Bill Text: TX HB3336 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the jurisdiction of, and practices and procedures in civil cases before, justice courts, county courts, statutory county courts, and district courts.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-16 - Committee report sent to Calendars [HB3336 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3336-Comm_Sub.html
  86R22549 SRS-F
 
  By: Leach H.B. No. 3336
 
  Substitute the following for H.B. No. 3336:
 
  By:  Meyer C.S.H.B. No. 3336
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the jurisdiction of, and practices and procedures in
  civil cases before, justice courts, county courts, statutory county
  courts, and district courts.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 22.004(h), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (h)  The supreme court shall adopt rules to promote the
  prompt, efficient, and cost-effective resolution of civil
  actions.  The rules shall apply to civil actions in district
  courts, county courts at law, and statutory probate courts in which
  the amount in controversy[, inclusive of all claims for damages of
  any kind, whether actual or exemplary, a penalty, attorney's fees,
  expenses, costs, interest, or any other type of damage of any kind,]
  does not exceed $250,000 [$100,000].  The rules shall address the
  need for lowering discovery costs in these actions and the
  procedure for ensuring that these actions will be expedited in the
  civil justice system.  The supreme court may not adopt rules under
  this subsection that conflict with other statutory law [a provision
  of:
               [(1)  Chapter 74, Civil Practice and Remedies Code;
               [(2)  the Family Code;
               [(3)  the Property Code; or
               [(4)  the Tax Code].
         SECTION 2.  Section 25.0003(c), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  In addition to other jurisdiction provided by law, a
  statutory county court exercising civil jurisdiction concurrent
  with the constitutional jurisdiction of the county court has
  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in:
               (1)  civil cases in which the matter in controversy
  exceeds $500 but does not exceed $250,000 [$200,000], excluding
  interest, statutory or punitive damages and penalties, and
  attorney's fees and costs, as alleged on the face of the petition;
  and
               (2)  appeals of final rulings and decisions of the
  division of workers' compensation of the Texas Department of
  Insurance regarding workers' compensation claims, regardless of
  the amount in controversy.
         SECTION 3.  Section 25.0007, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Practice in a statutory county court is that prescribed
  by law for county courts, except that practice, procedure, rules of
  evidence, issuance of process and writs, the drawing of jury
  panels, the selection of jurors, and all other matters pertaining
  to the conduct of trials and hearings in the statutory county
  courts[, other than the number of jurors,] that involve those
  matters of concurrent jurisdiction with district courts are
  governed by the laws and rules pertaining to the district courts in
  the county in which the statutory county court is located. This
  section does not affect local rules of administration adopted under
  Section 74.093.
         (c)  In a civil case pending in a statutory county court in
  which the matter in controversy is $250,000 or more, the jury shall
  be composed of 12 members unless all of the parties agree to a jury
  composed of a lesser number of jurors.
         SECTION 4.  Section 25.0052(a), Government Code, as amended
  by Chapters 614 (S.B. 1428) and 746 (H.B. 66), Acts of the 72nd
  Legislature, Regular Session, 1991, is reenacted and amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction provided by Section
  25.0003 and other law, a county court at law in Angelina County has:
               (1)  concurrent with the county court, the probate
  jurisdiction provided by general law for county courts; and
               (2)  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court
  in[:
                     [(A)     civil cases in which the matter in
  controversy exceeds $500 but does not exceed $50,000, excluding
  interest; and
                     [(B)]  family law cases and proceedings.
         SECTION 5.  Section 25.0102(h), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (h)  If a family law case or proceeding is tried before a
  jury, the jury shall be composed of 12 members; in all other cases
  the jury shall be composed of six members except as provided by the
  constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law.
         SECTION 6.  Section 25.0202(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction provided by Section
  25.0003 and other law, a county court at law in Bosque County has
  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in:
               (1)  family law cases and proceedings; and
               (2)  [civil cases in which the matter in controversy
  exceeds $500 but does not exceed $200,000, excluding interest,
  court costs, and attorney's fees; and
               [(3)]  contested probate matters under Section 32.003,
  Estates Code.
         SECTION 7.  Section 25.0222(m), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (m)  When a jury trial is requested in a case of concurrent
  jurisdiction between the district courts and statutory county
  courts, and the case was instituted in district court, the jury
  shall be composed of 12 members. In all other cases in which a jury
  trial is requested in the statutory county courts the jury shall be
  composed of six jurors except as provided by the constitution,
  Section 25.0007(c), or other law.
         SECTION 8.  Section 25.0362(f), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (f)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a jury
  in a county court at law shall be composed of six members except as
  provided by [unless] the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other
  law [requires a 12-member jury].  Failure to object before a
  six-member jury is seated and sworn constitutes a waiver of a
  12-member jury.  In matters in which the constitution or other law
  does not require a 12-member jury and the county court at law has
  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court, the jury may be
  composed of 12 members if a party to the suit requests a 12-member
  jury [and the judge of the court consents].  In a civil case tried
  in a county court at law, the parties may, by mutual agreement [and
  with the consent of the judge], agree to try the case with any
  number of jurors and have a verdict rendered and returned by the
  vote of any number of those jurors that is less than the total
  number of jurors.
         SECTION 9.  Section 25.0722(i), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (i)  If a family law case or proceeding is tried before a
  jury, the jury shall be composed of 12 members. In all other cases
  the jury shall be composed of six members except as provided by the
  constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law.
         SECTION 10.  Section 25.0812(k), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (k)  If a jury trial is requested in a case of concurrent
  jurisdiction between the district courts and the county courts at
  law, and the case was instituted in the district court, the jury
  shall be composed of 12 members. In all other cases in which a jury
  trial is requested in the county courts at law, the jury shall be
  composed of six members except as provided by the constitution,
  Section 25.0007(c), or other law.
         SECTION 11.  Section 25.0862(n), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (n)  If a jury trial is requested in a case that is in a
  county court at law's jurisdiction as provided by Subsection (a),
  the jury shall be composed of six members unless the constitution,
  Section 25.0007(c), or other law requires a 12-member jury.
  Failure to object before a six-member jury is seated and sworn
  constitutes a waiver of a 12-member jury.
         SECTION 12.  Section 25.0942(l), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (l)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a jury
  in a county court at law shall be composed of six members, unless
  the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law requires a
  12-member jury. Failure to object before a six-member jury is
  seated and sworn constitutes a waiver of a 12-member jury. In
  matters in which the constitution or other law does not require a
  12-member jury and the county court at law has concurrent
  jurisdiction with the district court, the jury shall be composed of
  12 members if a party to the suit requests a 12-member jury. In a
  civil case tried in a county court at law, the parties may, by
  mutual agreement [and with the consent of the judge], agree to try
  the case with any number of jurors and have a verdict rendered and
  returned by the vote of any number of those jurors that is less than
  the total number of jurors.
         SECTION 13.  Section 25.1042(h), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (h)  A jury must be composed of 12 members in[:
               [(1)     any civil case pending in which the amount in
  controversy is $200,000 or more; and
               [(2)]  any felony case.
         SECTION 14.  Sections 25.1132(c) and (o), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (c)  A county court at law in Hood County has concurrent
  jurisdiction with the district court in:
               (1)  [civil cases in which the matter in controversy
  exceeds $500 but does not exceed $250,000, excluding interest;
               [(2)]  family law cases and related proceedings;
               (2) [(3)]  contested probate matters under Section
  32.003(a), Estates Code; and
               (3) [(4)]  contested matters in guardianship
  proceedings under Section 1022.003(a), Estates Code.
         (o)  If a family law case or proceeding is tried before a jury
  in a county court at law, the jury shall be composed of 12 members.
  In all other cases, the jury shall be composed of six members except
  as provided by the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law.
         SECTION 15.  Section 25.1142(b), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  A county court at law does not have jurisdiction of:
               (1)  [civil cases in which the amount in controversy
  exceeds $200,000, excluding interest;
               [(2)]  felony jury trials;
               (2) [(3)]  suits on behalf of the state to recover
  penalties or escheated property;
               (3) [(4)]  misdemeanors involving official misconduct;
  or
               (4) [(5)]  contested elections.
         SECTION 16.  Sections 25.1252(j) and (m), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (j)  If a family law case or proceeding is tried before a jury
  in a county court at law, the jury shall be composed of 12 members.
  In all other cases, the jury shall be composed of six members except
  as provided by the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law
  [A county court at law may exercise the jurisdiction vested in the
  district court for the drawing, selection, and service of jurors. A
  panel not exceeding 24 jurors shall be drawn for any one week of a
  court, and the juries selected may not exceed six].
         (m)  Section [Sections] 25.0006 does [and 25.0007 do] not
  apply to the county courts at law of Jefferson County.
         SECTION 17.  Sections 25.1272(b) and (h), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A county court at law in Jim Wells County has concurrent
  jurisdiction with the district court in:
               (1)  [civil cases in which the matter in controversy
  exceeds $500 but does not exceed $200,000, excluding interest;
               [(2)]  family law cases and proceedings;
               (2) [(3)]  Class A and Class B misdemeanors;
               (3) [(4)]  juvenile cases; and
               (4) [(5)]  appeals from justice and municipal courts.
         (h)  If a jury trial is requested in a case that is in a
  county court at law's jurisdiction, the jury shall be composed of
  six members unless the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other
  law requires a 12-member jury.  Failure to object before a
  six-member jury is seated and sworn constitutes a waiver of a
  12-member jury.
         SECTION 18.  Sections 25.1412(a) and (p), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction provided by Section
  25.0003 and other law, a county court at law in Lamar County has:
               (1)  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court
  in:
                     (A)  probate matters and proceedings, including
  will contests;
                     (B)  family law cases and proceedings, including
  juvenile cases; and
                     (C)  felony cases to conduct arraignments and
  pretrial hearings and to accept guilty pleas; and
                     [(D)     civil cases in which the amount in
  controversy does not exceed $200,000, excluding interest; and]
               (2)  concurrent jurisdiction with the county and
  district courts over all suits arising under the Family Code.
         (p)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a jury
  in a county court at law shall be composed of six members unless the
  constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law requires a 12-member
  jury.  Failure to object before a six-member jury is seated and
  sworn constitutes a waiver of a 12-member jury.  In matters in
  which the constitution or other law does not require a 12-member
  jury and the county court at law has concurrent jurisdiction with
  the district court, the jury may be composed of 12 members if a
  party to the suit requests a 12-member jury and the judge of the
  court consents.  In a civil case tried in a county court at law, the
  parties may, by mutual agreement [and with the consent of the
  judge], agree to try the case with any number of jurors and have a
  verdict rendered and returned by the vote of any number of those
  jurors that is less than the total number of jurors.
         SECTION 19.  Section 25.1722(f), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (f)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the
  constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law, juries in a county
  court at law shall be composed of six members. Juries in family law
  cases and proceedings shall be composed of 12 members, unless the
  parties agree to a six-member jury.
         SECTION 20.  Section 25.1732(l), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (l)  A jury in a county court at law is composed of six
  persons unless the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law
  requires a 12-member jury.
         SECTION 21.  Section 25.1802(o), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (o)  If a jury trial is requested in a case that is in a
  county court at law's jurisdiction, the jury shall be composed of
  six members unless the constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other
  law requires a 12-member jury. Failure to object before a
  six-member jury is seated and sworn constitutes a waiver of a
  12-member jury.
         SECTION 22.  Section 25.1862(k), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (k)  If a jury trial is requested in a case that is in a
  county court at law's jurisdiction as provided by Subsection (a),
  the jury shall be composed of six members unless the constitution,
  Section 25.0007(c), or other law requires a 12-member jury.
  Failure to object before a six-member jury is seated and sworn
  constitutes a waiver of a 12-member jury.
         SECTION 23.  Section 25.2142(v), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (v)  Except as otherwise provided by this section, the
  constitution, Section 25.0007(c), or other law, juries in a county
  court at law shall be composed of six members. In matters of
  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court to which Section
  25.0007(c) does not apply, if a party to the suit requests a
  12-member jury, the jury shall be composed of 12 members. In a
  civil case tried in a county court at law, the parties may, by
  mutual agreement [and with the consent of the judge], agree to try
  the case with any number of jurors and agree to have a verdict
  rendered and returned by the vote of any number of jurors less than
  all those hearing the case.
         SECTION 24.  Section 25.2232(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction provided by Section
  25.0003 and other law, a county court at law in Taylor County has[:
               [(1)]  concurrent jurisdiction with the county court in
  the trial of cases involving insanity and approval of applications
  for admission to state hospitals and special schools if admission
  is by application[; and
               [(2)     concurrent jurisdiction with the district court
  in civil cases in which the matter in controversy exceeds $500 but
  does not exceed $200,000, excluding interest].
         SECTION 25.  Section 25.2292(d), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (d)  In civil cases, the jury is composed of six members
  except as otherwise provided by the constitution, Section
  25.0007(c), or other law.  Failure to object before a six-member
  jury is seated and sworn constitutes a waiver of a 12-member jury
  [unless:
               [(1)  the amount in controversy exceeds $100,000; and
               [(2)     a party to the case files a written request for a
  12-member jury not later than the 30th day before the date of the
  trial].
         SECTION 26.  Section 25.2362(i), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (i)  If a jury trial is requested in a case that is in a
  county court at law's jurisdiction, the jury shall be composed of
  six members unless the constitution or other law requires a
  12-member jury.
         SECTION 27.  Section 25.2412(j), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (j)  If a case or proceeding in which a county court at law
  has concurrent jurisdiction with a district court is tried before a
  jury, the jury shall be composed of 12 members, except as provided
  by Section 25.0007(c). In all other cases, the jury shall be
  composed of six members except as provided by the constitution or
  other law.
         SECTION 28.  Section 25.2462(k), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (k)  A jury in a county court at law shall be composed of six
  members except as provided by the constitution, Section 25.0007(c),
  or other law.
         SECTION 29.  Section 25.2482(l), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (l)  A jury in a county court at law shall be composed of six
  members except as provided by the constitution, Section 25.0007(c),
  or other law.
         SECTION 30.  Section 25.2512(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction provided by Section
  25.0003 and other law, a county court at law in Wise County has:
               (1)  concurrent with the county court, the probate
  jurisdiction provided by general law for county courts; and
               (2)  concurrent jurisdiction with the district court
  in:
                     (A)  eminent domain cases; and 
                     (B)  [civil cases in which the amount in
  controversy exceeds $500, but does not exceed $200,000, excluding
  interest and attorney's fees; and
                     [(C)]  family law cases and proceedings.
         SECTION 31.  Section 26.042(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A county court has concurrent jurisdiction with the
  justice courts in civil cases in which the matter in controversy
  exceeds $200 in value but does not exceed $20,000 [$10,000],
  exclusive of interest.
         SECTION 32.  Section 27.031(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the jurisdiction and powers provided by
  the constitution and other law, the justice court has original
  jurisdiction of:
               (1)  civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is
  not in the district or county court and in which the amount in
  controversy is not more than $20,000 [$10,000], exclusive of
  interest;
               (2)  cases of forcible entry and detainer;
               (3)  foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens
  on personal property in cases in which the amount in controversy is
  otherwise within the justice court's jurisdiction; and
               (4)  cases arising under Chapter 707, Transportation
  Code, outside a municipality's territorial limits.
         SECTION 33.  Section 62.301, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 62.301.  NUMBER OF JURORS. The jury in the county
  courts and in the justice courts is composed of six persons except
  as provided by the constitution or other law.
         SECTION 34.  The following provisions of the Government Code
  are repealed:
               (1)  Section 25.0007(a);
               (2)  Section 25.1092(p);
               (3)  Sections 25.2292(a) and (m); and
               (4)  Section 25.2392(i).
         SECTION 35.  Not later than January 1, 2020, the Supreme
  Court of Texas shall adopt rules as necessary to implement Section
  22.004(h), Government Code, as amended by this Act.
         SECTION 36.  This Act applies only to a cause of action filed
  on or after the effective date of this Act. A cause of action filed
  before that date is governed by the law in effect immediately before
  that date, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 37.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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