Practice Tips

Weather/Emergency Closures or Delays

If any of Plano ISD, Frisco ISD, Allen ISD, or McKinney ISD has a delayed start or closes, the 470th District Court will follow the same schedule.

Proof of Notice

If you want to go forward on a motion/hearing without the other side present, you must tender proof of notice to the court either by filing your proof of notice or by offering it as an exhibit for the court reporter.

Do Not Use Children’s Initials

Do not use children’s initials in pleadings.  The Family Code requires that children’s names be used. Use children’s full names in the style of the case and in the body of the pleadings.  Each child’s full name must appear in the order.

Settings

Settings are available at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Time Limits — A “full-day” trial is two and a half hours per side. A “half-day” trial is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes per side.  A 3-day jury trial is four hours per side.

To set a hearing in the 470th District Court, please email the court coordinator at  470@co.collin.tx.us. You will be provided with the Court’s available dates and should work with the other side to get an agreed date. Please e-file a notice of hearing with the date filled in.

To set a trial in the 470th District Court, please email the court coordinator at 470@co.collin.tx.us. You will be provided with the Court’s available dates and should work with the other side to get an agreed date. Please e-file the court’s form Scheduling Order with the trial date and mediation details filled in.

Trials without a scheduling order on file are limited to 1 HOUR per side.

Jury Trials — A formal pre-trial hearing is required, no later than the Wednesday before the jury trial begins.  A Jury Trial Discovery Control Plan and Scheduling Order must be completed and signed when the trial is set.  The scheduling order specifies the tasks that must be completed at or before the pre-trial hearing, including expert challenges, proposed jury charges, pre-marked exhibits, witness lists, etc.

Mediation

Mediation is required before trial.  Scheduling orders without mediator name(s) will be rejected. If mediation has not been attempted, you are limited to 1 HOUR per side at trial.

Ex Parte Relief – TROs, etc.

Attorneys or paralegals may walk through requests for ex parte relief in person.

You are also welcome to submit your request for ex parte relief electronically without coming to the courthouse in person.  If you file a motion requesting ex parte relief and submit your proposed order through e-filing, please call or e-mail the court coordinator to let her know that you want action taken on the request.  If you do not call or email the coordinator to alert her that you want the request addressed, it will just remain in the e-filing queue without action.

Please do not request TROs that contain items that are in the standing orders.  The court will reject TROs that largely overlap the standing orders.  Please put the few items of genuine concern in the TRO so that the court can tell what relief you’re actually requesting.

Continuances

Any continuance (even if agreed) for a case that was filed more than 18 months ago requires a hearing and court approval.

Child Interviews

If Texas Family Code sec. 153.009 requires the Court to interview a child, the interview will be conducted on the day of trial, after the child is released from school. Please arrange for the child to be brought to the courthouse by an adult who is not a party to the case.  Contact the court coordinator at 470@co.collin.tx.us before your trial date to ensure the child interview is properly scheduled on the Court’s calendar.

Property Division

If you are asking the Court to divide property, you must provide a proposed property division which lists all assets and debts.  The court prefers an editable format, such as an Excel spreadsheet.  If you do not bring a proposed property division with you on the date of your trial, you will be required to fill out this one.

Spousal Support or Payment of Expenses

If you are asking the Court to order spousal support or divide expenses, you must provide a financial information statement listing income and expenses.  If you do not bring an FIS with you on the date of your hearing, you will be required to fill out this one.

Photos of Children

In hearings relating to children, it can often be helpful to introduce exhibits containing photos of the children.

Prove-Ups by Affidavit

In original cases (divorces and original suits affecting the parent-child relationship), the 470th district court permits prove-ups by affidavit when ALL of the following conditions are met:

  1.  There is an agreed decree or order signed by every party and attorney involved in the case;
  2. One party files a sworn, notarized affidavit containing the necessary prove-up testimony; and
  3. All signatures and notaries are handwritten ink signatures, not “/s/ Typed Name.”

Withdrawals

The Collin County local rules may provide one way for attorneys to withdraw without the necessity of appearing. Review and follow local rule 4.3:

(c) A motion to withdraw may be granted without a hearing under the following circumstances:
(1) the motion is accompanied by a certificate by the client attesting to the client’s consent to the withdrawal or a certificate by another lawyer attesting that the lawyer has been retained to represent the client in the case; or
(2) the motion is accompanied by a letter that notifies the client of the client’s right to object to the withdrawal within ten days of the date that the letter was mailed; the withdrawing attorney certifies that the motion and letter were sent to the client’s last known address by certified and regular mail; and no objection is filed.