S.B. No. 436
relating to the records of a justice of the peace.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 27.004, Government Code, is amended to
read as follows:
Sec. 27.004. RECORDS AND OTHER PROPERTY. (a) Each justice
shall arrange and safely keep all dockets, books, and papers
transmitted to the justice by the justice's predecessors in office,
and all papers filed in a case in justice court, subject to the
public access requirements prescribed by Rule 12, Rules of Judicial
inspection of any interested party at reasonable
(a-1) If a person vacates the office of justice of the
peace, the person shall transfer all court records, documents,
property, and unfinished business to the person's successor on the
date the successor takes office. After the transfer, the business
of the office must be completed as if the successor had begun the
(b) A person who has possession of dockets, books, or papers
belonging to the office of any justice of the peace shall deliver
them to the justice on demand. If the person refuses to deliver
them, on a motion supported by an affidavit, the person [ he] may be
attached and imprisoned by the order of the county judge until the
person makes delivery. The county judge may issue the order in
termtime or vacation. [ The motion must be supported by affidavit.]
The person against whom the motion is made must be given three days'
notice of the motion before the person may be attached.
SECTION 2. (a) The change in law made by Subsection (a),
Section 27.004, Government Code, as amended by this Act, applies to
dockets, books, and papers transferred and papers filed before, on,
or after the effective date of this Act.
(b) The change in law made by Subsection (b), Section
27.004, Government Code, as amended by this Act, applies to a motion
filed on or after the effective date of this Act. A motion filed
before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
effect on the date the motion was filed, and the former law is
continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 436 passed the Senate on
March 31, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0.
Secretary of the Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 436 passed the House on
May 20, 2005, by a non-record vote.
Chief Clerk of the House