Law:Title 2. Judicial Branch. Subtitle F. Court Administration from Chapter 72. Office Of Court Administration (Texas)

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Subtitle F. Court Administration

Contents

Chapter 72. Office Of Court Administration

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  72.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Court" means any tribunal forming a part of the judiciary.

(2)  "Director" means the administrative director of the courts appointed as provided by this chapter.

(3)  "Office" means the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.

(4)  "Trial court" means any tribunal forming a part of the judiciary, except the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, and the courts of appeals, but does not include the commissioners court of a county.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.83(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.002.  Effect On Judicial Discretion.

This chapter or a rule adopted by the supreme court under Section 74.024 does not authorize an infringement of the judicial discretion of a judge in the trying of a case properly before his court.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.84(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Subchapter B. Administrative Provisions

Section  72.011.  Office Of Court Administration.

(a) The office of court administration is an agency of the state and operates under the direction and supervision of the supreme court and the chief justice of the supreme court.

(b)  The office shall exercise the powers and perform the duties or functions imposed on the office by this chapter or the supreme court.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.85(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.012.  Director.

(a) The director shall:

(1)  implement this chapter and direct the operations of the office of court administration; and

(2)  as an additional duty of his office, serve as the executive director of the Texas Judicial Council.

(b)  The director shall devote full time to his official duties.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.86(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter C. Powers And Duties

Section  72.021.  Budget; Expenditures.

(a) The director shall prepare and submit an estimated budget for the appropriation of funds necessary for the maintenance and operation of the judicial system.

(b)  The director shall study and recommend expenditures and savings of funds appropriated for the maintenance and operation of the judicial system.

(c)  The office may award a grant of money to a local or state governmental entity in the judicial branch of local or state government to fund programs that:

(1)  are approved by the Judicial Committee on Information Technology under Chapter 77; and

(2)  provide technological support for the judiciary.

(d)  At the end of each fiscal year, the office shall file with the Legislative Budget Board a report on the amount, recipient, and purpose for each grant awarded under Subsection (c).  All money expended under a grant awarded under Subsection (c) is subject to audit by the comptroller and the state auditor.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.87(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 73, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  72.022.  Personnel.

(a) The director, with the approval of the chief justice of the supreme court, shall employ the personnel needed to administer the office, including personnel needed for the Texas Judicial Council.

(b)  The office shall provide staff functions necessary for the efficient operation of the Texas Judicial Council.

(c)  This chapter does not limit the authority of a court to appoint clerical personnel.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  72.023.  Consultation And Assistance.

(a) The director shall assist the justices and judges in discharging their administrative duties.

(b)  The director shall consult with the regional presiding judges and local administrative judges and assist them in discharging duties imposed by law or by a rule adopted by the supreme court.

(c)  The director, to provide for the efficient administration of justice, shall consult with and assist:

(1)  court clerks;

(2)  other court officers or employees; and

(3)  clerks or other officers or employees of offices related to and serving a court.

(d)  The director, to provide for uniform administration of the courts and efficient administration of justice, shall consult with and make recommendations to administrators and coordinators of the courts.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.88(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.024.  Methods; Recommendations.

(a) The director shall examine the judicial dockets, practices, and procedures of the courts and the administrative and business methods or systems used in the office of a clerk of a court or in an office related to and serving a court.

(b)  The director shall recommend:

(1)  a necessary improvement to a method or system;

(2)  a form or other document used to record judicial business; or

(3)  any other change that will promote the efficient administration of justice.

(c)  The director shall recommend to the supreme court appropriate means to implement this chapter.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.89(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.025.  Annual Report.

(a) The director shall prepare an annual report of the activities of the office.

(b)  The report must be published in the annual report of the Texas Judicial Council.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  72.026.  Rules.

The director, under the supervision of the chief justice, shall implement a rule of administration or other rules adopted by the supreme court for the efficient administration of justice.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.90(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.027.  Additional Duties.

The supreme court or the chief justice of the supreme court may assign the director duties in addition to those imposed by this chapter.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.91(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  72.028.  Gifts, Grants, And Donations.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the office may request, accept, and administer gifts, grants, and donations from any source to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(b)  The office may not request, accept, or administer a gift, grant, or donation from a law firm, an attorney, an employee of a law firm or attorney, or the spouse of an attorney or of an employee of a law firm or an attorney.

(c)  In this section, "law firm" means a partnership, limited liability partnership, or professional corporation organized for the private practice of law.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 183, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 72.030.  Collection Of Data Relating To Judicial Turnover.

(a) The office biennially shall collect data relating to:

(1)  the rate at which state judges resign from office or do not seek reelection; and

(2)  the reason for action under Subdivision (1).

(b)  Not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year, the office shall file a report containing the data collected under Subsection (a) for the preceding state fiscal biennium with the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the presiding officers of the standing committees of each house of the legislature with jurisdiction over the judiciary or appropriations.

(c)  The report filed under Subsection (b) must include the following findings:

(1)  whether the compensation of state judges exceeds, is equal to, or is less than the compensation of judges at corresponding levels in the five states closest in population to this state; and

(2)  whether the compensation of state judges exceeds, is equal to, or is less than the average salary of lawyers engaged in the private practice of law.

(d)  The purpose of filing the report with the legislature is to provide the legislature with information to facilitate legislation that ensures that the compensation of state judges is adequate and appropriate.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., 2nd C.S., Ch. 3, Sec. 8, eff. December 1, 2005.



Subchapter D. Judicial Law Clerk And Staff Attorney Recruitment

Section  72.041.  Diversity.

The judges of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, and courts of appeals shall encourage the recruitment of judicial law clerks and staff attorneys that reflect the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of this state.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.042.  Demographic Census.

(a) The office shall annually publish a report regarding the demographic profile of the judicial law clerks and attorneys employed by the courts of this state.

(b)  The office may request that a court provide demographic information to the office.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter E. Court Performance Standards

Section  72.081.  Rules.

The office shall adopt rules and forms for administering this subchapter and for obtaining information under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.082.  Performance Report.

The office shall annually collect and publish a performance report of information regarding the efficiency of the courts of this state.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.083.  Trial Courts.

The office shall report the aggregate clearance rate of cases for the district courts. In this section, "clearance rate" means the number of cases disposed of by the district courts divided by the number of cases added to the dockets of the district courts.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.084.  Court Of Appeals.

A court of appeals shall annually report to the office:

(1)  the number of cases filed with the court during the reporting year;

(2)  the number of cases disposed of by the court during the reporting year;

(3)  for active cases on the docket of the court on the reporting date, the average number of days from the date of submission of the case to the court until the reporting date; and

(4)  for each case disposed of during the reporting year by the court, the number of days from the date of submission of the case to the court until the date of disposition of the case by the court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.085.  Court Of Criminal Appeals.

The court of criminal appeals shall annually report to the office:

(1)  the number of cases filed with the court during the reporting year involving:

(A)  capital punishment;

(B)  an application for writ of habeas corpus; or

(C)  a petition for discretionary review;

(2)  the number of cases disposed of by the court during the reporting year involving:

(A)  capital punishment;

(B)  an application for writ of habeas corpus; or

(C)  a petition for discretionary review;

(3)  the average number of days from the date a case was filed with the court until the reporting date, for each active case on the docket of the court on the reporting date involving:

(A)  capital punishment;

(B)  an application for writ of habeas corpus; or

(C)  a petition for discretionary review; and

(4)  the average number of days from the date a case was filed with the court until the date the case was disposed of by the court, for each case disposed of during the reporting year by the court involving:

(A)  capital punishment;

(B)  an application for writ of habeas corpus; or

(C)  a petition for discretionary review.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  72.086.  Supreme Court.

(a) The supreme court shall annually report to the office:

(1)  the number of cases filed with the court during the reporting year;

(2)  the number of cases disposed of by the court during the reporting year;

(3)  for the active cases on the docket of the court on the reporting date, the average number of days from the date a case was filed with the court until the reporting date; and

(4)  for the cases disposed of during the reporting year by the court, the average number of days from the date a case was filed with the court until the date of release of the court's opinion for the case or the date the case was otherwise disposed of by the court.

(b)  For cases on the docket of the court during the reporting year, the supreme court shall annually report to the office:

(1)  the average number of days from the date a case is filed with the court until the date the court releases an order announcing its decision granting, overruling, denying, or dismissing an application, petition, or motion;

(2)  the average number of days from the date of the granting of an application, petition, or motion until the date of oral argument of the case;

(3)  the average number of days from the date of the oral argument of the case until the date the court issues a signed opinion and judgment for the case; and

(4)  the average number of days from the date of filing of a case with the court until the date of the release of a per curiam opinion.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 72.087.  Capital Trials.

(a) The office shall annually collect and publish a report of information regarding cases involving the trial of a capital offense.

(b)  The report must include:

(1)  the contents of the trial court's charge to the jury; and

(2)  the sentence issued in each case.

(c)  Not later than the 30th day after the date the judgment of conviction or acquittal is entered in a case involving the trial of a capital offense, the judge or clerk of the court shall submit to the office a written record of the case containing the information required by Subsection (b).

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.


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