301st COURT

 

 

JUDGE LYNN CHERRY

600 Commerce, Suite 340

(3rd Floor) New Building

Dallas, Texas  75202-4613

214.653.7385

 

 

ASSOCIATE JUDGE SCOTT BEAUCHAMP

Courtroom:   Room #465

(4th Fl - Old Bldg)

214.653.6990

 

 

 

Prove-Ups:

Monday 11:45

Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Pro Se Prove - Up:

Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

and upon request when Judge on bench

Contempt:     Tues. / 9:30 a.m.

Pre-Trials:     Mon. / All day and by scheduled telephone conference

Motions/Appeals: As schedule permits

 

 

Mon:  9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Motions (4)

           9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. T/Os (6)

           1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Motions (4)

           2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. T/Os (6)

Tues:  9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Motions (4)

           9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. T/Os (6)

           1:30 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. - Special Sets

Weds: 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.- Special Sets

           1:30 p.m. &  3:00  p.m.- Special Sets

Thurs: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Motions (4)

           9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. T/Os (6)

           1:30 p.m. - CPS & T/Os docket

 Fri:    9:00 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Special Sets

 

JUDGE HEARS:

Contested docket, divorce, paternity, jury, non-jury final trials, contempt, final trials on custody modification, motions for continuance, motions to enter judgment, motions for new trial, and motions for summary judgment

 

ASSOCIATE JUDGE HEARS:

All temporary orders, TROs, motions, final hearings on child support modifications, protective orders, receiverships, discovery, writs, dismissal dockets, and reinstatements

 

 

COURT STAFF:

 

 

CLERK:                      DONNA HALL                           214.653.7385        (Room 340)

COORDINATOR:      CYNTHIA BOWENS                 214.653.7407        (Room 330b)

 [cbowens@dallascounty.org]

REPORTER:               KIM ALLEN                               214.653.7408        (Room 330c)

 [kacsr6100@yahoo.com]

BAILIFF:                    JOE MARTINEZ                 214.653.7385

 

 

 

COURT POLICIES:

 

1.  APPEAL OF ASSOCIATE JUDGE’S RECOMMENDATION:  The Associate Judge’s Recommendation should be reduced to Temporary Orders and signed by the District Judge regardless of whether an appeal has been filed.  The recommendations are in full force and effect and are enforceable as an order of the referring Court, except for orders providing for incarceration or appointment of a receiver.  The Temporary Order should also be signed so it is enforceable by contempt.  Temporary Orders should be prepared and presented to the Court within fourteen days of the hearing or the matter will be subject to dismissal.  The Appeal will be heard by the Court after the counsel and/or pro se parties have had a conference with the District Judge to determine the issues and time limitations of the hearing on the appeal. A Notice of Pre-Trial/Status Hearing form must be completed and filed with the Court prior to the time of the conference with the Court.  Failure to complete and file the Notice of Pre-Trial/Status Hearing form with the Court can result in sanctions or dismissal of the appeal.

 

A final order based on an Associate Judge’s recommendation should not be signed pending appeal to the trial court or the appellant loses his/her right to appeal to the trial court.

 

2.  CHILD SUPPORT:  All payments shall be made through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit and monitored by either the Office of the Attorney General or the  Guardian Ad Litem Program.  In any contempt action or in a matter where the parties are in conflict regarding the non-payment of child support, the use of the Guardian Ad Litem Program will be required.   The Dallas County CARE  Program may be removed upon the request of either party and the Guardian Ad Litem Program may be used.

   

3.  CONTEMPT:  A prepared contempt order and order of commitment is required prior to hearing on contempt matters. (It is highly recommended that you bring a computer disk with these orders on it.)  If a party is unable to be represented by counsel at the time of the hearing, an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs must be filed with the Court.  If the party is found to be indigent, the Dallas County Public Defenders Office will be appointed.  Any party who is held in contempt shall be ordered to pay to Dallas County a fine of $500.00 if contested and $100.00 if an agreement is reached.

 

4.  DECREE:  Decree must be submitted at the specific date ordered by the Court; and if no date, no later than 30 days of prove-up or case will be dismissed.

 

5.  MEDIATION:  Required in all cases unless the matter can be tried in less than two hours.

     a) On-going discovery disputes

     b) Custody/visitation:  Mandatory

     b) Property/Debts

 

Court will appoint a mediator or in the alternative the parties can agree on a qualified person.  Usually costs are assessed one-half to each party.  If parties are unable to pay for mediation, case will be referred to DMS or Family Court Services.

 

6.  PARENTING CLASSES:  Not required UNLESS conservatorship or possession is contested.  If contested, parties must attend any approved parenting classes.  A certificate of completion must be filed with the Court upon completion of the course.

 

7.  PATERNITY ISSUE IN DIVORCE:  In a waiver divorce, if the wife is pregnant and the child is not the husband’s, the husband has to acknowledge that he has received a copy of the pleading that names the child or states that the mother is pregnant and pleads that the husband is not the biological father.  In a non-waiver divorce at the prove-up the husband has to acknowledge, either on the record or in a Decree of Divorce signed by him, that the child (whether born or still expected) is not his biological child.  Wife does not have to bring the biological father to court.

 

8.  PRIOR SAPCR:  Can either transfer prior SAPCR into divorce action or merely reference the existence of the prior order in divorce petition and decree.  The Decree cannot address SAPCR issues if the case has not been transferred.

 

9.   RESIDENCY RESTRICTION:  If both parties live in Dallas or contiguous counties at the time of the final order, there is a rebuttable presumption that a residency restriction is in the children’s best interest, unless agreed otherwise or based upon the evidence that there is good cause to not have a residency restriction.

 

10.  PRE-TRIALS/ STATUS CONFERENCES AND FINAL TRIAL:  A pre-trial is required prior to final setting for trial.  A request for a pre-trial may be made in person or in writing and may be made by the attorney, an attorney’s representative, or the pro se party.  A party requesting the trial setting is required to give notice to the other party’s attorney (or pro se) by regular mail and certified mail within 5 days.  The Court believes that each attorney and or pro se party should have full knowledge of the case and have such information prepared for the Court on the date of the pre-trial hearing. Each party is required to complete and file with the Court the Notice of Pre-Trial/Status Hearing form which will be faxed to each counsel and sent via regular mail to any pro se party prior to the pre-trial hearing.  Failure to have the Notice of Pre-Trial/Status Hearing form completed and filed at the time of the pre-trial hearing can result in sanctions against the party who has failed to be prepared for the pre-trial hearing.  If an attorney/pro se party fails to appear at pre-trial, a default may be taken or the case will be dismissed.  A Scheduling Order will be given to each party at the time of the pre-trial hearing.

                **A copy of the Pretrial/Status Hearing Form is attached to these policies as “Exhibit A”**

 

The Court may, on a case by case basis, notice parties for a status conference at any time during the pendency of the case.  Attorneys and parties will be required to attend said conference on the date and time scheduled in the notice and will be required to discuss and disclose to the Court the information set out in attachment, Appendix A.  Failure to attend or provide information may result in the imposition of sanctions against the offending attorney-party.

 

Each case will be given a specific time on the docket and each party will be required to present their case in that designated time limit.  Each party shall bring to trial a written list of all exhibits they intend to introduce into evidence with spacing on the list to indicate whether a document is admitted or denied.

 

Jury Trials - All pre-trial motions shall be heard prior to the time of the trial.  On the first day of the trial the jury charge shall be filed with the Court.  A list of all trial exhibits must be exchanged between the parties and provided to the Court as ordered in the scheduling order.

 

If a case is settled prior to trial (in mediation or otherwise), the case is not removed from the Court’s trial docket.  The case must be proved-up at or before the time of trial.  Please call the Court if you reach a settlement so the Court will know that you will not need the full time allotted for trial.

 

11.  PROPOSED PARENTING PLAN AND PROPERTY DIVISION:  Mandatory.  A Proposed Parenting Plan, an Inventory and Appraisement, and a Proposed Division of Property from BOTH parties must be provided to the Court prior to the time of trial. 

 

12.  FAMILY VIOLENCE:  In all cases involving children, the issue of family violence shall be addressed in both temporary and final orders. 

 

13.  CPS CASES:  These cases will be heard by the Associate Judge each Thursday afternoon docket when ready.  At the discretion of the District Judge some cases will be heard by the District Judge.  The Court will determine a party’s desire or eligibility for court appointed counsel at the first hearing.  The District Court will require a Status Conference with all parties and counsel within 150 days of the date that CPS has the initial placement hearing and orders are entered.

 

14.  AFFIDAVIT OF INABILITY TO PAY COSTS:  Each Affidavit will be reviewed by the Court to determine if any attorney should be appointed in contempt cases or termination cases.  Affidavits are available in the courtroom or from the coordinator.  If filed by DVAP, the Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs will be automatically approved

 

15.  DISMISSAL DOCKET:  Any request for removal from the dismissal docket may be made in person, in writing, or by email to the Court Coordinator at cbowens@dallascounty.org . Any requests received after the docket begins at 9:00 a.m. will not be considered.  No case will be removed from the dismissal docket unless:

 

1.                  the case is settled and a final order presented to the Court for signature prior to the date of dismissal;

2.                  the case is continued to a specific date set by the Court; or

3.                  other extraordinary reasons.

 

 

 

 

HELPFUL HINTS IN THE 3O1st

 

            a.         Be on time and be prepared.  The Court may commence the proceeding at the scheduled time even if all parties and counsel are not present.  The Court will sign default decrees and capias orders 30 minutes after the time the case is set to be heard unless the Court has been called regarding a delay. In contempt cases, the Court will dismiss the alleged contemnor 30 minutes after the time the case is set to be heard if the movant is not present and prepared to prosecute.

b.                  Speak to your client before the hearing and know what he/she desires.

c.                  Speak to the opposing counsel or pro se party prior to the hearing, know

your issues, and be ready to explain those to the Court.

d.         Bring your file to court with all pleadings and relevant correspondence,

reports, etc.

e.                  If you do not believe the opposing attorney/party will appear and you have

proof of valid service, bring your final order and your client and the matter

will be finalized at the date and time of the scheduled hearing.

f.                    Feel free to request a telephonic conference with the Court and opposing counsel if you feel you have an issue that can be resolved with a short conference call.

g.                  Make every attempt to save your client money by speaking with the opposing side and attempting to resolve issues prior to setting matters on the docket of the Court.

h.                  If your matter settles, have the courtesy to call the Court and remove your case from the docket.

i.                    If you have ordered a translator, call in advance to cancel if you find you will not need the translator.  Failure to do so will result in the offending party being fined for the cancellation fee which is charged to Dallas County with said fine being designated as a cost of the proceeding.

 

               301st COURT’S COURTROOM DECORUM

 

Each party and attorney shall exhibit appropriate courtroom behavior and remember to speak clearly and distinctly.  Additionally each party and attorney shall remember that the court reporter cannot take a record with everybody speaking at once.  Remember to speak one at a time.

 

Persons appearing in the 301st Court must be dressed in appropriate courtroom attire. This dress code applies to counsel and parties whose cases are scheduled on the Court’s docket, witnesses, and other family members or friends.  This means the best business attire that you have at your disposal. 

 

Shorts, tank tops, and flip-flop sandals are not allowed.  T-shirts with derogatory or profane images or messages are also not considered appropriate.  Shirts that do not cover the midriff area, pants that sag below the waistline, clothing that indicates gang membership or affiliation are not allowed.

 

Cell phones and pagers need to be turned off before you enter the courtroom.