House Bill 3611 and Senate Bill 690 Could Mandate Zoom Jury Trials in Traffic Court

Mar 28, 2021

Have yall reviewed HB 3611 and its companion SB 690?  This allows for remote proceedings on the motion of the court or either party for any proceeding "unless the United States Constitution or Texas Constitution requires consent."  I like this, except that it likely will be used to force ZOOM jury trials. This may violate the confrontation clause in the US 6th Amendment and the TX 10th Amendment but I cannot find any mention in either constitution that refers to consent for in-state witnesses appearing by electronic means. 

Something we need to keep an eye on. 

Eric, this may be a good bill to clarify Article 45.020 Appearance By Counsel. If the legislature is looking to streamline the process, we should push clarification that a defendant should not have to appear except for trials. 

Thoughts?

Andrew T. Hawkins | Attorney

Posted by: Pat Monks