This page breaks out the contents of the current Emergency Order and provides parties at SOAH with useful resources and information for engaging in the hearings process during this time.
Notice Regarding Agency Operations
SOAH’s Austin Headquarters office will have onsite staff available to accept filings between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Local SOAH field offices will be open and staffed by essential personnel during regular business hours.
Proceedings may continue to be conducted predominately by telephone or videoconference. SOAH may schedule a limited number of in-person hearings.. Further details can be found in the Chief Administrative Law Judge’s emergency order and in the agency’s COVID-19 Operating Plan for Phased Re-opening.
Please contact SOAH’s Austin Headquarters at (512) 475-4993 during business hours if you need assistance.
Emergency Order of the SOAH Chief Administrative Law Judge
Click here April 10, 2021 Emergency Order of the Chief Administrative Law Judge regarding SOAH’s COVID-19 response.
Click here for the Standing Order Regarding All Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings Scheduled for In-Person Hearings on or after March 10, 2021.
SOAH’s COVID-19 Response is governed by the current Emergency Order of March 10, 2021.
The Emergency Order provides:
- Non-emergency general docket hearings, ALR hearings, and mediations may continue to be conducted via remote technologies, unless the judge determines that a remote hearing is not feasible or that justice requires an in-person hearing.
- Requests for general docket hearings must indicate the party’s preference for a remote hearing or in-person hearing.
- SOAH, in its sole discretion, may begin scheduling of a limited number of non-emergency in-person hearings at SOAH offices and remote locations where civil district courts in the jurisdiction where the SOAH office resides have resumed similar non-essential proceedings. Prior approval of the Chief Administrative Law Judge is required for scheduling of in-person hearings to ensure that the designated location is available for in-person hearings and that accommodations are available to encourage the health and safety of agency employees and hearing participants.
- Videoconferences will be hosted using videoconferencing platform controlled by SOAH or a court reporting service. Telephonic hearings will be conducted using SOAH’s conference-call system.
- Attendees for in-person hearings will be encouraged to adhere to minimum standard health protocols announced by the judge. Those measures may include social distancing and requiring that counsel and parties with a positive COVID-19 test or with any flu-like symptoms contact SOAH prior to the proceeding. Attendees for in-person hearings are encouraged, but not required, to wear face masks.
- Parties to in-person proceedings may file a motion to make an appearance or to present testimony telephonically or by videoconference.
- Parties to remote hearings are expected, except for good cause shown, to pre-file all exhibits in accordance with the judge’s orders or not later than 10 days prior to hearing, in order to facilitate the remote-hearings process.
Questions and Answers
For more guidance regarding hearings at SOAH during the COVID-19 pandemic response, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Further Information and Resources
The most accurate and up-to-date state information on the current coronavirus situation can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
Para asistencia en espanol con nuestra pagina de internet, llame al numero 512.475.4993.