Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 900
By: Thompson
Judicial Affairs


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.   House Bill 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.   


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 900 amends the Government Code to expand the required management
and administrative duties of the presiding judge, of 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).  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 required duties of a local administrative judge (Secs. 25.00223 and
25.0022).  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). 


September 1, 2001.