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507th Family Court

One of the courts in Harris County that oversees family law matters is that of the 507th Family Court. While appearing in family law court can cause apprehension for many in what is usually already an emotionally charged situation, knowing what to expect can help. Well before you are due in court, take time to review the basic information about the 507th court’s docket schedule, policies and procedures with your lawyer.

The 507TH Family Court at a Glance

The 507th Family Court is located at 201 Caroline in Houston, Texas inside the Harris County Civil Courthouse. This particular court is located on the fifteenth floor of the building. If you have specific questions about the 507th court’s proceedings, the main line for the court is 713-274-4620. The Honorable Julia Maldonado presides over the court and The Honorable Jim Evans is the associate judge.

Brief History of Judge Maldonado’s Role in the 507TH Family Court

The Honorable Julia Maldonado was elected in 2018 to serve at the 507th Family Court. Prior to serving on the bench, she practiced law for more than twenty years. Her motto is, “Fairness and families first!”

Docket Structure of the 507TH Family District Court

The 507th court has a specific docket schedule that it follows. It may resemble the docket schedule of some family courts and may be quite different from others.

Monday

  • Uncontested matters 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Docket call 9 a.m.
  • Trials

Tuesday

  • Uncontested matters 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Docket call 9 a.m.
  • Temporary orders and ancillary matters

Wednesday

  • Uncontested matters 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Docket call 9 a.m.
  • Enforcement actions
  • CPS hearings (exceptions may be made for emergencies)

Thursday

  • Uncontested matters 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Docket call 9 a.m.
  • Temporary orders and ancillary matters

Friday

  • Uncontested matters 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Docket call 9 a.m.
  • Entries of orders
  • Discovery disputes 1:30 p.m.

Key Policies and Procedures of the 507TH Family District Court of Harris Co., TX

In addition to a possibly unique docket schedule, the 507th Family Court also has specific policies and procedures that it observes. Those appearing in the 507th court should thoroughly review this partial list of the court’s policies and procedures.

  • Although uncontested matters are scheduled daily between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., they may also be heard at additional times based on the court’s availability and a party’s willingness to wait. Parties should communicate with the coordinator about a judge’s availability. Please note that only those matters which have already filed all requested documents listed as Required Orders and Forms for Entry of Final Decree/Order will be tended to.
  • Temporary orders are typically limited to one hour per party. An affidavit and approval by a judge is required if there is a request for temporary orders in a modification case.
  • For cases regarding child support enforcement, an official payment history from the Texas Office of the Attorney General is required. If a party is requesting incarceration, they must bring a proposed commitment order to the hearing which should be entered no later than 2 p.m. on the date of incarceration.
  • Regarding entries of orders, ensure that your order has been filed as well as all the documents listed as Required Orders and Forms for Entry of Final Decree/Order. If those items are not filed, the case could be dismissed.
  • Discovery dispute hearings are not granted unless a certificate of conference has been filed. If a party chooses to file a motion to quash deposition, it must be based on the unavailability of the witness or lawyer or be the result of a scheduling conflict and three alternative dates must be offered.
  • Mediation is necessary before the final trial of a case in most instances. Those who wish to be an exception to this policy are required to file a motion and set a hearing regarding it ten days before the trial. In general, failure to participate in mediation can result in a case being dismissed.
  • Mediation is required prior to complex property issue or conservatorship disputes. Although there are a few exceptions to this rule, failure to mediate is generally not acceptable.
  • Before prove up of a default divorce the following items must be on file: a sworn inventory, non-military affidavit, and a certificate of last known address.
  • An agreement incident to divorce must be court approved and filed with the clerk or read into the record at the time of prove up.
  • Pretrial conferences are required for all jury trials, usually seventeen days before trial on a Friday. Review the court’s Pretrial Conference Checklist to prepare. Pretrial conferences are also required for adoption cases.
  • Ex parte temporary restraining orders are expected to be joint and mutual in most cases.
  • The court may appoint an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem as it sees fit.
  • Parties involved in a custody dispute are required to complete a four hour parenting class before trial. The court may extend the time period of that class if it deems it necessary.

What To Know Before You Go

Before arriving in the 507th court for proceedings there are several things litigants will want to plan ahead for to ensure they meet the court’s standards.

Litigants should make every effort to be on time. This often requires mapping out the route to the courthouse ahead of time and leaving your home in time to account for Houston traffic. It is also recommended to give yourself roughly twenty minutes to navigate courthouse foot and elevator traffic.

Dress professionally. Men and women should dress tastefully and professionally when in the courtroom.

Make proper childcare plans well in advance. Children are not to appear in the courtroom without express approval from the court. Unless your child has been given that express approval, you will need to find childcare for the duration of your absence.

In the courtroom, all electronic devices should be silenced or turned off. Photos and videos are generally prohibited, as are food and chewing gum.



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