1-1  By:  Hartnett (Senate Sponsor - Leedom)               H.B. No. 1235
    1-2        (In the Senate - Received from the House April 3, 1995;
    1-3  April 4, 1995, read first time and referred to Committee on
    1-4  Jurisprudence; April 26, 1995, reported favorably by the following
    1-5  vote:  Yeas 6, Nays 0; April 26, 1995, sent to printer.)
    1-6                         A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-7                                AN ACT
    1-8  relating to special judges elected by the practicing lawyers of the
    1-9  statutory probate courts in Dallas County.
   1-11        SECTION 1.  Subchapter C, Chapter 25, Government Code, is
   1-12  amended by adding Section 25.0596 to read as follows:
   1-13        Sec. 25.0596.  SPECIAL STATUTORY PROBATE JUDGE.  (a)  If the
   1-14  judge of a statutory probate court in Dallas County fails or
   1-15  refuses to hold the court, the practicing lawyers of the court who
   1-16  are present may elect one of their number special judge to hold the
   1-17  court and proceed with its business.  The lawyers may hold
   1-18  additional elections at any time to supply a judge during the
   1-19  absence, failure, or inability of the regular judge or a special
   1-20  judge to perform the duties of the office.
   1-21        (b)  To conduct the election, the sheriff or constable shall
   1-22  publicly proclaim at the courthouse door that the practicing
   1-23  lawyers who are present are about to elect a special judge of the
   1-24  statutory probate court.  Following the proclamation, the clerk
   1-25  shall make a list of the practicing lawyers who are present, and
   1-26  the lawyers shall organize and hold the election.  If the sheriff,
   1-27  constable, or clerk fails or refuses to act, the practicing lawyers
   1-28  who are present may organize themselves into an electoral body and
   1-29  appoint a sheriff and clerk pro tempore to perform the respective
   1-30  duties of the sheriff and clerk.
   1-31        (c)  Each practicing lawyer in attendance may participate in
   1-32  the election and cast one vote by ballot.  A majority of the votes
   1-33  of the lawyers who participate is necessary to elect a special
   1-34  judge.
   1-35        (d)  The clerk shall enter a record of the election of the
   1-36  special judge in the minutes of the court.  The record must show:
   1-37              (1)  the names of all the practicing lawyers who were
   1-38  present and participated in the election;
   1-39              (2)  that a public proclamation that the election was
   1-40  about to take place was made at the courthouse door;
   1-41              (3)  the number of ballots cast at the election, the
   1-42  number of votes for each person, and the result of the election;
   1-43  and
   1-44              (4)  that the oath prescribed by law was administered
   1-45  to the special judge.
   1-46        (e)  A record of election proceedings that substantially
   1-47  comply with the requirements of the law is conclusive evidence of
   1-48  the election and qualification of a special judge.
   1-49        SECTION 2.  Section 25.0595(e), Government Code, is repealed.
   1-50        SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
   1-51  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   1-52  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
   1-53  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   1-54  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
   1-55  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
   1-56  passage, and it is so enacted.
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