Tex. Gov't Code Section 54B.006
Referral of Case


The appointing judge may refer to an associate judge any aspect of a civil or criminal case involving a matter over which the referring court has jurisdiction in Duval County.


After notice to all parties of the time and place of hearing, an associate judge may preside over any hearing, including:


for a civil case, proceedings involving:


a temporary order in an action or suit for support by one spouse against another;


a motion or suit to modify a temporary or final order;


temporary orders in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship;


an application for a temporary injunction related to temporary possession or use of property;


habeas corpus, including any hearing authorized by the Family Code;


a motion to transfer;


a motion of contempt for failure or refusal to obey a temporary or final order;


an action brought under Chapter 159 (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act), Family Code;


an action for the protection of the family;


a matter on which the parties agree;


a matter in which a party is entitled to a default judgment;


a divorce action in which a waiver of citation is on file;


a friendly suit; and


any other matter in the jurisdiction of the court, including a pretrial motion, discovery, a summary judgment, and other matters governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; and


for a criminal case, proceedings involving:


a negotiated plea of guilty or nolo contendere;


a bond forfeiture;


a pretrial motion;


a postconviction writ of habeas corpus;


an examining trial; and


any other matter that the judge considers proper.


A judge may not refer to an associate judge any criminal case for trial on the merits in which a jury trial has been requested.


Unless a party files a written objection to the associate judge hearing the trial, the appointing judge may refer to an associate judge a trial on the merits. If an objection is filed, the trial on the merits shall be heard by the referring court.


A trial on the merits is a final adjudication from which an appeal may be taken to a court of appeals.


An associate judge may not conduct a contested trial on the merits to terminate parental rights unless the affected parties give written consent to the contested trial by the associate judge. Unless written consent is given by the affected parties to a contested trial on the merits, any order terminating parental rights issued pursuant to an associate judge’s report resulting from the contested trial is void.


On appointment of an associate judge, any pending or future cases may be referred to the associate judge.
Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 861 (H.B. 3474), Sec. 5.007, eff. September 1, 2023.

Source: Section 54B.006 — Referral of Case, https://statutes.­capitol.­texas.­gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.­54B.­htm#54B.­006 (accessed Jun. 5, 2024).

Jun. 5, 2024

§ 54B.006’s source at texas​.gov