Guidelines proposed for resuming court proceedings in Bexar County

In-person non-essential hearings to be first step; wearing masks, social distancing protocols remain in place

SAN ANTONIO – Plans to resume court proceedings in Bexar County will be slow and methodical, Criminal Courts Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said.

Rangel proposes starting with in-person non-essential hearings.

“Something that’s not going to resolve a case, something where a defendant is on bond. Something where there’s a civil-type case where it’s just a hearing and it’s not going to be anything that relates to some sort of safety issue," he said.

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Rangel said the plan has many moving parts and it’s too soon to set a firm startup date.

“Start very slow and make sure all of the particulars are in place,” he said. “We’re consulting with Metro Health to make sure that we comply with everything that they request.”

Social distancing and wearing masks will continue to be the norm in courtrooms.

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Since in-person court proceedings were halted in March over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the only court activity has been conducted remotely.

Rangel said that in all likelihood remote hearings, under certain circumstances, are here to stay.

“The idea is if you’re able to communicate through electronic means, we should continue to do so," he said.

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