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Subchapter D

SUBCHAPTER D. ADMINISTRATION BY COUNTY

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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)  if requested by the courts the judge serves, establish and maintain the lists required by Section 37.003 and ensure appointments are made from the lists in accordance with Section 37.004;

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

(13)  establish a court security committee to adopt security policies and procedures for the courts served by the local administrative district judge that is composed of:

(A)  the local administrative district judge, or the judge’s designee, who serves as presiding officer of the committee;

(B)  a representative of the sheriff’s office;

(C)  a representative of the county commissioners court;

(D)  one judge of each type of court in the county other than a municipal court or a municipal court of record;

(E)  a representative of any county attorney’s office, district attorney’s office, or criminal district attorney’s office that serves in the applicable courts; and

(F)  any other person the committee determines necessary to assist the committee.

(b)  A court security committee may recommend to the county commissioners court the uses of resources and expenditures of money for courthouse security, but may not direct the assignment of those resources or the expenditure of those funds.

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 (S.B. 1369), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1223 (S.B. 1876), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 190 (S.B. 42), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 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)  other strategies for managing cases that require special judicial attention;

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

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

(c-1)  The rules may provide for the establishment and maintenance of the lists required by Section 37.003, including the establishment and maintenance of more than one of a list required by that section that is categorized by the type of case, such as family law or probate law, and the person’s qualifications.

(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 (H.B. 1831), Sec. 5.02, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1281 (H.B. 1861), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 7.03, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1223 (S.B. 1876), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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 (S.B. 1189), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 74.0971.  LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT JUDGE FOR CORYELL COUNTY.  Notwithstanding Section 74.091(b), the local administrative district judge for Coryell County is selected on the basis of seniority from the district judges of the 52nd Judicial District and the 440th Judicial District.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1182 (S.B. 1139), Sec. 2.03(c), eff. September 1, 2015.

 

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