SLS COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Student Legal Services is still fully operational and accessible to students enrolled for Spring 2020, with minimal changes:

-We are available Monday through Friday, 8:00am through 5:00pm

-Our office will be fully virtual beginning Wednesday 3/25/2020

-All consultations will be held via phone or Zoom

-Open Legal Clinic will still be held on Wednesdays from 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:00pm. On Wednesdays, students will have the chance for a same-day appointment. If an attorney is meeting with another client when a student calls, we will gather information from the student and will schedule them an “appointment” for later in the day, which might be as soon as a few minutes after they call

-Follow-up appointments (or appointments for new clients who cannot meet on Wednesdays) are held on Mondays and Thursdays

Important Update for DACA Petitioners:

On March 30, 2020 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers (ASC) to the public response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency's ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.

Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics. This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public.

USCIS Update:

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public. 

USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date, and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if the office in your jurisdiction has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center. 

Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 website. Continue to practice good health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and wash hands and clean surfaces appropriately. 

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Please also visit uscic.gov/coronavirus for updates.

 

Guidance on Court Proceedings from Governor Greg Abbott

  • The Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals Third Emergency Order has prohibited conducting non-essential proceedings in person contrary to local, state, and national directives, whichever is most restrictive, regarding maximum group size. The limitation on group size would apply the local stay-at-home or shelter in place order standards to court proceedings.
  • In-person proceedings of any size should be delayed until at least June 1.
  • Essential proceedings should occur in-person only if holding the proceeding remotely is not possible or feasible.
  • If essential proceedings must be held in-person, the court should ensure that:
    • No more than 10 persons are gathered in the courtroom or in areas around the courtroom (see exception below);
    • Participants wear face coverings where possible; and
    • Participants in the courtroom are separated consistent with social distancing and other precautions.
  • EXCEPTION: Essential proceedings may occur in-person in excess of the 10-person maximum if the law requires more than 10 persons for the proceedings, such as grand jury deliberations. Participants should be separated consistent with social distancing and should wear face coverings where possible.
  • No non-essential proceedings should be held in-person.
  • With the introduction of the remote proceedings capability through Zoom, most non-essential proceedings, except for jury trials, can be conducted remotely, and there are no limitations on those remote proceedings so long as reasonable notice and access is provided to the participants and the public.

For more information, visit https://rebrand.ly/txcourts or contact us at 940-565-2614 or studentlegal@unt.edu

 

 

COVID-19 Resources

Have legal questions regarding COVID-19? Email us!

-Any student who needs assistance or accommodations may contact the office at 940-565-2614 (phone) 940-369-8652 (TTY) or studentlegal@unt.edu

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