By Hartnett                                           H.B. No. 1235
       74R5072 RJA-D
                                 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-1                                AN ACT
    1-2  relating to special judges elected by the practicing lawyers of the
    1-3  statutory probate courts in Dallas County.
    1-5        SECTION 1.  Subchapter C, Chapter 25, Government Code, is
    1-6  amended by adding Section 25.0596 to read as follows:
    1-7        Sec. 25.0596.  SPECIAL STATUTORY PROBATE JUDGE.  (a)  If the
    1-8  judge of a statutory probate court in Dallas County fails or
    1-9  refuses to hold the court, the practicing lawyers of the court who
   1-10  are present may elect one of their number special judge to hold the
   1-11  court and proceed with its business.  The lawyers may hold
   1-12  additional elections at any time to supply a judge during the
   1-13  absence, failure, or inability of the regular judge or a special
   1-14  judge to perform the duties of the office.
   1-15        (b)  To conduct the election, the sheriff or constable shall
   1-16  publicly proclaim at the courthouse door that the practicing
   1-17  lawyers who are present are about to elect a special judge of the
   1-18  statutory probate court.  Following the proclamation, the clerk
   1-19  shall make a list of the practicing lawyers who are present, and
   1-20  the lawyers shall organize and hold the election.  If the sheriff,
   1-21  constable, or clerk fails or refuses to act, the practicing lawyers
   1-22  who are present may organize themselves into an electoral body and
   1-23  appoint a sheriff and clerk pro tempore to perform the respective
   1-24  duties of the sheriff and clerk.
    2-1        (c)  Each practicing lawyer in attendance may participate in
    2-2  the election and cast one vote by ballot.  A majority of the votes
    2-3  of the lawyers who participate is necessary to elect a special
    2-4  judge.
    2-5        (d)  The clerk shall enter a record of the election of the
    2-6  special judge in the minutes of the court.  The record must show:
    2-7              (1)  the names of all the practicing lawyers who were
    2-8  present and participated in the election;
    2-9              (2)  that a public proclamation that the election was
   2-10  about to take place was made at the courthouse door;
   2-11              (3)  the number of ballots cast at the election, the
   2-12  number of votes for each person, and the result of the election;
   2-13  and
   2-14              (4)  that the oath prescribed by law was administered
   2-15  to the special judge.
   2-16        (e)  A record of election proceedings that substantially
   2-17  comply with the requirements of the law is conclusive evidence of
   2-18  the election and qualification of a special judge.
   2-19        SECTION 2.  Section 25.0595(e), Government Code, is repealed.
   2-20        SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
   2-21  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   2-22  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
   2-23  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   2-24  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
   2-25  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
   2-26  passage, and it is so enacted.