1-1     By:  Duncan                                            S.B. No. 760
 1-2           (In the Senate - Filed March 1, 1999; March 2, 1999, read
 1-3     first time and referred to Committee on Jurisprudence;
 1-4     March 31, 1999, reported favorably by the following vote:  Yeas 3,
 1-5     Nays 0; March 31, 1999, sent to printer.)
 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-7                                   AN ACT
 1-8     relating to magistrates in Lubbock County.
1-10           SECTION 1.  The heading of Subchapter M, Chapter 54,
1-11     Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
1-13           SECTION 2.  Section 54.873, Government Code, is amended to
1-14     read as follows:
1-15           Sec. 54.873.  COMPENSATION.  (a)  A magistrate is entitled to
1-16     the salary determined by the Commissioners Court of Lubbock County.
1-17           (b)  The salary may not be less than the salary authorized to
1-18     be paid to a master for family law cases appointed under Subchapter
1-19     B, Chapter 201, Family Code [Subchapter A].
1-20           (c)  The magistrate's salary is paid from the county fund
1-21     available for payment of officers' salaries.
1-22           SECTION 3.  Section 54.876, Government Code, is amended to
1-23     read as follows:
1-24           Sec. 54.876.  PROCEEDING THAT MAY BE REFERRED.  (a)  A
1-25     district judge or a county court at law judge may refer to a
1-26     magistrate any criminal case for proceedings involving:
1-27                 (1)  a negotiated plea of guilty before the court;
1-28                 (2)  a bond forfeiture;
1-29                 (3)  a pretrial motion;
1-30                 (4)  a postconviction writ of habeas corpus;
1-31                 (5)  an examining trial; and
1-32                 (6)  any other matter the judge considers necessary and
1-33     proper.
1-34           (b)  A magistrate may accept a plea of guilty for a
1-35     misdemeanor or [from a defendant charged with both misdemeanor and]
1-36     felony [offenses].
1-37           (c)  A magistrate may not preside over a trial on the merits,
1-38     whether or not the trial is before a jury.
1-39           (d)  A judge of a court designated a juvenile court may refer
1-40     to a magistrate any proceeding over which a juvenile court has
1-41     exclusive original jurisdiction under Title 3, Family Code,
1-42     including any matter ancillary to the proceeding.
1-43           SECTION 4.  Subsection (a), Section 54.878, Government Code,
1-44     is amended to read as follows:
1-45           (a)  Except as limited by an order of referral, a magistrate
1-46     to whom a case is referred may:
1-47                 (1)  conduct hearings;
1-48                 (2)  hear evidence;
1-49                 (3)  compel production of relevant evidence;
1-50                 (4)  rule on admissibility of evidence;
1-51                 (5)  issue summons for the appearance of witnesses;
1-52                 (6)  examine witnesses;
1-53                 (7)  swear witnesses for hearings;
1-54                 (8)  make findings of fact on evidence;
1-55                 (9)  formulate conclusions of law;
1-56                 (10)  rule on a pretrial motion;
1-57                 (11)  recommend the rulings, orders, or judgment to be
1-58     made in a case;
1-59                 (12)  regulate proceedings in a hearing;
1-60                 (13)  accept a plea of guilty for a misdemeanor or
1-61     [from a defendant charged with both misdemeanor and] felony or a
1-62     plea of true from a defendant or juvenile, regardless of the
1-63     classification of the offense charged or the conduct alleged
1-64     [offenses]; and
 2-1                 (14)  do any act and take any measure necessary and
 2-2     proper for the efficient performance of the duties required by the
 2-3     order of referral.
 2-4           SECTION 5.  Section 54.884, Government Code, is amended to
 2-5     read as follows:
 2-6           Sec. 54.884.  [CRIMINAL LAW] MAGISTRATES.  (a)  If a
 2-7     [criminal law] magistrate appointed under this subchapter is absent
 2-8     or unable to serve, the judge referring the case may appoint
 2-9     another [criminal law] magistrate to serve for the absent
2-10     magistrate.
2-11           (b)  A [criminal law] magistrate serving for another
2-12     magistrate under this section has the powers and shall perform the
2-13     duties of the magistrate for whom he is serving.
2-14           SECTION 6.  Subchapter M, Chapter 54, Government Code, is
2-15     amended by adding Section 54.885 to read as follows:
2-16           Sec. 54.885.  CLERK.  The clerk of a district court or county
2-17     court at law that refers a proceeding to a magistrate under this
2-18     subchapter shall perform the statutory duties necessary for the
2-19     magistrate to perform the duties authorized by this subchapter.
2-20           SECTION 7.  The importance of this legislation and the
2-21     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
2-22     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
2-23     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
2-24     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
2-25     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
2-26     passage, and it is so enacted.
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