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Procedures for Judge H. Christopher Mott

Virtual Courtroom Guidelines for Users

Courtroom and Remote Hearings

How to Request Remote Appearince (WebEx or telephone) at Courtroom Hearings

Procedure for Motion to Delay Entry of Discharge

Requirements for Uploading or Submitting Proposed Orders Timely and Properly

Service on IRS - Claims Objections and Other Pleadings

Continuances

Motions to Expedite

Objection to Claim

Motions to Extend Time to File Schedules

Motions to Reset 341 Meeting

Pre-Trial Orders

Exhibit and Witness Lists

Electronic Exhibits

Miscellaneous

Forms/Links

 

Courtroom and Remote Hearings

Judge Mott conducts hearings in the following methods: (1) Courtroom (in-person); (2) remotely by WebEx; and (3) remotely by telephone. The notice of hearing issued by the Clerk’s office or the order setting the hearing will set forth whether the hearing will be conducted in the Courtroom (which means all counsel and witnesses are expected to appear in-person in the Courtroom), by WebEx (which means all counsel and witnesses are expected to appear by WebEx and not in the Courtroom), or by telephone (which means all counsel are expected to appear by telephone and not in the Courtroom).  If counsel or a party is uncertain as to the method that a hearing will be conducted, they should email the Courtroom Deputy (Ronda Farrar).

Instructions and rules for appearing at a hearing by WebEx and by telephone are set forth in the Virtual Courtroom Guidelines for Users.  

If a hearing is set to be conducted remotely by WebEx or by telephone, and instead, a party believes that an in-person hearing in the Courtroom should be conducted, counsel can request the hearing be reset in the Courtroom  as in-person hearing by emailing such request to the Courtroom Deputy (Ronda Farrar). Prior to making such request, counsel should confer whenever possible with opposing counsel regarding the request.

 

How to Request Remote Appearance (by WebEx or Telephone) at Courtroom Hearings

If a hearing is set to be conducted in the Courtroom (in-person), the Court will consider permitting counsel and parties to appear remotely (by WebEx or telephone), when appropriate and upon request. Consideration will be given to the nature and scope of the matter before the Court, the purpose of the appearance, the number of parties appearing, associated time and cost of travel, and equity to all parties, when a request to appear remotely is made.

If a hearing is set to be conducted in the Courtroom (in-person) and counsel or a party wants to attend the hearing remotely by WebEx or telephone, counsel must electronically file a Request for WebEx Appearance or a Request for Telephonic Appearance at least 48 hours before the hearing. A Request for WebEx Appearance event and a Request for Telephonic Appearance event has been created in CM/ECF as a text only entry, with no PDF attachment.  It will prompt the filer to include the reason for the request, a phone number, date and time of the hearing, and linkage to the matter being heard. If Judge Mott approves the Request, a Judge’s Notice of Party Permitted to Appear by WebEx (or Telephonically) will be entered on the docket. If Judge Mott denies the Request, a Judge’s Notice of Party Not Permitted to Appear by WebEx (or Telephonically) will be entered on the docket. Judge Mott prefers that counsel desiring to appear remotely request to appear by WebEx and not by telephone. Telephonic appearances are permissible only if counsel or a party is monitoring a hearing, has a very short announcement, or some extraordinary circumstance. Witness appearances are not permitted by telephone.  

If you are not a registered user with the Texas Western Bankruptcy Court CM/ECF system, email the Courtroom Deputy (Ronda Farrar) with your request to appear by WebEx or telephonically at a hearing set to be conducted in the Courtroom.  You will be notified by email if your request is approved or denied.

Instructions and rules for appearing at a hearing by WebEx and by telephone are set forth in the Virtual Courtroom Guidelines for Users.  

Please mute your phone line or audio connection immediately when appearing remotely by WebEx or telephone (and advise your clients of the same). Other hearings may be in progress and you do not want to interrupt other hearings. Once your case is called, you may unmute your phone line or audio connection when the Court requests appearances or requests you to speak. If appearing by telephone, please state your name each time before you speak.  If a technological problem develops, the hearing may continue in the Courtroom without the participation of those appearing remotely. Accordingly, persons choosing to remotely attend a hearing being conducted in the Courtroom do so at their own risk.  

IMPORTANT NOTE--if a hearing has been set and noticed to be conducted by WebEx or by telephone, it is not necessary for counsel or a party to request to appear by WebEx or by telephone.

 

Requirement for Uploading or Submitting Proposed Orders Timely and Properly

An electronic filer MUST UPLOAD a proposed order by electronic means using the Court’s Order Upload feature in the electronic filing system, at the time that any motion, application, objection to claim, and other request for relief is filed in any main bankruptcy case or any adversary proceeding. This requirement also applies to pleadings filed over the counter or by mail. Failure to timely and properly upload or submit a proposed order will result in the respective pleading being dismissed for non-compliance. See Order Adopting New Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing entered on November 30, 2004(Section IV, E, ¶1, p. 16) entered by the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas; Local Bankruptcy Rule 9013(a).

 

Continuances

Per Local Rule 9014(f):

  1. a motion to continue a hearing must be filed at least THREE business days prior to the hearing date, or state the nature of the emergency making it impossible to have filed it by that date;
  2. the motion must state good cause for the continuance;
  3. the motion must contain a certificate of conference reflecting efforts to confer with affected parties regarding the relief requested or the reasons why conferring was not possible or practical;
  4. the motion should state with as much detail as possible the length of the continuance requested or the date or range of dates requested for the continued hearing;
  5. the motion must be served on interested parties including those parties known or expected to participate in the hearing, who must be served electronically, by facsimile or by some other method reasonably calculated to provide immediate notice and the certificate of service demonstrating notice shall be filed with the motion;
  6. an agreement of the parties by itself is not good cause for a continuance. Unless the Court grants the motion for continuance prior to the hearing, all parties are required to appear at the scheduled hearing.

In addition, to obtain a continuance of a hearing before Judge Mott:

  1. a proposed form of order granting the continuance must be uploaded (in the Expedite category via E-Orders) when the motion is filed;
  2. the movant must email the Courtroom Deputy when the motion is filed to notify her of the filing;
  3. when notified by the Courtroom Deputy that the motion is granted, the movant must immediately provide notice of the continuance to all interested parties, and per Local Rule 9014(f), within seven days, must file a certificate of service reflecting that notice.

 

 Motions to Expedite
 

Per Local Rule 9014(e), unless otherwise provided by order:

  1. a motion to expedite a hearing or consideration of a matter must state good cause for expediting
  2. the motion must be filed as a separate pleading from the matter which is requested to be expedited
  3. the motion must contain a certificate of conference reflecting efforts to confer with affected parties regarding the relief requested or the reasons why conferring was not possible or practical. Failure to include a certificate of conference may result in dismissal of the motion due to non-compliance with Local Rule 9014(e).

See Form Motion to Expedite

In addition, to obtain an expedited hearing from, or expedited consideration by, Judge Mott:

  1. the underlying motion that is requested to be expedited should NOT contain the negative notice permitted under Local Rule 9014(a)
  2. a proposed form of order granting the motion to expedite, in substantially the form provided below (see Form Order Granting Expedited Hearing), must be uploaded when the motion to expedite is filed
  3. the movant must email the Courtroom Deputy when the motion to expedite is filed, to notify her of the filing
  4. when notified by the Courtroom Deputy that the motion is granted, the movant must provide notice of the continuance to all interested parties and per Local Rule 9014(e), within seven days, must file a certificate of service reflecting that notice

Objection to Claim

The proposed order must include the claim number in the title of the order and claimant’s name and address (see Form Order Granting Objection to Claim).

Motions to Extend Time to File Schedules

Rule 1007(c) allows for an extension of time in which to file schedules and statement of financial affairs for cause shown. The procedure for requesting an extension of time is as follows:

  1. Provide a specific date deadline for the extension of time in both the motion and the proposed order. The deadline request should be no less than seven (7) calendar days prior to the 341 meeting date.
  2. Do not use negative notice (i.e. 21 days) in motions to extend time to file schedules (the suspense time will run after the extension deadline, which does not give the trustee and creditors sufficient time to prepare and/or respond).

Motions to Reset 341 Meeting

All requests to continue a 341 meeting should be submitted to the trustee’s office prior to seeking a continuance of the meeting. Please refer to the Court's Standing Order and In re Requejo.

Pre-Trial Orders

Judge Mott expects that all parties will timely file a Joint Pre-Trial Order in all adversary proceedings as set forth in the Scheduling Order and Local Rule 7016(c).

Exhibit and Witness Lists

Exhibit and Witness Lists should be timely designated and exchanged by the parties for all contested matters within 5 days before the hearing and all adversary proceedings as provided by Local Rule 7016(g). At the time such Exhibit and Witness Lists are exchanged, counsel for the designating party shall file the Exhibit and Witness Lists (without copies of the exhibits) with the Court. Judge Mott expects parties to discuss and, to the extent possible, stipulate on admission of exhibits prior to the hearing or trial.

Electronic Exhibits

Courtroom #2 (Judge Mott’s Austin Courtroom) and the El Paso Courtroom are equipped with HDMI cables to allow attorneys to display electronic exhibits and demonstrative presentations on the Court’s TV monitors. Electronic exhibits also will be displayed on screens on the witness stand and on the bench.
Parties wishing to use electronic exhibits simply need to bring their computer or electronic device to the courtroom and connect it to one of the Court’s HDMI cables, one of which is available at each counsel table and the podium. Most PCs support HDMI connectivity. Apple Computers, iPads, and other tablets are also compatible with this system, but they require additional components to connect that are not supplied by the Court.
Any party wishing to use electronic exhibits should test their computer on the Court’s system at least one day prior to the first time they plan to present. Parties who attend court regularly only need to conduct this test once. To coordinate a time to come to the courtroom and test the system, please email the Courtroom Deputy.

What do you need to bring to court for electronic presentation:

  • Your laptop, notebook and/or tablet
  • Two CDs or USB drives and one hard copy (bound and tabbed) for Judge Mott and extra copies for opposing counsel (for their electronic presentation or viewing).  
  • Adapters needed to connect to the HDMI cables ( i.e. iPad, HDMI, Apple)

What I need to prepare prior to court:

  • Let affected parties know that electronic exhibits will be used for hearing.
  • Save your exhibit folder to your desktop for quick access or be able to readily access your exhibit folder from a USB drive or both.
  • Prepare CDs/USB drives - Save all pleadings to CD/USB in PDF and OCR format.  Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a technology that enables you to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data. (The court requires PDF; you may use other format that allows you to make your presentation in the desired manner from your laptop/ipad/notebook.)
    • Label each pdf at top and/or bottom of page (i.e. Exhibit 1; pg. 1 of 4)
    • Include a witness and exhibit list (the witness and exhibit list should also be filed on the docket)
    • Save PDF (label files with description  as listed on witness and exhibit list)
    • Include any presentation (i.e. power point) file, if used.
    • Add labeled exhibits to CD/USB drive
  • Label the CD and CD cover or place the USB drive in an envelope with the following information on it:
    • Indicate whose exhibits (i.e. Plaintiff’s  Exhibits 1-10)
    • Caption of the case
    • Matter being heard
    • Date of hearing
    • Number of exhibits on CD/USB drive and if more than one CD/USB drive (i.e.  Exhibits #1 -10, Vol. 1 of 2).
  • DO NOT COMBINE multiple cases on one CD/USB drive.

On the day of the hearing:
ARRIVE AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO COURT TO TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT (Courtroom Deputy needs to do a quick virus scan of the CDs being provided for the court’s use)

  • Connect to a HDMI cable at either one of the counsel cables and/or at the podium
  • Toggle your screen to “duplicate” (some devices might automatically toggle and display on video monitors)
  • Have a clean monitor screen (no personal file folders visible)
  • Turn off email/messaging notification
  • Turn off sound on laptop/ipad/notebook (for notifications, i.e. airplane mode)
  • Perform a test run of the exhibits with the Courtroom Deputy

While giving your presentation:
When ready to display your exhibits, parties will need to request access to display their exhibits. Parties in the courtroom view exhibits on the video monitors.

  • Narrate while displaying exhibits to make the record clear
    • Indicate which exhibit is being displayed on the monitor
    • Indicate which page number of the exhibit (i.e. Exhibit 1 page 4 of 10) is being shown
  • Technical Recess
    • You may request a standing recess  for trouble shooting issues

REMINDER: COURT STAFF CANNOT PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR NON-COURT EQUIPMENT

Miscellaneous

Forms/Links

Standing Order for Chapter 13 Case Administration For Austin Division
Form Order Granting Expedited Hearing
Form Order Granting Continuance
Form Order Granting Delay of Discharge
Form Order Approving Disclosure Statement (Austin) (updated 2/3/2020)
Form Order Conditional Approval Disclosure Statement SMB (Austin) updated 2/3/2030)
Form Order Approving Disclosure Statement (El Paso) (updated 2/3/2020)
Form Order Conditional Approval Disclosure Statement SMB (El Paso) (updated 2/3/2020)
Form Approved Form of Protective Order