The 280th District Court oversees family violence protective orders. Given the wide scope of Texas’ protective order statute, residents may file for protective orders regarding dating and post-divorce cases.

District court

If you or your loved one are to appear in this court, you must familiarize yourself with the procedures and policies to ensure a smooth court day. In this article, we highlight the various policies of this court and an overview of the presiding court judge.

An Overview of The 280th District Court

The 280th District Court is located on the 7th floor of the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center in Houston, Texas. Judge Barbara J. Stalder is the presiding judge at this court. You may contact the court directly at 713-274-4680 if you have specific questions.

– Judge Barbara Stalder at a Glance

Barbara J. Stadler is the presiding judge of the Texas 280th District Court. She was elected in November 2018 after defeating Angelina Gooden and assumed office on January 1, 2019. Her term ends on December 31, 2022, after losing the Democratic primary election to Damiane Curvey.

Barbara Stadler, affiliated with the Democratic Party, earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Houston. After graduating from law school, she received a fellowship program with a nonprofit organization, Equal Justice Works. After that, she worked in the Houston office of another nonprofit organization called Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.

Her professional experience also includes helping domestic violence victims as a supervising attorney in the civil clinic and teaching at the University of Houston Law Center. She also holds a Board Certification in Family Law.

Away from her profession, judicial district Judge Barbara Stalder is an ardent fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and is often spotted wearing the team’s gear. She is also known to put up a team Christmas tree during the holiday season. As per the Harris County District Clerk site, she has handled over 400 Family cases in the Harris County civil court.

Procedures and Policies of the 280th District Court

Specific policies and procedures govern the operations of this court. You can find a detailed piece regarding these procedures and policies on the court’s site, but here are the main things you should know about the operations of the court:

  • The Houston Fire Code dictates courthouse occupancy. Defendants, attorneys, and witnesses under subpoena are given priority. General public members are allowed as space permits.
  • Attorneys and litigants should contact the court if they’re running late. Otherwise, the case could be dismissed or proceed without them.
  • Upon arriving in the courtroom, all parties must check in with the bailiff.
  • Respondents and applicants must sit as directed by the bailiff – that is, on the opposite sides of the courtroom.
  • TCIC forms and addresses should be filed simultaneously with the Application for Protective Order.
  • The determination of temporary ex-parte orders depends on the filed affidavit per the Texas Family Code. Kick Out Order requests necessitate live testimony.
  • All exhibits necessary in a hearing should be pre-marked and exchanged beforehand.
  • Upon granting a protective order, the respondent must adhere to the court’s specific orders concerning the guardianship of firearms if they possess any.
  • All the respondents must provide a photo ID and fill out a Respondent Information Form when a Protective Order is granted.
  • The court requires attorneys to file an Answer or Notice of Appearance before the hearing.
  • A reset date may be granted if a respondent has less than 48 hours’ notice.
  • Protective Order hearings run for a maximum of four hours, with each side getting two hours.
  • The court must ensure that interpreters are certified and approved before a hearing.
  • If justified, the court can appoint an Amicus.
  • Respondents directed to attend a Battering Intervention and Prevention Program must choose a court-approved one.
  • The court handles all protective order cases under the Texas Family Code Protective Orders and Criminal Protective Code Orders.
  • Applicants don’t need to be in the courtroom during the docket call. The court will have them placed in a secure location, waiting for their case to be called.

What You Should Know Before Visiting the 280th District Court

All visitors to the Criminal Justice Center must pass through a metal detector. They can also be subject to a pat-down search or search by a hand-held device. Personal items, such as briefcases and packages, must also be screened by x-ray and may be subject to additional search.

What you should know before visiting the th district court

If you plan to appear in court, allow 30 minutes for the security check. The courthouse doesn’t have childcare facilities as many courtrooms don’t allow children. Weapons and items such as pocket knives, scissors, and self-defense sprays aren’t allowed in the courthouse and should be left at home.

If you’re appearing before this court, you should make an effort to dress professionally and appropriately. The court offers reasonable accommodations for visitors with visual, hearing, or physical impairment or those who use a service animal.

Visitors should advise the security officer if they are wearing orthopedic shoes that can’t be removed or other devices attached to the body, such as a hearing aid, prosthetic limb, pacemaker, or metallic implant.

If you want to learn the details regarding visiting other courts such as the 247th district court, 315th district court, 308th district court, 310th district court, or 311th district court, read our other articles.

Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order and Protective Order Checklist in the 280th District Court

If you’re filing for a temporary ex-parte protective order or a protective order in this court, you should ensure that you include the following documents and forms in your request:

  • Application for Protective Order and Verification
  • Affidavit
  • Proposed Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order
  • Civil Process Request: Service Form 29
  • Data Entry Form for Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC)
  • Protective Order Address Form

If you’re filing a request for a protective order without a temporary ex-parte protective order, be sure to include the following documents:

  • Application for Protective Order
  • Order Setting Hearing
  • Civil Process Request: Service Form 29
  • Data Entry Form for Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC)
  • Protective Order Address Form

280th District Court Docket Schedule

The court abides by a specific docket schedule. Here is the schedule followed as of February 2020:

Monday

  • Docket call at 9 a.m.
  • Hearing of cases filed by Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) or other agencies
  • Hearing of self-represented litigants’ and private counsel’s protective order cases

Tuesday

  • Docket call at 9 a.m.
  • Hearing of protective order cases by the Harris County District Attorney
  • Hearing of cases filed by Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) or other agencies

Wednesday

  • Docket call at 9 a.m.
  • Hearing of protective order cases by the Harris County District Attorney

Thursday

  • Docket call at 9 a.m.
  • Hearing of protective order cases by the Harris County District Attorney

Friday

  • Docket call at 9 a.m.
  • Hearing of self-represented litigants’ and private counsel’s protective order cases

Conclusion

The 280th District Court handles domestic violence protective order cases. Before visiting this court, you must familiarize yourself with its policies and procedures. Here’s what you should know about the court:

    • This court is one of the many district courts in Texas and is located on the 7th floor of the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center in Houston, Texas.
  • Barbara Stalder is the presiding court judge in this district.
  • The court’s operations are governed by specific policies, procedures, and rules that may be accessed via the court’s website.
  • The court follows a specific docket schedule that always begins with a docket call at 9 a.m.

If you’re a Harris County resident and need a protective order against an abusive spouse or ex-spouse, you can get the help you need by presenting your grievances to this court.

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