By Duncan                                              S.B. No. 760
         76R8202 JMC-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to magistrates in Lubbock County.
 1-4           SECTION 1.  The heading of Subchapter M, Chapter 54,
 1-5     Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
 1-7           SECTION 2.  Section 54.873, Government Code, is amended to
 1-8     read as follows:
 1-9           Sec. 54.873.  COMPENSATION.  (a)  A magistrate is entitled to
1-10     the salary determined by the Commissioners Court of Lubbock County.
1-11           (b)  The salary may not be less than the salary authorized to
1-12     be paid to a master for family law cases appointed under Subchapter
1-13     B, Chapter 201, Family Code [Subchapter A].
1-14           (c)  The magistrate's salary is paid from the county fund
1-15     available for payment of officers' salaries.
1-16           SECTION 3.  Section 54.876, Government Code, is amended to
1-17     read as follows:
1-18           Sec. 54.876.  PROCEEDING THAT MAY BE REFERRED.  (a)  A
1-19     district judge or a county court at law judge may refer to a
1-20     magistrate any criminal case for proceedings involving:
1-21                 (1)  a negotiated plea of guilty before the court;
1-22                 (2)  a bond forfeiture;
1-23                 (3)  a pretrial motion;
1-24                 (4)  a postconviction writ of habeas corpus;
 2-1                 (5)  an examining trial; and
 2-2                 (6)  any other matter the judge considers necessary and
 2-3     proper.
 2-4           (b)  A magistrate may accept a plea of guilty for a
 2-5     misdemeanor or [from a defendant charged with both misdemeanor and]
 2-6     felony [offenses].
 2-7           (c)  A magistrate may not preside over a trial on the merits,
 2-8     whether or not the trial is before a jury.
 2-9           (d)  A judge of a court designated a juvenile court may refer
2-10     to a magistrate any proceeding over which a juvenile court has
2-11     exclusive original jurisdiction under Title 3, Family Code,
2-12     including any matter ancillary to the proceeding.
2-13           SECTION 4.  Section 54.878(a), Government Code, is amended to
2-14     read as follows:
2-15           (a)  Except as limited by an order of referral, a magistrate
2-16     to whom a case is referred may:
2-17                 (1)  conduct hearings;
2-18                 (2)  hear evidence;
2-19                 (3)  compel production of relevant evidence;
2-20                 (4)  rule on admissibility of evidence;
2-21                 (5)  issue summons for the appearance of witnesses;
2-22                 (6)  examine witnesses;
2-23                 (7)  swear witnesses for hearings;
2-24                 (8)  make findings of fact on evidence;
2-25                 (9)  formulate conclusions of law;
2-26                 (10)  rule on a pretrial motion;
2-27                 (11)  recommend the rulings, orders, or judgment to be
 3-1     made in a case;
 3-2                 (12)  regulate proceedings in a hearing;
 3-3                 (13)  accept a plea of guilty for a misdemeanor or
 3-4     [from a defendant charged with both misdemeanor and] felony or a
 3-5     plea of true from a defendant or juvenile, regardless of the
 3-6     classification of the offense charged or the conduct alleged
 3-7     [offenses]; and
 3-8                 (14)  do any act and take any measure necessary and
 3-9     proper for the efficient performance of the duties required by the
3-10     order of referral.
3-11           SECTION 5.  Section 54.884, Government Code, is amended to
3-12     read as follows:
3-13           Sec. 54.884. [CRIMINAL LAW] MAGISTRATES.  (a)  If a [criminal
3-14     law] magistrate appointed under this subchapter is absent or unable
3-15     to serve, the judge referring the case may appoint another
3-16     [criminal law] magistrate to serve for the absent magistrate.
3-17           (b)  A [criminal law] magistrate serving for another
3-18     magistrate under this section has the powers and shall perform the
3-19     duties of the magistrate for whom he is serving.
3-20           SECTION 6.  Subchapter M, Chapter 54, Government Code, is
3-21     amended by adding Section 54.885 to read as follows:
3-22           Sec. 54.885.  CLERK.  The clerk of a district court or county
3-23     court at law that refers a proceeding to a magistrate under this
3-24     subchapter shall perform the statutory duties necessary for the
3-25     magistrate to perform the duties authorized by this subchapter.
3-26           SECTION 7.  The importance of this legislation and the
3-27     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
 4-1     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 4-2     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 4-3     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
 4-4     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
 4-5     passage, and it is so enacted.