By Montford S.B. No. 32
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to venue for civil actions.
1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-4 SECTION 1. Section 15.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
1-5 is amended to read as follows:
1-6 Sec. 15.001. VENUE: GENERAL RULE. Except as otherwise
1-7 provided by this subchapter or Subchapter B or C, all lawsuits
1-8 shall be brought:
1-9 (1) in the county in which all or part of the cause of
1-10 action accrued; <
1-11 (2) in the county of defendant's residence if
1-12 defendant is a natural person; or
1-13 (3) in the county of the defendant's principal place
1-14 of business in this state, if the defendant is not a natural
1-16 SECTION 2. Subchapter B, Chapter 15, Civil Practice and
1-17 Remedies Code, is amended by adding Sections 15.0115, 15.018, and
1-18 15.019 to read as follows:
1-19 Sec. 15.0115. LANDLORD-TENANT. (a) A suit between a
1-20 landlord and a tenant arising under a lease shall be brought in the
1-21 county in which all or a part of the real property is located.
1-22 (b) To the extent of any conflict between this section and
1-23 another statute governing venue for a suit subject to Subsection
1-24 (a), this section controls unless the other statute expressly
2-1 states that this section does not apply.
2-2 (c) In this section, "lease" means any written or oral
2-3 agreement between a landlord and a tenant that establishes or
2-4 modifies the terms, conditions, or other provisions relating to the
2-5 use and occupancy of the real property that is the subject of the
2-7 Sec. 15.018. PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.
2-8 (a) A suit for damages for personal injury, death, or property
2-9 damage shall be brought in the county in which the personal injury,
2-10 injury causing death, or property damage occurred.
2-11 (b) To the extent of any conflict between this section and
2-12 another statute governing venue for a suit subject to Subsection
2-13 (a), this section controls unless the other statute expressly
2-14 states that this section does not apply.
2-15 Sec. 15.019. JOINDER OF DEFENDANTS. (a) Except as provided
2-16 by Subsection (b), if two or more parties are joined as defendants
2-17 in the same action, the action shall be brought in the county in
2-18 which all or part of the cause of action accrued.
2-19 (b) If venue under Sections 15.001(2) and (3) for each
2-20 defendant joined in the action is in the same county, the action
2-21 may be brought in that county.
2-22 (c) This section does not apply to an action governed by
2-23 another section of this subchapter.
2-24 SECTION 3. Sections 15.032 and 15.033, Civil Practice and
2-25 Remedies Code, are amended to read as follows:
2-26 Sec. 15.032. INSURANCE. Suit against fire, marine, or
2-27 inland insurance companies may also be commenced in any county in
3-1 which the insured property was situated. A suit on a policy may be
3-2 brought against any life insurance company, or accident insurance
3-3 company, or life and accident, or health and accident, or life,
3-4 health, and accident insurance company in the county in which the
3-5 company's principal place of business in this state < home office of
3-6 the company> is located or in the county in which the loss has
3-7 occurred or in which the policyholder or beneficiary instituting
3-8 the suit resided at the time the cause of action accrued < resides>.
3-9 Sec. 15.033. BREACH OF WARRANTY BY MANUFACTURER. A suit for
3-10 breach of warranty by a manufacturer of consumer goods may be
3-11 brought in the < any> county in which the manufacturer's principal
3-12 place of business in this state is located < in which all or a part
3-13 of the cause of action accrued, in any county in which the
3-14 manufacturer may have an agency or representative, in the county in
3-15 which the principal office of the company may be situated,> or in
3-16 the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time the cause of
3-17 action accrued < or plaintiffs reside>.
3-18 SECTION 4. Section 15.035, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
3-19 is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to
3-20 read as follows:
3-21 (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), if a party
3-22 < person> has contracted in writing to perform an obligation in a
3-23 particular county, expressly naming the county or a definite place
3-24 in that county by that writing, suit on or by reason of the
3-25 obligation may be brought against that party < him> either in:
3-26 (1) that county;
3-27 (2) < or in> the county of defendant's residence if
4-1 defendant is a natural person; or
4-2 (3) in the county of the defendant's principal place
4-3 of business in this state, if the defendant is not a natural person
4-4 < in which the defendant has his domicile>.
4-5 (c) The parties to a written contract may agree in writing
4-6 to exclusive venue in the county of the residence or principal
4-7 place of business of either party or in the county in which the
4-8 contract is to be performed. An agreement under this subsection
4-9 must appear in a conspicuous place and in a conspicuous manner in
4-10 the contract. This subsection does not apply to a contract arising
4-11 out of or based on a consumer obligation or consumer transaction
4-12 for goods, a service, a loan, or an extension of credit intended
4-13 primarily for personal, family, household, or agricultural use.
4-14 SECTION 5. Subchapter C, Chapter 15, Civil Practice and
4-15 Remedies Code, is amended by adding Section 15.041 to read as
4-17 Sec. 15.041. LIBEL, SLANDER, OR INVASION OF PRIVACY. A suit
4-18 for damages for libel, slander, or invasion of privacy may be
4-19 brought in the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time
4-20 the cause of action accrued.
4-21 SECTION 6. Section 15.061, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
4-22 is amended to read as follows:
4-23 Sec. 15.061. JOINDER OF < DEFENDANTS OR> CLAIMS. (a) Two
4-24 < When two> or more < parties are joined as defendants in the same
4-25 action or two or more> claims or causes of action may be < are>
4-26 properly joined in one action only if:
4-27 (1) the claims or causes of action arose, in whole or
5-1 in part, in the same county; and
5-2 (2) venue as to each defendant for each claim or cause
5-3 of action under Sections 15.001(2) and (3) is in the same county.
5-4 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a claim or cause of
5-5 action that < and the court has venue of an action or claim against
5-6 any one defendant, the court also has venue of all claims or
5-7 actions against all defendants unless one or more of the claims or
5-8 causes of action> is governed by one of the provisions of
5-9 Subchapter B requiring transfer of the claim or cause of action
5-10 shall be transferred, on proper objection, to the mandatory county.
5-11 SECTION 7. Chapter 15, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
5-12 amended by adding Subchapter F to read as follows:
5-13 SUBCHAPTER F. TRANSFER OF MULTICOUNTY CASES
5-14 Sec. 15.121. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "panel" means
5-15 the judicial panel on multicounty litigation.
5-16 Sec. 15.122. TRANSFER AUTHORIZED FOR COORDINATED AND
5-17 CONSOLIDATED PRETRIAL PROCEEDINGS. (a) The judicial panel on
5-18 multicounty litigation may transfer one or more civil actions to
5-19 another county for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings
5-20 as provided by this subchapter.
5-21 (b) The panel may not transfer an action under this section
5-23 (1) the action involves a question of fact common to
5-24 another action pending in the county to which the action is to be
5-25 transferred; and
5-26 (2) the panel finds that transfer of the action would
5-27 be for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and would
6-1 promote the just and efficient conduct of the action.
6-2 Sec. 15.123. TRANSFER FOR CONVENIENCE OF PARTIES. The panel
6-3 may transfer as provided by this subchapter an action to another
6-4 county in which the action may have been brought for the
6-5 convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of
6-7 Sec. 15.124. TRANSFER PROCEEDINGS; HEARING. (a) A party to
6-8 an action may file a motion with the panel requesting transfer
6-9 under this subchapter. The party must file a copy of the motion in
6-10 the court in which the action to be transferred is pending.
6-11 (b) The panel shall hold a hearing to determine whether to
6-12 order the transfer of the action.
6-13 (c) The panel shall notify each party in each action that
6-14 may be affected by the transfer that the panel has received a
6-15 motion to transfer an action under this subchapter. The notice
6-16 must state the time and place of the hearing.
6-17 (d) A party to an action that may be affected by the
6-18 transfer may offer evidence relevant to whether the transfer should
6-19 be made.
6-20 (e) The panel's order must be supported by findings of fact
6-21 and conclusions of law based on the record of the hearing.
6-22 Sec. 15.125. FILING OF ORDER. (a) The panel's order
6-23 transferring an action is effective at the time it is filed in the
6-24 office of the clerk of the court to which the action is being
6-26 (b) The clerk of the court shall, not later than the fifth
6-27 day after the date the order is filed, transmit a certified copy of
7-1 the panel's order to each court from which an action is being
7-3 (c) The panel shall file an order of the panel denying a
7-4 motion to transfer an action in the court in which the action is
7-6 (d) The panel shall file a copy of any order of the panel,
7-7 including an order to set a hearing, in the office of the clerk of
7-8 the court in which a transfer hearing is to be or has been held.
7-9 Sec. 15.126. JUDGE FOR COORDINATED OR CONSOLIDATED PRETRIAL
7-10 PROCEEDINGS. The panel shall assign one or more judges of the
7-11 appropriate court in the county in which coordinated or
7-12 consolidated pretrial proceedings are to be conducted to conduct
7-13 the proceedings.
7-14 Sec. 15.127. REMAND TO ORIGINATING COUNTY. (a) The panel
7-15 shall remand an action transferred under Section 15.122 to the
7-16 county in which it originated not later than the conclusion of the
7-17 pretrial proceedings.
7-18 (b) The panel may separate a claim, cross-claim,
7-19 counterclaim, or third-party claim from the action and remand that
7-20 claim to the originating county before remanding the remainder of
7-21 the action.
7-22 (c) The panel may not remand an action or claim to the
7-23 originating county after the claim has been settled or otherwise
7-25 Sec. 15.128. REVIEW OF ORDER OF PANEL. (a) Review of an
7-26 order of the panel is by extraordinary writ.
7-27 (b) A petition for writ initially filed in a court of
8-1 appeals to review an order transferring an action, and any
8-2 subsequent order of the panel relating to that action, must be
8-3 filed in the court of appeals that would have jurisdiction of an
8-4 appeal from the court to which the action is to be transferred.
8-5 (c) A petition for a writ initially filed in a court of
8-6 appeals to review an order of the panel other than an order
8-7 described by Subsection (b) must be filed in the court with
8-8 jurisdiction over the district in which the panel is sitting.
8-9 Sec. 15.129. MANDAMUS. The supreme court, a court of
8-10 appeals, or a justice of the supreme court or a court of appeals
8-11 may issue a writ of mandamus against the panel and may issue other
8-12 writs against the panel as necessary.
8-13 Sec. 15.130. JUDICIAL PANEL ON MULTICOUNTY LITIGATION. (a)
8-14 The judicial panel on multicounty litigation is appointed by the
8-15 supreme court and is composed of seven justices and judges selected
8-16 from the courts of appeals and district courts of this state. The
8-17 panel may not include more than two individuals from any court of
8-18 appeals district.
8-19 (b) The members of the panel serve staggered six-year terms
8-20 expiring February 1 of odd-numbered years.
8-21 (c) The supreme court shall fill any vacancy on the panel,
8-22 including a vacancy caused by a judge on the panel leaving office.
8-23 (d) The concurrence of at least four members of the panel is
8-24 required for any action of the panel.
8-25 (e) A member of the panel may not receive compensation for
8-26 serving as a member of the panel. The supreme court may reimburse
8-27 a member of the panel for expenses actually incurred by the member
9-1 in performing the member's duties.
9-2 Sec. 15.131. RULES. The supreme court may adopt rules
9-3 governing the operation of the panel as provided by Section 22.004,
9-4 Government Code.
9-5 SECTION 8. Section 17.56, Business & Commerce Code, is
9-6 amended to read as follows:
9-7 Sec. 17.56. Venue. Except as provided by Sections 15.0115
9-8 and 15.018, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, an < An> action
9-9 brought which alleges a claim to relief under Section 17.50 of this
9-10 subchapter shall be brought < may be commenced in the county in
9-11 which the person against whom the suit is brought resides, has his
9-12 principal place of business, or has a fixed and established place
9-13 of business at the time the suit is brought or> in the county in
9-14 which the alleged act or practice occurred or in a county in which
9-15 the defendant or an authorized agent of the defendant solicited the
9-16 transaction made the subject of the action at bar.
9-17 SECTION 9. Section 92.007, Property Code, is amended to read
9-18 as follows:
9-19 Sec. 92.007. VENUE. Venue for an action under this chapter
9-20 is governed by Section 15.0115, Civil Practice and Remedies Code
9-21 < in the county in which the premises are located>.
9-22 SECTION 10. Sections 15.017, 15.036, 15.037, and 15.040,
9-23 Civil Practice and Remedies Code, are repealed.
9-24 SECTION 11. This Act takes effect September 1, 1995, and
9-25 applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after that
9-26 date. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act
9-27 is governed by the law applicable to the action immediately before
10-1 the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect
10-2 for that purpose.
10-3 SECTION 12. In making the initial appointments to the
10-4 judicial panel on multicounty litigation, the supreme court shall
10-5 appoint two members for terms expiring February 1, 1997, two
10-6 members for terms expiring February 1, 1999, and three members for
10-7 terms expiring February 1, 2001.
10-8 SECTION 13. The importance of this legislation and the
10-9 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
10-10 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
10-11 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
10-12 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.