General Rules

Motions may be heard by either oral hearing or submission

All motions MUST have the following and they must be e-filed with the clerk:

  • Motion: If "agreed", the title should say so or the Court will assume it is contested;
  • Order: Must make provision for motion being "granted" AND"Denied"
  • SETTING REQUEST COMPLETELY FILLED OUT for BOTH oral hearings AND Submissions: 
  • Not every motion or document filed with the Clerk's Office is brought to the attention of the Court or it's Coordinator.  To ensure your Motion is forwarded to the Court for action, you must E-FILE a SETTING REQUEST with your motion and order.  The setting request must be completely filled out and should be filed with the Clerk for oral hearing, hearing by submissions, entry of orders or any other matter you want the Court to address.  Simply filing a Motion with no order nor setting request may result in your motion being overlooked or ignored.  It is your responsibility to bring your motions to the Court's attention.  See below how to properly file a setting request;
  • Certificate of Conference (unless Motion is agreed) must be e-filed with your motion, order and setting request indicating if you have discussed or attempted to discuss the setting and/or the motion with opposing counsel or party.


 Types of settings may include:

  • Temporary Order Hearing;
  • Appearance Hearing - Sometimes referred to as a "short set".  The purpose of this hearing is to have all parties to appear before the Court to ensure compliance with the Court's Standing Order, enter an agreed TRO or schedule hearing for TRO.  This setting may be particularly useful when one or more of the parties are Pro Se.  Counsel may waive appearance hearing by agreement.  At the hearing, the Court may enter a Scheduling Order if requested by a party or on its own.  This setting should usually only last 15-30 minutes.
  • Pre-Trial Hearing - to set trial date and confirm matters necessary to be completed before trial.  the Court will enter a Trial Preparation Order and, on occasion, a Scheduling Order;
  • Entry or Order - If an order has been orally pronounced, it will be set on specific date for entry of that order in writing. If all parties do not sign off of the order, they must appear for entry of the order setting before the court.  If all parties sign off on the order, no one need be present and the order will be signed by the Court as submitted.  A party may also submit an order for entry after an MSA or rule 11 agreement with 10 days notice to the other party.  If there is no objection, the Order will be signed as submitted;
  • Submission - Orders to be entered based on Motion, affidavits, etc and not requiring an oral hearing;
  • Pre-Trial Conference - Usually held shortly (1 week) before trial setting to ensure everything is ready for trial;
  • Bench Trial;
  • Jury Trial;

Standing Orders in Family Law Cases

Before filing Motions in a family Law matter, see the Standing Order.  

Mediation Requirement:

In all civil cases, including family law cases, the Court requires the parties submit to mediation before a Temporary Order hearing or Final Hearing/Trial will be set. If a party believes mediation should be waived for good cause, the party must file a motion requesting the Court to waive mediation.  If a party requests a waiver of mediation, the request should be by separate motion (preferable), included in the title of the motion (if included in the motion itself),  or specifically brought to the Court's attention.  If a waiver of mediation is not sought nor granted, the Setting Request must indicate mediation is scheduled or has been completed before a hearing will be set.  

How to File a Setting Request:

A Setting Request must be e-filed with: 

  1. the Motion; 
  2. Proposed Order, and; 
  3. a Certificate of Conference (see guidelines for use of certificates of conference).  

Setting Request in the case of a request for oral hearing, Movant should select three (3) hearing dates from the Court Calendar to be included in your setting request. The movant is required to consult with opposing counsel/party to attempt select 3 agreeable dates. If movant attempts to select a setting date with opposing counsel/party but opposing counsel/party fails/refuses to reply, movant may select dates from the Court's calendar that is convenient for them regardless of opposing counsel's/party's objection.  Movant must provide a Certificate of Conference indicating the agreement or why such consultation failed/was not possible.

Setting Request in the case of a submission, movant need only select a single appropriate submission date from the Court Calendar and include it on the Setting Request.  

For both submissions and oral hearings, movant  shall serve all counsel, and any parties appearing pro se, with notice of the setting request, the Motion, proposed Order and Certificate of Conference.  

When the setting request is approved, the court coordinator will confirm the setting via email/e-file in writing and will fill in your Notice of Hearing/Order to Appear, TRO, etc with the date and time available. The Clerk will provide a copy of the signed order.  Requesting counsel/party is required to notify all of the other parties of the hearing date and time.

If the setting request is for an Ex Parte Motion, the motion must be accompanied by a Certificate of Requirement for Ex Parte Relief. 

You must use one of the following setting requests for all non-trial settings:

Civil Setting Request 

Family Law Setting Request

Second Page Setting Request

Where to File My Case/Motion:  

To determine the appropriate court clerk for filing, see the Letter of Instruction for Filing Cases Subject to Concurrent Jurisdiction of the Courts for the 12th Judicial District; the 506th Judicial District and the County Court at Law in Grimes County and the Standing Order for Filing with the County Clerk .

Trial settings (Jury and Non-Jury) should follow these procedures.


Hearing by Submission

All motions and hearings that do not require live testimony may be set by SUBMISSION, with at least 14 days notice to opposing counsel/parties.  

All motions and responses shall comply with the court’s Guidelines For Motions.

Setting a Motion for Hearing by Submission: Motions shall state a date of submission which  shall be at least 14 days from filing, except on leave of court. Movant should select a submission date from the Court's calendar that complies with required time requirements. There is a "Submission Docket" every Wednesday unless it is a holiday.  The motion will be submitted to the court on or after the submission date. Submissions should include a Notice of Submission to opposing counsel/party indicating the date of Submission and a Setting Request for Family Law settings or this Setting Request for general civil settings (this will ensure the submission is included on the court's submission docket).

Responses to Hearings by Submission:  Responses to a Motion to be considered by submission must be in writing. Responses must be e-filed at least two working days before the submission date. Responses must contain a proposed order. Failure to file a response may be considered a representation of no opposition. 

 If the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure require more than 14 days notice on any given matter (e.g., Motions for Summary Judgment), then the time period set by the Rules shall apply and a submission date should be selected accordingly.

Request for Oral Hearing - A motion or response may include a request for oral argument. It is in the sound discretion of the court whether to grant the request for oral hearing. A request for an oral hearing should be in writing, set forth reasons a hearing is required and comply with all requirements for setting a hearing. A REQUEST FOR ORAL HEARING ON A MATTER NORMALLY HANDLED BY SUBMISSION MUST BE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE COURT BY INCLUDING SUCH IN THE TITLE AND BODY OF THE MOTION OR BY FILING A SEPARATE MOTION REQUESTING THE ORAL HEARING.  A request for an oral hearing is not a response. The Court Coordinator will advise the counsel/party requesting an oral hearing if an oral hearing is granted. If an oral hearing is granted, the Court Coordinator will advise the counsel/party that requested the oral hearing of the date and time for the hearing and said counsel/party shall give proper notice to all counsel/parties. 


Oral Hearings/Trials

Requests for hearings and trials in the County Court at Law shall be made by motion accompanied by a Setting Request for Family Law, Setting Request for Civil, Setting Request For Trial - Family Law, or Setting Request For Civil  Trial and  a Certificate of Conference or Certificate of Conference for Family Law   e-filed with the appropriate Clerk.  The attorneys making such request shall serve all counsel and parties appearing pro se with notice of the setting request.