Bexar County courtrooms soon to have new look

Reopening set for Monday, June 15

When courtrooms in the Bexar County justice center complex reopen next Monday, they will have plexiglass shields protecting judges, court reporters and clerks.

SAN ANTONIO – When courtrooms in the Bexar County justice center complex reopen next Monday, they will have plexiglass shields protecting judges, court reporters and clerks.

State district courts in Bexar County preparing to reopen

The shields are part of the protocol that will be in place as a result of an order to reopen the courts issued by Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel.

Though state district courts will be conducting in-person hearings in non-essential cases, Rangel is still urging that, whenever possible, hearings should be conducted remotely.

“As much as possible, judges are encouraged to ensure that folks do not come to the courthouse,” Rangel said Monday.

Bexar County criminal district courts operating under new order

Seating arrangements are also required to comply with social distancing guidelines. Initially, all district courts will operate on an alternating basis, Rangel said.

“Each court is going to operate on certain days,” he said. “It’s important that on a particular floor, very few people, or as few as possible, are going to be in the courthouse.”

As for any courthouse business other than hearings, Rangel said, “The screening is going to take place before anybody can enter any (part) of the courthouse complex.”

The reopening order applies to all courts, from state district courts to justice of the peace courts.


About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.