Senate Research Center   H.B. 900
77R746 JMC-DBy: Thompson (West)


When the current law that governs the administration of statutory probate
courts was enacted in 1983, only eight statutory probate courts existed.
Since then, more statutory probate courts have been added, and
administrative provisions have been added to the law, but not in a
comprehensive fashion. The current system allows the possibility of
misunderstandings between administrative judges and statutory probate
courts over who has the jurisdiction to control the docket system of the
statutory probate court, and does not fully address current management and
administrative needs.  H.B. 900 creates a separate statutory probate court
administrative system similar to the system already in place for district
and statutory county courts, thus giving the court system in Texas a more
cohesive structure.  


This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a
state officer, institution, or agency.  


SECTION 1.  Amends the Government Code to expand the required management
and administrative duties of the presiding judge and the statutory probate
courts, and authorize the presiding judge to appoint any committees of
statutory probate court judges necessary or desirable for court management
and administration (Sec. 25.0022).  

SECTION 2.  The bill establishes the position of a local administrative
statutory probate court judge (administrative judge) in each county that
has a statutory probate court, and sets forth provisions for the election
of the local administrative judge in counties that have two or more
statutory probate courts. The bill also sets forth the duties of a local
administrative judge (Secs. 25.0022 and 25.00223). The bill requires the
statutory probate court judges in each county to, by majority vote, adopt
local rules of administration, and sets forth provisions regarding the
contents of the rules (Sec. 25.00225). The bill sets forth eligibility
requirements for a former or retired judge to serve as a statutory probate
court judge, and amends provisions regarding the assignment of statutory
probate court judges (Sec. 25.0022). The bill also sets forth provisions
regarding the hearing of cases by statutory probate court judges and
jurisdiction (Sec. 25.00226). 

SECTION 3.  Makes a conforming change.

SECTION 4.  Effective date: September 1, 2001.