Administration, Local Administrative District Judge

(Gov't Code -- See comment below containing the statutory provision for the 33rd/424th -- hotlinks are to Westlaw)

SUBCHAPTER D ADMINISTRATION BY COUNTY

74.091. Local Administrative District Judge

(a) There is a local administrative district judge in each county.

(b) In a county with two or more district courts the judges of those courts shall elect a district judge as local administrative district judge for a term of not more than two years. The local administrative district judge may not be elected on the basis of rotation or seniority.

(c) In a county with only one district judge, the district judge serves as the local administrative district judge.

§ 74.0911. Local Administrative Statutory County Court Judge

(a) There is a local administrative statutory county court judge in each county that has a statutory county court.

(b) In a county with two or more statutory county courts, the judges of those courts shall elect a statutory county court judge as local administrative statutory county court judge for a term of not more than two years. A local administrative statutory county court judge may not be elected on the basis of rotation or seniority.

(c) In a county with only one statutory county court, the statutory county court judge serves as the local administrative statutory county court judge.

§ 74.092. Duties of Local Administrative Judge

A local administrative judge, for the courts for which the judge serves as local administrative judge, shall:

(1) implement and execute the local rules of administration, including the assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearing of cases;

(2) appoint any special or standing committees necessary or desirable for court management and administration;

(3) promulgate local rules of administration if the other judges do not act by a majority vote;

(4) recommend to the regional presiding judge any needs for assignment from outside the county to dispose of court caseloads;

(5) supervise the expeditious movement of court caseloads, subject to local, regional, and state rules of administration;

(6) provide the supreme court and the office of court administration requested statistical and management information;

(7) set the hours and places for holding court in the county;

(8) supervise the employment and performance of nonjudicial personnel;

(9) supervise the budget and fiscal matters of the local courts, subject to local rules of administration;

(10) coordinate and cooperate with any other local administrative judge in the district in the assignment of cases in the courts' concurrent jurisdiction for the efficient operation of the court system and the effective administration of justice; and

(11) perform other duties as may be directed by the chief justice or a regional presiding judge.

§ 74.093. Rules of Administration

(a) The district and statutory county court judges in each county shall, by majority vote, adopt local rules of administration.

(b) The rules must provide for:

(1) assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearing of all cases, subject to jurisdictional limitations of the district courts and statutory county courts;

(2) designation of court divisions or branches responsible for certain matters;

(3) holding court at least once a week in the county unless in the opinion of the local administrative judge sessions at other intervals will result in more efficient court administration;

(4) fair and equitable division of caseloads; and

(5) plans for judicial vacation, sick leave, attendance at educational programs, and similar matters.

(c) The rules may provide for:

(1) the selection and authority of a presiding judge of the courts giving preference to a specified class of cases, such as civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law cases; and

(2) any other matter necessary to carry out this chapter or to improve the administration and management of the court system and its auxiliary services.

(d) Rules relating to the transfer of cases or proceedings shall not allow the transfer of cases from one court to another unless the cases are within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred. When a case is transferred from one court to another as provided under this section, all processes, writs, bonds, recognizances, or other obligations issued from the transferring court are returnable to the court to which the case is transferred as if originally issued by that court.

§ 74.094. Hearing Cases

(a) A district or statutory county court judge may hear and determine a matter pending in any district or statutory county court in the county regardless of whether the matter is preliminary or final or whether there is a judgment in the matter. The judge may sign a judgment or order in any of the courts regardless of whether the case is transferred. The judgment, order, or action is valid and binding as if the case were pending in the court of the judge who acts in the matter. The authority of this subsection applies to an active, former, or retired judge assigned to a court having jurisdiction as provided by Subchapter C. [FN1]

(b) The judges shall try any case and hear any proceeding as assigned by the local administrative judge.

(c) The clerk shall file, docket, transfer, and assign the cases as directed by 
the local administrative judge in accordance with the local rules.

(d) Judges of district courts and statutory county courts may serve as masters and magistrates of courts, other than their own, subject to other provisions of law and court rules.

(e) A judge who has jurisdiction over a suit pending in one county may, unless objected to by any party, conduct any of the judicial proceedings except the trial on the merits in a different county.

(f) A pretrial judge assigned to hear pretrial matters in related cases under Rule 11, Texas Rules of Judicial Administration, may hold pretrial proceedings and hearings on pretrial matters for a case to which the judge has been assigned in:

(1) the county in which the case is pending; or

(2) a county in which there is pending a related case to which the pretrial

judge has been assigned.

[FN1] V.T.C.A., Government Code § 74.041 et seq.

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