Karyn Rueter, Courtroom Deputy
The Northern District will permit counsel to utilize a self-calendaring procedure for the scheduling of matters requiring 30 minutes or less of court time. This procedure will allow counsel to self-select available dates and times on the appropriate judge's calendar and serve notice without contacting the courtroom deputy for a hearing setting. The court strongly encourages the use of this self-calendaring procedure when appropriate. Courtroom deputies are available, by email or telephone to schedule non-self calendared hearings as needed.
The self-calendaring procedure for Judge Morris is as follows:
2. The self-calendaring procedure will not be available for the following:
After selecting an available date and time, counsel shall serve proper notice of the matter in accordance with applicable rules.
NOTE: If a motion for relief from stay is set by a party in accordance with the self-calendaring procedure more than 30 days after the date the motion is filed, the court deems that the party has waived the 30-day limitation established by 11.U.S.C. Sec. 362(e) and will enter an order to that effect if requested by debtor.
NOTE: Occasionally there may be instances where self-calendared matters are rescheduled possibly due to docket congestion or unforeseen schedule changes. In these instances, the courtroom deputy will contact counsel for the movant, as soon as possible, so that a notice of rescheduled hearing may be issued and served.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all hearings should be noticed for Room 204, U.S. Courthouse, 501 W. Tenth Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
Preliminary hearings on Motions for Relief from Stay (all chapters) will generally be heard on designated Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. on the dates listed in the table below:
Motions Filed Between
Preliminary Hearing Date
December 1, 2023 – December 11, 2023
December 27, 2023
December 12, 2023 – December 21, 2023
January 10, 2024
December 22, 2023 – January 1, 2024
January 17, 2024
January 2, 2024 – January 8, 2024
January 24, 2024
January 9, 2024 – January 18, 2024
February 7, 2024
January 19, 2024 – January 26, 2024
February 14, 2024
January 27, 2024 – February 3, 2024
February 21, 2024
February 4, 2024 – February 12, 2024
February 28, 2024
February 13, 2024 – February 20, 2024
March 13, 2024
February 21, 2024 – February 29, 2024
March 20, 2024
March 1, 2024 – March 11, 2024
March 27, 2024
March 12, 2024 – March 18, 2024
April 10, 2024
March 19, 2024 – March 28, 2024
April 17, 2024
March 29, 2024 – April 8, 2024
April 24, 2024
NOTE: For Tim Truman, all matters shall be noticed for a pre-hearing conference at 6851 N.E. Loop 820, Suite 300, North Richland Hills, TX 76180. For Pam Bassel, all matters shall be noticed for a pre-hearing conference at 7001 Blvd 26, Suite 150, North Richland Hills, TX 76180. Please obtain pre-hearing conference dates from the Chapter 13 Trustee's website at:
December 18, 2023
January 22, 2024
February 26, 2024
March 18, 2024
April 22, 2024
May 20, 2024
June 17, 2024
July 22, 2024
August 19, 2024
September 23, 2024
October 21, 2024
November 18, 2024
December 16, 2024
Trial Docket Call
Judge Morris' chambers are located at 501 W. Tenth Street, Room 206, Fort Worth, TX, 76102. His courtroom is located in Room 204 on the 2nd floor.
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Telephone inquiries to Judge Morris' chambers should be directed to the following:
Orders submitted for the court’s consideration should be uploaded in ECF and must be in compliance with the Proposed Order Specifications included in the ECF Manual. Orders requiring immediate attention should be uploaded in ECF and counsel should alert the courtroom deputy by email. It is not necessary to notify the courtroom deputy when submitting routine orders that are not time sensitive.
Disagreements over the form of orders should be submitted in writing by email directed to the courtroom deputy with copy to opposing counsel. Proposed versions of the order in pdf and Microsoft Word should be attached to the email.
Orders concerning motions that can be considered without a hearing or notice of opportunity for hearing (such as motions to extend time to file schedules and statements, motions to extend deadline to object to discharge, and motions to dismiss case by debtor in Chapter 13 cases) should be uploaded in ECF when the motion is filed.
Orders concerning motions that include negative notice language should be uploaded after the objection period expires, provided no objections have been filed.
Orders concerning motions that require a hearing should be uploaded after the court has conducted the hearing and issued a ruling.
Please allow 7-10 business days for the entry of routine orders. Inquiries regarding the status of an order should be directed to the courtroom deputy.
A complete paper copy of the pleadings listed below, including all attachments thereto, should be delivered within 24 hours of electronic filing to Judge Morris’ law clerk’s attention at 501 W. 10th Street, Room 206, Fort Worth, TX 76102-3643.
Pursuant to General Order 2023-05, subject to the discretion of the presiding judge of a particular case or proceeding to order otherwise, all hearings before the Court are currently being conducted in one of the following three ways depending upon the nature of the proceeding: (1) in a remote only mode (by video or telephone via the Court’s WebEx platform); (2) in an in-person only mode (before the Court in the courtroom); or (3) in a hybrid mode (enabling participants to choose between appearing in person or remotely). For all cases and proceedings before Judge Morris, parties and counsel are required to comply with General Order 2023-05, subject to the permitted exceptions noted herein.
Having taken into consideration repeated requests of counsel to be permitted to attend all hearings in person, even if designated as a remote only hearing pursuant to General Order 2023-05, for all cases and proceedings assigned to Judge Morris, Judge Morris has determined to permit both in person and remote attendance at all hearings designated as remote only hearings under General Order 2023-05 (i.e., all such hearings will be conducted in a hybrid mode instead of a remote only mode), provided that Judge Morris may order otherwise with respect to any particular hearing or proceeding in his discretion or for cause shown, and provided further that paragraph 4 of the Procedures for Complex Cases in the Northern District of Texas (adopted by General Order 2023-01) shall govern the conduct of first day hearings in complex chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
REMOTE ATTENDANCE INSTRUCTIONS
The policy set out below applies to remote attendance at hearings.
1. General Information. Subject to compliance with the procedures and requirements set forth herein, counsel and other parties in interest are permitted to attend and participate in hybrid hearings by remote means (i.e., by WebEx videoconference or telephonic conference) without first obtaining permission of the Court to do so. The WebEx videoconference login and WebEx telephonic conference dial-in and meeting ID are set out below:
For WebEx Video Participation/Attendance:
For WebEx Telephonic Only Participation/Attendance:
Meeting ID: 473 581 124
2. Participation/Attendance Requirements Applicable to All Remote Attendees. The following requirements are applicable to remote attendance at hearings:
a. Required Videoconference Participation; Permissibility of Telephonic Conference Attendance. For those who intend to question any witness(es) or seek the admission of any document(s) in evidence, such individuals must attend in a videoconference mode (as opposed to a telephonic conference mode). For those who do not intend to question any witnesses or seek the admission of any documents in evidence but who nevertheless intend to actively participate in the hearing, such individuals are encouraged, but not required, to attend in a videoconference mode (i.e., they may elect to participate solely in a WebEx telephonic mode). All others may attend in either a videoconference or telephonic conference mode.
b. Protocol for Joining and Attending Hearing. Remote attendees should join the WebEx hearing at least 10 minutes prior to the hearing start time. Please be advised that a hearing may already be in progress and the Court’s telephonic and videoconference lines are live. During hearings, attendees are required to keep their lines on mute at all times that they are not addressing the Court or otherwise actively participating in the hearing. The Court reserves the right to disconnect or place on permanent mute any attendee that causes any disruption to the proceedings. For general information and tips with respect to WebEx participation and attendance, please see Clerk's Notice 20-04.
3. Remote Witness Testimony. For witness testimony presented by remote means, such witness testimony must be provided with the WebEx video function activated. Witnesses are not permitted to provide testimony by telephone alone unless the Court finds cause to allow the testimony by such means (only in rare circumstances).
4. Exhibit Requirements. Any party intending to introduce documentary evidence at a hearing must file an exhibit list in the case with a true and correct copy of each designated exhibit filed as a separate, individual attachment thereto so that the Court and all participants have ready access to all designated exhibits. If the number of pages of such exhibits exceeds 100, then such party must also deliver two (2) sets of such exhibits in exhibit binders to the Court by no later than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the hearing unless counsel will be presenting the binders to the Court, in person, at the commencement of the hearing. For any witness that is to be called to testify remotely, the party calling the witness must, in advance of the hearing, supply the witness (or counsel for the witness, as appropriate) with paper copies of all designated exhibits of all parties for the hearing so that all exhibits are readily available to the witness.
5. Advisory to Counsel and Parties Electing to Participate Remotely. The Court cannot and does not guarantee that telephonic service and computer connectivity will not be interrupted during the course of a hearing. Those who elect to participate in the hearing by remote means do so at their own risk, understanding that except in extremely rare circumstances the Court will not entertain a request for continuance of the hearing based upon technological failure or any disadvantage experienced on account of an election to attend remotely instead of in person.
6. Notice to Members of the Public. Pursuant to remote access policies adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States, remote video access to Court hearings is only permitted for case participants (parties in interest and their professionals), and non-case participants are not permitted to attend any hearing by remote video means. In certain circumstances, non-case participants may be permitted to attend proceedings by remote audio means, but only if no witness testimony is to be provided. The Court may take any action deemed necessary or appropriate to address any unauthorized remote attendance at a hearing or trial. For the avoidance of doubt, members of the public will continue to generally be permitted to attend proceedings in person, in the courtroom.
Please see Clerk’s Notice 06-06 dated April 12, 2006, for requirements for motions to extend the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362 (c)(3)(B). Motions to continue or impose the automatic stay will ordinarily be set on a preliminary lift stay docket unless a special setting is needed to provide adequate notice. A list of extend stay dockets may be found at: https://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/judge-edward-l-morris-0.
Counsel should file a motion to shorten notice and upload a proposed order if allowing less than 24 days’ notice of the hearing.
Motions to reopen case for financial management course certificate or for filing the Debtor(s) Certification and Motion for Entry of Chapter 12/13 Discharge may be considered without a hearing or notice of opportunity for hearing. An order may be uploaded at the time of filing. Please use form BTXN196 located on our website. If the certificate or motion is not filed by the deadline, the case will be reclosed.
If all parties agree to continue a hearing, counsel shall notify the courtroom deputy by phone or email and request another setting. If approved, the Court's docket will be annotated to reflect the announcement and counsel will be excused from appearing at the hearing. The courtroom deputy will advise if an appearance at the originally scheduled setting is necessary. A motion for continuance is required if the hearing was set by court order. Notice of any new setting must promptly be provided.
Typically, Judge Morris' trial docket call is scheduled on the first Monday of each month at 1:30 pm. A list of trial docket call dates is available on the court’s website in the self-calendaring procedures. The judge will schedule trials at the docket call.
The courtroom deputy schedules the trial docket call and issues the Standing Scheduling Order and summons when a complaint is filed. The plaintiff’s attorney shall serve all parties with the Standing Scheduling Order, the summons and complaint. Substantive discussions regarding compromise, settlement, and stipulations are expected to have occurred prior to the docket call. Documents are also to be exchanged and marked before the docket call. Pursuant to the Standing Scheduling Order regarding adversary proceedings:
(i) A proposed joint pretrial order shall be served and filed by no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to docket call;
(ii) Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be filed by no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to docket call; and
(iii) A list of witnesses and exhibits, except for those being used for impeachment purposes, shall be filed with the court, and all designated, marked exhibits shall be exchanged by counsel, by no later than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to docket call.
Judge Morris will allow a one time, automatic 30-day agreed continuance of a trial docket call setting. This may be done by (1) filing an agreed motion to continue along with the immediate upload of a proposed agreed order and (2) notifying the courtroom deputy by email or phone of the agreement by no later than one business day prior to docket call. Any subsequent continuances are subject to court approval on motion and notice, and the Court will determine whether a hearing is necessary before ruling on the motion. Requests for continuances of more than 90 days should be set for hearing.
For all hearings and trials, please provide the court with 2 copies of all exhibits (one for the judge and one for the law clerk) in addition to any copies to be provided to opposing counsel or for use by witnesses.
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for junior lawyers to gain experience and training in courtroom skills. Accordingly, it is the policy of this Court that, where junior lawyers are familiar with the matter before the court, but are not experienced in arguing in court, they should be encouraged to attend and participate. In such circumstances, where it creates an opportunity for a junior lawyer to argue, this Court is amenable to permitting more than one lawyer to argue for a party.
Other opportunities for junior lawyers include attending and participating in first day matters in chapter 11 cases and presenting some of the motions before the court, going over the agenda with the court for cases in which more than one hearing is scheduled, and attending to other uncontested matters. On the latter point, this Court does not consider it a waste of judicial time for a junior lawyer to handle in an efficient manner an uncontested matter.