Law:Title 2. Judicial Branch. Subtitle F. Court Administration from Chapter 74. Court Administration Act (Texas)

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Subtitle F. Court Administration

Contents

Chapter 74. Court Administration Act

Subchapter A. Chief Justice

Section  74.001.  Meetings.

(a) The chief justice shall call and preside over an annual meeting of the presiding judges of the administrative judicial regions on a date and at a time and place in the state designated by the chief justice.

(b)  The chief justice may call and convene additional meetings of the regional presiding judges or local administrative judges that he considers necessary for the promotion of the orderly and efficient administration of justice.

(c)  At the meetings, the judges shall:

(1)  study the statistics reflecting the condition of the dockets of the courts of the state to determine the need for the assignment of judges under Subchapter C;

(2)  compare the regional and local rules of court to achieve the uniformity of rules that is practicable and consistent with local conditions;

(3)  consider uniformity in the administration of this chapter in the various administrative regions; and

(4)  promote more effective administration of justice through the use of this chapter.

(d)  The expenses of the judges attending these meetings shall be paid as provided by Sections 74.043 and 74.061.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.003.  Assignment Of Justices And Judges For Appellate Courts.

(a) The chief justice of the supreme court may temporarily assign a justice of a court of appeals to another court of appeals regardless of whether a vacancy exists in the court of appeals to which the justice is assigned.

(b)  The chief justice of the supreme court may assign a qualified retired justice or judge of the supreme court, of the court of criminal appeals, or of a court of appeals to a court of appeals for active service regardless of whether a vacancy exists in the court to which the justice is assigned. To be eligible for assignment under this subsection, a retired justice or judge must:

(1)  have served as an active justice or judge for at least 96 months in a district, statutory probate, statutory county, or appellate court, with at least 48 of those months in an appellate court;

(2)  not have been removed from office;

(3)  certify under oath to the chief justice of the supreme court, on a form prescribed by the chief justice, that:

(A)  the justice or judge has never been publicly reprimanded or censured by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct; and

(B)  the justice or judge:

(i)  did not resign or retire from office after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct notified the justice or judge of the commencement of a full investigation into an allegation or appearance of misconduct or disability of the justice or judge as provided in Section 33.022 and before the final disposition of that investigation; or

(ii)  if the justice or judge did resign from office under circumstances described by Subparagraph (i), the justice or judge was not publicly reprimanded or censured as a result of the investigation;

(4)  annually demonstrate that the justice or judge has completed in the past state fiscal year the educational requirements for active appellate court justices or judges; and

(5)  certify to the chief justice of the supreme court a willingness not to appear and plead as an attorney in any court in this state for a period of two years.

(c)  An active or retired justice or judge assigned as provided by this section out of the county of his residence is entitled to receive the same expenses and per diem as those allowed a district judge assigned as provided by Subchapter C. The state shall pay the expenses and per diem on certificates of approval by the chief justice of the supreme court or the chief justice of the court of appeals to which the justice or judge is assigned. The compensation authorized by this subsection is in addition to all other compensation authorized by law.

(d)  An active justice assigned out of the county of his residence as provided by this section is entitled to receive, pro rata for the time serving on assignment, supplemental compensation from the county or counties paying supplemental compensation under Chapter 31 to an associate justice of the court of appeals to which the justice is assigned.

(e)  A retired justice or judge assigned as provided by this section is entitled to receive, pro rata for the time serving on assignment, from money appropriated from the general revenue fund for that purpose, an amount equal to the compensation received from state and county sources by a justice of the court of appeals to which assigned.

(f)  For the purposes of Subsection (b)(1), a month of service is calculated as a calendar month or a portion of a calendar month in which a justice or judge was authorized by election or appointment to preside.

(g)  Subsection (b)(1) does not apply to a retired justice of the supreme court.

(h)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an active district court judge may be assigned to hear a matter pending in an appellate court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 1, 7, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 7, 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.004.  Supervision Of Office Of Court Administration.

The chief justice shall direct and supervise the office of court administration.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.005.  Appointment Of Regional Presiding Judges.

(a) The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint one judge in each administrative region as presiding judge of the region.

(b)  On the death, resignation, or expiration of the term of office of a presiding judge, the governor immediately shall appoint or reappoint a presiding judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.006.  Supreme Court Duties.

The chief justice shall ensure that the supreme court executes and implements the court's administrative duties and responsibilities under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.007.  Committees.

The chief justice, subject to the approval of the supreme court, shall name and appoint members to committees necessary or desirable for the efficient administration of justice or to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter B. Supreme Court

Section  74.021.  Supervisory And Administrative Control.

The supreme court has supervisory and administrative control over the judicial branch and is responsible for the orderly and efficient administration of justice.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.022.  Changes In Number Of Courts.

(a) The supreme court shall assess the need for adding, consolidating, eliminating, or reallocating existing appellate courts.

(b)  The supreme court shall promulgate rules, regulations, and criteria to be used in assessing those needs.

(c)  The supreme court shall recommend to the regular session of the legislature convening in the third year following the year in which the federal decennial census is taken any needed changes in the number or allocation of those courts.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 639, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  74.023.  Director Of Office Of Court Administration.

(a) The supreme court shall appoint the administrative director of the courts for the office of court administration.

(b)  The director serves at the pleasure of the supreme court and shall be subordinate to, and act by the authority and under the direction of, the chief justice.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.024.  Rules.

(a) The supreme court may adopt rules of administration setting policies and guidelines necessary or desirable for the operation and management of the court system and for the efficient administration of justice.

(b)  The supreme court shall request the advice of the court of criminal appeals before adopting rules affecting the administration of criminal justice.

(c)  The supreme court may consider the adoption of rules relating to:

(1)  nonbinding time standards for pleading, discovery, motions, and dispositions;

(2)  nonbinding dismissal of inactive cases from dockets, if the dismissal is warranted;

(3)  attorney's accountability for and incentives to avoid delay and to meet time standards;

(4)  penalties for filing frivolous motions;

(5)  firm trial dates;

(6)  restrictive devices on discovery;

(7)  a uniform dockets policy;

(8)  formalization of settlement conferences or settlement programs;

(9)  standards for selection and management of nonjudicial personnel;

(10)  transfer of related cases for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings; and

(11)  the conducting of proceedings under Rule 11, Rules of Judicial Administration, by a district court outside the county in which the case is pending.

(d)  Any rules adopted under this section remain in effect unless and until disapproved by the legislature. The clerk of the supreme court shall file with the secretary of state the rules or any amendments to the rules adopted by the supreme court under this section and shall mail a copy of the rules and any amendments to each registered member of the State Bar not later than the 120th day before the date on which they become effective. The supreme court shall allow a period of 60 days for review and comment on the rules and any amendments. The clerk of the supreme court shall report the rules or amendments to the rules to the next regular session of the legislature by mailing a copy of the rules or amendments to the rules to each elected member of the legislature on or before December 1 immediately preceding the session.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 8.001, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  74.025.  Education Programs.

The court of criminal appeals shall, if adequate funding is available for education programs for judges and court personnel, ensure that adequate education programs are available on an equitable basis for judges and court personnel of courts created under the constitution and laws of this state.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 896, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



Subchapter C. Administrative Judicial Regions

Section  74.041.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Administrative region" means an administrative judicial region created by Section 74.042.

(2)  "Presiding judge" means the presiding judge of an administrative region.

(3)  "Retiree" means a person who has retired under the Judicial Retirement System of Texas, the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One, or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two.

(4)  "Active judge" means a person who is a current judicial officeholder.

(5)  "Former judge" means a person who has served as an active judge in a district, statutory probate, statutory county, or appellate court, but who is not a retired judge.

(6)  "Retired judge" means:

(A)  a retiree; or

(B)  a person who served as an active judge for at least 96 months in a statutory probate or statutory county court and has retired under the Texas County and District Retirement System.

(7)  "Senior judge" means a retiree who has elected to be a judicial officer under Section 75.001.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.001 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.042.  Administrative Regions.

(a) The state is divided into nine administrative judicial regions.

(b)  The First Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Anderson, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Collin, Dallas, Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood.

(c)  The Second Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Angelina, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Chambers, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, Robertson, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington, and Wharton.

(d)  The Third Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Austin, Bell, Blanco, Bosque, Burnet, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hays, Hill, Lampasas, Lavaca, Llano, McLennan, Milam, Navarro, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson.

(e)  The Fourth Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Bexar, Calhoun, DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Webb, Wilson, Zapata, and Zavala.

(f)  The Fifth Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Starr, and Willacy.

(g)  The Sixth Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Bandera, Brewster, Crockett, Culberson, Edwards, El Paso, Gillespie, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Mason, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Real, Sutton, Terrell, Upton, Uvalde, and Val Verde.

(h)  The Seventh Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Andrews, Borden, Brown, Callahan, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Fisher, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Haskell, Howard, Irion, Jones, Kent, Loving, Lynn, Martin, McCulloch, Menard, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Nolan, Reeves, Runnels, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Sterling, Stonewall, Taylor, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Ward, and Winkler.

(i)  The Eighth Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Archer, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, Wichita, Wise, and Young.

(j)  The Ninth Administrative Judicial Region is composed of the counties of Armstrong, Bailey, Baylor, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Floyd, Foard, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Hutchinson, King, Knox, Lamb, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Terry, Wheeler, Wilbarger, and Yoakum.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.002 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 623, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 43, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  74.043.  Facilities; Funding.

(a) Adequate quarters for the operation of each administrative region and the preservation of its records shall be provided in the courthouse of the county in which the presiding judge resides.

(b)  Except for the salaries, compensation, and expenses provided by state appropriations, the counties composing the administrative region shall pay, out of the general funds of the counties, the salaries, compensation, and expenses authorized and incurred to administer this chapter, including expenses for the purchase of professional liability insurance policies for regional presiding judges.

(c)  Except as provided by Section 74.051, the salaries, compensation, and expenses shall be paid through the county budget process of each county in the region in proportion to the population of the counties comprising the region and on certificates of approval of the presiding judge.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.003 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.02, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.



Section  74.044.  Term Of Presiding Judge.

A presiding judge serves for a term of office of four years from the date of qualification as the presiding judge.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.012 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.045.  Qualifications Of Presiding Judge.

(a) A presiding judge must be at the time of appointment:

(1)  a regularly elected or retired district judge;

(2)  a former judge with at least 12 years of service as a district judge; or

(3)  a retired appellate judge with judicial experience on a district court.

(b)  If the judge is retired, he must have voluntarily retired from office, must reside within the administrative region, and must have certified his willingness to serve.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.013 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 656, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.



Section  74.046.  Duties Of Presiding Judge.

A presiding judge shall:

(1)  ensure the promulgation of regional rules of administration within policies and guidelines set by the supreme court;

(2)  advise local judges on case flow management and auxiliary court services;

(3)  recommend to the chief justice of the supreme court any needs for judicial assignments from outside the region;

(4)  recommend to the supreme court any changes in the organization, jurisdiction, operation, or procedures of the region necessary or desirable for the improvement of the administration of justice;

(5)  act for a local administrative judge when the local administrative judge does not perform the duties required by Subchapter D;

(6)  implement and execute any rules adopted by the supreme court under this chapter;

(7)  provide the supreme court or the office of court administration statistical information requested; and

(8)  perform the duties assigned by the chief justice of the supreme court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.047.  Authority Of Presiding Judge.

A presiding judge may perform the acts necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and to improve the management of the court system and the administration of justice.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.048.  Council Of Judges.

(a) Once each year, the presiding judge shall call a regular meeting of the district and statutory county court judges in the administrative region at a time and place designated by the presiding judge. In addition, the presiding judge may call a special meeting of the judges at any time he considers necessary.

(b)  The purposes of the meetings or council of judges are consultation and counseling concerning the state of the civil and criminal business in the courts of the administrative region and arranging for the disposition of the business pending on the court dockets.

(c)  The council of judges shall adopt:

(1)  regional rules of administration within policies and guidelines set by the supreme court;

(2)  rules to regulate and facilitate the order of trials and the recordkeeping in the counties in the region in which judges are sent from one region to another to aid the disposition of cases; and

(3)  other rules necessary to the practical operation of this chapter.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.015 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.049.  Performance Of Duties By Chief Justice.

The chief justice may make assignments within an administrative region and perform the other duties of a presiding judge in the following situations:

(1)  on the death or resignation of the presiding judge and until a successor presiding judge is appointed;

(2)  on notification to the chief justice by the presiding judge or other appropriate source that an absence, disabling illness, or other incapacity of the presiding judge prevents the judge from performing his official duties for a period of time and until the presiding judge is again able to perform the duties; and

(3)  in a particular matter in which the presiding judge disqualifies himself from performing the duties of presiding judge in that matter.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.016 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.050.  Administrative Assistant.

(a) The presiding judge may employ, directly or through a contract with another governmental entity, a full-time or part-time administrative assistant.

(b)  An administrative assistant must have the qualifications established by rule of the supreme court.

(c)  An administrative assistant shall aid the presiding judge in carrying out the judge's duties under this chapter. The administrative assistant shall:

(1)  perform the duties that are required by the presiding judge and by the rules of administration;

(2)  conduct correspondence for the presiding judge;

(3)  under the direction of the presiding judge, make an annual report of the activities of the administrative region and special reports as provided by the rules of administration to the supreme court, which shall be made in the manner directed by the supreme court; and

(4)  attend to other matters that are prescribed by the council of judges.

(d)  An administrative assistant, with the approval of the presiding judge, may purchase the necessary office equipment, stamps, stationery, and supplies and employ additional personnel as authorized by the presiding judge.

(e)  An administrative assistant is entitled to receive the compensation from the state provided by the General Appropriations Act, from county funds, or from any public or private grant.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.017 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.051.  Compensation.

(a) In addition to all other compensation, expenses, and perquisites authorized by law, including this chapter, a presiding judge shall receive compensation as provided by this section for performing the duties of a presiding judge.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a presiding judge shall receive a salary not to exceed $33,000 a year.  The Texas Judicial Council shall set the salary biennially and, in arriving at the amount of the salary, shall consider whether the presiding judge is active in administrative duties, performs part time, or is a retired judge.  The salary set by the Texas Judicial Council shall be apportioned to each county in the region according to the population of the counties comprising the region and shall be paid through the county budget process.

(c)  A presiding judge who is a retired or former district judge or a retired appellate judge and who presides over an administrative region with 30 or more district courts, statutory county courts, and retired and former judges named on the list maintained under Section 74.055 for the administrative region is entitled to an annual salary for each fiscal year as follows:

Number of Courts and Judges     Salary

30 to 49                  $35,000

50 to 69                  $40,000

70 to 89                  $45,000

90 or more                $50,000

(d)  The salary shall be apportioned to each county in the region according to the population of the counties comprising the region.

(e)  Each county comprising the administrative region shall pay annually to the presiding judge, out of the officers' salary fund or the general fund of the county, the amount of the salary apportioned to it as provided by this section and the other expenses authorized by this chapter that are not paid by state appropriations. The presiding judge shall place each county's payment of salary and other expenses in an administrative fund, from which the salary and other expenses shall be paid. The salary shall be paid from the administrative fund in 12 equal monthly payments.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.018 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 656, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 294, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 258, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  74.052.  Assignment Of Judges.

(a) Judges may be assigned in the manner provided by this chapter to hold court when necessary to dispose of accumulated business in the region.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.13, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.031 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.13, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.053.  Objection To Judge Assigned To A Trial Court.

(a) When a judge is assigned to a trial court under this chapter:

(1)  the order of assignment must state whether the judge is an active, former, retired, or senior judge; and

(2)  the presiding judge shall, if it is reasonable and practicable and if time permits, give notice of the assignment to each attorney representing a party to the case that is to be heard in whole or part by the assigned judge.

(b)  If a party to a civil case files a timely objection to the assignment, the judge shall not hear the case. Except as provided by Subsection (d), each party to the case is only entitled to one objection under this section for that case.

(c)  An objection under this section must be filed not later than the seventh day after the date the party receives actual notice of the assignment or before the date the first hearing or trial, including pretrial hearings, commences, whichever date occurs earlier. The presiding judge may extend the time to file an objection under this section on written motion by a party who demonstrates good cause.

(d)  An assigned judge or justice who was defeated in the last primary or general election for which the judge or justice was a candidate for the judicial office held by the judge or justice may not sit in a case if either party objects to the judge or justice.

(e)  An active judge assigned under this chapter is not subject to an objection.

(f)  For purposes of this section, notice of an assignment may be given and an objection to an assignment may be filed by electronic mail.

(g)  In this section, "party" includes multiple parties aligned in a case as determined by the presiding judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 8.37(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 270, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.054.  Judges Subject To Assignment.

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), the following judges may be assigned as provided by this chapter by the presiding judge of the administrative region in which the assigned judge resides:

(1)  an active district, constitutional county, or statutory county court judge in this state;

(2)  a senior judge who has consented to be subject to assignment and who is on the list maintained by the presiding judge under this chapter;

(3)  a former district or appellate judge, retired or former statutory probate court judge, or retired or former statutory county court judge who certifies to the presiding judge a willingness to serve and who is on the list maintained by the presiding judge as required by this chapter;

(4)  a retiree or a former judge whose last judicial office before retirement was justice or judge of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals and who has been assigned by the chief justice to the administrative judicial region in which the retiree or former judge resides for reassignment by the presiding judge of that region to a district or statutory county court in the region; and

(5)  an active judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals who has had trial court experience.

(b)  An active statutory county court judge may not be assigned to hear a matter pending in a district court outside the county of the judge's residence.

(c)  A constitutional county court judge may only be assigned to sit for another constitutional county court judge and must be a licensed attorney in this state.

(d)  A retired judge of a statutory probate court may also qualify for assignment under Section 25.0022.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.032 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 82, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 179, Sec. 2(d)(1), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 726, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 16, Sec. 8.04, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 298, Sec. 2, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1305, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.055.  List Of Retired And Former Judges Subject To Assignment.

(a) Each presiding judge shall maintain a list of retired and former judges who meet the requirements of this section.

(b)  The presiding judge shall divide the list into area specialties of criminal, civil, or domestic relations cases. A retired or former judge may only be assigned to a case in the judge's area of specialty. A judge may qualify for assignment in more than one area of specialty.

(c)  To be eligible to be named on the list, a retired or former judge must:

(1)  have served as an active judge for at least 96 months in a district, statutory probate, statutory county, or appellate court;

(2)  have developed substantial experience in the judge's area of specialty;

(3)  not have been removed from office;

(4)  certify under oath to the presiding judge, on a form prescribed by the state board of regional judges, that:

(A)  the judge has never been publicly reprimanded or censured by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct; and

(B)  the judge:

(i)  did not resign or retire from office after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct notified the judge of the commencement of a full investigation into an allegation or appearance of misconduct or disability of the judge as provided in Section 33.022 and before the final disposition of that investigation; or

(ii)  if the judge did resign from office under circumstances described by Subparagraph (i), was not publicly reprimanded or censured as a result of the investigation;

(5)  annually demonstrate that the judge has completed in the past state fiscal year the educational requirements for active district, statutory probate, and statutory county court judges; and

(6)  certify to the presiding judge a willingness not to appear and plead as an attorney in any court in this state for a period of two years.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 15.

(e)  For purposes of Subsection (c)(1), a month of service is calculated as a calendar month or a portion of a calendar month in which a judge was authorized by election or appointment to preside.

(f)  A former or retired judge is ineligible to be named on the list if the former or retired judge is identified in a public statement issued by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct as having resigned or retired from office in lieu of discipline.

(g)  A former or retired judge named on the list shall immediately notify the presiding judge of a full investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct into an allegation or appearance of misconduct or disability by the judge. A judge who does not notify the presiding judge of an investigation as required by this subsection is ineligible to remain on the list.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 8.38, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 82, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 8, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 16, Sec. 8.05, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 3 to 5, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 298, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 12, 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.0551.  Certification Of Willingness Not To Appear And Plead As An Attorney.

(a) The two-year period provided for in Section 74.055(c)(6) is from January 1 of one year through December 31 of the next year.

(b)   An initial certification of willingness not to appear and plead made before the judge leaves active service extends through December 31 of the year following the year in which the judge leaves active service. An initial certification made after the judge leaves active service extends through December 31 of the year following the year in which the certification is made.

(c)  The person's second and subsequent certifications begin on the January 1 following the year in which the initial certification ends and each second January 1 thereafter, unless a written revocation is filed with the presiding judge not later than the 30th day before the date the revocation takes effect. A revocation may not take effect until the completion of the initial certification period under Subsection (b).

(d)  If a revocation is not filed, recertification for subsequent two-year periods takes effect by operation of law.

(e)  A revocation may be rescinded and a certification of willingness not to appear and plead reinstated only on written request to the presiding judge and with the consent of the presiding judge.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 10, Sec. 1, eff. April 12, 1995.



Section  74.056.  Assignment By Presiding Judge.

(a) A presiding judge from time to time shall assign the judges of the administrative region to hold special or regular terms of court in any county of the administrative region to try cases and dispose of accumulated business.

(b)  The presiding judge of one administrative region may request the presiding judge of another administrative region to furnish judges to aid in the disposition of litigation pending in a county in the administrative region of the presiding judge who makes the request.

(c)  The presiding judge of an administrative region may appoint a judge in the region to serve as acting presiding judge in the absence of the presiding judge. An acting presiding judge has all the rights, duties, and powers of the presiding judge.

(d)  In addition to an assignment under Sections 74.003, 75.002, and 75.003, the chief justice of the supreme court may assign a retiree or a former judge whose last judicial office before retirement was justice or judge of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals to the administrative judicial region in which the retiree or former judge resides for reassignment by the presiding judge of that region to a district or statutory county court in the region. The reassignment by a presiding judge is subject to the requirements of Section 74.055. The assignment of a retiree or former judge by the chief justice to the administrative region continues only during the period for which the retiree or former judge has certified a willingness to serve under Section 74.0551.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.033 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section  74.057.  Assignment By Chief Justice.

(a) In addition to the assignment of judges by the presiding judges as authorized by this chapter, the chief justice may assign judges of one or more administrative regions for service in other administrative regions when he considers the assignment necessary to the prompt and efficient administration of justice.

(b)  A judge assigned by the chief justice shall perform the same duties and functions authorized by this chapter that the judge would perform if he were assigned by the presiding judge.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.034 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.058.  Duty To Serve When Assigned.

(a) Except as provided by this chapter, a judge assigned by the presiding judge to a court in the same administrative region, or to a court in another administrative region at the request of the presiding judge of the other administrative region, shall serve in the court or administrative region to which he is assigned.

(b)  The presiding judge of a judge's administrative region may relieve the judge of an assignment on presentation of good cause in writing by the assigned judge to the presiding judge.

(c)  If the presiding judge refuses to relieve a judge from assignment after receiving from the judge a written statement declining the assignment for good cause, the judge may, not later than the fifth day after refusal by the presiding judge, petition the chief justice for relief from the assignment for good cause. The chief justice may grant or refuse a petition for relief from assignment at his discretion.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.035 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.059.  Powers And Duties.

(a) A judge assigned under the provisions of this chapter has all the powers of the judge of the court to which he is assigned.

(b)  A judge shall extend the regular terms of the court, or call the special terms, that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter and to dispose of pending litigation. If a term is extended, the other terms of the court may be opened and held as usual, and a term of court in that district does not fail because of the extension. By entering an order on the minutes of the court, the judge of a district court or statutory county court or a judge assigned by the presiding judge may convene a special term of the court for the trial of cases, the entry of orders, and the disposition of the business before the court.

(c)  A district, statutory probate, or statutory county court judge shall:

(1)  diligently discharge the administrative responsibilities of the office;

(2)  rule on a case within 90 days after the case is taken under advisement;

(3)  request the presiding judge to assign another judge to hear a motion relating to the recusal of the judge from a case pending in his court; and

(4)  if an election contest or a suit for the removal of a local official is filed in his court, request the presiding judge to assign another judge who is not a resident of the county to hold a regular or special term of court in that county to dispose of the suit.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.036 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 298, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  74.060.  Limitation On Assignment.

(a) An active judge may not, without the judge's consent, be assigned out of the judge's district or county for more than 10 calendar days in a year.

(b)  An active judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals may not be assigned if the judge or justice has served 14 or more days as a visiting judge under this chapter in the year in which the assignment is to be made. This subsection applies only to an initial assignment to a case and does not affect a judge's or justice's continuing to sit in a particular case.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 726, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1305, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  74.061.  Compensation While Assigned.

(a) The salary, compensation, and expenses of a judge or justice while assigned under this chapter shall be paid in accordance with this chapter and other law of this state.

(b)  While serving in a county outside his judicial district or county, a judge is entitled to receive, in addition to his necessary expenses, additional compensation from the county to which he is assigned in an amount not to exceed the difference between the compensation of the assigned judge from all sources, exclusive of the per diem provided by Subsection (f), and the compensation received from all sources by the judge of the court to which he is assigned. The county shall pay the compensation provided by this subsection on approval of the presiding judge of the administrative region in which the court to which the judge is assigned is located.

(c)  The salary of a retired judge or justice while assigned under this chapter shall be paid out of money appropriated from the general revenue fund for that purpose in an amount equal to the compensation received from state and county sources of the judge of the court to which he is assigned. The salary of a retired judge or justice while assigned shall be determined pro rata for the period of time that the judge or justice actually sits as the assigned judge. The salary of a retired statutory county court judge assigned under this chapter to serve in a district court shall be paid by the state in the same manner as the salary of a retired district judge assigned under this chapter to serve in a district court is paid by the state.

(d)  For services actually performed while assigned under this chapter, a retired or former judge or justice shall receive from county funds and money appropriated by the legislature the same amount of salary, compensation, and expenses that the regular judge is entitled to receive from the county and from the state for those services. The presiding judge of the administrative region shall certify to the county and the state the services rendered under this chapter by a retired or former judge or justice and the share to be paid by the state. The amount certified by the presiding judge as the state's share shall be paid from an item in the Judicial Section--Comptroller's Department of the General Appropriations Act for the payment of salaries of district and criminal district judges.

(e)  When a district, statutory probate, constitutional county, or statutory county court judge is assigned under this chapter to a court outside his own district or county, the judge, in addition to all other compensation authorized by law, is entitled to receive his actual expenses in going to and returning from his assignment and his actual living expenses while in the performance of his duties under the assignment. The county in which the duties are performed shall pay the expenses out of the general fund of the county on accounts certified and approved by the presiding judge of the administrative region for that county.

(f)  When a district, statutory probate, constitutional county, or statutory county court judge is assigned under this chapter to a court outside his own district or county, the judge, in addition to all other compensation and expenses authorized by law, is entitled to receive a per diem of $25 for each day or fraction of a day that the judge spends outside his district or county in the performance of his duties under the assignment. The state shall pay the per diem in the same manner that it pays the judge's salary on certificates of approval by the chief justice or the presiding judge of the administrative region in which the judge resides.

(g)  An active judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, or a court of appeals assigned under this subchapter is not entitled to receive any additional compensation for serving as a visiting judge. A court of appeals justice assigned to a court outside his own court of appeals district, a justice of the supreme court, or a judge of the court of criminal appeals is entitled to receive actual expenses in going to and returning from assignment and actual living expenses while in the performance of duties under the assignment. The county in which the duties are performed shall pay the expenses out of the county's general fund on accounts certified and approved by the presiding judge of the administrative region for that county.

(h)  Notwithstanding Subsection (c), the salary from the state of a retired judge or justice assigned to a district court is determined pro rata on the sum of the regular judge's salary from the county plus the greater of:

(1)  the regular judge's salary from the state on August 31, 2007; or

(2)  100 percent of the regular judge's salary from the state, as established by the General Appropriations Act for any fiscal year.

(i)  Notwithstanding Subsection (d), the salary from the state of a former judge or justice assigned to a district court is determined pro rata on the greater of:

(1)  the regular judge's salary from the state on August 31, 2007; or

(2)  100 percent of the regular judge's salary from the state, as established by the General Appropriations Act for any fiscal year.

(j)  A judge or justice who sits as an assigned judge for half a day or less shall be compensated in an amount that is equal to one-half of the amount to which a judge or justice is entitled for sitting as an assigned judge for a full day under this section.

(k)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a former, retired, or active judge is not entitled to compensation paid by the state when the judge sits as an assigned judge for a statutory county court.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.037 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 82, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 11, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 726, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 6, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 298, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1166, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1305, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 299, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1184, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 315, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1364, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  74.062.  Expenses At Meetings.

A judge who is required to attend an annual or special meeting prescribed by this chapter, or an educational course required by law, in addition to all other compensation allowed by law, is entitled to receive his actual travel expenses going to and returning from the place of the meeting or course and his actual expenses while attending the meeting or course.

Renumbered from Sec. 74.038 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter D. Administration By County

Section  74.091.  Local Administrative District Judge.

(a) There is a local administrative district judge in each county.

(b)  In a county with two or more district courts the judges of those courts shall elect a district judge as local administrative district judge for a term of not more than two years. The local administrative district judge may not be elected on the basis of rotation or seniority.

(c)  In a county with only one district judge, the district judge serves as the local administrative district judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 12, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section  74.0911.  Local Administrative Statutory County Court Judge.

(a) There is a local administrative statutory county court judge in each county that has a statutory county court.

(b)  In a county with two or more statutory county courts, the judges of those courts shall elect a statutory county court judge as local administrative statutory county court judge for a term of not more than two years. A local administrative statutory county court judge may not be elected on the basis of rotation or seniority.

(c)  In a county with only one statutory county court, the statutory county court judge serves as the local administrative statutory county court judge.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 13, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section 74.092.  Duties Of Local Administrative Judge.

(a) A local administrative judge, for the courts for which the judge serves as local administrative judge, shall:

(1)  implement and execute the local rules of administration, including the assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearing of cases;

(2)  appoint any special or standing committees necessary or desirable for court management and administration;

(3)  promulgate local rules of administration if the other judges do not act by a majority vote;

(4)  recommend to the regional presiding judge any needs for assignment from outside the county to dispose of court caseloads;

(5)  supervise the expeditious movement of court caseloads, subject to local, regional, and state rules of administration;

(6)  provide the supreme court and the office of court administration requested statistical and management information;

(7)  set the hours and places for holding court in the county;

(8)  supervise the employment and performance of nonjudicial personnel;

(9)  supervise the budget and fiscal matters of the local courts, subject to local rules of administration;

(10)  coordinate and cooperate with any other local administrative judge in the district in the assignment of cases in the courts' concurrent jurisdiction for the efficient operation of the court system and the effective administration of justice;

(11)  establish and maintain a list of all attorneys qualified to serve as an attorney ad litem; and

(12)  perform other duties as may be directed by the chief justice or a regional presiding judge.

(b)  A list of attorneys ad litem maintained under Subsection (a)(11) must contain the names of all attorneys who:

(1)  meet any statutory or other requirements to serve as an attorney ad litem; and

(2)  have registered to serve as attorney ad litem with a court for which the judge maintaining the list serves as local administrative judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 14, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 68, eff. Oct. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  74.093.  Rules Of Administration.

(a) The district and statutory county court judges in each county shall, by majority vote, adopt local rules of administration.

(b)  The rules must provide for:

(1)  assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearing of all cases, subject to jurisdictional limitations of the district courts and statutory county courts;

(2)  designation of court divisions or branches responsible for certain matters;

(3)  holding court at least once a week in the county unless in the opinion of the local administrative judge sessions at other intervals will result in more efficient court administration;

(4)  fair and equitable division of caseloads; and

(5)  plans for judicial vacation, sick leave, attendance at educational programs, and similar matters.

(c)  The rules may provide for:

(1)  the selection and authority of a presiding judge of the courts giving preference to a specified class of cases, such as civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law cases;

(2)  a coordinated response for the transaction of essential judicial functions in the event of a disaster; and

(3)  any other matter necessary to carry out this chapter or to improve the administration and management of the court system and its auxiliary services.

(d)  Rules relating to the transfer of cases or proceedings shall not allow the transfer of cases from one court to another unless the cases are within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred. When a case is transferred from one court to another as provided under this section, all processes, writs, bonds, recognizances, or other obligations issued from the transferring court are returnable to the court to which the case is transferred as if originally issued by that court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 15, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1280, Sec. 5.02, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1281, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  74.094.  Hearing Cases.

(a) A district or statutory county court judge may hear and determine a matter pending in any district or statutory county court in the county regardless of whether the matter is preliminary or final or whether there is a judgment in the matter. The judge may sign a judgment or order in any of the courts regardless of whether the case is transferred. The judgment, order, or action is valid and binding as if the case were pending in the court of the judge who acts in the matter. The authority of this subsection applies to an active, former, or retired judge assigned to a court having jurisdiction as provided by Subchapter C.

(b)  The judges shall try any case and hear any proceeding as assigned by the local administrative judge.

(c)  The clerk shall file, docket, transfer, and assign the cases as directed by the local administrative judge in accordance with the local rules.

(d)  Judges of district courts and statutory county courts may serve as masters and magistrates of courts, other than their own, subject to other provisions of law and court rules.

(e)  A judge who has jurisdiction over a suit pending in one county may, unless objected to by any party, conduct any of the judicial proceedings except the trial on the merits in a different county.

(f)  A pretrial judge assigned to hear pretrial matters in related cases under Rule 11, Texas Rules of Judicial Administration, may hold pretrial proceedings and hearings on pretrial matters for a case to which the judge has been assigned in:

(1)  the county in which the case is pending; or

(2)  a county in which there is pending a related case to which the pretrial judge has been assigned.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 8.40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 179, Sec. 2(d)(2), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1551, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  74.096.  Terms Of Court.

The terms of all courts covered by this subchapter begin on the first Monday in January and the first Monday in July of each year, except as may otherwise be provided by law. Each term of court continues until the next succeeding term begins.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section 74.097.  Local Administrative District Judge For Blanco, Burnet, Llano, And San Saba Counties.

Notwithstanding Section 74.091(b), the local administrative district judge for Blanco, Burnet, Llano, and San Saba Counties is selected on the basis of seniority from the district judges of the 33rd Judicial District and the 424th Judicial District.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1352, Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 74.098.  Appointment Of Attorneys Ad Litem; Maintenance Of List. (a)

Except as provided by Subsection (b), in each case in which the appointment of an attorney ad litem is necessary, a court shall appoint the attorney whose name appears first on the list of attorneys ad litem maintained by the local administrative judge for that court as required by Section 74.092.

(b)  The court may appoint an attorney included on the list whose name does not appear first on the list or an attorney not included on the list if the appointment of that attorney as attorney ad litem is:

(1)  required on a complex matter because the attorney possesses relevant specialized education, training, certification, or skill;

(2)  made pursuant to the Family Code, Health and Safety Code, Human Resources Code, Texas Trust Code (Subtitle B, Title 9, Property Code), or Texas Probate Code; or

(3)  agreed on by the parties and approved by the court.

(c)  After an attorney has been appointed as an attorney ad litem from the list, the local administrative judge shall place that attorney's name at the end of the list.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter E. Court Coordinators

Section  74.101.  Court Coordinators.

(a) The local administrative judge and each district or statutory county court judge may establish a court coordinator system and appoint a court coordinator for his court to improve justice and expedite the processing of cases through the courts.

(b)  Each court coordinator serves at the pleasure of the judge who appointed him.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.102.  Duties.

(a) The courts by local administrative rule shall designate the duties of the court coordinators.

(b)  To promote uniform and efficient administration of justice in this state, the court coordinators shall cooperate with regional presiding and local administrative judges and state agencies having duties in the area of the operation of the courts.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.103.  Staff.

The courts may appoint appropriate staff and support personnel according to the needs in each county.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.104.  Compensation.

(a) The judges shall determine reasonable compensation for the court coordinators, subject to approval of the commissioners court.

(b)  Upon approval by the commissioners court of the position and compensation, the commissioners court of the county shall provide the necessary funding through the county's budget process. County funds may be supplemented in whole or part through public or private grants.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.105.  Other Law.

This subchapter does not affect other provisions of law relating to the pay and duties of court administrators, court managers, and court coordinators.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  74.106.  Continuing Education.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a court coordinator of a district court or statutory county court shall annually complete 16 hours of continuing education as provided by rules adopted by the court of criminal appeals under Chapter 56.

(b)  The court of criminal appeals may not require a court coordinator to complete continuing education instruction during a year in which the judge or commissioners court of the county employing the court coordinator certifies to the court of criminal appeals that state and local funds are not available for the court coordinator's continuing education.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 45, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter F. Transfer Of Cases And Exchange Of Benches Between Certain Courts

Section  74.121.  Transfer Of Cases; Exchange Of Benches.

(a) The judges of constitutional county courts, statutory county courts, justice courts, and small claims courts in a county may transfer cases to and from the dockets of their respective courts, except that a case may not be transferred from one court to another without the consent of the judge of the court to which it is transferred and may not be transferred unless it is within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred. The judges of those courts within a county may exchange benches and courtrooms with each other so that if one is absent, disabled, or disqualified, the other may hold court for him without the necessity of transferring the case. Either judge may hear all or any part of a case pending in court and may rule and enter orders on and continue, determine, or render judgment on all or any part of the case without the necessity of transferring it to his own docket. A judge may not sit or act in a case unless it is within the jurisdiction of his court. Each judgment and order shall be entered in the minutes of the court in which the case is pending.

(b)(1) The judge of a statutory county court may transfer a case to the docket of the district court, except that a case may not be transferred without the consent of the judge of the court to which it is being transferred and may not be transferred unless it is within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred.

(2)  Notwithstanding Subdivision (1), in matters of concurrent jurisdiction, a judge of a statutory county court in Midland County and a judge of a district court in Midland County may exchange benches and courtrooms with each other and may transfer cases between their dockets in the same manner that judges of district courts exchange benches and transfer cases under Section 24.303.

(c)  When a case is transferred from one court to another as provided by this section, all processes, writs, bonds, recognizances, or other obligations issued from the transferring court are returnable to the court to which the case is transferred as if originally issued by that court. The obligees in all bonds and recognizances taken in and for a court from which a case is transferred, and all witnesses summoned to appear in a court from which a case is transferred, are required to appear before the court to which the case is transferred as if originally required to appear before the court to which the transfer is made.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 2.93(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 646, Sec. 16, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 654, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter G. Defense Of Judges

Section  74.141.  Defense Of Judges.

The attorney general shall defend a state district judge, a presiding judge of an administrative region, or an active, retired, or former judge assigned under this chapter in any action or suit in any court in which the judge is a defendant because of his office as judge if the judge requests the attorney general's assistance in the defense of the suit.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 674, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter H. Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation

Section  74.161.  Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation.

(a) The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation consists of five members designated from time to time by the chief justice of the supreme court. The members of the panel must be active court of appeals justices or administrative judges.

(b)  The concurrence of three panel members is necessary to any action by the panel.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.162.  Transfer Of Cases By Panel.

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation may transfer civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact pending in the same or different constitutional courts, county courts at law, probate courts, or district courts to any district court for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings, including summary judgment or other dispositive motions, but not for trial on the merits. A transfer may be made by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation on its determination that the transfer will:

(1)  be for the convenience of the parties and witnesses; and

(2)  promote the just and efficient conduct of the actions.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.163.  Operation; Rules. (a

) The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation must operate according to rules of practice and procedure adopted by the supreme court under Section 74.024. The rules adopted by the supreme court must:

(1)  allow the panel to transfer related civil actions for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings;

(2)  allow transfer of civil actions only on the panel's written finding that transfer is for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the actions;

(3)  require the remand of transferred actions to the transferor court for trial on the merits; and

(4)  provide for appellate review of certain or all panel orders by extraordinary writ.

(b)  The panel may prescribe additional rules for the conduct of its business not inconsistent with the law or rules adopted by the supreme court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  74.164.  Authority To Preside.

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a judge who is qualified and authorized by law to preside in the court to which an action is transferred under this subchapter may preside over the transferred action as if the transferred action were originally filed in the transferor court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter I. Judge Presiding Over Multidistrict Litigation

Section 74.201.  Staff.

A district judge who presides over multidistrict litigation involving claims for asbestos-related or silica-related injuries may appoint one briefing attorney and not more than three clerks to assist the judge.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 393, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.


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