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308th Family Court

If you or a loved one will be appearing in Harris County’s 308th Family Court, it is an excellent idea to become familiar with the court leadership, history, and policy. Learning what to expect ahead of time is a great strategy for putting some of your fears at ease for your family law case. To ensure a smooth transition to the courtroom, it is recommended to review the below information well in advance of making an appearance in the 308th Family District Court.

The 308th Family Court at a Glance

There are approximately eighteen courts in Harris County that oversee family matters, and the 308th District Court is one of them. The court is located within the Harris County Civil Courthouse in downtown Houston at 201 Caroline, Houston, Texas, 77002. Please note that not all family law courts are located on the same floor. This particular court is on the eighth floor of the building.

The Honorable Gloria E. Lopez presides over the 308th Family Court and The Honorable Ryan Salfiti is the associate judge for the court. The court’s main phone number is listed as 713-274-4600.

Brief History of Judge Lopez’s Role in the 308th Family Court

The Honorable Gloria E. Lopez has practiced as an attorney for civil suits and family law. She was elected to the 308th Family District Court in 2018.

Docket Structure of the 308TH Family District Court

Although there are a number of courts overseeing family law matters, many of them operate differently in their day to day schedule. As of 2019, the 308th Family District Court docket structure as is follows:

Monday

  • Uncontested docket 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Temporary order hearings and ancillary matters 9 a.m.

Tuesday

  • Uncontested docket 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Trial docket 9 a.m.

Wednesday

  • CPS docket 8 a.m.
  • Uncontested docket 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Temporary order hearings and ancillary matters 9 a.m.

Thursday

  • Uncontested docket 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Enforcement/contempt docket 9 a.m.
  • CPS docket 1:30 p.m.

Friday

  • Uncontested docket 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Entry 9 a.m.
  • Discovery disputes 1:30 p.m.

Key Policies and Procedures of the 308TH Family District Court of Harris Co., TX

In addition to having different docket structures, most of the family law courts have their own set of policies and procedures. Many of these are standard for family law court and others may be more specific to the 308th Family District Court. As of 2019, the following are policies and procedures of this Harris County court:

  • Docket call occurs each day at 9 a.m. with the exception of CPS hearings and discovery disputes.
  • Trials are set for Tuesdays.
  • CPS hearings are generally set for Wednesdays at 8 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. unless in the event of an emergency.
  • Uncontested matters are typically heard every weekday between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. These matters may also be heard at other times when the court is not in trial if litigants are not opposed to waiting. To prove up an uncontested matter outside of the appointed time, it is necessary to speak with a coordinator to verify judges’ schedules. A prove up of an uncontested matter also requires all appropriate documents to be filed prior to the day of prove up.
  • Temporary order hearings could be limited to one hour for each party. If a request for temporary orders is made in a modification case, orders must be supported by an affidavit and be judge approved.
  • Child support enforcement cases require a payment history from the Texas Office of the Attorney General. If incarceration is requested, a proposed commitment is required at the time of the hearing. Commitment orders have to be entered no later than 2 p.m. on the date of incarceration.
  • In order to avoid having your case dismissed on the date of an entry hearing, make sure the court order has been filed and that all documents listed as Required Orders and Forms for Entry of Final Decree/Order have been filed.
  • Requests for hearings regarding discovery disputes are not granted unless a certificate of conference is filed that states all efforts made to hold an in-person conference with the opposing counsel. A party may file a motion to quash depositions and provide a minimum of three alternative dates if the motion is based on a scheduling conflict or unavailability of a witness or lawyer.
  • For matters of divorce, a sworn inventory must be on file before prove up of a default divorce.
  • Ex parte temporary restraining orders must be joint and mutual, unless an exception is made by support of an affidavit.
  • The court may appoint an attorney ad litem when appropriate.
  • The court may appoint an amicus attorney if the possession or conservatorship of a child is in question.
  • Parties involved in a custody dispute are required to complete a four-hour parenting class before trial. The court has the right to order an extended parenting class if it deems necessary.
  • Pretrial conferences are required for all jury trials. Litigators and litigants should refer to the court’s Pretrial Conference Checklist on their website for more details.
  • Mediation is necessary before a final trial, although there may be some exceptions to this rule. Those seeking an exception should file a motion and set a hearing approximately ten days before the trial. If no mediation occurs prior to the trial, it is possible that the case could be dismissed.
  • In an effort to maintain an impartial decorum in the courtroom, there is a strict no-gift policy.

What To Know Before You Go

When preparing to appear in the 308th court, take special care to ensure that you are on time and dressed professionally. Dispose of chewing gum before entering the court and it is best to refrain from bringing food or drink inside the courtroom.

Electronic devices must be on silent or turned off during your time in the courtroom. No photos or videos are permitted except for adoption cases.

Make proper child care arrangements for your child unless the court has requested them to interview with a judge in chambers. In these cases, the child should arrive at the designated interview time.