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  H.B. No. 19
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of a specialty trial court to hear certain
  cases; authorizing fees.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 2, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 25A to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 25A. BUSINESS COURT
         Sec. 25A.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Controlling person" means a person who directly
  or indirectly controls a governing person, officer, or
  organization.
               (2)  "Derivative proceeding" means a civil action
  brought in the right of a domestic or foreign corporation, a
  domestic or foreign limited liability company, or a domestic or
  foreign limited partnership, to the extent provided by the Business
  Organizations Code.
               (3)  "Governing documents" means the instruments,
  documents, or agreements adopted under an organization's governing
  law to govern the organization's formation and internal affairs.
  The term includes:
                     (A)  a certificate of formation, articles of
  incorporation, and articles of organization;
                     (B)  bylaws;
                     (C)  a partnership agreement;
                     (D)  a company agreement or operating agreement;
                     (E)  a shareholder agreement;
                     (F)  a voting agreement or voting trust agreement;
  and
                     (G)  an agreement among owners restricting the
  transfer of ownership interests.
               (4)  "Governing law" means the law governing the
  formation and internal affairs of an organization.
               (5)  "Governing person" means a person who is entitled,
  alone or as part of a group, to manage and direct an organization's
  affairs under the organization's governing documents and governing
  law. The term includes:
                     (A)  a member of the board of directors of a
  corporation or other organization;
                     (B)  a general partner of a general or limited
  partnership;
                     (C)  a manager of a limited liability company that
  is managed by its managers;
                     (D)  a member of a limited liability company that
  is managed by its members;
                     (E)  a trust manager of a real estate investment
  trust; and
                     (F)  a trustee of a business trust.
               (6)  "Governmental entity" means:
                     (A)  this state; or
                     (B)  a political subdivision of this state,
  including a municipality, a county, or any kind of district.
               (7)  "Internal affairs" means:
                     (A)  the rights, powers, and duties of an
  organization's governing persons, officers, owners, and members;
  and
                     (B)  matters relating to the organization's
  membership or ownership interests.
               (8)  "Managerial official" means a governing person or
  officer.
               (9)  "Officer" means a person elected, appointed, or
  designated as an officer of an organization by the organization's
  governing persons or governing documents.
               (10)  "Organization" means a foreign or domestic entity
  or association, regardless of whether the organization is for
  profit or nonprofit. The term includes:
                     (A)  a corporation;
                     (B)  a limited partnership;
                     (C)  a general partnership;
                     (D)  a limited liability partnership;
                     (E)  a limited liability company;
                     (F)  a business trust;
                     (G)  a real estate investment trust;
                     (H)  a joint venture;
                     (I)  a joint stock company;
                     (J)  a cooperative;
                     (K)  a bank;
                     (L)  a credit union;
                     (M)  a savings and loan association;
                     (N)  an insurance company; and
                     (O)  a series of a limited liability company or of
  another entity.
               (11)  "Owner" means an owner of an organization. The
  term includes:
                     (A)  a shareholder or stockholder of a corporation
  or other organization;
                     (B)  a general or limited partner of a partnership
  or an assignee of a partnership interest in a partnership;
                     (C)  a member of, or an assignee of a membership
  interest in, a limited liability company; and
                     (D)  a member of a nonprofit organization.
               (12)  "Ownership interest" means an owner's interest in
  an organization, including an owner's economic, voting, and
  management rights.
               (13)  "Publicly traded company" means an entity whose
  voting equity securities are listed on a national securities
  exchange registered with the United States Securities and Exchange
  Commission under Section 6, Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15
  U.S.C. Section 78f) and any entity that is majority owned or
  controlled by such an entity.
               (14)  "Qualified transaction" means a transaction,
  other than a transaction involving a loan or an advance of money or
  credit by a bank, credit union, or savings and loan institution,
  under which a party:
                     (A)  pays or receives, or is obligated to pay or is
  entitled to receive, consideration with an aggregate value of at
  least $10 million; or
                     (B)  lends, advances, borrows, receives, is
  obligated to lend or advance, or is entitled to borrow or receive
  money or credit with an aggregate value of at least $10 million.
         Sec. 25A.002.  CREATION.  The business court is a statutory
  court created under Section 1, Article V, Texas Constitution.
         Sec. 25A.003.  BUSINESS COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT; DIVISIONS.
  (a)  The judicial district of the business court is composed of all
  counties in this state.
         (b)  The business court is composed of divisions as provided
  by this section.
         (c)  The First Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the First Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(b).
         (d)  The Second Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Second Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(c), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished September 1, 2026, unless
  reauthorized by the legislature and funded through additional
  legislative appropriations.
         (e)  The Third Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Third Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(d).
         (f)  The Fourth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Fourth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(e).
         (g)  The Fifth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(f), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished on September 1, 2026,
  unless reauthorized by the legislature and funded through
  additional legislative appropriations.
         (h)  The Sixth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Sixth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(g), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished on September 1, 2026,
  unless reauthorized by the legislature and funded through
  additional legislative appropriations.
         (i)  The Seventh Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Seventh Administrative Judicial Region
  under Section 74.042(h), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished on September 1, 2026,
  unless reauthorized by the legislature and funded through
  additional legislative appropriations.
         (j)  The Eighth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Eighth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(i).
         (k)  The Ninth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Ninth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(j), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished on September 1, 2026,
  unless reauthorized by the legislature and funded through
  additional legislative appropriations.
         (l)  The Tenth Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Tenth Administrative Judicial Region under
  Section 74.042(k), subject to funding through legislative
  appropriations. The division is abolished on September 1, 2026,
  unless reauthorized by the legislature and funded through
  additional legislative appropriations.
         (m)  The Eleventh Business Court Division is composed of the
  counties composing the Eleventh Administrative Judicial Region
  under Section 74.042(l).
         (n)  This subsection and Subsections (d), (g), (h), (i), (k),
  and (l) expire September 1, 2026.
         Sec. 25A.004.  JURISDICTION AND POWERS. (a) Subject to
  Subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), the business court has the
  powers provided to district courts by Chapter 24, including the
  power to:
               (1)  issue writs of injunction, mandamus,
  sequestration, attachment, garnishment, and supersedeas; and
               (2)  grant any relief that may be granted by a district
  court.
         (b)  Subject to Subsection (c), the business court has civil
  jurisdiction concurrent with district courts in the following
  actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million,
  excluding interest, statutory damages, exemplary damages,
  penalties, attorney's fees, and court costs:
               (1)  a derivative proceeding;
               (2)  an action regarding the governance, governing
  documents, or internal affairs of an organization;
               (3)  an action in which a claim under a state or federal
  securities or trade regulation law is asserted against:
                     (A)  an organization;
                     (B)  a controlling person or managerial official
  of an organization for an act or omission by the organization or by
  the person in the person's capacity as a controlling person or
  managerial official;
                     (C)  an underwriter of securities issued by the
  organization; or
                     (D)  the auditor of an organization;
               (4)  an action by an organization, or an owner of an
  organization, if the action:
                     (A)  is brought against an owner, controlling
  person, or managerial official of the organization; and
                     (B)  alleges an act or omission by the person in
  the person's capacity as an owner, controlling person, or
  managerial official of the organization;
               (5)  an action alleging that an owner, controlling
  person, or managerial official breached a duty owed to an
  organization or an owner of an organization by reason of the
  person's status as an owner, controlling person, or managerial
  official, including the breach of a duty of loyalty or good faith;
               (6)  an action seeking to hold an owner or governing
  person of an organization liable for an obligation of the
  organization, other than on account of a written contract signed by
  the person to be held liable in a capacity other than as an owner or
  governing person; and
               (7)  an action arising out of the Business
  Organizations Code.
         (c)  The business court has civil jurisdiction concurrent
  with district courts in an action described by Subsection (b)
  regardless of the amount in controversy if a party to the action is
  a publicly traded company.
         (d)  The business court has civil jurisdiction concurrent
  with district courts in the following actions in which the amount in
  controversy exceeds $10 million, excluding interest, statutory
  damages, exemplary damages, penalties, attorney's fees, and court
  costs:
               (1)  an action arising out of a qualified transaction;
               (2)  an action that arises out of a contract or
  commercial transaction in which the parties to the contract or
  transaction agreed in the contract or a subsequent agreement that
  the business court has jurisdiction of the action, except an action
  that arises out of an insurance contract; and
               (3)  subject to Subsection (g), an action that arises
  out of a violation of the Finance Code or Business & Commerce Code
  by an organization or an officer or governing person acting on
  behalf of an organization other than a bank, credit union, or
  savings and loan association.
         (e)  The business court has civil jurisdiction concurrent
  with district courts in an action seeking injunctive relief or a
  declaratory judgment under Chapter 37, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, involving a dispute based on a claim within the court's
  jurisdiction under Subsection (b), (c), or (d).
         (f)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), the business court
  has supplemental jurisdiction over any other claim related to a
  case or controversy within the court's jurisdiction that forms part
  of the same case or controversy. A claim within the business
  court's supplemental jurisdiction may proceed in the business court
  only on the agreement of all parties to the claim and a judge of the
  division of the court before which the action is pending. If the
  parties involved in a claim within the business court's
  supplemental jurisdiction do not agree on the claim proceeding in
  the business court, the claim may proceed in a court of original
  jurisdiction concurrently with any related claims proceeding in the
  business court.
         (g)  Unless the claim falls within the business court's
  supplemental jurisdiction, the business court does not have
  jurisdiction of:
               (1)  a civil action:
                     (A)  brought by or against a governmental entity;
  or
                     (B)  to foreclose on a lien on real or personal
  property;
               (2)  a claim arising out of:
                     (A)  Subchapter E, Chapter 15, and Chapter 17,
  Business & Commerce Code;
                     (B)  the Estates Code;
                     (C)  the Family Code;
                     (D)  the Insurance Code; or
                     (E)  Chapter 53 and Title 9, Property Code;
               (3)  a claim arising out of the production or sale of a
  farm product, as that term is defined by Section 9.102, Business &
  Commerce Code;
               (4)  a claim related to a consumer transaction, as that
  term is defined by Section 601.001, Business & Commerce Code, to
  which a consumer in this state is a party, arising out of a
  violation of federal or state law; or
               (5)  a claim related to the duties and obligations
  under an insurance policy.
         (h)  The business court does not have jurisdiction of the
  following claims regardless of whether the claim is otherwise
  within the court's supplemental jurisdiction under Subsection (f):
               (1)  a claim arising under Chapter 74, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code;
               (2)  a claim in which a party seeks recovery of monetary
  damages for bodily injury or death; or
               (3)  a claim of legal malpractice.
         Sec. 25A.005.  JUDICIAL AUTHORITY. A business court judge
  has all powers, duties, immunities, and privileges of a district
  judge.
         Sec. 25A.006.  INITIAL FILING; REMOVAL AND REMAND. (a) An
  action within the jurisdiction of the business court may be filed in
  the business court. The party filing the action must plead facts to
  establish venue in a county in a division of the business court, and
  the business court shall assign the action to that division. Venue
  may be established as provided by law or, if a written contract
  specifies a county as venue for the action, as provided by the
  contract.
         (b)  If the business court does not have jurisdiction of the
  action, the court shall, at the option of the party filing the
  action:
               (1)  transfer the action to a district court or county
  court at law in a county of proper venue; or
               (2)  dismiss the action without prejudice to the
  party's rights.
         (c)  If, after an action is assigned to a division of the
  business court, the court determines that the division's geographic
  territory does not include a county of proper venue for the action,
  the court shall:
               (1)  if an operating division of the court includes a
  county of proper venue, transfer the action to that division; or
               (2)  if there is not an operating division of the court
  that includes a county of proper venue, at the option of the party
  filing the action, transfer the action to a district court or county
  court at law in a county of proper venue.
         (d)  A party to an action filed in a district court or county
  court at law that is within the jurisdiction of the business court
  may remove the action to the business court. If the business court
  does not have jurisdiction of the action, the business court shall
  remand the action to the court in which the action was originally
  filed.
         (e)  A party to an action filed in a district court or county
  court at law in a county of proper venue that is not within an
  operating division of the business court or the judge of the court
  in which the action is filed may not remove or transfer the action
  to the business court.
         (f)  A party may file an agreed notice of removal at any time
  during the pendency of the action. If all parties to the action
  have not agreed to remove the action, the notice of removal must be
  filed:
               (1)  not later than the 30th day after the date the
  party requesting removal of the action discovered, or reasonably
  should have discovered, facts establishing the business court's
  jurisdiction over the action; or
               (2)  if an application for temporary injunction is
  pending on the date the party requesting removal of the action
  discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, facts
  establishing the business court's jurisdiction over the action, not
  later than the 30th day after the date the application is granted,
  denied, or denied as a matter of law.
         (g)  The notice of removal must be filed with the business
  court and the court in which the action was originally filed. On
  receipt of the notice, the clerk of the court in which the action
  was originally filed shall immediately transfer the action to the
  business court in accordance with rules adopted by the supreme
  court, and the business court clerk shall assign the action to the
  appropriate division of the business court.
         (h)  The filing of an action or a notice of removal in the
  business court is subject to Section 10.001, Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code.
         (i)  Removal of a case to the business court is not subject to
  the statutes or rules governing the due order of pleading.
         (j)  Removal of a case does not waive a defect in venue or
  constitute an appearance to determine personal jurisdiction.
         (k)  The judge of a court in which an action is filed may
  request the presiding judge for the court's administrative region
  to transfer the action to the business court if the action is within
  the business court's jurisdiction.  The judge shall notify all
  parties of the transfer request and request a hearing on the
  transfer request. After a hearing on the request, the presiding
  judge may transfer the action to the business court if the presiding
  judge finds the transfer will facilitate the fair and efficient
  administration of justice.  The business court clerk shall assign
  an action transferred under this subsection to the appropriate
  division of the business court.
         (l)  The business court judge on establishment of
  jurisdiction and venue over an action shall by order declare the
  county in which any jury trial for the action will be held as
  determined under Section 25A.015.
         Sec. 25A.007.  APPEALS. (a) Notwithstanding any other law
  and except as provided by Subsection (b) and in instances when the
  supreme court has concurrent or exclusive jurisdiction, the
  Fifteenth Court of Appeals has exclusive jurisdiction over an
  appeal from an order or judgment of the business court or an
  original proceeding related to an action or order of the business
  court.
         (b)  If the Fifteenth Court of Appeals is not created, an
  appeal from an order or judgment of the business court or an
  original proceeding related to an action or order of the business
  court shall be filed in the court of appeals with appellate
  jurisdiction of civil cases for the county declared in an order
  under Section 25A.006(l).
         (c)  The procedure governing an appeal or original
  proceeding from the business court is the same as the procedure for
  an appeal or original proceeding from a district court.
         Sec. 25A.008.  QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGE. (a)  A business
  court judge must:
               (1)  be at least 35 years of age;
               (2)  be a United States citizen;
               (3)  have been a resident of a county within the
  division of the business court to which the judge is appointed for
  at least five years before appointment; and
               (4)  be a licensed attorney in this state who has 10 or
  more years of experience in:
                     (A)  practicing complex civil business
  litigation;
                     (B)  practicing business transaction law;
                     (C)  serving as a judge of a court in this state
  with civil jurisdiction; or
                     (D)  any combination of experience described by
  Paragraphs (A)-(C).
         (b)  A business court judge may not have had the judge's
  license to practice law revoked, suspended, or subject to a
  probated suspension.
         Sec. 25A.009.  APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES; TERM; PRESIDING JUDGE;
  EXCHANGE OF BENCHES. (a) The governor, with the advice and consent
  of the senate, shall appoint:
               (1)  two judges to each of the First, Third, Fourth,
  Eighth, and Eleventh Divisions of the business court; and
               (2)  one judge to each of the Second, Fifth, Sixth,
  Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Divisions of the business court.
         (b)  A business court judge shall serve for a term of two
  years, beginning on September 1 of every even-numbered year.
         (c)  A business court judge may be reappointed.
         (d)  Not later than the seventh day after the first day of a
  term, the business court judges by majority vote shall select a
  judge of the court to serve as administrative presiding judge for
  the duration of the term. If a vacancy occurs in the position of
  administrative presiding judge, the remaining business court
  judges shall select a judge of the court to serve as administrative
  presiding judge for the remainder of the unexpired term as soon as
  practicable.
         (e)  A business court judge shall take the constitutional
  oath of office required of appointed officers of this state and file
  the oath with the secretary of state.
         (f)  To promote the orderly and efficient administration of
  justice, the business court judges may exchange benches and sit and
  act for each other in any matter pending before the court.
         Sec. 25A.010.  VACANCY. If a vacancy occurs in an office of
  a business court judge, the governor, with the advice and consent of
  the senate, shall appoint, in the same manner as the original
  appointment, another person to serve for the remainder of the
  unexpired term.
         Sec. 25A.011.  JUDGE'S SALARY. The salary of a business
  court judge is the amount provided by Section 659.012 and shall be
  paid in equal monthly installments.
         Sec. 25A.012.  REMOVAL; DISQUALIFICATION AND RECUSAL. (a)
  A business court judge may be removed from office in the same manner
  and for the same reasons as a district judge.
         (b)  A business court judge is disqualified and subject to
  mandatory recusal for the same reasons a district judge is subject
  to disqualification or recusal in a pending case. Disqualification
  or recusal of a business court judge shall be governed by the same
  procedure as disqualification or recusal of a district judge.
         Sec. 25A.013.  PRIVATE PRACTICE OF LAW.  A business court
  judge shall diligently discharge the duties of the office on a
  full-time basis and may not engage in the private practice of law.
         Sec. 25A.014.  VISITING JUDGE. (a) A retired or former
  judge or justice who has the qualifications prescribed by Section
  25A.008 may be assigned as a visiting judge of a division of the
  business court by the chief justice of the supreme court. A
  visiting judge of a division of the business court is subject to
  objection, disqualification, or recusal in the same manner as a
  retired or former judge or justice is subject to objection,
  disqualification, or recusal if appointed as a visiting district
  judge.
         (b)  Before accepting an assignment as a visiting judge of a
  division of the business court, a retired or former judge or justice
  shall take the constitutional oath of office required of appointed
  officers of this state and file the oath with the secretary of
  state.
         Sec. 25A.015.  JURY PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE; VENUE FOR JURY
  TRIAL. (a) A party in an action pending in the business court has
  the right to a trial by jury when required by the constitution.
         (b)  Subject to Subsection (d), a jury trial in a case filed
  initially in the business court shall be held in any county in which
  the case could have been filed under Section 15.002, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, as chosen by the plaintiff.
         (c)  Subject to Subsections (b) and (d), a jury trial in a
  case removed to the business court shall be held in the county in
  which the action was originally filed.
         (d)  A jury trial for a case in which a written contract
  specifies a county as venue for suits shall be held in that county.
         (e)  The parties and the business court judge may agree to
  hold the jury trial in any other county.  A party may not be required
  to agree to hold the jury trial in a different county.
         (f)  The drawing of jury panels, selection of jurors, and
  other jury-related practice and procedure in the business court
  shall be the same as for the district court in the county in which
  the trial is held.
         (g)  Practice, procedure, rules of evidence, issuance of
  process and writs, and all other matters pertaining to the conduct
  of trials, hearings, and other business in the business court are
  governed by the laws and rules prescribed for district courts,
  unless otherwise provided by this chapter.
         Sec. 25A.016.  WRITTEN OPINIONS. The supreme court shall
  adopt rules for the issuance of written opinions by the business
  court.
         Sec. 25A.017.  COURT LOCATION; STAFFING. (a) In this
  section, "remote proceeding" means a proceeding before the business
  court in which one or more of the participants, including a judge,
  party, attorney, witness, court reporter, or other individual
  attends the proceeding remotely through the use of technology.
         (b)  The administrative presiding judge of the business
  court shall manage administrative and personnel matters on behalf
  of the court.  The administrative presiding judge of the business
  court shall appoint a clerk, whose office shall be located in Travis
  County in facilities provided by this state.  The clerk shall:
               (1)  accept all filings in the business court; and
               (2)  fulfill the legal and administrative functions of
  a district clerk.
         (c)  Each business court judge shall maintain chambers in the
  county the judge selects within the geographic boundaries of the
  division to which the judge is appointed in facilities provided by
  this state.  For purposes of this section, the Office of Court
  Administration of the Texas Judicial System may contract for the
  use of facilities with a county.
         (d)  Subject to Section 25A.015, a business court judge may
  hold court at any courtroom within the geographic boundaries of the
  division to which the judge is appointed as the court determines
  necessary or convenient for a particular civil action. To the
  extent practicable, a county using existing courtrooms and
  facilities shall accommodate the business court in the conduct of
  the court's hearings and other proceedings.
         (e)  The business court may conduct a proceeding other than a
  jury trial as a remote proceeding to facilitate the resolution of a
  matter before the court.  The business court may not require a party
  or attorney to remotely attend a court proceeding in which oral
  testimony is heard, absent the agreement of the parties.
         (f)  The business court shall conduct a remote proceeding
  from a courtroom or the facilities provided to a business court
  judge by this state.
         (g)  The business court shall provide reasonable notice to
  the public that a proceeding will be conducted remotely and an
  opportunity for the public to observe the remote proceeding.
         (h)  In a county in which a division of the business court
  sits, the sheriff shall in person or by deputy attend the business
  court as required by the court. The sheriff or deputy is entitled
  to reimbursement from this state for the cost of attending the
  business court.
         (i)  The business court may appoint personnel necessary for
  the operation of the court, including:
               (1)  personnel to assist the clerk of the court;
               (2)  staff attorneys for the court;
               (3)  staff attorneys for each judge of the business
  court;
               (4)  court coordinators; and
               (5)  administrative assistants.
         (j)  Subject to Subsection (k), the court officials shall
  perform the duties and responsibilities of their offices and are
  entitled to the compensation, fees, and allowances prescribed by
  law for the offices.
         (k)  All personnel, including the business court clerk,
  appointed under this section are employees of the Office of Court
  Administration of the Texas Judicial System and are state employees
  for all purposes, including accrual of leave time, insurance
  benefits, retirement benefits, and travel regulations.
         Sec. 25A.0171.  ADMINISTRATIVE ATTACHMENT TO OFFICE OF COURT
  ADMINISTRATION; REPORT.  (a)  The business court is
  administratively attached to the Office of Court Administration of
  the Texas Judicial System.
         (b)  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
  System shall provide administrative support to the business court
  as necessary to enable the business court to carry out its duties
  under this chapter.
         (c)  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
  System may employ personnel necessary to provide administrative
  support to the business court under this chapter.
         (d)  Only the business court may exercise the duties of the
  business court under this chapter.  Except as otherwise provided by
  this chapter, the Office of Court Administration of the Texas
  Judicial System does not have any authority or responsibility
  related to the duties of the business court under this chapter.
         (e)  Not later than December 1 of each year, the Office of
  Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall submit to
  the legislature a report on the number and types of cases heard by
  the business court in the preceding year.
         Sec. 25A.018.  FEES. The supreme court shall set fees for
  filings and actions in the business court in amounts sufficient to
  cover the costs of administering this chapter, taking into account
  fee waivers necessary for the interest of justice.
         Sec. 25A.019.  SEAL. The seal of the business court is the
  same as that provided by law for a district court except that the
  seal must contain the name "The Business Court of Texas."
         Sec. 25A.020.  RULES. (a) The supreme court shall adopt
  rules of civil procedure as the court determines necessary,
  including rules providing for:
               (1)  the timely and efficient removal and remand of
  cases to and from the business court; and
               (2)  the assignment of cases to judges of the business
  court.
         (b)  The business court may adopt rules of practice and
  procedure consistent with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and
  the Texas Rules of Evidence.
         SECTION 2.  Sections 659.012(a) and (e), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Notwithstanding Section 659.011 and subject to
  Subsections (b) and (b-1):
               (1)  a judge of a district court or a division of the
  business court is entitled to an annual base salary from the state
  as set by the General Appropriations Act in an amount equal to at
  least $140,000, except that the combined base salary of a district
  judge or judge of a division of the business court from all state
  and county sources, including compensation for any extrajudicial
  services performed on behalf of the county, may not exceed the
  amount that is $5,000 less than the maximum combined base salary
  from all state and county sources for a justice of a court of
  appeals other than a chief justice as determined under this
  subsection;
               (2)  a justice of a court of appeals other than the
  chief justice is entitled to an annual base salary from the state in
  the amount equal to 110 percent of the state base salary of a
  district judge as set by the General Appropriations Act, except
  that the combined base salary of a justice of the court of appeals
  other than the chief justice from all state and county sources,
  including compensation for any extrajudicial services performed on
  behalf of the county, may not exceed the amount that is $5,000 less
  than the base salary for a justice of the supreme court as
  determined under this subsection;
               (3)  a justice of the supreme court other than the chief
  justice or a judge of the court of criminal appeals other than the
  presiding judge is entitled to an annual base salary from the state
  in the amount equal to 120 percent of the state base salary of a
  district judge as set by the General Appropriations Act; and
               (4)  the chief justice or presiding judge of an
  appellate court is entitled to an annual base salary from the state
  in the amount equal to $2,500 more than the state base salary
  provided for the other justices or judges of the court, except that
  the combined base salary of the chief justice of a court of appeals
  from all state and county sources may not exceed the amount equal to
  $2,500 less than the base salary for a justice of the supreme court
  as determined under this subsection.
         (e)  For the purpose of salary payments by the state, the
  comptroller shall determine from sworn statements filed by the
  justices of the courts of appeals, [and] district judges, and
  business court judges that the required salary limitations provided
  by Subsection (a) are maintained. If the state base salary for a
  judge or justice prescribed by Subsection (a) combined with
  additional compensation from a county would exceed the limitations
  provided by Subsection (a), the comptroller shall reduce the salary
  payment made by the state by the amount of the excess.
         SECTION 3.  Section 837.001(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Membership [Except as provided by Subsection (b),
  membership] in the retirement system is limited to persons who have
  never been eligible for membership in the Judicial Retirement
  System of Texas or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One
  and who at any time on or after the effective date of this Act are
  judges, justices, or commissioners of:
               (1)  the supreme court;
               (2)  the court of criminal appeals;
               (3)  a court of appeals;
               (4)  the business court;
               (5)  a district court; or
               (6) [(5)]  a commission to a court specified in this
  subsection.
         SECTION 4.  (a) The Texas Supreme Court has exclusive and
  original jurisdiction over a challenge to the constitutionality of
  this Act or any part of this Act and may issue injunctive or
  declaratory relief in connection with the challenge.
         (b)  If the appointment of judges by the governor to the
  divisions of the business court under Section 25A.009, Government
  Code, as added by this Act, is held by the Texas Supreme Court as
  unconstitutional, the business court shall be staffed by retired or
  former judges or justices who are appointed to the court as provided
  by Section 25A.014, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 5.  Except as otherwise provided by this Act, the
  business court is created September 1, 2024.
         SECTION 6.  (a)  As soon as practicable after the effective
  date of this Act, the governor shall appoint judges to the First,
  Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Eleventh Business Court Divisions as
  required by Section 25A.009, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  On or before September 1, 2026, but not before July 1,
  2026, the governor shall appoint judges to the Second, Fifth,
  Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Business Court Divisions as
  required by Section 25A.009, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 7.  (a) Notwithstanding Chapter 25A, Government
  Code, as added by this Act, the business court is not created unless
  the legislature makes a specific appropriation of money for that
  purpose. For purposes of this subsection, a specific appropriation
  is an appropriation identifying the business court or an Act of the
  88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, relating to the creation
  of a specialty trial court to hear certain cases or of the business
  court.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Section 25A.007(a), Government Code, as
  added by this Act, a court of appeals retains the jurisdiction the
  court had on August 31, 2024, if the business court is not created
  as a result of Subsection (a) of this section.
         SECTION 8.  The changes in law made by this Act apply to
  civil actions commenced on or after September 1, 2024.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 19 was passed by the House on May 2,
  2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 90, Nays 51, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 19 on May 25, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 86, Nays 53, 1
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 19 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 12, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 24, Nays
  6.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor