership terms should be staggered so that one third of the members’ terms expire each year. The term is 3 years, unless a shorter period is required to achieve staggered terms. The terms of members and the chair may be renewed one or more times.
  3. Grounds for Referral to the District Disciplinary Committee. An attorney may be referred by any Magistrate Judge, Bankruptcy Judge or District Judge to the District Disciplinary Committee for appropriate review, investigation, and recommendation if there is reason to believe that the attorney:
    1. has been convicted of a felony offense or a crime involving dishonesty or false statement in any state or federal court;
    2. had his or her license to practice law in any jurisdiction suspended, revoked, or otherwise limited by any appropriate disciplinary authority;
    3. resigned his or her license to practice law in any state or any federal court;
    4. has engaged in conduct that violates the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct;
    5. fails to comply with any rule or order issued by a judge of this court;
    6. presents an impediment to the orderly administration of justice or the integrity of the court; or
    7. represents a client in such a manner as to raise a serious question concerning the quality of the attorney’s professional performance.
  4. Discipline Imposed by a Judge Presiding. Notwithstanding any other provision of these rules, any judge, including a bankruptcy judge or a magistrate judge, has inherent authority to discipline an attorney who appears before him or her. However, any judge contemplating disbarring an attorney or preventing an attorney from practicing district-wide will refer the attorney to the District Disciplinary Committee. If a judge believes emergency circumstances exist that require the immediate suspension of an attorney, that judge may request that all active district judges immediately consider the matter. Upon a majority vote of the active district judges, an attorney may immediately be suspended from practicing in the district pending a report and recommendation from the District Disciplinary Committee. If a bankruptcy judge believes emergency circumstances exist that requires the immediate suspension of an attorney, that bankruptcy judge may request that all active district and bankruptcy judges immediately consider the matter. Upon a majority vote of the active district and bankruptcy judges, an attorney may immediately be suspended from practicing in the district pending a report and recommendation from the District Disciplinary Committee.
  5. Self-Reporting by Attorneys. A member of the bar of this court must promptly report in writing to the clerk, with full details and copies of pertinent documents, if any of the following occur:
    1. statement; the attorney is convicted of a felony or a crime involving dishonesty or false statement;
    2. the attorney loses or relinquishes, temporarily or permanently, the right to practice in any court of record (other than voluntarily relinquishment, not under any disciplinary order or threat of discipline); or
    3. the attorney is disciplined, publicly or privately, by any bar, court, court agency, or court committee.
  6. Procedure upon a Referral.
    1. Notice. Promptly upon receipt of a referral, the chair of the District Disciplinary Committee must inform the subject attorney in writing of the nature of the referral and the attorney’s obligations under this rule.
    2. Answer. Within 14 days after receiving notice of a referral under this rule, the attorney must respond in writing to the committee chair. The respondent attorney must admit or deny each claim asserted, and state concisely any defense to a claim.
    3. Screening. The chair will assign the referral along with the respondent’s response to a screening subcommittee. The subcommittee consists of one or more members of the full committee designated by the chair who reside in the same region as the referred attorney (e.g., Austin/Waco; San Antonio/Del Rio; West Texas). At least one member of the screening subcommittee must be an attorney who practices in the same area as the referred (Rev: 12/17/09) attorney (e.g., civil, criminal or bankruptcy). The subcommittee will conduct such preliminary inquiry it deems appropriate and may request the respondent to meet with it informally to provide an explanation. After this screening, if the subcommittee determines no further investigation is required and no discipline should be imposed, it will so inform the committee chair. The chair will then inform the chief judge and the respondent of the recommendation.
    4. Assignment to a Panel. If the screening subcommittee determines that the matter may warrant disciplinary action, it will inform the committee chair. The chair will then designate a panel and assign the matter to it. The panel must include three or more members of the full committee who reside in the same region as the respondent (e.g., Austin/Waco; San Antonio/Del Rio; West Texas). At least one member of the panel must be an attorney who practices in the same area as the referred attorney (e.g. civil, criminal or bankruptcy). Members of the initial screening subcommittee may serve as members of the panel. The chair will notify the respondent in writing of this assignment and what matters will be investigated.
    5. Investigation. No earlier than 10 days after notice to the respondent of the assignment, the panel will conduct such investigation it deems appropriate including questioning witnesses and holding a hearing with the respondent present. Full cooperation with any committee investigation is an obligation of any member of the bar of this court.
    6. Panel Report and Recommendation. After investigation the panel will render a report and recommendation as to whether the respondent committed any violation and what disciplinary action, if any, should be imposed. Absent good cause shown by the chair of the District Disciplinary Committee, the court expects that a report and recommendation will be completed within 6 months after the referral. The chair will send the complete report and recommendation to the chief judge and a summary of the report and recommendation to the respondent.
    7. Objections to Report and Recommendation. Within 14 days after receipt of the summary report and recommendation, the respondent may submit objections to it, seek revisions, and suggest alternatives to the recommendation. The panel, after considering the response, may modify, amend, revoke, or adhere to its original recommendation and will so inform the committee chair. The chair will then send a copy of the final report and recommendation to the chief judge and a summary final report and recommendation to the respondent.
  7. Determination by a District Judge. Within 7 days after receipt of the summary final report and recommendation, the respondent may contest any recommendation by written submission to the chief judge. Whether contested or not, the chief judge will assign the matter to a district judge for determination. The judge may conduct a hearing, and may appoint any member of the court’s bar to assist in the hearing. The judge’s decision as to whether disciplinary action is warranted, and what sanction to impose, is a final ruling of the court.
  8. Confidentiality. All papers pertaining to a matter referred to the committee must be kept confidential, except as otherwise provided above, unless the respondent requests in writing that the papers be opened to the public.
  9. Referral to Other Disciplinary Authority. The chief judge may forward a copy of the committee’s records and any court action regarding an attorney to the appropriate disciplinary authority of any bar or court that authorizes the attorney to practice law.
Rule AT-8. Qualified Law Students And Unlicensed Law School Graduates

Rule AT-8. Qualified Law Students And Unlicensed Law School Graduates

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  1. A qualified law student or a qualified unlicensed law school graduate who has been certified under Texas Government Code § 81.102 and the Texas Supreme Court’s “Rules and Regulation Governing the Participation of Qualified Law Students and Qualified Unlicensed Law School Graduates in the Trial of Cases in Texas” may be allowed to participate in hearings in this court, with the permission of the judge presiding, under the following terms:
    1. The student or unlicensed graduate must provide the Clerk’s Office a copy (front and back) of his or her State Bar of Texas identification card. In so doing, the student or unlicensed graduate certifies that he or she has read and is familiar with the Western District of Texas Local Rules and will abide by them.
    2. The Clerk’s Office must retain copies of the identification card on file.
    3. The supervising attorney named on the identification card and accompanying the student or unlicensed graduate in court must be a member in good standing of the bar of this court.
  2. If the student or unlicensed law graduate is appearing with an attorney employed by a governmental entity, the requirement for errors and omissions insurance is waived.
  3. The scope of participation of a student or unlicensed graduate in any hearing rests within the discretion of the judge presiding.
Rule AT-9. Change Of Address

Rule AT-9. Change Of Address

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An attorney who changes his or her office address, telephone number, facsimile number, or e-mail address must, within 30 days after the change, file with the clerk a notice of the change, along with any new information.

Bankruptcy

What are the addresses and phone numbers of the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Western District of Texas?

Any bankruptcy filings and inquiries should be forwarded or directed to the appropriate divisional office of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas.

What does the Bankruptcy Court Do?

The Bankruptcy Court hears and decides petitions of individuals and businesses seeking relief from bankruptcy. Under the federal bankruptcy code, there are four categories of such cases:

  1. Chapter 7 liquidation, suitable for giving individuals and businesses a fresh start;
  2. Chapter 11 reorganization, suitable for large corporate debtors;
  3. Chapter 13 reorganization, suitable for individual wage earners; and,
  4. Chapter 12 reorganization, suitable for family farmers.

Cash Bail (English)

What exactly is a cash bail and what is its purpose?

A cash bail is a monetary deposit required by the Court to secure the temporary release of someone who is arrested and charged with a criminal offense (i.e., the “defendant”). It is meant to guarantee the appearance of the defendant at all future court proceedings.

Will I get my money back?

Any person who deposits a cash bail can request that the funds be returned to him/her by submitting to the Court a written document entitled, Application For Return of Cash Bail. The Court will then decide if all or part of the funds should be returned to the depositor. A form application is available upon request at the Clerk’s Office or on the “Forms” section of this Court’s website below.

Why would only a portion or none of my deposit be returned?

If the terms and conditions of the bond have not been fully met, the Court may determine that the bond should be forfeited and the deposit applied to the forfeiture. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office may request the Court to have part or all of the money deposited as cash bail applied to any debt that may be imposed upon the defendant (e.g., assessment, fine, restitution).

Why do I need to keep my receipt?

The ORIGINAL receipt MUST be submitted with the Application For Return of Cash Bail as it establishes proof of ownership of the funds deposited.

When can I fill out an Application for Return of Cash Bail?

An Application for Return of Cash Bail can be filled out and submitted to the Clerk’s Office at any time. However, the Application should not be submitted to the Court for consideration until after the Court has entered a judgment against the defendant or the case against the defendant has been dismissed. Moreover, the Court will not consider an Application for Return of Cash Bail until the judgment becomes final and the defendant has (1) either begun his/her term of Probation, or (2) has been delivered (or has voluntarily reported) to the Bureau of Prisons.

Can the deposit money be returned to the defendant’s attorney?

Yes. A depositor may request that the money deposited as cash bail be assigned to the defendant’s attorney or to any other party (e.g., a relative, friend, etc.) by completing an Application for Assignment of Bond Funds. An assignment application form is available upon request at the Clerk’s Office or on the “Forms” section of this Court’s website below. If the assignment is approved by the Court, the assignee can fill out an Application For Return of Cash Bail once the judgment against the defendant is final, or the case against the defendant has been dismissed.

When can I submit an Application for Assignment of Bond Funds?

The Application for Assignment of Bond Funds can be submitted at any time.

Cash Bail (Versión en Español)

¿Exactamente qué es una fianza monetaria y qué objeto tiene?

Una fianza monetaria es un deposito monetario requerido por el Tribunal para garantizar la libertad temporal de alguien que ha sido detenido/arrestado y acusado de un delito penal (v.g.: “el acusado”). Su objeto es garantizar la comparecencia del acusado en el Tribunal en todas las etapas posteriores del proceso.

¿Recuperaré mi dinero?

Toda persona que deposite una fianza monetaria puede solicitar que los fondos le sean reintegrados presentando al Tribunal un documento intitulado “Application For Return of Cash Bail” (Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria). El Tribunal decidirá si se debe devolver al depositario la cantidad total o una parte de los fondos. El formulario de solicitud está a su disposición en la Oficina del Secretario del Tribunal o en la sección de “Forms” ubicada en la pagina de internet del Tribunal, que aparece en la parte inferior de esta página.

¿Por qué se me reembolsaría solo una parte o nada de mi depósito?

Si no se han cumplido plenamente los términos y condiciones de la fianza, el Tribunal podría determinar que debe decomisarse la fianza y que el deposito monetario sea aplicado al decomiso. Asimismo, la Procuraduría de los Estados Unidos puede solicitar al Tribunal que la cantidad total o parte del dinero depositado como fianza monetaria sea aplicada a cualquier deuda que le pudiera ser impuesta al acusado (v.g.: cuota, multa, restitución).

¿Por qué necesito guardar mi recibo?

El recibo ORIGINAL DEBE de ser presentado con la “Application For Return of Cash Bail” (Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria), puesto que así se establece la propiedad de los fondos depositados.

¿Cuándo puedo llenar la “Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria“?

Usted puede llenar y presentar una “Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria” a la Oficina del Secretario del Tribunal en cualquier momento. Sin embargo, el Tribunal no considerará la “Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria” sino hasta que se haya registrado una sentencia condenatoria en contra del acusado o que el caso contra el acusado haya sido declarado improcedente. Mas aun, el Tribunal no considerará la “Solicitud de Devolución de Fianza Monetaria” sino hasta que la sentencia haya causado ejecutoria y que el acusado (1) comience su periodo de libertad a prueba, o (2) haya sido entregado (o se haya reportado voluntariamente) al Departamento de Prisiones.

¿Se le puede devolver el dinero del depósito al abogado del acusado?

Sí. El depositario puede solicitar que el dinero de la fianza monetaria se le asigne al abogado del acusado o a cualquier otra persona (v.g., un pariente, amigo, etc.) llenando una “Application for Assignment of Bond Funds” (Solicitud de Asignación de Fondos de la Fianza Monetaria). Este formulario está a su disposición en la Oficina del Secretario del Tribunal o en la sección de “Forms” (Formas) ubicada en la página de internet del Tribunal, que aparece en la parte inferior de esta página. Si el Tribunal aprueba la asignación, la persona autorizada podrá llenar la “Solicitud de Devolución o Asignación de Fianza Monetaria” una vez que la sentencia contra el acusado haya causado ejecutoria o el caso contra el acusado sea declarado improcedente.

¿Cuándo puedo presentar una “Solicitud de Asignación de Fondos de la Fianza Monetaria“?

La “Solicitud de Asignación de Fondos de la Fianza Monetaria” puede ser presentada en cualquier momento.

Civil

What are the requirements for the filing of a civil lawsuit?

A civil action is commenced by filing the following:

  1. Item: Complaint
    Requirements: File the original plus one copy of your complaint, and one copy for each defendant to be served. Exception: If service is to be made on an agent or agency of the U.S. government or the United States of America is named, one copy each is required for the Attorney General, the United States Attorney’s Office and the named agency.

    NOTE: All copies must be signed, dated and identical to the original, and all parties must be named in the style of the case on the complaint, or any other pleading initiating a suit; “et al.” is not acceptable.

  2. Item: Civil Cover Sheet
    Requirements: File the original plus one copy.
  3. Item: Summons
    Requirements: File the original plus one for each party to be served. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4.
  4. Item: Service
    Requirements: The plaintiff is responsible for service of the summons and complaint on the defendant. Service may be effected by anyone at least 18 years of age who is not a party to the suit. The U.S. Marshal will serve summonses only if ordered by the Court or for In Forma Pauperis cases. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4.
  5. Item: Filing Fee
    Requirements: There is a filing fee of $400.00 for most types of civil lawsuits. See Fee Schedule and 28 U.S.C. §1914.

    The fee must be paid at the time your complaint is filed. If you are paying by check or money order, it should be made payable to “Clerk, United States District Court.” The court does not accept credit cards. There are no fees for jury demands, counterclaims, etc.

    If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you may file a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. If the court grants this request, it means that you will not have to pay the filing fee at the time your complaint is filed. The form necessary to file a “motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis” is available in the U.S. District Clerk’s Office. When completing the forms, it is very important that you answer all questions relating to your income, assets, and liabilities. If you fail to provide complete and accurate information, your request may be denied or you may be required to provide additional information. If your request is denied, you will be allowed a reasonable opportunity to pay the fee.

  6. Item: Notice of Removal
    Requirements: File the original plus one copy of the civil cover sheet, a supplemental civil cover removal sheet and a Notice of Removal.

All of the forms are available at the U.S. District Clerk’s Office, if available.

Can the U.S. District Clerk’s Office give me legal advice? Can they help me in preparing my complaint?

No. By law the Clerk of Court and his deputies and assistants shall not practice law in any court of the United States or provide legal advice. See 28 U.S.C. §955.

Will the Court appoint me an attorney?

You are not entitled to have an attorney appointed to represent you in a civil action. A judge may appoint an attorney only in exceptional circumstances. If you want a judge to consider appointing an attorney to represent you, you may file a written motion for appointment of attorney along with a financial affidavit.

Where can I find an attorney to help me with my case?

You can contact your Local Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service or Legal Aid offices.

  1. Austin

    Travis County Bar Association
    700 Lavaca, Suite 602
    Austin, Texas 78701
    (512) 472-0279

    Legal Aid of Central Texas
    2201 Post Road, Suite 104
    Austin, Texas 78704
    (800) 369-9270

  2. El Paso

    El Paso Bar Association
    500 E. San Antonio, Room L-115
    El Paso, Texas 79901
    (915) 532-7052

    El Paso Legal Assistance Society
    1301 N. Oregon
    El Paso, Texas 79901
    (800) 373-9028

  3. San Antonio

    San Antonio Bar Association
    Bexar County Courthouse, 5th Floor
    San Antonio, Texas 78205
    (210) 227-8822

    Bexar County Legal Aid Association Inc.
    434 South Main Avenue, Suite 300
    San Antonio, Texas 78204
    (210) 227-0111

  4. Waco

    Heart of Texas Legal Services Corp.
    900 Austin Avenue, 7th Floor
    P.O. Box 527
    Waco, Texas 76703
    (800) 299-5596

If there is no Lawyer Referral Service in your area, call toll-free 1-800-983-9227 in Texas to reach the statewide Lawyer Referral Services, or 1-800-204-2222, extension 2155, for Legal Aid Services.

You can also contact the State Bar of Texas at 1414 Colorado, Austin, Texas 78701, (512) 473-2295 or visit their homepage at http://www.texasbar.com.

How are the summons and complaint served?

The U.S. District Clerk’s Office will sign, seal and issue the summons to the plaintiff. The plaintiff is responsible for service of the summons and complaint on the defendant. Service may be effected by anyone at least 18 years of age who is not a party to the suit. The summons and complaint must be served within 120 days after the filing of the complaint with the Court. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4.

What are the different costs associated with a lawsuit?

Please refer to the fee schedule.

Is there a fee for a jury demand, for a summons, or for filing a motion?

No.

How many days do I have to file an answer in a civil case?

The defendant has 21 days from the date of service of the complaint, not counting the date it is received, to answer. The United States or a federal official will have 60 days to answer.

How many copies of each pleading do I file?

An original plus one copy is required for most documents. The U.S. District Clerk’s Office will retain the original for the case file and send a copy to the judge. If you want a file-stamped copy for your records, submit along with a written request (i.e., an original plus two copies).

Can I file a pleading by fax?

No. We do not accept fax filings.

Does my motion require a brief in support?

No. According to the Local Court Rule CV-7(c), the specific legal authorities supporting any motion shall be cited in the motion and the motion shall be limited to ten (10) pages in length, unless otherwise authorized by the Court.

Can I amend my complaint without a motion?

No. You must file an original and one copy of the motion for leave to amend complaint with a copy of the proposed amended complaint with the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in any case where the defendant has filed an answer. If no answer has been filed then you can file your amended complaint without obtaining leave of court.

How long does a judge take to rule on a motion?

Motions are ruled on as soon as possible based on the court schedule and case load.

What is a “certificate of conference”?

Local Court Rule CV-7(h) requires that a non-dispositive motion must include a statement or “certificate” that counsel for the moving party contacted counsel for the opposing party (typically by telephone) to confer in good-faith to resolve the matter by agreement before seeking the Court’s ruling. (A non-dispositive motion is a motion other than a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a motion to dismiss, for summary judgment, for new trial, or for judgment as a matter of law.) Such a “certificate of conference,” that should appear in the body of the motion, might typically state for instance: “On the ____ day of __________ 20___, the undersigned counsel conferred with opposing counsel concerning the relief sought in this Motion, and was advised that opposing counsel opposed (or did not oppose) this Motion.” If the motion is opposed, the certificate should state the grounds for opposing counsel’s objection. If the motion is unopposed, the motion should state so in the title of the motion.

What is a “certificate of service”?

After a defendant has answered a complaint, any motions or other pleadings filed with the Court by either party must include a “certificate of service.” A certificate of service is a statement of the date and manner in which you served a copy of your pleading, motion, or other documents on all other parties or their counsel of record. It is your responsibility to serve the opposing attorney or pro se party with a copy of any pleading, motion, or other documents that you submit to the Court for filing. The U.S. District Clerk’s Office does not send copies of your submissions to other parties. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5. A sample certificate of service follows:

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on this ______ day of ___________, 20___, a true and correct copy of the foregoing pleading was forwarded by (first class mail, hand-delivery, or certified mail) to _____________, the attorney for ___________ (defendant) at the address of _______________________.
____________________________
Your Signature and date

What is a “prayer for relief”?

A prayer for relief is a short, concise statement appearing at the end of the complaint which states the relief the plaintiff believes he/she is entitled to. For example, the plaintiff may ask for an award of monetary damages, an injunction to make the defendant stop a certain activity, or both.

Is a proposed order required?

Pursuant to Local Court Rule CV-7(c), a proposed order should be filed with all motions specifically referenced in Rule CV-7(c). These motions are as follows: (1) for extension of time; (2) to continue a pretrial conference hearing or motion, or the trial of an action; (3) for a more definite statement; (4) to join additional parties; (5) to amend pleadings; (6) to file supplemental pleadings; (7) to appoint next friend or guardian ad litem; (8) to intervene; (9) for substitution of parties; (10) relating to discovery, including, but not limited to motions for the production and inspection of documents, specific objections to interrogatories, motion to compel answers or further answers to interrogatories, and motions for physical or mental examination; (11) to stay proceedings to enforce judgment; (12) joint motions to dismiss; (13) to withdraw as counsel; (14) for mediation or other form of alternative dispute resolution; and (15) for approval of an agreed protective order.

In addition to those specified in the local rules, some divisions have standing orders requiring that all motions be accompanied by a proposed order. The litigants should consult standing orders in each division for further information.

Do I need to file a copy of pretrial discovery with the Court?

No. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5(d) provides that discovery requests and responses, depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admission, and disclosures under Rule 26(a) may not be filed until either (1) they are used in the proceeding or (2) on order of the Court.

Civil Rules

Civil Rules, Local Court Rules for the Western District of Texas

Rule CV-1. Scope of Rules

Rule CV-1. Scope of Rules

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  1. The rules of procedure in any proceeding in this court shall be prescribed by the laws of the United States, the rules of the Supreme Court of the United States, any applicable rules of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and these rules.
  2. Where in any proceeding or in any instance there is no applicable rule of procedure, a judge may prescribe same.
  3. These rules may be cited as Local Court Rules.
  4. Unless otherwise provided, any revision to these rules applies to all cases pending on or filed after the date of the revision.
  5. Any judge of this court may waive any requirement of these rules regarding the administration of that judge’s docket.
Rule CV-3. Commencement of Action

Rule CV-3. Commencement of Action

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  1. Civil Cover Sheet. The clerk is authorized and instructed to require a complete and executed AO Form JS 44, Civil Cover Sheet, which shall accompany each civil case to be filed. If the filing of a civil case is not accompanied by a complete and executed Civil Cover Sheet, the clerk must accept the case for filing, but must promptly inform the filing party that the filing party must complete and execute the Civil Cover Sheet. If the filing party fails to do so not later than 7 days after being informed, the clerk must so advise the court. An unrepresented person who files a civil case or a person who, when filing a civil case, is in the custody of a civil, state or federal institution, need not complete and execute the Civil Cover Sheet. All parties are required to advise the court of any related cases, through means of the Civil Cover Sheet or otherwise.
  2. Habeas Corpus and Motions Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
    1. Petitions for writ of habeas corpus and motions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by persons in custody shall be in writing, signed, and verified.
    2. Such petitions and motions shall be made on forms supplied by the court or set forth in detail all the information requested in the court’s forms.
    3. The petition or motion must be filed with the clerk’s office in the proper division.
    4. If any issue is raised in a habeas corpus petition that was not raised or has not been fully exhausted in state court, the petition shall state the reasons why such action has not been taken.
    5. If the same petitioner or movant has previously filed in this court a petition for habeas corpus relief or a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging the same state court judgment or federal sentence, the case shall be assigned to the judge who considered the prior matter.
    6. A second or successive petition for habeas corpus relief or motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 will be dismissed without prejudice unless accompanied by a certificate issued by a panel of the Fifth Circuit.
    7. This court’s opinion in any such action shall separately state each issue raised by the habeas corpus petition or motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and rule expressly on each issue, stating the reasons for each ruling made.
    8. If a certificate of appealability is issued by this court in a death penalty case with a pending execution date, the court shall, upon request, grant a stay of execution to continue until such time as the court of appeals expressly acts with reference to the case.
  3. Motions to Stay Execution of State Court Judgments.
    1. A petitioner or plaintiff who seeks a stay of enforcement or execution of a state court judgment or order shall attach to the motion requesting the stay a copy of each state court judgment that the petitioner or plaintiff seeks to have stayed.
    2. The motion for stay of execution or stay of enforcement must state whether the same petitioner or plaintiff has previously sought relief arising out of the same matter from this court or from any other federal court. The reasons for denying relief given by any court that has considered the matter, including any written opinion issued by said court, must also be attached to the motion for stay of execution or enforcement. If reasons for the ruling were not given in a written opinion, a copy of the relevant portions of the transcripts must be supplied to this court.
    3. A motion for stay of execution filed on behalf of a petitioner challenging a sentence of death must be filed at least 7 days before the petitioner’s scheduled execution date or recite good cause for any late filing.
    4. If the same petitioner or plaintiff has previously filed in this court a motion for stay of execution or enforcement of the same state court judgment challenged in the petitioner’s or plaintiff’s motion for stay, the case shall be assigned to the judge who considered the prior matter.
Rule CV-5. Service and Filing of Documents and Other Papers

Rule CV-5. Service and Filing of Documents and Other Papers

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  1. Filing Requirements.
    1. Electronic. The court accepts documents by electronic means that comply with the Administrative Policies and Procedures for Electronic Filing in Civil and Criminal Cases (“Electronic Filing Procedures”).
    2. Traditional. All documents submitted for traditional filing shall be furnished to the clerk in duplicate, the “original” of which shall be marked and filed, and the remaining copy shall be sent to the judge on whose docket the case is placed.
  2. Proof of Service.
    1. Electronic. Pursuant to Section 15(a) of the Electronic Filing Procedures, the Notice of Electronic Filing (“NEF”) generated by the court’s electronic filing system constitutes service of the document on those registered as Filing Users. Proof of service shall be provided as set out in Section 15(c) of the Electronic Filing Procedures.
    2. Traditional. All documents presented for traditional filing shall contain an acknowledgment of service by the person served, or proof of service in the form of a statement of the date and the manner of service and of the names of the persons served, certified by the person who made service. Proof of service may appear on, or be affixed to the documents filed. The clerk may permit documents to be filed without acknowledgment of proof of service but shall require such to be filed promptly thereafter.
  3. Orders. All orders and decrees submitted for settlement or signature must be presented through the clerk’s office, and not sent directly to the judge. In case of contest as to form or substance, the clerk will give notice of any hearing that may be required by the judge.
  4. Nonconforming Documents. If a document that fails to conform with these rules is submitted, the clerk shall file the document, and shall promptly inform the filing party that the document is not in compliance with these rules.
Rule CV-5.2. Documents Filed Under Seal

Rule CV-5.2. Documents Filed Under Seal

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  1. In appropriate circumstances a party may need to submit a sealed document for consideration by the court. For purposes of this rule, the term “sealed document” may include any pleading, motion, paper, physical item, or other submission that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or these rules permit or require to be filed. If the sealed document is associated with a pleading, motion or other submission requesting or opposing relief from the court, as in the case of an exhibit to such submission, the sealed document must not be filed with the submission. Instead, the sealed document must be separately filed as an exhibit to a motion requesting permission to keep the document under seal (a “sealing motion”). All documents intended to be kept under seal must be filed as an exhibit to a sealing motion.
  2. Motions to keep pleadings, motions, or other submissions requesting or opposing relief from the court under seal are disfavored. The court expects parties to draft such submissions in a manner that does not disclose confidential information.
  3. The sealing motion must identify the submission the sealed document is associated with, if applicable. The sealing motion and the accompanying sealed document must be filed under seal, state the factual basis for the requested sealing order, and otherwise comply with the requirements of Rules CV-7 and CV-10 and the procedures governing electronic or
    paper filings, as applicable to the submission. The court expects parties to draft sealing motions in a manner that does not disclose confidential information because the sealing motion, without the sealed document, may subsequently be unsealed by court order.
  4. If the court grants a sealing motion, the clerk will keep the sealed document under seal unless and until otherwise ordered by the court, and, if appropriate, the clerk shall link the sealed document to its associated pleading, motion, or other submission. The court may order that the sealing motion, without the sealed document, be unsealed. If the court denies a sealing motion, the clerk, on order of the court, shall delete the sealed document.
  5. Counsel for the party moving to keep any document under seal is responsible for serving a copy of the sealed document on all counsel of record, but may not use the court’s
    electronic notice facilities to serve the sealed document.
Rule CV-6. Computing Time

Rule CV-6. Computing Time

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In computing any time period in any civil case, the provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6, as amended, shall be applied.

Rule CV-7. Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions

Rule CV-7. Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions

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  1. Generally. Unless made during a hearing or trial, a pleading, motion, or other submission must meet the requirements of Rule CV-10.
  2. Leave to File. When a motion for leave to file a pleading, motion, or other submission is required, an executed copy of the proposed pleading, motion, or other submission shall be filed as an exhibit to the motion for leave. Unless otherwise ordered, if the motion for leave is granted, the clerk shall promptly file the pleading, motion, or other submission. After leave is granted, any applicable time limits triggered by the pleading, motion, or other submission shall run from the filing of the pleading, motion, or other submission by the clerk or otherwise.
  3. Dispositive Motion Defined. For purposes of this rule, a “dispositive motion” is a motion to dismiss, a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a motion for summary judgment or partial summary judgment, a motion for new trial, or a motion for judgment as a matter of law.
  4. Motions.
    1. Generally. Legal authorities supporting any motion must be cited in the motion. An appendix may be filed with the motion specifying any factual basis relied upon. If filed, the appendix must include all affidavits, deposition transcripts, or other documents supporting the relied upon facts. All motions must state the grounds therefor and cite any applicable rule, statute, or other authority, if any, justifying the relief sought.
    2. Motions Not Requiring Citation of Legal Authorities. Legal authorities are not required to be cited in any of the following motions:
      1. for extension of time for the performance of an act required or allowed to be done, provided request therefor is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed, or as extended by previous orders;
      2. to continue a pretrial conference hearing or motion or the trial of an action;
      3. for a more definite statement;
      4. to join additional parties;
      5. to amend pleadings;
      6. to file supplemental pleadings;
      7. to appoint next friend or guardian ad litem;
      8. to intervene;
      9. for substitution of parties;
      10. relating to discovery including but not limited to motions for the production and inspection of documents, specific objections to interrogatories, motions to compel answers or further answers to interrogatories, and motions for physical or mental examination;
      11. to stay proceedings to enforce judgment;
      12. joint motions to dismiss;
      13. to withdraw as counsel;
      14. for mediation or other form of alternative dispute resolution; and
      15. for approval of an agreed protective order.
    3. Page Limits. Unless otherwise authorized by the court, a dispositive motion is limited to 20 pages and a nondispositive motion is limited to 10 pages. These page limits are exclusive of the caption, signature block, any certificate, and accompanying documents.
  5. Responses.
    1. Generally. Any party opposing a motion shall file a response and supporting documents as are then available. The response must contain a concise statement of the reasons for opposition to the motion and citations of the legal authorities on which the party relies.
    2. Time Limits. A response to a dispositive motion shall be filed not later than 14 days after the filing of the motion. A response to a nondispositive motion shall be filed not later than 7 days after the filing of the motion. If there is no response filed within the time period prescribed by this rule, the court may grant the motion as unopposed.
    3. Page Limits. Unless otherwise authorized by the court, a response to a dispositive motion is limited to 20 pages and a response to a nondispositive motion is limited to 10 pages. These page limits are exclusive of the caption, signature block, any certificate, and accompanying documents.
  6. Replies.
    1. Generally. A party may file a reply in support of a motion. Absent leave of court, no further submissions on the motion are allowed.
    2. Time Limit. A reply in support of a motion shall be filed not later than 7 days after the filing of the response to the motion. The court need not wait for a reply before ruling on a motion.
    3. Page Limits. Unless otherwise authorized by the court, a reply in support of a dispositive motion is limited to 10 pages and a reply in support of a nondispositive motion is limited to 5 pages. These page limits are exclusive of the caption, signature block, any certificate, and accompanying documents.
  7. Proposed Orders. A proposed order shall be filed with all nondispositive motions. When a motion is one that requires a proposed order, any response to the motion shall also be accompanied by a proposed order.
  8. Oral Hearings. A movant or respondent may request an oral hearing. The allowance of an oral hearing is within the sole discretion of the court.
  9. Conference Required. The court may refuse to hear or may deny a nondispositive motion unless the movant advises the court within the body of the motion that counsel for the parties have first conferred in a good-faith attempt to resolve the matter by agreement and, further, certifies the specific reason that no agreement could be made. Movants are encouraged to indicate in the title of the motion whether the motion is opposed. A motion is unopposed only if there has been an actual conference with opposing counsel and there is no
    opposition to any of the relief requested in the motion.
  10. Claims for Attorney’s Fees.
    1. Unless the substantive law requires a claim for attorney’s fees and related nontaxable expenses to be proved at trial as an element of damages to be determined by a jury, a claim for fees shall be made by motion not later than 14 days after entry of judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(2) and pursuant to the following provisions. Counsel for the parties shall meet and confer for the purpose of resolving all disputed issues relating to attorney’s fees prior to making application. The application shall certify that such a conference has occurred. If no agreement is reached, the applicant shall certify the specific reason why the matter could not be resolved by agreement. The motion shall include a supporting document organized chronologically by activity or project, listing attorney name, date, and hours expended on the particular activity or project, as well as an affidavit certifying (1) that the hours expended were actually expended on the topics stated, and (2) that the hours expended and rate claimed were reasonable. Such application shall also be accompanied by a brief memo setting forth the method by which the amount of fees was computed, with sufficient citation of authority to permit the reviewing court the opportunity to determine whether such computation is correct. The request shall include reference to the statutory authorization or other authority for the request.
    2. An objection to a motion for attorney’s fees shall be filed on or before 14 days after the date of filing of the motion. If there is no timely objection, the court may grant the motion as unopposed.
    3. A motion for award of attorney’s fees filed beyond the 14 day period may be deemed untimely and a waiver of entitlement to fees.
Rule CV-10. Form of Pleadings

Rule CV-10. Form of Pleadings

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  1. A pleading, motion, or other submission shall be typed or printed in 12 point or larger font (including footnotes), double-spaced, on paper sized 8½” x 11″ with one-inch margins on all sides and shall be endorsed with the style of the case and the descriptive name of the document. Headings, footnotes, and quotations more than two lines long may be singlespaced.
  2. A pleading, motion, or other submission filed by a represented party shall contain the mailing address, e-mail address, signature, state bar card number, and telephone and fax numbers, including area code, of the attorney.
  3. A pleading, motion, or other submission filed by an unrepresented party shall contain the party’s mailing address, e-mail address, signature, and telephone and fax numbers, including area code.
  4. An unrepresented party and any attorney representing a party must timely inform the court of any change in the party’s or attorney’s mailing address, e-mail address, signature, or telephone or fax number. The court may sanction a party for the party’s or the attorney’s failure to do so, including dismissal of the party’s claims or defenses.
Rule CV-16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management

Rule CV-16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management

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  1. A scheduling order must be entered in every case except those exempted in Section (b) of this rule. The form of the scheduling order should conform to the form prescribed by the judge and posted on the court’s website. If the judge has not posted a form scheduling order on the website, the scheduling order may conform to the form set out in Appendix B of
    these rules.
  2. The same types of cases that are exempt from mandatory disclosure requirements under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 are exempt from the scheduling order equirement of Rule 16. In addition, the following categories of cases are also exempt from the scheduling order requirement: (1) bankruptcy appeals; (2) civil forfeiture cases; (3) land condemnation cases; (4) naturalization proceedings filed as civil cases; (5) interpleader cases; and (6) any other case where the judge finds that the ends of justice would not be served by using the scheduling order procedure of Rule 16.
  3. Not later than 60 days after any appearance of any defendant, the parties shall submit a proposed scheduling order to the court in the form described in Section (a). The parties first shall confer as required by Rule 26(f). The content of the proposed scheduling order shall include proposals for all deadlines set out in the described form. The parties shall endeavor to agree concerning the contents of the proposed order, but in the event they are unable to do so, each party’s position and the reasons for the disagreement shall be included in the proposed schedule submitted to the court. In the event the plaintiff has not yet obtained service on all defendants, the plaintiff shall include an explanation of why all parties have not been served. The scheduling proposals of the parties shall be considered by the court, but the setting of all dates is within the discretion of the court.
  4. Unopposed discovery may continue after the deadline for discovery contained in the scheduling order, provided that discovery does not delay other pretrial preparations or the trial setting. Absent exceptional circumstances, no motions relating to discovery, including motions under Rules 26(c), 29, and 37, shall be filed after the expiration of the discovery deadline, unless they are filed within 7 days after the discovery deadline and pertain to conduct occurring during the final 7 days of discovery. Written discovery is not timely unless the response to that discovery would be due before the discovery deadline. The responding party has no obligation to respond and object to written discovery if the response and objection would not be due until after the discovery deadline. Depositions must be completed before the discovery deadline. Notices served before the discovery deadline which purport to schedule depositions after the discovery deadline will not be enforced.
  5. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, each party shall serve and file the following information at least 14 days before the scheduled date for trial, jury selection, docket call, or the final pretrial conference, whichever is first:
    1. A list of questions the party desires the court to ask prospective jurors.
    2. In cases to be tried to a jury, a statement of the party’s claims or defenses to be used by the court in conducting voir dire. The statement shall be no longer than ½ page with type double-spaced.
    3. A list of stipulated facts.
    4. An appropriate identification of each exhibit as specified in this rule (except those to be used for impeachment only), separately identifying those that the party expects to offer and those that the party may offer if the need arises.
    5. The name and, if not previously provided, the address and telephone number of each witness (except those to be used for impeachment only), separately identifying those whom the party expects to present and those whom the party may call if the need arises.
    6. The name of those witnesses whose testimony is expected to be presented by means of a deposition and designation by reference to page and line of the testimony to be offered (except those to be used for impeachment only) and, if not taken stenographically, a transcript of the pertinent portions of the deposition testimony.
    7. Proposed jury instructions and verdict forms.
    8. In nonjury trials, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
    9. Any motions in limine.
    10. An estimate of the probable length of trial.
  6. At least 7 days prior to the scheduled date for trial, jury selection, docket call, or the final pretrial conference, whichever is first, each party shall serve and file the following:
    1. A list disclosing any objections to the use under Rule 32(a) of deposition testimony designated by the other party.
    2. A list disclosing any objection, together with the grounds therefore, that may be made to the admissibility of any exhibits. Objections not so disclosed, other than objections under Federal Rules of Evidence 402 and 403 shall be deemed waived unless excused by the court for good cause shown.
  7. All trial exhibits must be marked with an identifying sequence, followed by a dash, followed by a number; for example, Exhibit P-1 and Exhibit D-1. The identifying sequence (e.g., “P” and “D”) will identify the party who will offer the exhibit. Parties will assign numbers to their exhibits consecutively, beginning with the number 1. The letter “G” will be assigned to the government for identification purposes. In cases involving more complex pleading relationships (e.g., consolidated cases, intervenors, and third party actions), it is the responsibility of counsel for the plaintiff, in consultation with the judge’s courtroom deputy clerk, to coordinate the assignment of the unique identification sequences.
Rule CV-23. Class Actions

Rule CV-23. Class Actions

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A motion to certify a class must include the information enumerated in Appendix A to these rules.

Rule CV-26. General Provisions Governing Discovery

Rule CV-26. General Provisions Governing Discovery

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  1. Relief. If relief is sought under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(c) or 37(a)(3), concerning any interrogatories, requests for production or inspection, requests for admissions, answers to interrogatories or responses to requests for admissions, copies of the portions of the interrogatories, requests, answers or responses in dispute shall be attached to the motion.
  2. Definitions and Rules of Construction. The full text of the definitions and rules of construction set forth in this paragraph is deemed incorporated by reference into all discovery requests, but shall not preclude (i) the definition of other terms specific to the particular litigation, (ii) the use of abbreviations or (iii) a more narrow definition of a term defined in this paragraph. This rule is not intended to broaden or narrow the scope of discovery permitted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The following definitions apply to all discovery requests:
    1. Communication. The term “communication” means the transmittal of information (in the form of facts, ideas, inquiries or otherwise).
    2. Document. The term “document” is defined to be synonymous in meaning and equal in scope to the usage of this term in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(a). A draft of a nonidentical copy is a separate document within the meaning of this term.
    3. Identify (With Respect to Persons). When referring to a person, to “identify” means to give, to the extent known, the person’s full name, present or last known address, e-mail address, and telephone number, and when referring to a natural person, additionally, the present or last known place of employment. Once a person has been identified in accordance with this subparagraph, only the name of that person need be listed in response to subsequent discovery requesting the identification of that person.
    4. Identify (With Respect to Documents). When referring to documents, “to identify” means to give, to the extent known, the (i) type of document; (ii) general subject matter; (iii) date of the document; and (iv) author(s), addressee(s), and recipient(s).
    5. Parties. The terms “plaintiff” and “defendant” as well as a party’s full or abbreviated name or pronoun referring to a party mean the party and, where applicable, its officers, directors, employees, partners, corporate parent, subsidiaries or affiliates. This definition is not intended to impose a discovery obligation on any person who is not a party to the litigation.
    6. Person. The term “person” is defined as any natural person or business, legal or governmental entity or association.
    7. Concerning. The term “concerning” means relating to, referring to, describing, evidencing or constituting.
  1. Protective Orders. Upon motion by any party demonstrating good cause, the court may enter a protective order in the form set out in Appendix H or any other appropriate form. In cases where the parties agree to a protective order, the form set out in Appendix H is approved.
  2. Authentication of Documents. A party’s production of a document in response to written discovery authenticates the document for use against that party in any pretrial proceeding or at trial unless not later than 14 days or a period ordered by the court or specified by Rule CV-16(e), after the producing party has actual notice that the document will be used – the party objects to the authenticity of the document, or any part of it, stating the specific basis for objection. An objection must be either on the record or in writing and must have a good faith factual and legal basis. An objection made to the authenticity of only part of a document does not affect the authenticity of the remainder. If objection is made, the party attempting to use the document should be given a reasonable opportunity to establish its authenticity.
Rule CV-30. Depositions Upon Oral Examination

Rule CV-30. Depositions Upon Oral Examination

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  1. Notice. The notice for a deposition shall be in the form prescribed in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30, and in addition shall state the identity of persons who will attend other than the witness, parties, spouses of parties, counsel, employees of counsel, and the officer taking the deposition. If any party intends to have any other persons attend, that party must give reasonable notice to all parties of the identity of such other persons.
  2. Procedures, Examinations and Objections. The parties are permitted to stipulate on the record of the deposition any agreement regarding the rules for the deposition. Objections during depositions shall be stated concisely and in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner. An attorney shall not, in the presence of the deponent, make objections or statements that might suggest an answer to the deponent. An attorney for a deponent shall not initiate a private conference with the deponent regarding a pending question, except for the purpose of determining whether a claim of privilege should be asserted. An attorney who instructs a deponent not to answer a question shall state, on the record, the legal basis for the instruction consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d)(1). If a claim of privilege has been asserted as a basis for an instruction not to answer, the attorney seeking discovery shall have reasonable latitude during the deposition to question the deponent and establish relevant information concerning the appropriateness of the assertion of the privilege, including (i) the applicability of the privilege being asserted, (ii) the circumstances that may result in the privilege having been waived, and (iii) circumstances that may overcome a claim of qualified privilege. A violation of the provisions of this Rule may be deemed to be a violation of a court order and may subject the violator to sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2).
  3. Videotaped and Audiotaped Depositions. If the deposition is to be recorded by videotape or audiotape, the party noticing the deposition or subpoenaing the witness shall be responsible for ensuring that the equipment used is adequate to produce a clear record. If the deposition is to be recorded by videotape, the procedures set out in Appendix I shall govern the deposition proceedings, except upon stipulation of the parties or order of the court upon motion and showing of good cause.
Rule CV-33. Interrogatories to Parties

Rule CV-33. Interrogatories to Parties

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  1. All answers to interrogatories must be signed under oath by the party to whom they are directed. If circumstances prevent a party from signing the answers, the party’s attorney may serve the answers without the party’s signature with a statement that properly executed answers will be served on the requesting party not later than 21 days after serving the unexecuted answers. This time may be extended by order of the court.
  2. A party that serves written interrogatories under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33 may use any of the following approved interrogatories. The court will not consider objections to these interrogatories, except upon a showing of exceptional circumstances. Each approved interrogatory counts as one question. Other interrogatories are counted in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33(a).
    1. Identify all persons who you believe have knowledge of relevant facts and identify the issues upon which you believe they have knowledge.
    2. Identify all persons or legal entities who have a subrogation interest in the cause of action set forth in your complaint [or counterclaim], and state the basis
      and extent of said interest.
    3. If [name of party to whom the interrogatory is directed] is a partner, a partnership, or a subsidiary or affiliate of a publicly owned corporation that has a
      financial interest in the outcome of this lawsuit, list the identity of the parent corporation, affiliate, partner, or partnership and the relationship between it and [the named party]. If there is a publicly owned corporation or a holding company not a party to the case that has a financial interest in the outcome, list the identity of such corporation and the nature of the financial interest.
    4. If the defendant is improperly identified, give its proper identification and state whether you will accept service of an amended summons and complaint reflecting the information furnished by you in answer hereto.
    5. If you contend that some other person or legal entity is, in whole or in part, liable to [the plaintiff or defendant] in this matter, identify that person or legal entity and describe in detail the basis of said liability.
Rule CV-36. Requests for Admissions

Rule CV-36. Requests for Admissions

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Requests for admissions made pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36 are limited to 30 requests. The court may permit further requests upon a showing of good cause.

Rule CV-54. Costs

Rule CV-54. Costs

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  1. Unless otherwise determined by the court, costs will be assessed in the final judgment in a case. A party awarded costs shall prepare and file a proposed bill of costs no later than 14 days after the entry of judgment. The proposed bill of costs shall be served on all parties.
  2. Any party opposing a proposed bill of costs must file an objection no later than 14 days after a proposed bill of costs is filed.
  3. If no objection to the proposed bill of costs is filed, the clerk shall not tax costs until the expiration of 21 days after the filing of the proposed bill of costs. If the clerk fails to tax costs within 28 days after the proposed bill of costs is filed, and there being no objection filed, then costs will be deemed taxed as proposed.
  4. If objection to the proposed bill of costs is timely filed by a party, the clerk will forward the proposed bill of costs and the objection to the presiding judge in the case for final resolution.
  5. A party dissatisfied with the clerk’s action may file a motion to review the clerk’s action no later than 7 days after the clerk has taxed costs.
Rule CV-55. Failure to Obtain Default Judgment

Rule CV-55. Failure to Obtain Default Judgment

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If a defendant is in default, the court may require the plaintiff to move for entry of a default and a default judgment. If the

Rule CV-65. Injunctions

Rule CV-65. Injunctions

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An application for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction shall be made in an instrument separate from the complaint.

Rule CV-65.1. Security; Proceedings Against Sureties

Rule CV-65.1. Security; Proceedings Against Sureties

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  1. No clerk, marshal, attorney, or officer of this court will be accepted as surety, either directly or indirectly, on any bond or undertaking in any action or proceeding in this court, nor shall any such person advance or provide money or other thing of value for any cost, bail, attachment or replevy bond taken in this court.
  2. The clerk shall make available a list of corporations or other entities authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury to act as surety on official bonds on the district’s website, or in such other manner as the clerk deems sufficient public notice.
  3. Unless the court otherwise directs, every bond furnished in connection with any matter must be done in one of the following manners, either:
    1. Cash or United States Government Bonds deposited in the registry of the court in lieu of sureties; or
    2. Surety bonds that have:
      1. A corporation authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States to act as surety on official bonds;
      2. An individual resident of the Western District of Texas who satisfied the court that he owns real or personal property not exempt by law within the district sufficient to justify the full amount of the suretyship.
  4. Each person who is to act as a principal or as a surety on an official bond shall undertake to:
    1. Prosecute the claim or action with effect;
    2. Abide by the decision of the court; and
    3. Pay the damages sustained, to the full extent of the face amount of the bond, if the court finds that the order secured by the bond was wrongfully applied for or wrongfully made.
Rule CV-67. Deposit and Disbursement of Registry Funds

Rule CV-67. Deposit and Disbursement of Registry Funds

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Deposits into and disbursements from the registry of the court must be made in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 67 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7067. The following procedures also govern any such deposits and disbursements:

  1. All funds tendered for deposit into the registry of the court, with the exception of cash bail, shall be placed in an interest bearing account.
  2. A motion requesting leave of court to deposit funds into the registry must be filed and served on all interested parties to the proceeding. The motion and proposed order shall set out with particularity the information found on the court’s website, www.txwd.uscourts.gov, in the drop-down menu “For Attorneys” under “Registry Funds Information”.
  3. The clerk is the designated beneficiary and custodian of the invested accounts.
  4. After the order is entered permitting deposit and investment or reinvestment of funds, the party presenting the order shall deliver a copy of said order on the clerk, either
    personally or by certified mail or in his absence, the divisional office manager. It shall also be incumbent on the presenting party to confirm that the appropriate action has been accomplished by the clerk in accordance with the provisions of the order.
  5. Upon entry of an order directing the clerk to disburse funds on deposit in the registry of the court, it will be the responsibility of the movant to serve a copy of said order on the clerk as set forth in subparagraph (d) above and in accordance with the information found on the court’s website, www.txwd.uscourts.gov, in the drop-down menu “For Attorneys”, under “Registry Funds Information”.
Rule CV-72. Magistrate Judges, Pretrial Matters

Rule CV-72. Magistrate Judges, Pretrial Matters

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The magistrate judges of this court are authorized to perform all the duties allowed to magistrate judges under the Federal Magistrates Act as amended in 28 United States Code § 636. The magistrate judges of this court are designated to exercise civil jurisdiction under section 636(c)(1) upon consent of the parties. Whenever applicable, the “Local Rules of the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges” found at Appendix C shall apply to proceedings before the magistrate judges.

Rule CV-79. Removal and Destruction of Records and Exhibits

Rule CV-79. Removal and Destruction of Records and Exhibits

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  1. Nothing in the files of the court shall be taken from the office or custody of the clerk, except on written order of the court. The party offering any exhibit or deposition shall be responsible for its removal from the clerk’s office within 60 days after the final disposition of the case, including appeal thereof. A detailed receipt shall be given by the party to the clerk. Any exhibit or deposition remaining more than 60 days after final disposition of the case, including appeal, may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the clerk.
  2. Documents filed under seal in civil actions must remain sealed with the clerk, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Rule CV-88. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Rule CV-88. Alternative Dispute Resolution

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  1. ADR Methods Available. The court may approve any ADR method the parties suggest or the court believes is suited to the litigation.
  2. ADR Report. Upon order of the court, the parties shall submit a report addressing the status of settlement negotiations, disclosing the identity of the person responsible for settlement negotiations for each party, and evaluating whether alternative dispute resolution is appropriate in the case. In the event the parties conclude that ADR is appropriate and agree upon a method of ADR and an ADR provider, they should identify both the method of ADR and the provider they have selected, the method by which the provider was selected, and how the provider will be compensated.
  3. Referral to ADR. The court may refer a case to ADR on the motion of a party, on the agreement of the parties, or on its own motion; however, the court may refer a case to arbitration only with the consent of the parties (including but not limited to their consent by contract to arbitration). If the parties agree upon an ADR method or provider, the court will respect the parties’ agreement unless the court determines that another ADR method or provider is better suited to the case and parties. If the parties are unable to agree on an ADR provider, the court will select a provider.
  4. Attendance; Authority to Settle. Counsel, party representatives with authority to negotiate a settlement, and all other persons necessary to negotiate a settlement, including insurance carriers, must attend the ADR session in person, unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise.
  5. Fees. The provider and the litigants will determine the fees for the ADR. The court reserves the right to review the reasonableness of the fees. If the provider and litigants are unable to agree, the court will determine an appropriate fee.
  6. Disqualification. No person shall serve as a provider if any of the circumstances specified in 28 U.S.C. § 455 of the Judicial Code of Conduct exist, or if the provider believes in good faith that such circumstances exist.
  7. Relief from Referral. A party opposing either the ADR referral or the appointed provider must file written objections with the court not later than 14 days after receiving notice of the referral or provider. Any party may obtain relief from an order upon a showing of good cause. Good cause may include a showing that the expenses relating to alternative dispute resolution would cause undue hardship to the party seeking relief from the order. In that event, the court may in its discretion appoint a provider from the list of providers to serve at a reduced fee, or without fee and at no cost to the party or parties.
  8. Confidentiality. Except as otherwise provided herein, or as agreed by the participants, a communication relating to the subject matter of any civil or criminal dispute made by any participant during an alternative dispute resolution procedure, whether before or after the institution of formal judicial proceedings, is confidential, may not be disclosed, may not be used as evidence against the participant in any judicial or administrative proceeding, and does not constitute a waiver of any existing privileges or immunities.
    1. Any record made at an alternative dispute resolution procedure is confidential, and the participants or the third party facilitating the procedure may not be required to testify in any proceedings relating to or arising out of the matter in dispute or be subject to process requiring the disclosure of confidential information or data relating to or arising out of the matter in dispute.
    2. An oral communication or written material used in or made a part of an alternative dispute resolution procedure is admissible or discoverable if it is admissible or discoverable independent of the procedure.
    3. If this section conflicts with other legal requirements for disclosure of communications or materials, the issue of confidentiality may be presented to the court having jurisdiction of the proceedings to determine, in camera, whether the facts, circumstances, and context of the communications or materials sought to be disclosed warrant a protective order of the court or whether the communications or materials are subject to disclosure.
  9. Final ADR Report. At the conclusion of each ADR proceeding, the provider shall submit to the court a notice of outcome, including the style and number of the case, the type of case, the method of ADR, whether the case has settled, and the provider’s fees.
  10. Sanctions. The sanctions available under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f) shall apply to any violation of this rule.

CM/ECF

What does CM/ECF offer?

CM/ECF will allow attorneys to file and view documents from their office, home or anywhere they have access to the Internet, 24 hours a day. Some documents are automatically docketed as part of the filing process and are immediately available electronically. CM/ECF also provides the following benefits:

  1. 24-hour access to filed documents over the Internet.
  2. Automatic email notice of case activity.
  3. The ability to download and print documents directly from the court system.
  4. Concurrent access to case files by multiple parties.
  5. Secure storage of documents.
  6. Potential reduction in courier fees.
  7. Documents filed in text PDF (i.e. documents that are created electronically, rather than scanned) can be text-searched and text-copied. In other words you can highlight and copy text from someone else’s motion or order and paste it into the document that you are preparing, saving you the time of retyping the information.

What do I need to use CM/ECF?
  1. A personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh (only the Firefox browser is supported on the Macintosh).
  2. Word processing software.
  3. Internet access and a browser. The system has been certified with Firefox and Internet Explorer.
  4. Software to convert documents into PDF. There are a number of PDF utilities available that will accomplish the task of creating a PDF document. However, we recommend you avoid freeware PDF creation utilities.
  5. Scanning equipment may be useful.
  6. An email address, preferably not a commercial based email account like Yahoo, Google, or MSN. These commercial accounts are prone to spam and typically have in-box limitations, and will stop accepting email when the in-box is full.
  7. We recommend the use of a high speed Internet connection via DSL or cable modem. Dial-up access is not acceptable for use with CM/ECF.
How does it work?

The electronic case files system accepts documents in a portable document format (PDF). PDF retains the way a document looks, so the pages, fonts and other formatting are preserved. Filing a document with the court’s CM/ECF system is quite easy:

  1. Select the type of document to file.
  2. Enter the case number in which the document is to be filed.
  3. Designate the party(s) filing the document.
  4. Specify the PDF file name and location of the document to be filed.
  5. Add attachments, if any, to the document to be filed.
  6. Modify the docket text as necessary.
  7. Submit the pleading to CM/ECF.
  8. Receive notification of electronic filing (NEF).
  9. Save or Print the NEF. This NEF provides confirmation the ECF has registered your transaction and the pleading is now an official court document. It also displays the date and time of your transaction and the number that was assigned to your document.
Are there fees?

There are no added fees for filing documents over the Internet using CM/ECF; existing document filing fees do apply. Filing user will be prompted to pay by credit card when filing documents that require a filing fee. Electronic access to court data is available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program. Attorneys and litigants receive one free copy of documents filed electronically in their cases; additional copies are available for viewing or downloading at ten cents ($.10) per page. Directed by Congress to fund electronic access through user fees, the judiciary has set the fee at the lowest possible level sufficient to recoup program costs.

How will I sign documents?

The court will issue a login and password to all registered users. Using your login and password to file a document is considered to be your signature. You have two options to sign a document:

  1. Sign the document in ink. This will require that you scan the document into PDF format before electronic filing.
  2. Sign the document using /s/. Example: /s/John A. Doe, Esq. (typed onto the document where the signature normally appears).
How secure is CM/ECF?

CM/ECF has many security features and has passed an evaluation by the National Security Agency. Access to the system is through a court issued login and password.

When can I register?

All attorneys admitted to practice in the Western District of Texas or attorneys allowed to appear pro hac vice are required to register. You may get your registration form from our website using this link CM/ECF E-Filing and E-Noticing Registration Form, or you may pick up a copy at your nearest Western District of Texas, U.S. District Clerk’s Office. (This is a large file, so it may take several minutes to download depending on your internet connection.)

Will electronic filing be mandatory?

Electronic filing of both civil and criminal documents will be mandatory unless the litigant can show cause to the court why e-filing will present a hardship. Non-prisoner pro se litigants will have the option to e-file, but this will not be mandatory.

Can I e-file case opening documents?

Complaints and Notice of Removal cases can be filed electronically. Please be prepared to submit on-line payment, as these documents require a filing fee.

What if I have a lengthy document, or documents stored in boxes?

Documents that exceed 200 pages or 10Mb must be traditionally filed.

Are certificates of service required for documents I e-file?

Yes, a certificate of service must be included with all filed documents reflecting that service on known Filing Users will be accomplished through the NEF and indicating the manner of service on any party who is not a Filing User. When you electronically file a document with the court, the court will send a notice of electronic filing (NEF) to all CM/ECF registered parties on the case.

How do I know who is registered with CM/ECF?

There are three mechanisms to see who on your case is registered with CM/ECF and will receive notice by the court:

  1. Docket Sheet: By viewing the docket sheet in PACER. Registered parties will have an email address listed.
  2. CM/ECF Utility: After you login to CM/ECF, the utility “mailings” is available to display who is and who is not registered in your case.
  3. NEF: The notice of electronic filing (NEF) will display who will and who will not receive notice from the court.
What can I e-file?
  1. Complaints
  2. Notice of Removal
  3. Answers
  4. Amended complaints that do not add parties
  5. Consents and non-consents to proceed before a U.S. Magistrate Judge
  6. Motions
  7. Responses and Replies
  8. Notices
  9. Returns of Service
  10. Trial-Related Documents
  11. ADR Documents
  12. Other Miscellaneous Documents
  13. Appeal Briefs
  14. Plea Related Documents
  15. Sealed documents in cases that are not sealed
  16. Ex parte documents in cases that are not sealed
  17. Plea Agreement
  18. Sealed Plea Agreement
  19. Notices of appeal
  20. Waivers
What can’t I e-file?
  1. All criminal case initiating documents
  2. All civil pleadings that add new parties
  3. Motions to intervene
  4. Motions to proceed amicus curiae
  5. Documentary exhibits submitted at trial
  6. Writs
  7. Vouchers for payment under the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A
  8. Transcript Orders (Forms DKT-13 and AO 435)
Will the clerk’s office still maintain a paper case file?

No, the clerk’s office does not maintain a paper case file except for sealed and prisoner cases. The electronic record will be the official record of the court.

How will I get noticed of activity by the court?

A notice of electronic filing (NEF) will be sent to all CM/ECF registered parties when the court files a document. Noticing via NEF will be mandatory for all litigants unless you can show cause to the court why this would present a hardship to you. Non-registered parties will receive the traditional paper notice via United States mail.

Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases using the internet?

The public can access civil and criminal case documents in CM/ECF unless it has been sealed by the court. To have access to case dockets and electronic documents using the internet, you must have an account in the Public Access to Electronic Records (PACER) system.

Do I need both a PACER account and a CM/ECF account to be an e-filer?

Yes. The PACER account gives you the ability to read case dockets and view electronic images of documents. The CM/ECF account is needed in order to electronically file a document with the Court.

Can my firm have a single CM/ECF account, or do I have to have my own account?

CM/ECF accounts are issued only to individuals. You need your own account.

Can any member of the public use CM/ECF to file documents with the court?

No. Access to the filing portion of CM/ECF is available to registered users only.

When I click on the document link in my e-mail, it prompts me for a login and password. When I enter my CM/ECF login, it tells me my login failed. What do I do?

You need to enter your PACER login and password.

  1. The first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system should display the document without requiring a login. For each subsequent viewing, you will be required to log into PACER and pay a fee of $.10 per page, not to exceed $3.00 per document.
  2. In criminal cases, the first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you need to enter your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a criminal document. If you do not have a PACER login and password, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856.
  3. For civil Social Security cases, the first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you need to enter your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a document. If you do not have a PACER login and password, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856.

Criminal

What is an Indictment?

An indictment is a formal written accusation of a crime, made by a grand jury and presented to the court for prosecution against the accused person.

Is posting a bond required in a criminal case?

After a defendant has been charged with a crime, the Court may require a defendant to post bond to assure that the defendant will appear for trial. Bond is not required in all cases. If the Court determines a defendant will not flee and does not present a danger to persons in the community, the Court may order a defendant released without bond until trial. If, on the other hand, the Court determines a defendant may flee or endanger persons in the community before trial the Court may require the defendant to post bond for his release.

Where bond is required to assure a defendant’s appearance at trial, the Court is required under the Bail Reform Act to consider imposing the “least restrictive conditions” on a defendant that will assure that defendant’s appearance at trial and will protect the community. In determining whether to impose bond and the amount of bond, the Court will consider: the seriousness of the offense, the length of the potential sentence if the defendant is convicted, the defendant’s ties to the community, the danger to the community if the defendant is released, etc.

Why can’t my son/daughter have a bond?

All defendants are entitled to have the court consider setting conditions of release, which might include an appearance bond requirement. However, there are situations when the court finds, after considering the particulars of the case and the defendant’s prior history, that there are no conditions that could be imposed that provide reasonable assurance that the defendant would appear at future court settings and not endanger the community while awaiting trial. In these cases, the defendant is “detained” pending trial.

Will the Court appoint me an attorney?

If you have been formally charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire your own attorney, you have a Constitutional right to an attorney at government expense. A judge will review your financial situation and if you are found to be financially qualified, an attorney will be appointed to represent you. You may be required to reimburse the court for the costs associated with providing you with an attorney.

Criminal Rules

Criminal Rules, Local Court Rules for the Western District of Texas

Rule CR-1. Scope And Applicability Of Rules

Rule CR-1. Scope And Applicability Of Rules

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  1. Scope. These rules apply in all criminal proceedings before the district and magistrate judges of the Western District of Texas.
  2. Applicability
    1. Conflicts with Other Laws or Rules. To the extent any of these rules conflict with a law of the United States, or an applicable rule of the Supreme Court of the

      United States or the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the rule must not apply.

    2. Waiver of Rules. Any judge of this court may waive a requirement of any of these rules when it is in the interest of justice.
    3. Absence of Rule. When no specific rule governs a procedural matter, the judge may prescribe the procedure for that case.
  3. Citation. These rules may be cited as the Western District of Texas Rules.
Rule CR-5a. Pretrial Services Interview And Report

Rule CR-5a. Pretrial Services Interview And Report

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  1. Interview.
    1. Notice to Defendant. Before conducting a pretrial services interview, the pretrial services officer must notify the defendant of:
      1. the circumstances under which the information the defendant provides must be disclosed; and
      2. the defendant’s rights during the interview, including:
        1. the defendant’s right not to be questioned regarding the charges in the case;
        2. the defendant’s right to decline to speak or provide any information to the officer; and
        3. the defendant’s right to counsel during the interview.
    2. Notification Form. A form notifying the defendant of the rights set out in subsection (a)(1) is appended to this rule.
    3. Presence of Counsel. If the defendant wishes to have the assistance of counsel during the interview, the pretrial services officer must afford a reasonable opportunity for counsel to be present.
  2. Use and Disclosure of Pretrial Service Report and Related Information.
    1. In General. The use and disclosure of the pretrial services report, and any information obtained by the pretrial services officer in the course of performing the pretrial services function, are governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3153(c). The pretrial services officer must limit disclosure to the minimum information and the minimum number of persons necessary to carry out the purpose of the disclosure.
    2. Disclosure of the Pretrial Services Report. The pretrial services report must be disclosed to the attorney for the defendant and the attorney for the government. The report should not be re-disclosed to other persons by the attorney for the defendant or the attorney for the government.
    3. Disclosure of the Pretrial Services Recommendation. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the pretrial services officer’s recommendation as to the propriety and conditions of release will be disclosed to the parties with the pretrial services report.
Rule CR-5b. Initial Appearance Of Undocumented Alien Detained As Material Witness

Rule CR-5b. Initial Appearance Of Undocumented Alien Detained As Material Witness

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  1. Appearance. Upon the filing of an affidavit under 18 U.S.C. § 3144 alleging that an undocumented alien is a material witness, the witness must bebrought before the court without unnecessary delay.
  2. Procedure. Upon presentation of an undocumented alien witness, the court must:
    1. consider, with the assistance of pretrial services, whether the witness may be released under 18 U.S.C. § 3142, including release under an available community release program; and
    2. appoint counsel to represent the witness under the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, if the court determines that:
      1. the witness is financially unable to retain counsel, and
      2. the witness does not waive counsel.
  3. Detention. If the witness is ordered detained, the detention must accord with the provisions of Rule CR-15B.
Rule CR-6a. The Grand Jury

Rule CR-6a. The Grand Jury

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Grand jurors’ selection, qualification, summoning, and exemption or excuse from service are governed by Appendix D.

Rule CR-6b. Division In Which Indictment May Be Presented And Filed

Rule CR-6b. Division In Which Indictment May Be Presented And Filed

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  1. In General. A case may be presented to a grand jury and may be filed in the following divisions:
    1. any division in which the offense was committed, in whole or in part; or
    2. with leave of the district judge supervising the grand jury before which the case is presented, any division whose borders are contiguous to any division in which the offense was committed, in whole or in part.
  2. Multiple Offenses. A case involving multiple offenses committed in separate divisions that are joined for indictment under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a), may be presented to a grand jury in, and may be filed in, any division in which any one of the joined offenses could be presented and filed under subsection (a).
  3. Multiple Defendants. A case involving multiple defendants who are joined under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(b), may be presented to a grand jury in, and may be filed in, any division in which any one of the joined defendants could be charged under subsection (a).
Rule CR-12. Pretrial Motions

Rule CR-12. Pretrial Motions

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  1. Motion by Defendant. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the defendant must file any pretrial motion:
    1. within 14 days after arraignment; or
    2. if the defendant has waived arraignment, within 14 days after the latest scheduled arraignment date.
  2. Motion by the Government. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the government must file any pretrial motion by the latest of the following dates:
    1. within 14 days after receiving defendant’s motions;
    2. within 21 days after the arraignment; or
    3. if the defendant has waived arraignment, within 21 days after the latest scheduled arraignment date.
Rule CR-15a. Deposition Of Witness Other Than Material Witnesses

Rule CR-15a. Deposition Of Witness Other Than Material Witnesses

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  1. Manner Taken. Except in the case of the deposition of a material witness, an oral deposition ordered by the court under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15, may be recorded stenographically or on videotape if taken in accordance with the “Guidelines for Non-Stenographic Deposition,” set forth in Appendix I.
  2. Stenographic Deposition. The original of a stenographic deposition must be delivered to the party who sought the deposition after one of the following has occurred:
    1. the deponent has signed the original deposition;
    2. the deponent and all interested parties have waived on the record the signing by the deponent; or
    3. the stenographic reporter has certified that the deponent has failed to sign the deposition after giving reasonable notice of the availability of the transcript to the deponent and the deponent’s attorney (if any).
  3. Videotape Deposition. The original of a videotape deposition must be delivered to the party who sought the deposition after one of the following has occurred:
    1. the deponent has reviewed the videotape and certified its accuracy; or
    2. writing; or the deponent and all interested parties have waived review and certification in
    3. the reporter has certified that the deponent has failed to sign an acknowledgment of review of the deposition after giving reasonable notice of the availability of the videotape to the deponent and the deponent’s attorney (if any).
  4. Custody. The party who sought to take a deposition must maintain custody of the original transcript, or the original videotape deposition and certification, or any written waiver of certification. That party must make the deposition available for appropriate use by any party in a hearing or a trial of the case.
  5. Material Witnesses. The deposition of a material witness is governed by CR-15B.
Rule CR-15b. Deposition And Release Of Material Witness In Custody

Rule CR-15b. Deposition And Release Of Material Witness In Custody

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  1. Scope.
    1. This rule provides for the deposition and release of a material witness who:
      1. is held pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3144;
      2. is found by the court to be an alien illegally in the United States; and
      3. has not been released on conditions under 18 U.S.C. § 3142.
    2. This rule does not affect the determination whether a material witness should be released under 18 U.S.C. § 3142.
  2. Deposition.
    1. Entry and Service of Order.
      1. Immediately after a material witness described in subsection (a) makes his or her first appearance before the court, the officer must enter an order setting the time and place for taking the deposition of the witness. No motion or notice is required by either the witness or any party. The order must comply with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15. A form order is appended to this rule.
      2. An order entered under subsection (b)(1)(A) will serve as the notice of deposition required by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15(b). The clerk of the court must serve the order on counsel for all parties; on counsel for the material witness; on an interpreter; and on the U.S. Marshals Service.
    2. When Taken; Cancellation or Continuance.
      1. The court must order that the deposition be taken not later than 35 days after the witness first appeared before the officer.
      2. The deposition may be continued or canceled only on order of the court. If the government and the defendant or defendants reach an agreement disposing of related criminal charges before the deposition is taken, they must notify the court, which will then promptly determine whether to cancel or continue the deposition. The deposition cannot be continued beyond the 45-day deadline for release of the witness set out in subsection (c)(1).
      3. Subject to a finding of additional exceptional circumstances under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15(a), the court must cancel the deposition if the material witness is released on conditions of release before the scheduled date of the deposition.
    3. Discovery. The parties must exchange all required discovery reasonably in advance of the date of the deposition.
    4. Location. Unless impracticable, the deposition should be taken in a court facility.
    5. Attendance.
      1. All parties and persons served under subsection (b)(1)(B) of this rule must attend the deposition, except that any defendant may waive attendance by filing a written waiver before the date of the deposition, in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15(c)(1).
      2. The U.S. Marshals Service must make available the witness and defendant in its custody, at the time and place of the deposition ordered by the court.
    6. How Taken. The deposition must be recorded by videotape. The U.S. Attorney’s Office must provide a videographer to record the deposition, and will bear the costs and expenses of taking the deposition. Other expenses will be borne by the parties, except as provided in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15(d).
    7. Review and Certification.
      1. After the deposition is completed, the videotape recording must immediately be played back in the presence of the witness, the interpreter, and all parties attending the deposition, and their attorneys. Any corrections or modifications to the deposition must be recorded on the same videotape used to record the deposition, and should immediately follow the deposition on the recording.
      2. The deposition must be certified consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30, except as otherwise provided by this rule or ordered by the court. It is not required for certification that the videotape recording be transcribed.
      3. The material witness and all interested parties may waive review and certification in writing, in accordance with Rule CR-15.
    8. Custody of Deposition. The government must maintain custody of the videotape deposition and certification, or any waiver of certification. Upon request, the government must provide a copy of the deposition to the witness or any defendant.
    9. Use as Evidence. The use and admissibility of the deposition are governed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 15, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and applicable court precedent. The presiding judge should rule on any objections to the deposition at or before trial. Nothing in this rule relieves the proponent’s burden of demonstrating the unavailability of the material witness under Federal Rule of Evidence 804(a).
  3. Release.
    1. Mandatory Deadline for Release. A material witness described in subsection (a) must be ordered released from the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service by the first to occur of the following deadlines:
      1. within 24 hours of the taking, and the certification or waiver of certification, of the witness’ deposition; or
      2. within 45 days of the witness’ first appearance before a court.
    2. Earlier Release. If the deposition is canceled under subsection (b)(2)(B), the court should determine promptly whether to order the release of the material witness from U.S. Marshals Service custody.
Rule CR-16. Discovery And Inspection

Rule CR-16. Discovery And Inspection

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  1. Discovery Conference and Agreement.
    1. The parties need not make standard discovery requests, motions, or responses if, not later than the deadline for filing pretrial motions (or as otherwise authorized by the court), they confer, attempt to agree on procedures for pretrial discovery, and sign and file a copy of the Disclosure Agreement Checklist appended to this rule.
    2. If the Disclosure Agreement Checklist indicates that a party intends to disclose, but does not currently possess, certain listed information, that party must disclose the information as soon as practicable.
    3. If the Disclosure Agreement Checklist indicates that a party refuses to disclose information, the other party may file motions regarding the undisclosed information within 14 days after filing of the checklist.
    4. Filing of the Disclosure Agreement Checklist does not preclude a party from filing motions relating to information not listed in the checklist.
  2. Timing of Discovery.
    1. Discovery deadlines. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, or agreed to by the parties in writing:
      1. The parties must provide discovery in connection with pretrial release or detention not later than the commencement of a hearing on pretrial release or detention;
      2. The parties must provide discovery in connection with a pretrial hearing, other than a pretrial release or detention hearing, not later than 48 hours before the hearing; and
      3. The parties must provide discovery in connection with trial, whether agreed to by the parties or otherwise required, not later than:
        1. 14 days after arraignment; or
        2. if the defendant has waived arraignment, within 14 days after the latest scheduled arraignment date.
    2. Earlier disclosure. The court encourages prompt disclosure, including disclosure before the deadlines set out in this rule.
    3. Disclosure after motions deadline. The disclosure of information after the expiration of a motions deadline usually provides good cause for an extension of time to file motions based on that information.
    4. Continuing duty to disclose. The parties have a continuing duty to disclose promptly to opposing counsel all newly discovered information the party is required to disclose, or has agreed to disclose in the Disclosure Agreement Checklist.
  3. Late Disclosure.
    1. The late disclosure of material information under this rule is not usually a ground for exclusion of evidence, unless:
      1. the information was within the party’s possession, custody or control, and its existence was known, or by the exercise of due diligence could have been known, to the party’s attorney; and
      2. the party’s attorney has not made good faith efforts to obtain and disclose the information on time.
    2. If not excluded under subsection (c)(1), material information that is not timely disclosed usually provides good cause for:
      1. extending the time to file a motion or notice, or to request a hearing, based on the late-disclosed information;
      2. extending a deadline for reaching a plea-bargain agreement; and
      3. continuing the trial setting.
Rule CR-17.1 Marking Exhibits

Rule CR-17.1 Marking Exhibits

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A party must mark any exhibit it offers at a trial or hearing in accordance with Rule CV-16(g).

Rule CR-18. Place Of Trial Within District

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  1. Division in Which Prosecution and Trial May Occur.
    1. Unless a statute, other rule, or court order requires otherwise, the government may prosecute a case in any division in the district in which the offense was committed, in whole or in part.
    2. The court may fix trial in:
      1. any division within the district consistent with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 18; or
      2. any other division within the district, if the court is satisfied that there exists in the division where the prosecution is pending so great a prejudice against the defendant that the defendant cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.
  2. Multiple Offenses. In cases involving multiple offenses joined for trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a), the court may fix the place of trial in any division in which any one of the joined offenses may be tried.
  3. Multiple Defendants. In cases involving multiple defendants joined for trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(b), the court may fix the place of trial in any division in which any one of the joined defendants may be tried.
Rule CR-18. Place of Trial Within District

Rule CR-18. Place Of Trial Within District

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  1. Division in Which Prosecution and Trial May Occur.
    1. Unless a statute, other rule, or court order requires otherwise, the government may prosecute a case in any division in the district in which the offense was committed, in whole or in part.
    2. The court may fix trial in:
      1. any division within the district consistent with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 18; or
      2. any other division within the district, if the court is satisfied that there exists in the division where the prosecution is pending so great a prejudice against the defendant that the defendant cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.
  2. Multiple Offenses. In cases involving multiple offenses joined for trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a), the court may fix the place of trial in any division in which any one of the joined offenses may be tried.
  3. Multiple Defendants. In cases involving multiple defendants joined for trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(b), the court may fix the place of trial in any division in which any one of the joined defendants may be tried.
Rule CR-24. Trial Jurors

Rule CR-24. Trial Jurors

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  1. Selecting Trial Jurors.
    1. Trial jurors’ selection, qualification, summoning, and exemption or excuse from service are governed by Appendix D.
    2. To assist the court in selecting a jury, each prospective juror must complete the juror information form set out in Appendix D-1.
  2. Bailiff’s Oath. The bailiff, or other special officer appointed to attend upon a jury, must take the following oath:

    “You solemnly swear that you will keep this jury during their retirement, in some convenient place removed from the presence of other persons; that you will not, without

    leave of the Court, suffer any person to speak to them; that you will not without such leave, hold or have any communication with them yourself, except to ascertain whether they have

    agreed upon their verdict and to attend to their needs; and that you will well and faithfully discharge your duties as bailiff. So help you God.”

Rule CR-32. Sentence And Judgment

Rule CR-32. Sentence And Judgment

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  1. Time of Sentencing. Except for good cause, the court should sentence the defendant within 60 days after the date of the verdict or entry of guilty plea.
  2. Time Limits Regarding the Presentence Report. If the defendant and the government waive the time limits under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32, the following time limits apply.
    1. Disclosing the Report. The probation officer must give the presentence report to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and the attorney for the government at least 24 days before sentencing. Delivery of an extra copy of the presentence report to the defendant’s attorney constitutes giving the report to the defendant.
    2. Reviewing the Report. Within 10 days after the presentence report is given, the attorney for the defendant must certify to the probation officer that the defendant has reviewed the presentence report and consulted with the attorney regarding the report.
    3. Objecting to the Report. Within 10 days after the presentence report is given, the parties must state in writing any objections to the report.
    4. Acting on Objections. Within 10 days after receiving objections, the probation officer may meet with the parties to discuss the objections, investigate further, and revise the presentence report as appropriate.
    5. Submitting the Report. At least 4 days before sentencing, the probation officer must submit the presentence report, any revision to the report, and any addendum to the court and the parties.
  3. Changing Time Limits. The court may, for good cause, change any time limit prescribed in subsection (b), except that the time limit for objecting to the presentence report may be shortened only with the consent of the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and the attorney for the government.
  4. Sentencing. At sentencing, the court may:
    1. allow a party, for good cause, to make a new objection before sentence is imposed;
    2. accept the presentence report as accurate, except with regard to any unresolved objection; and
    3. in resolving an objection, consider any reliable information presented by the probation officer, the defendant, or the government.
  5. Post-Sentencing Disclosures.
    1. Presentence Report. After sentencing, the presentence report and its contents must remain confidential, except that the probation officer may disclose the presentence report or its contents to:
      1. the U.S. Sentencing Commission;
      2. the U.S. Parole Commission;
      3. the U.S. Pretrial Services Office;
      4. another U.S. Court;
      5. the Federal Bureau of Prisons, if a term of imprisonment is imposed; or
      6. any person as ordered by the court.
    2. Confidential Sentencing Recommendation. Except as ordered by the sentencing judge, the probation officer’s confidential sentencing recommendation must not be disclosed.
Rule CR-46. Release From Custody; Reports Of Detained Material Witnesses

Rule CR-46. Release From Custody; Reports Of Detained Material Witnesses

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  1. Management By Pretrial Services Officers of Defendants Working As Informants. The following procedures apply to a defendant under supervision of pretrial services working as an informant for a law enforcement agency:
    1. The law enforcement agency using a defendant as an informant must promptly notify the defendant’s pretrial services officer.
    2. The pretrial services officer must provide the law enforcement agency a copy of the defendant’s conditions of release and the pretrial services officer’s intended supervision activities.
    3. The law enforcement agency must advise the pretrial services officer of any requirements of the investigation that will affect supervision activities or require a change in the conditions of release.
    4. The law enforcement agency must inform the pretrial services officer of any violations by the defendant of any conditions of release.
  2. Reports of Detained Material Witnesses.
    1. Government Report. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, government reports regarding detained witnesses under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 46(h) must be sent to:
      1. the judge presiding over the case in which the detainee is a witness;
      2. the judge who ordered the witness detained; and
      3. the Pretrial Services Office.
    2. Pretrial Services Office Recommendation. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the Pretrial Services Office, within 7 days of receiving a government report regarding detained witnesses, must provide a recommendation as to each witness’s continued detention or release. The recommendation must be provided to:
      1. the judge presiding over the case in which the detainee is a witness;
      2. the judge who ordered the witness detained; and
      3. if the Pretrial Services Office recommends a change in status, the attorneys for the detainee and for the parties to the case in which the detainee is a witness.
Rule CR-47. Motions And Responses

Rule CR-47. Motions And Responses

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  1. Requirements. When filing a motion or response, a party must:
    1. cite the legal authority upon which the party relies; and
    2. submit a proposed order stating the relief the party seeks.
  2. Time for Filing Response. If a party opposes a motion, the party must file its response with the clerk and serve a copy on all parties within 11 days of service of the motion.
Rule CR-49. Serving And Filing Documents

Rule CR-49. Serving And Filing Documents

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  1. Filing and Service Requirements. RULE CV-5 of the Local Court Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas is applicable to criminal cases.
  2. Format of Documents.
    1. Any document presented to the clerk for filing must:
    2. be typed or printed, double-spaced, without erasures or interlineation materially defacing it, and, if by traditional filing, on 8½ by 11 inch paper;
    3. be endorsed with the style of the case and the descriptive name of the pleading or document; and
    4. contain either:
      1. the mailing address, signature, state bar card number and telephone and fax numbers (including area code) of the attorney, if filed by an attorney; or
      2. the mailing address, signature, and telephone number (including area code) of the pro se party, if filed pro se.
    5. Any proposed order submitted with a traditionally filed document must be completely separate from any other paper or document.
  3. Nonconforming Documents. The clerk must file any document not conforming to this rule and advise the court of the violation of the rule.
Rule CR-55. Removal Of Records And Exhibits

Rule CR-55. Removal Of Records And Exhibits

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  1. Records.
    1. Except upon approval of the court, no record or paper in court files may be removed from the clerk.
    2. A party removing any record or paper must provide the clerk a receipt signed by the party or the party’s attorney reflecting each record or paper removed from the clerk.
  2. Exhibits.
    1. Removal After Final Disposition. Within 60 days after final disposition of the case, including appeal, and denial of, or expiration of the time in which to file, a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, the party who offered an exhibit must remove it from the clerk.
    2. Failure to Remove. Failure to remove any exhibit within 60 days of final disposition of the case may result in the clerk destroying or otherwise disposing of the exhibit.
Rule CR-58. Proceedings Before Magistrate Judges

Rule CR-58. Proceedings Before Magistrate Judges

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  1. Authority of Magistrate Judges.
    1. The magistrate judges of this district are authorized to perform all duties assignable to magistrate judges as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 636.
    2. The magistrate judges of this district are specially designated to exercise jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3401.
    3. Proceedings before the magistrate judges are governed by the “Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges,” set forth in Appendix C.
  2. Paying a Fixed Sum in Lieu of Appearance.
    1. Waiver of Appearance and Forfeiture of Collateral. Unless otherwise ordered by a magistrate judge, a person charged with a petty offense as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 19, and listed in subsection (b)(2), may, in lieu of appearance:
      1. post collateral in the amount indicated for the offense;
      2. waive appearance before the magistrate judge; and
      3. consent to forfeiture of collateral.
    2. Offenses Subject to Forfeiture in Lieu of Appearance. The offenses for which collateral may be posted and forfeited in lieu of appearance by the person charged, together with the amounts of collateral to be posted, are identified in the exhibits referred to below, copies of which are available in the office of the clerk in each division of this court:
      1. any petty offense listed in the schedule of offenses designated as Exhibit A, occurring on a U. S. Military Installation within the Western District of Texas;
      2. any violation listed in Exhibit B, and set forth in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapters 2-5, occurring in a National Park or National Recreation area situated within the Western District of Texas;
      3. any violation of Fish and Wildlife laws listed in Exhibit C, and set forth in16 U.S.C. § 703, 16 U.S.C. § 718a, 16 U.S.C. §§ 851- 856, 18 U.S.C. §§ 41, 42, 44 and Parts 10 and 16 of Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, occurring within the Western District of Texas;
      4. any petty offense listed in the schedule of offenses designated as Exhibit D, involving the public use of Veterans Administration properties, occurring within the Western District of Texas;
      5. any violation of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter III, Part 327, (Corps of Engineers), listed in Exhibit E, occurring within the Western District of Texas;
      6. any petty offense listed in Exhibit F, set forth in 40 U.S.C. § 318 and Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 101, occurring on General Services Administration property within the Western District of Texas;
      7. any petty offense listed in Exhibit G, set forth in 16 U.S.C. §§ 433, 460, 670, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1361, 1852, 1853, 1856, 1857, 1858, 43 U.S.C. § 1061 and Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, occurring on Bureau of Land Management property within the Western District of Texas; and
      8. any petty offense listed in Exhibit H, set forth in 39 U.S.C. § 401 and Title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, as made available to the United States Postal Service by Title VI of Public Law 93-143, State. 525, occurring on Postal Service property within the Western District of Texas;
      9. any petty offense listed in Exhibit I, set forth in Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, occurring on National Security Agency property within the Western District of Texas.
    3. Punishment Other than Forfeiture of Collateral. If a person charged with an offense described in subsection (b)(2) fails to post and forfeit collateral, any punishment, including fine, imprisonment, or probation, may be imposed within the limits established by law upon conviction.
    4. Other Offenses. A person charged with a petty offense which is not listed in subsection (b)(2) must appear before a magistrate judge.
    5. Arrest and Appearance Before Magistrate Judge. Nothing contained in this rule prohibits a law enforcement officer from:
      1. arresting a person for the commission of any offense covered by this rule; or
      2. requiring the person arrested or charged for any offense covered by this rule to appear before a magistrate judge.
    6. Special Assessment. The collateral amounts set forth in Exhibits A through I include any special assessment required by 18 U.S.C. § 3013.

Financial

I was named as a victim in a criminal judgment, who can I contact regarding status of payments or to report an address change?

Victim inquiries may be e-mailed to Restitution Help Desk.

My friend or relative was arrested and charged with a crime in federal court in another city. Bond has been set and I would like to put up the money for the bond. Can I post his/her bond in the city in which I live?

As a general rule, cash bonds are normally posted in the United States District Court in the city in which the defendant’s bond was set. However, it is a matter of discretion for any District Court to receipt bond money for a bond set in another district. The Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the District Court where you are seeking to deposit the bond money should be contacted for local procedures.

Do I pay with cash, check or money order?

Payment of cash bonds must be in the form of cashier’s check or money order payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court. Personal checks and cash are not acceptable. Payments may not be made via wire transfer.

Can I post property or bank securities in lieu of cash?

Occasionally, at the discretion of the Judge imposing the bond, property or securities may be substituted for cash. However, local court rules as well as financial guidelines of the U.S. Courts must be followed when the substitution is granted. The defendant’s attorney should contact the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office for instructions prior to presenting the request to the Court.

May I file a surety bond in lieu of money?

Yes, if the Appearance Bond states that a surety bond is acceptable in lieu of money. You must obtain a surety bond from a certified company approved by the United States Treasury. A list of acceptable surety companies is accessible at the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service’s website at: http://www.fms.treas.gov/c570/c570.html, or you can contact:

United States Department of the Treasury
Surety Bond Branch
3700 East West Hwy., Room 6A04
Hyattsville, MD 20782
(202) 874-6850

After the company is approved by the United States Treasury, the company is also required to file a Power of Attorney with this Court. A total of seven original Powers of Attorney are required in this District (one for each division) at a cost of $322.00. Please see the Fee Schedule.

How to become an Authorized (Certified) Surety and/or Reissuer of Federal Bonds?

Please visit the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service’s website at: http://www.fms.treas.gov/c570/index.html.

Can my attorney post the bond?

An attorney may deliver the bond money to the U.S. District Clerk’s Office. If the money belongs to the defendant, the funds must be receipted in the defendant’s name. If the money belongs to another individual, the receipt will be issued under that person’s name. Under no circumstances can a cash bond be receipted to the attorney.

Will I get a receipt?

Yes. Receipts are issued for all monies paid into the court. You should keep the receipt in a safe place as the original receipt must be submitted to the Court before the funds are returned to the depositor.

Will I get my bond money back?

The return of bond money requires an order of the District Court. An application for return of cash bail, along with the original receipt, must be submitted. If the terms and conditions of the bond have not been met, the bond money may not be returned. Additionally, in certain situations, the U.S. Attorney can motion the Court to order that the bond money be used to offset any assessment, fine, restitution, or penalty imposed on the defendant. See 28 U.S.C. §2044. To receive more specific instructions, or to request a form Application for Return of Cash Bail, please contact the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the District Court where the bond was posted.

Can I petition the Court to assign the bond money I posted in a criminal case over to the defendant’s attorney or to another individual?

Assignment of bond funds to the defendant’s attorney or to another individual requires an order of the District Court. An application for assignment of cash bail must be submitted. The order for assignment of funds is separate and apart from the order for return of cash bail, so the application for assignment may be submitted any time after the bond is posted. However, the funds will not be considered available for disbursement before either a dismissal of the charges or the delivery of a criminal judgment in the case. At that time, an application for return of cash bail, along with the original receipt must be submitted. Return of the bond funds is subject to the terms of 28 U.S.C. §2044.

I was ordered to pay a special assessment, fine, restitution or other debt imposed in a criminal judgment. How do I submit payments?

If you are incarcerated (serving time in a jail or penitentiary): Payments toward your criminal debt may be deducted from your inmate account. Ask your case counselor for details.

If you are on probation: Your probation officer will provide instructions regarding how to submit your payments.

Should I deliver the payment in person or can I mail it?

  1. Paying in person: Your case counselor or probation officer will assist you in determining where your payments should be made. Usually, payments for criminal debt are made to the Clerk, U.S. District Court in the city where the judgment was imposed. Effective August 1, 2001, all payments made at any Clerk’s Office in the Western District of Texas must be made with a cashier’s check or money order.
  2. Paying by mail: If mailing a payment, please send only cashier’s checks or money orders. You should also include the following information:
    1. The case number,
    2. Type of payment (special assessment, fine, restitution, etc.), and,
    3. The name of the debtor (defendant).
I owe a special assessment, fine, restitution or other criminal debt to the United States Government. How do I find out what my criminal debt balance is?

If you are serving time in a jail, penitentiary or a halfway house, ask your counselor to submit a case payment history request to the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the city where the criminal judgment was entered.

If you are on probation, ask your probation officer to submit a case payment history request to the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the city where the criminal judgment was entered.

I am an inmate’s counselor or probation officer. How do I find out the criminal debt balance owed on an inmate or probationer’s criminal debt?

You should contact the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the city where the criminal judgment was entered. The financial deputy will instruct you how to submit your request for a case payment history.

Does the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas accept credit cards?

No.

What is the post judgment interest rate?

The interest rate for federal judgments is based on the average prices for U.S. Government Securities – Treasury Constant Maturities – 1 – Year. See 28 U.S.C. §1961, 18 U.S.C. §3612, and 40 U.S.C. §258(e)(1). If you need the most current rate, please call the Administrative Office of the United States Courts at (202) 502-4369 or call the divisional U.S. District Clerk’s Office.

A judge has ordered that funds be deposited into the registry of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office to satisfy a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), Court Sanction, Interpleader Action, Land Condemnation Order, Criminal Judgment on Appeal, Civil Judgment on Appeal, or other matter. Are there special procedures to follow?

You can either deliver or mail the funds to the U.S. District Clerk’s Office. Include the case number and reason for the deposit. Payment must be in the form of cashier’s check or money order payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court.

Personal or corporate checks and cash are not acceptable.

For more specific instructions, please contact the U.S. District Clerk’s Office in the city where the case is pending

Funds were invested in the registry of the court on my behalf or on my client’s behalf. A judgment has been entered and the case was closed. How do I get the money owed to me or to my client?

You must file a motion and submit a proposed order to withdraw funds from the registry of the court. On receipt of the signed order, the Financial Department of the U.S. District Clerk’s Office will disburse the funds. For more specific instructions, you may contact the U.S. District Clerk’s Office, Financial Department.

How do I get funds for a minor out of the Court’s registry?

The minor’s guardian must submit to the U.S. District Clerk’s Office a motion to withdraw funds, an original birth certificate, and a copy of a photo identification card. The U.S. District Clerk’s Office will then prepare an order to disburse funds for the appropriate judge to sign. On receipt of the signed order, the funds will be available for disbursement. For more specific instructions, you may contact the U.S. District Clerk’s Office, Financial Department.

Funds were invested on my behalf when I was a minor. I have now just turned eighteen. How can I receive these monies at this time?

For specific instructions, you should call the U.S. District Clerk’s Office, Financial Department.

General

Who are the judges presiding in the district?

We have a list of judges serving in our District.

Can I view the court/judges calendars on-line?

The Judge’s calendars are now located on-line on the Judges’ Calendars page.

Can I view court documents on-line?

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) offers the public the ability to query court dockets and other information through a dial-up or internet connection from a personal computer or terminal.

Please visit the PACER Service Center web site for more detailed information and to register.

You may also use the “Public Access Terminal” available in each division office. The same information available to you on PACER is also available with the terminal. There is no charge for using the Public Access Terminal and they are available for use during office hours.

Can I apply for a passport in the U.S. District Clerk’s Office?

No. Passport applications can be obtained at your local United States Post Office.

What are the copy fees?

The fee for copies through the U.S. District Clerk’s Office is $.50 per page. If a case file has been sent to the Federal Records Center, there is a retrieval fee of $64.00 for the first box and $39.00 each additional box, in addition to the $.50 per page copying fees. You may order the file from the U.S. District Clerk’s Office either in person or by mail. The retrieval fee must be payable in advance to the U.S. District Clerk’s Office. Please provide the complete case number and any other information you may have to ensure proper file retrieval. You will be notified when the file is available in the U.S. District Clerk’s Office for viewing or of the appropriate copying fees for the documents requested.

To whom do we make checks payable?

Checks are to be made payable to “Clerk, U.S. District Court.”

Can I download frequently used forms?

List of available forms can be found on our Forms Page.

NOTE: To download a form, put your mouse on the hyperlink for the form you want and click with your RIGHT mouse button. On most browsers a menu will appear. Choose save and give the file a name on your local PC. (If this does not work with your browser, check your browser’s manual for instructions on saving).

PDF format keeps the documents in their original form and font. Any computer with a PDF viewer can pull up a document and it will look (and print) the same as the original.
You will need an Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print the PDF version of a form. A free Acrobat reader and instructions are available from Adobe.

May I get one page of a multi-page document certified?

No. The District Court may only certify an entire document.

Can I file a pleading by fax?

No. We do not accept fax filings.

Where can I get information concerning traffic tickets and violations on federal property such as military bases or national parks?

Our Central Violations Bureau page may have the information you are looking for.

What are the divisional offices and counties within the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas?

The Western District of Texas consists of 7 divisional offices. Details on each divisional office and the counties served can be found by clicking the listings below:

Austin
Del Rio
El Paso
Midland-Odessa
Pecos
San Antonio
Waco

Jury

How do I respond to the Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire I just received?

You may respond to the Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire you just received. This questionnaire is intended to determine if you are qualified for jury service (it is not a summons). Once you complete this questionnaire online, you do not have to mail in the hard copy that was mailed to you.

How do I respond to the Summons I just received?

You may respond to the jury summons you just received. This will enable you to complete your juror information form and supplemental questionnaire. Once you complete both online, you do not have to mail in the hard copies that were included in your summons.

How do I check my Reporting Instructions?

You may access your reporting instructions. These same reporting instructions can be accessed by calling: 1-888-587-9329 or 1-210-472-4912. Check your summons handout to reference when you are instructed to check your reporting instructions.

How do I submit an Excuse Request?

You may submit an excuse request or postponement. Please note that only summoned jurors can submit an excuse request. Also, you must complete your juror information form and the supplemental questionnaire before an excuse request can be submitted.

Jury Questionnaire

I live at a different address then the one listed on the questionnaire. What do I do?

Cross out the old address and print the current address next to it. If you will be moving, please complete the form and send it in. Once you move, notify us by letter and provide us with your new address. Your letter should be addressed to:

Jury Administrator
Executive Offices of the Clerk
Western District of Texas
727 East Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Suite 500
San Antonio, Texas 78206

When will I be called to serve?

If you are found qualified, your jury service could occur between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019.

My son/daughter is overseas and serving in the military. They are unable to complete this survey.

An exemption is available for individuals who are in active service of the armed forces. The third item on question 9 addresses our active armed services members. Check the appropriate box that applies to your situation. A family member can sign and date the questionnaire on behalf of their family member. Please note your relationship to this family member (e.g. father, mother and etc.).

What should I do, if the person is unavailable or unable to complete form?

A family member or guardian can complete the form. You can sign your name and identify the relationship to the person and why you are completing the form.

How was my name chosen?

In our district we utilize the voters registration list that is supplied to us by the State of Texas. Every two years we build a listing of qualified individuals that may be selected to serve as jurors. This questionnaire allows us to determine if someone is qualified to serve.

The letter states that I have 10 days to complete and return this form. It has been more then 10 days, what do I do?

That is fine, please return the questionnaire to us as soon as possible.

Do I have to complete this form? Can you just exempt or disqualify me over the phone and update your system?

Unfortunately, we are unable to update your qualifications status over the phone. The questionnaire serve as documentation to a person’s qualification status.

The questionnaire is addressed to a deceased family member. What do I do?

Please print deceased next to the name and address that is listed on the questionnaire. Sign and date the questionnaire and note your relationship to the deceased person.

Please note, any correspondence to us should include:

Full Name
Address
Juror Number (which is listed above address)
Date of Birth

Where will I serve as a juror?

Below is a listing of counties in the Western District of Texas. The county that you reside in will determine which courthouse location you will perform your jury service.

Austin
Bastrop, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Kimble, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, McCulloch, San Saba, Travis, Washington, and Williamson

Del Rio
Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Zavalla

El Paso
El Paso, Hudspeth

Midland-Odessa
Andrews, Crane, Ector, Martin, Midland, and Upton

Pecos
Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Winkler, and Ward

San Antonio
Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Real and Wilson

Waco
Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Robertson, and Somervell

Jury Service

How was I selected?

A random selection of names of prospective jurors to serve on grand and petit juries is drawn from the General Election Voter Registration Lists (“voter registration lists”) of the counties comprising each division. These randomly drawn names make up the Master Jury Wheel. Another randomized selection is performed for purposes of determining qualification for jury service. These prospective jurors are sent qualification questionnaire forms in order to determine their qualification for jury service. Individuals that are deemed qualified for jury service make up the Qualified Jury Wheel. A random selection of names is drawn from this Qualified Jury Wheel in order to summon individuals for jury service.

What fees are paid to jurors for service?

Jurors are paid $50.00 per day attendance fee (with the exception of Federal Government employees). You will also be paid a round trip mileage fee from your residence. Payment of parking fees varies by division office. See the local jury instructions for specifics for the courthouse you will be serving jury duty in. If a juror travels more than 70 miles, one-way, that person has the option to stay at a hotel/motel with reimbursement according to the fee schedule for the division they will be serving jury duty in. Jurors can call for the information. Hotel receipts will be required.

How long does jury service last?

Jury panels serve the courts on an “on call” basis. The length of service for each jury panel differs by division. Upon receipt of the jury information packet, you will be advised of your term of service.

Jurors are given a telephone number to be used during their term of service as prospective jurors. Each juror is assigned a panel number and a unique juror number. Because the jury dockets are constantly changing, each person summoned for jury service is instructed to call the jury information line or access the jury instructions on this website for confirmation of attendance.

Can I be excused from jury service?

The only person authorized to excuse, exclude, exempt or disqualify a juror from jury service in federal court is the Judge. Federal law allowing the granting of excuses is very strict. All requests for excuses and postponements are submitted in writing to the Office of the Clerk, Attention: Jury Clerk. All excuses based on medical conditions must be accompanied by a letter from your physician stating why you are unable to attend. Upon receipt of these requests, the jury clerk logs them in and routes them to the Judge for a ruling. This office will notify you either by telephone or letter immediately upon receipt of the Judge’s reply to your request. It is important to submit the written request for excuses and postponements as early as possible. A juror should not assume a request will be granted. An unexcused absence may result in a charge of contempt of Court and a subsequent fine and/or imprisonment.

Is there a dress code that must be followed while on jury service?

Yes, specific dress codes are set by each judge. See the local jury instructions for details.

What security issues do I have to be aware of?

Due to increased security at all Federal Courthouses and buildings, it will be necessary for you to pass through a metal detector as you enter the court facility. Your purses, bags, and briefcases will be x-rayed at the same time. To expedite your entrance, it is recommended that you wear as little jewelry as possible and leave any excess metal at home. The following list includes some items that are not allowed into the courthouse:

  1. Cameras
  2. Mace/Stun Guns
  3. Tape Recorders
  4. Aerosol Cans (e.g. Hair Spray)
  5. Knives (including pocket knives and metal nail files)
  6. All Firearms or dangerous weapons *
    * 18 USC. Sec. 930, “It is illegal to possess Firearms and Dangerous Weapons in Federal Facilities.”

The use of cell phones in the courthouse varies from division to division. See local jury instructions for further information.

What might happen if I don’t show up for jury service?

Jurors who fail to report for jury duty and who have not been excused by the Court may be served a Show Cause Order by a Deputy United States Marshal. Those jurors will be ordered to appear before the Court to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of the Jury Service and Selection Act. Contempt penalties range from a $1,000.00 fine, imprisoned not more than three (3) days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.

Is my job protected if I serve as a juror?

You are protected by Federal Statute, 28 U.S.C. 1875. No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee’s jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States.

I live at a different address then the one listed on the questionnaire. What do I do?

Cross out the old address and print the current address next to it. If you will be moving, please complete the form and send it in. Once you move, notify us by letter and provide us with your new address. Your letter should be addressed to:

Jury Administrator
Executive Offices of the Clerk
Western District of Texas
727 East Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Suite 500
San Antonio, Texas 78206

When will I be called to serve?

If you are found qualified, your jury service could occur between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019.

Do I have to complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire form? Can you just exempt or disqualify me over the phone and update your system?

Unfortunately, we are unable to update your qualification status over the phone. The questionnaire serves as documentation for a person’s qualification status.

My son/daughter is overseas and serving in the military. They are unable to complete this survey.

An exemption is available for individuals who are in active service of the armed forces. The third item on question 9 addresses our active armed services members. Check the appropriate box that applies to your situation. A family member can sign and date the questionnaire on behalf of their family member. Please note your relationship to this family member (e.g. father, mother and etc.).

PACER

When I click on the document link in my e-mail, it prompts me for a login and password. When I enter my CM/ECF login, it tells me my login failed. What do I do?

You need to enter your PACER login and password.

  1. The first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system should display the document without requiring a login. For each subsequent viewing, you will be required to log into PACER and pay a fee of $.10 per page, not to exceed $3.00 per document.
  2. In criminal cases, the first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you need to enter your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a criminal document. If you do not have a PACER login and password, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856.
  3. For civil Social Security cases, the first time you click on a document link in your e-mail, the system requires you to enter your CM/ECF login and password. Next, you need to enter your PACER login and password. You will not be charged the first time you view a document. If you do not have a PACER login and password, contact the PACER Service Center at 1-800-676-6856.
Can the general public view CM/ECF cases and the documents in those cases using the internet?

The public can access civil case data in CM/ECF unless it has been sealed by the court. Access over the internet to documents filed in criminal cases is limited to case participants, i.e., attorneys and defendants. To have access to case dockets and electronic documents using the internet, you must have an account in the Public Access to Electronic Records (PACER) system.

Do I need both a PACER account and a CM/ECF account to be an e-filer?

Yes. The PACER account gives you the ability to read case dockets and view electronic images of documents. The CM/ECF account is needed in order to electronically file a document with the Court.