By Goodman                                      H.B. No. 1916

      75R5214 SAW-F                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to county criminal courts in Tarrant County.


 1-4           SECTION 1.  Section 25.2221(b), Government Code, is amended

 1-5     to read as follows:

 1-6           (b)  Tarrant County has the following county criminal courts:

 1-7                 (1)  County Criminal Court No. 1 of Tarrant County;

 1-8                 (2)  County Criminal Court No. 2 of Tarrant County;

 1-9                 (3)  County Criminal Court No. 3 of Tarrant County;

1-10                 (4)  County Criminal Court No. 4 of Tarrant County;

1-11                 (5)  County Criminal Court No. 5 of Tarrant County;

1-12                 (6)  County Criminal Court No. 6 of Tarrant County;

1-13                 (7) [(6)]  County Criminal Court No. 7 of Tarrant

1-14     County;

1-15                 (8) [(7)]  County Criminal Court No. 8 of Tarrant

1-16     County;

1-17                 (9) [(8)]  County Criminal Court No. 9 of Tarrant

1-18     County;  and

1-19                 (10) [(9)]  County Criminal Court No. 10 of Tarrant

1-20     County.

1-21           SECTION 2.  Section 25.2223, Government Code, is amended by

1-22     amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (l) to read as

1-23     follows:

1-24           (a)  A county criminal court in Tarrant County has

 2-1     jurisdiction over all criminal matters and causes, original and

 2-2     appellate, prescribed by law for county courts, but does not have

 2-3     civil jurisdiction.  A county criminal court in [The County

 2-4     Criminal Courts Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6 of] Tarrant County also has

 2-5     [have] concurrent  jurisdiction within the county over [of] all

 2-6     appeals from criminal convictions under the laws of this state and

 2-7     the municipal ordinances of the municipalities located in Tarrant

 2-8     County that are appealed from the justice courts and municipal

 2-9     courts in the county.  The County Criminal Courts Nos. 7, 8, 9, and

2-10     10 of Tarrant County also have concurrent jurisdiction with the

2-11     district court in felony cases to conduct arraignments, conduct

2-12     pretrial hearings, and accept guilty pleas.

2-13           (l)  The County Criminal Court No. 5 of Tarrant County shall

2-14     give preference to cases brought under Title 5, Penal Code,

2-15     involving family violence as defined by Section 71.01, Family Code,

2-16     and cases brought under Sections 25.07 and 42.072, Penal Code.

2-17           SECTION 3.  Sections 25.2221(d) and 25.2225, Government Code,

2-18     are repealed.

2-19           SECTION 4.  (a)  The County Criminal Court of Appeals of

2-20     Tarrant County is redesignated as the County Criminal Court No. 5

2-21     of Tarrant County.

2-22           (b)  The judge of the County Criminal Court of Appeals of

2-23     Tarrant County shall fill the initial vacancy in the office of

2-24     judge of the County Criminal Court No. 5 of Tarrant County.  Unless

2-25     otherwise removed, the judge serves until December 31, 1998, and

2-26     until the judge's successor is elected and has qualified.  In the

2-27     1998 general election and every four years thereafter, the

 3-1     qualified voters of the county shall elect a judge of the County

 3-2     Criminal Court No. 5 of Tarrant County for a regular term of four

 3-3     years.

 3-4           SECTION 5.  Notwithstanding Section 25.2223(c), Government

 3-5     Code, the initial term of the County Criminal Court No. 5 of

 3-6     Tarrant County ends December 31, 1998.  The commissioners court

 3-7     shall determine terms after the initial term as provided by Section

 3-8     25.2223(c), Government Code.

 3-9           SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

3-10           SECTION 7.  The importance of this legislation and the

3-11     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

3-12     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

3-13     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

3-14     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.