Harris County’s 313th Juvenile Court primarily oversees domestic violence protective orders. This court hears matters under the Juvenile Justice Code, Titles 3 and 3a of the Texas Family Code. Before you or a loved one appears in this court, it is vitally important to understand the established policies and procedures to ensure a proper hearing.
The 313TH Juvenile Court at a Glance
The 313th Juvenile Court is located on the fifth floor of the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center on Congress in the heart of downtown Houston. The Honorable Natalia Cokinos Oakes is the presiding judge at the 313th Juvenile Court. The Honorable William Thursland is the associate judge for this court. Should a party have a specific question about this court or its proceedings, they ca contact the court directly at 832-927-8450.
Brief History of Judge Oakes’ Role in the 313TH Juvenile Court
The Honorable Natalia Cokinos Oakes was elected to preside over the 313th Juvenile Court in 2018. Judge Oakes has practiced juvenile, family, and probate law and has been involved with the Juvenile Law Section of the Houston Bar before serving on the bench of the 313th.
Key Policies and Procedures of the 313TH Juvenile Court of Harris Co., TX
Most juvenile courts operate under a specific set of policies and procedures. Before appearing in court, it is highly recommended that litigants meet with their attorney to review these policies and procedures well in advance of their court date.
It is not uncommon for some forms and applications to be filed in advance of the actual court date. Failure to do so could negatively impact the outcome of a hearing.
Be sure to visit the 313th Juvenile Court’s website for more specifics on their current policies and procedures.
What To Know Before You Go
If you or a loved one will be appearing in 313th Harris County Juvenile Court, it is generally prudent to follow the below rules of etiquette:
- Be punctual. Courtrooms usually follow a tight schedule on any given day. To show that you respect the court’s system, plan to be on time. Please note that both city and courthouse traffic can be quite busy and those appearing in court should allow plenty of time for traffic delays and crowded courthouse elevators.
- Dress professionally. First impressions count. Make an effort to dress appropriately and take special care with your appearance. For men, this can generally mean slacks, collared button shirts, and socks with close toed shoes. Women should wear skirts or dresses that hit no higher than at the knee or a pair of slacks with a blouse.
- Do not bring food or drink. Many courtrooms do not allow food inside. Most do not permit litigants to bring in any liquids, but some may authorize bottled water. Do not chew gum.
- Turn electronic devices off. This is not limited to but can include cell phones, smart phones, tablets, and iPads. These electronic devices can prove to be a distraction in the courtroom so they should be turned off before entering.
- Do not take photos or video. Most courtrooms specifically do not allow any photos or video to be taken inside out of respect for all involved parties and their families.