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  H.B. No. 2132
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of magistrates in certain counties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 54, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter JJ to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER JJ. MAGISTRATES IN CERTAIN COUNTIES
         Sec. 54.1951.  APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
  applies to a constitutional county court in a county that:
               (1)  has a population of more than 585,000; and
               (2)  is contiguous to a county with a population of at
  least four million.
         Sec. 54.1952.  APPOINTMENT. (a) The county judge may
  appoint one or more part-time or full-time magistrates to hear a
  matter alleging a violation of Section 25.093 or 25.094, Education
  Code, referred to the magistrate by a court having jurisdiction
  over the matter.
         (b)  An appointment under Subsection (a) is subject to the
  approval of the commissioners court.
         (c)  A magistrate serves at the pleasure of the county judge.
         Sec. 54.1953.  QUALIFICATIONS. A magistrate must:
               (1)  be a citizen of this state;
               (2)  have resided in the county for at least six months
  before the date of the appointment; and
               (3)  have:
                     (A)  served as a justice of the peace for at least
  four years before the date of appointment; or
                     (B)  been licensed to practice law in this state
  for at least four years before the date of appointment.
         Sec. 54.1954.  COMPENSATION. A magistrate is entitled to
  the compensation set by the commissioners court. The compensation
  shall be paid from the general fund of the county.
         Sec. 54.1955.  POWERS. (a) Except as limited by an order of
  the county judge, a magistrate appointed under this subchapter may:
               (1)  conduct hearings;
               (2)  hear evidence;
               (3)  issue summons for the appearance of witnesses;
               (4)  examine witnesses;
               (5)  swear witnesses for hearings;
               (6)  recommend rulings or orders or a judgment in a
  case;
               (7)  regulate proceedings in a hearing;
               (8)  accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in a
  case alleging a violation of Section 25.093 or 25.094, Education
  Code, and assess a fine or court costs or order community service in
  satisfaction of a fine or costs in accordance with Article 45.049,
  Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (9)  enter an order suspending a sentence or deferring
  a final disposition that includes at least one of the requirements
  listed in Article 45.051, Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (10)  perform any act and take any measure necessary
  and proper for the efficient performance of the duties required by
  the referral order, including the entry of an order that includes at
  least one of the requirements in Article 45.054, Code of Criminal
  Procedure; and
               (11)  if the magistrate finds that a child as defined by
  Article 45.058, Code of Criminal Procedure, has violated an order
  under Article 45.054, Code of Criminal Procedure, proceed as
  authorized by Article 45.050, Code of Criminal Procedure.
         (b)  With respect to an issue of law or fact the ruling on
  which could result in the dismissal of a prosecution under Section
  25.093 or 25.094, Education Code, a magistrate may not rule on the
  issue but may make findings, conclusions, and recommendations on
  the issue.
         Sec. 54.1956.  NOT GUILTY PLEA ENTERED. On entry of a not
  guilty plea the magistrate shall refer the case back to the
  referring court for all further pretrial proceedings and a full
  trial on the merits before the court or a jury.
         Sec. 54.1957.  PAPERS TRANSMITTED TO JUDGE. (a) At the
  conclusion of a hearing, the magistrate shall transmit to the judge
  any papers relating to the case, including:
               (1)  the magistrate's findings and recommendations;
               (2)  a statement that notice of the findings and
  recommendations and of the right to a hearing before the judge has
  been given to all parties; and
               (3)  all other documents requested by the referring
  judge.
         (b)  Unless the judge adopts, modifies, or rejects the
  magistrate's findings or recommendations not later than the fifth
  working day after the date the judge receives the findings or
  recommendations, a magistrate's finding or recommendation is final
  for appeal purposes.
         (c)  The judge shall send written notice of any modification
  or rejection of the magistrate's findings or recommendations to
  each party to the case and the attorney representing the state not
  later than the fifth day after the date of the modification or
  rejection.
         SECTION 2.  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 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 masters appointed by the judges of the
  district courts and the county courts at law that give preference to
  criminal cases in Jefferson County, the magistrates 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 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 Subchapter G, Chapter
  54, Government Code, the associate judges appointed by the judge of
  a district court under Subchapter II, Chapter 54, Government Code,
  the magistrates appointed under Subchapter JJ, 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 3.  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, 2011.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2132 was passed by the House on April
  26, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 1, 2 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2132 was passed by the Senate on May
  24, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0
  .
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor