Bill Text: TX SB2254 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Relating to creation of magistrates in Fort Bend County.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-09 - Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence [SB2254 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB2254-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Miles S.B. No. 2254
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to creation of magistrates in Fort Bend County.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 2.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 2.09.  WHO ARE MAGISTRATES. Each of the following
  officers is a magistrate within the meaning of this Code:  The
  justices of the Supreme Court, the judges of the Court of Criminal
  Appeals, the justices of the Courts of Appeals, the judges of the
  District Court, the magistrates appointed by the judges of the
  district courts of Bexar County, Dallas County, or Tarrant County
  that give preference to criminal cases, the criminal law hearing
  officers for Harris County appointed under Subchapter L, Chapter
  54, Government Code, the criminal law hearing officers for Cameron
  County appointed under Subchapter BB, Chapter 54, Government Code,
  the magistrates or associate judges appointed by the judges of the
  district courts of Lubbock County, Nolan County, or Webb County,
  the magistrates appointed by the judges of the criminal district
  courts of Dallas County or Tarrant County, the associate judges
  appointed by the judges of the district courts and the county courts
  at law that give preference to criminal cases in Jefferson County,
  the associate judges appointed by the judges of the district courts
  and the statutory county courts of Brazos County, Nueces County, or
  Williamson County, the magistrates appointed by the judges of the
  district courts and statutory county courts that give preference to
  criminal cases in Travis County, the criminal magistrates appointed
  by the Brazoria County Commissioners Court, the criminal
  magistrates appointed by the Burnet County Commissioners Court, the
  county judges, the judges of the county courts at law, judges of the
  county criminal courts, the judges of statutory probate courts, the
  associate judges appointed by the judges of the statutory probate
  courts under Chapter 54A, Government Code, the associate judges
  appointed by the judge of a district court under Chapter 54A,
  Government Code, the magistrates appointed under Subchapter JJ,
  Chapter 54, Government Code, as added by H.B. No. 2132, Acts of the
  82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011, the magistrates appointed
  under Subchapter NN, Chapter 54, Government Code, the justices of
  the peace, and the mayors and recorders and the judges of the
  municipal courts of incorporated cities or towns.
         SECTION 2.  Article 4.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 4.01.  WHAT COURTS HAVE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. The
  following courts have jurisdiction in criminal actions:
         1.  The Court of Criminal Appeals;
         2.  Courts of appeals;
         3.  The district courts;
         4.  The criminal district courts;
         5.  The magistrates appointed by the judges of the district
  courts of Bexar County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, or Travis
  County that give preference to criminal cases, [and] the
  magistrates appointed by the judges of the criminal district courts
  of Dallas County or Tarrant County, and the magistrates appointed
  by the judges of the statutory county courts and district courts of
  Fort Bend County that give preference to criminal cases;
         6.  The county courts;
         7.  All county courts at law with criminal jurisdiction;
         8.  County criminal courts;
         9.  Justice courts;
         10.  Municipal courts; and
         11.  The magistrates appointed by the judges of the district
  courts of Lubbock County.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 54, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter NN to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER NN. MAGISTRATES IN FORT BEND COUNTY
         Sec. 54.2301.  AUTHORIZATION; APPOINTMENT; ELIMINATION.  
  (a)  The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County may authorize the
  judges of the district courts and statutory county courts in Fort
  Bend 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 courts and statutory county
  courts in Fort Bend County by a unanimous vote may appoint
  magistrates as authorized by the Commissioners Court of Fort Bend
  County.
         (c)  An order appointing a magistrate must be signed by the
  local administrative judge of the district courts and the local
  administrative judge of the statutory county courts serving Fort
  Bend 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 Fort Bend County.
         Sec. 54.2302.  QUALIFICATIONS; OATH OF OFFICE.  (a)  To be
  eligible for appointment as a magistrate, a person must:
               (1)  be a resident of this state and the county;
               (2)  have been licensed to practice law in this state
  for at least four years;
               (3)  not have been removed from office by impeachment,
  by the supreme court, by the governor on address to the legislature,
  by a tribunal reviewing a recommendation of the State Commission on
  Judicial Conduct, or by the legislature's abolition of the judge's
  court; and
               (4)  not have resigned from office after having
  received notice that formal proceedings by the State Commission on
  Judicial Conduct had been instituted as provided by Section 33.022
  and before the final disposition of the proceedings.
         (b)  A magistrate appointed under Section 54.2301 must take
  the constitutional oath of office required of appointed officers of
  this state.
         Sec. 54.2303.  COMPENSATION. (a)  A magistrate is entitled
  to the salary determined by the Commissioners Court of Fort Bend
  County.
         (b)  A full-time magistrate's salary may not be less than
  that of a justice of the peace of Fort Bend County as established by
  the annual budget of Fort Bend 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 Fort Bend
  County shall approve the number of hours to be paid a part-time
  magistrate.
         (d)  A magistrate's salary is paid from the county fund
  available for payment of officers' salaries.
         Sec. 54.2304.  JUDICIAL IMMUNITY. A magistrate has the same
  judicial immunity as a district judge.
         Sec. 54.2305.  TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT. (a)  A magistrate
  may be terminated by a majority vote of all the judges of the
  district courts and statutory county courts of Fort Bend County.
         (b)  To terminate a magistrate's employment, the local
  administrative judge of the district courts and the local
  administrative judge of the statutory county courts serving Fort
  Bend 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. 54.2306.  DUTIES AND POWERS. (a)  A magistrate shall
  inform the person arrested, in clear language, of the accusation
  against the person and of any affidavit filed with the accusation.
  A magistrate shall inform the person arrested of the person's right
  to retain counsel, to remain silent, to have an attorney present
  during any interview with a peace officer or an attorney
  representing the state, to terminate the interview at any time, and
  to request the appointment of counsel if the person is indigent and
  cannot afford counsel. The magistrate shall also inform the person
  arrested that the person is not required to make a statement and
  that any statement made by the person may be used against the
  person. The magistrate must allow the person arrested reasonable
  time and opportunity to consult counsel and shall admit the person
  arrested to bail if allowed by law.  In addition to the powers and
  duties specified by this subsection, a magistrate has all other
  powers and duties of a magistrate specified by the Code of Criminal
  Procedure and other laws of this state.
         (b)  A magistrate may determine the amount of bail and grant
  bail under Chapter 17, Code of Criminal Procedure, and as otherwise
  provided by law.
         (c)  A magistrate shall be available, within 24 hours of a
  defendant's arrest, to determine probable cause for further
  detention, administer warnings, inform the accused of the pending
  charges, and determine all matters pertaining to bail.  Magistrates
  shall be available to review and issue search warrants and arrest
  warrants as provided by law.
         (d)  A magistrate may dispose of criminal cases filed in the
  justice court as provided by law and collect fines and enforce the
  judgments and orders of the justice courts in criminal cases.
         (e)  A magistrate may enforce the judgments and orders of the
  statutory county courts in criminal cases.
         Sec. 54.2307.  MENTAL HEALTH JURISDICTION. The judges of
  the statutory county courts of Fort Bend County may authorize a
  magistrate as necessary to hear emergency mental health matters
  under Chapter 573, Health and Safety Code.  A magistrate has
  concurrent limited jurisdiction with the statutory county courts to
  hear emergency mental health matters under Chapter 573, Health and
  Safety Code.  This section does not impair the jurisdiction of the
  statutory county courts to review or alter the decision of the
  magistrate.
         Sec. 54.2308.  PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, AND OFFICE SPACE.  The
  Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County shall provide:
               (1)  personnel for the legal or clerical functions
  necessary to perform the magistrate's duties authorized by this
  subchapter; and
               (2)  sufficient equipment and office space for the
  magistrate and personnel to perform the magistrate's essential
  functions.
         Sec. 54.2309.  SHERIFF. On request of a magistrate
  appointed under this subchapter, the sheriff, in person or by
  deputy, shall assist the magistrate.
         Sec. 54.2310.  CLERK. The district clerk or county clerk, as
  applicable, shall perform the statutory duties necessary for the
  magistrate appointed under this subchapter in cases filed in a
  district court and in cases filed in a statutory county court.
         SECTION 4.  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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