Bill Text: TX HB4715 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the creation of magistrates in Kerr County.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-14 - Referred to State Affairs [HB4715 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB4715-Introduced.html
  86R6207 SRS-F
 
  By: Murr H.B. No. 4715
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of magistrates in Kerr County.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 54, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter MM to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER MM. MAGISTRATES IN KERR COUNTY
         Sec. 54.2101.  AUTHORIZATION; APPOINTMENT; ELIMINATION.  
  (a)  The Commissioners Court of Kerr County may authorize the judges
  of the district and statutory county courts in Kerr County to
  appoint one or more part-time or full-time magistrates to perform
  the duties authorized by this subchapter.
         (b)  The judges of the district and statutory county courts
  in Kerr County by a unanimous vote may appoint magistrates as
  authorized by the Commissioners Court of Kerr County.
         (c)  An order appointing a magistrate must be signed by the
  local presiding judge of the district courts serving Kerr County,
  and the order must state:
               (1)  the magistrate's name; and
               (2)  the date the magistrate's employment is to begin.
         (d)  An authorized magistrate's position may be eliminated
  on a majority vote of the Commissioners Court of Kerr County.
         Sec. 54.2102.  QUALIFICATIONS; OATH OF OFFICE.  (a)  To be
  eligible for appointment as a magistrate, a person must:
               (1)  be a citizen of the United States;
               (2)  have resided in Kerr County for at least the two
  years preceding the person's appointment; and
               (3)  be at least 30 years of age.
         (b)  A magistrate appointed under Section 54.2101 must take
  the constitutional oath of office required of appointed officers of
  this state.
         Sec. 54.2103.  COMPENSATION.  (a)  A magistrate is entitled
  to the salary determined by the Commissioners Court of Kerr County.
         (b)  A full-time magistrate's salary may not be less than
  that of a justice of the peace of Kerr County as established by the
  annual budget of Kerr County.
         (c)  A part-time magistrate's salary is equal to the per-hour
  salary of a justice of the peace.  The per-hour salary is determined
  by dividing the annual salary by a 2,000 work-hour year.  The local
  administrative judge of the district courts serving Kerr County
  shall approve the number of hours for which a part-time magistrate
  is to be paid.
         (d)  The magistrate's salary is paid from the county fund
  available for payment of officers' salaries.
         Sec. 54.2104.  JUDICIAL IMMUNITY.  A magistrate has the same
  judicial immunity as a district judge.
         Sec. 54.2105.  TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT.  (a)  A magistrate
  may be terminated by a majority vote of all the judges of the
  district and statutory county courts of Kerr County.
         (b)  To terminate a magistrate's employment, the local
  administrative judge of the district courts serving Kerr County
  must sign a written order of termination. The order must state:
               (1)  the magistrate's name; and
               (2)  the final date of the magistrate's employment.
         Sec. 54.2106.  JURISDICTION; RESPONSIBILITY; POWERS.  (a)  
  The judges of the district or statutory county courts shall
  establish standing orders to be followed by a magistrate or parties
  appearing before a magistrate, as applicable.
         (b)  To the extent authorized by this subchapter and the
  standing orders, a magistrate has jurisdiction to exercise the
  authority granted by the judges of the district or statutory county
  courts.
         (c)  A magistrate has all of the powers of a magistrate under
  the laws of this state and may administer an oath for any purpose.
         (d)  A magistrate shall give preference to performing the
  duties of a magistrate under Article 15.17, Code of Criminal
  Procedure.
         (e)  A magistrate is authorized to:
               (1)  set, adjust, and revoke bonds before the filing of
  an information or the return of an indictment;
               (2)  conduct examining trials;
               (3)  determine whether a defendant is indigent and
  appoint counsel for an indigent defendant;
               (4)  issue search and arrest warrants;
               (5)  issue emergency protective orders;
               (6)  order emergency mental commitments; and
               (7)  conduct initial juvenile detention hearings if
  approved by the Kerr County Juvenile Board.
         (f)  With the express authorization of a justice of the
  peace, a magistrate may exercise concurrent criminal jurisdiction
  with the justice of the peace to dispose as provided by law of cases
  filed in the precinct of the authorizing justice of the peace,
  except for a trial on the merits following a plea of not guilty.
         (g)  A magistrate may:
               (1)  issue notices of the setting of a case for a
  hearing;
               (2)  conduct hearings;
               (3)  compel production of evidence;
               (4)  hear evidence;
               (5)  issue summons for the appearance of witnesses;
               (6)  swear witnesses for hearings;
               (7)  regulate proceedings in a hearing; and
               (8)  perform any act and take any measure necessary and
  proper for the efficient performance of the duties required by the
  magistrate's jurisdiction and authority.
         Sec. 54.2107.  PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, AND OFFICE SPACE.  The
  Commissioners Court of Kerr County shall provide:
               (1)  personnel for the legal or clerical functions
  necessary to perform the magistrate's duties authorized by this
  chapter; and
               (2)  sufficient equipment and office space for the
  magistrate and personnel to perform the magistrate's essential
  functions.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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