By Bonnen H.B. No. 3819
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the statutory probate and county courts in Brazoria
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. Section 25.0221, Government Code, is amended to
1-6 read as follows:
1-7 Sec. 25.0221. BRAZORIA COUNTY. Brazoria County has the
1-8 following statutory probate and county courts:
1-9 (1) County Court at Law No. 1 and Statutory Probate
1-10 Court of Brazoria County;
1-11 (2) County Court at Law No. 2 and Statutory Probate
1-12 Court of Brazoria County; and
1-13 (3) County Court at Law No. 3 and Statutory Probate
1-14 Court of Brazoria County.
1-15 SECTION 2. Section 25.0222, Government Code, is amended to
1-16 read as follows:
1-17 Sec. 25.0222. BRAZORIA STATUTORY PROBATE AND COUNTY COURT
1-18 PROVISIONS. (a) In addition to the jurisdiction provided by
1-19 Section 25.0003 and other law, a statutory probate and county
1-20 court in Brazoria County has concurrent jurisdiction with the
1-21 district court in:
1-22 (1) civil cases in which the matter in controversy
1-23 exceeds $500 but does not exceed $100,000, excluding interest,
1-24 statutory damages and penalties, and attorney's fees and costs, as
2-1 alleged on the face of the petition;
2-2 (2) appeals of final rulings and decisions of the
2-3 Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, regardless of the amount in
2-4 controversy; and
2-5 (3) family law cases and proceedings and juvenile
2-6 jurisdiction under Section 23.001.
2-7 (b) A statutory probate and county court may enforce an
2-8 order of the family district court for the 300th Judicial District
2-9 relating to a family law matter.
2-10 (c) A statutory probate and county court has the general
2-11 jurisdiction provided by Section 25.0021 for a statutory probate
2-13 (d) A statutory probate and county court shall be primarily
2-14 responsible for and give preference to:
2-15 (1) probate cases;
2-16 (2) cases in which its jurisdiction is concurrent with
2-17 the county court;
2-18 (3) [
(2)] eminent domain proceedings and cases;
2-19 (4) [ (3)] proceedings under Title 3 of the Family
2-20 Code; and
2-21 (5) [ (4)] civil cases in which the amount in
2-22 controversy does not exceed $100,000 [ $20,000], excluding interest.
2-23 (e) [ (d)] The commissioners court, by order entered of
2-24 record, shall set at least four terms a year for each statutory
2-25 probate and county court.
2-26 (f) [ (e)] A judge of a statutory probate and county court
2-27 must have the qualifications required by law for a district judge.
3-1 (g) [ (f)] A judge of a statutory probate and county court
3-2 shall be paid annual compensation in an amount that is not less
3-3 than the amount that is $1,000 less than the annual salary paid to
3-4 the district judges of the county from all sources. The salary
3-5 shall be paid out of the county treasury on order of the
3-6 commissioners court.
3-7 (h) [ (g)] In addition to the fees assessed under Section
3-8 25.0008, a statutory probate and county court judge shall assess
3-9 the fees prescribed by law for district judges according to the
3-10 nature of the matter.
3-11 (i) [ (h)] A judge of a statutory probate and county court
3-12 may be removed from office in the same manner and for the same
3-13 reasons as a district judge.
3-14 (j) [ (i)] A judge of a statutory probate and county court
3-15 may not engage in the private practice of law.
3-16 (k) [ (j)] A special judge of a statutory probate and county
3-17 court may be appointed in the manner provided by law for the
3-18 appointment of a special county judge. A special judge must have
3-19 the same qualifications and is entitled to the same rate of
3-20 compensation as the regular judge.
3-21 (l) [ (k)] The district clerk serves as clerk of the
3-22 statutory probate and county courts in cases instituted in the
3-23 district courts in which the district courts and statutory probate
3-24 and county courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and the county
3-25 clerk serves as clerk for all other cases. The commissioners
3-26 court may employ as many additional assistant criminal district
3-27 attorneys, deputy sheriffs, and deputy clerks as are necessary to
4-1 serve the statutory probate and county courts.
4-2 (m) [ (l)] The official court reporter of a statutory probate
4-3 and county court is entitled to the same compensation as the
4-4 reporters of the district courts of Brazoria County, to be paid by
4-5 the county treasurer out of the general fund of the county.
4-6 (n) [ (m)] When a jury trial is requested in a case of
4-7 concurrent jurisdiction between the district courts and statutory
4-8 probate and county courts, and the case was instituted in district
4-9 court, the jury shall be composed of 12 members. In all other
4-10 cases in which a jury trial is requested in the statutory probate
4-11 and county courts the jury shall be composed of six jurors.
4-12 (o) [ (n)] Jurors regularly impaneled for the week by the
4-13 district courts of Brazoria County may, at the request of the judge
4-14 of a statutory probate and county court, be made available by the
4-15 district judges in the numbers requested and shall serve for the
4-16 week in the statutory probate and county court.
4-17 (p) In addition to other assignments provided by law, a
4-18 judge of a statutory probate and county court in Brazoria County is
4-19 subject to assignment under Subchapter C, Chapter 74, to any county
4-20 in the Second Administrative Judicial Region other than Harris
4-22 SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the
4-23 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
4-24 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
4-25 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
4-26 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
4-27 and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
5-1 passage, and it is so enacted.