Texas Government Code

Sec. § 75.404
Presiding Judge for Harris County Justice Courts


(a)

The justices of the peace in Harris County may select from among themselves a presiding judge.

(b)

The presiding judge shall be selected during the month preceding the term the judge is to serve by a two-thirds vote of the judges. The presiding judge serves a term of one year unless by a vote of two-thirds of the judges the selection is canceled and another judge is selected to serve the unexpired term. Each judge shall enter on the minutes of the court an order reciting the selection of the presiding judge.

(c)

A copresiding judge may be selected in the same manner as the presiding judge. The copresiding judge serves when the presiding judge is absent or disabled for any reason and has the same duties as the presiding judge.

(d)

The presiding judge shall:

(1)

preside at any session of the judges;

(2)

keep a record of the decisions of the judges;

(3)

appoint special or standing committees necessary for court management and administration;

(4)

implement local rules, including assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearings of cases; and

(5)

provide statistical and management information requested by the supreme court or the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System.

(e)

If a justice of the peace in Harris County is absent or for any reason unable to preside, the presiding judge may appoint, in addition to a qualified person authorized by law, a former justice of the peace or a former county court, statutory county court, or district court judge who served as a judge in this state and who consents to the appointment as a special judge to preside for the justice of the peace. The presiding judge may designate the duration of the appointment, not to exceed 60 days, and may revoke an appointment at any time. The duties and powers of a special judge are the same as for the regular justice of the peace.

(f)

The commissioners court may compensate the special judge.

(g)

The justices of the peace in Harris County may adopt local rules:

(1)

that are consistent with Chapter 45 (Justice and Municipal Courts), Code of Criminal Procedure, and Part V, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, for practice and procedure in the justice courts of Harris County; and

(2)

for practice and procedure in the small claims courts of Harris County.

(h)

A local rule may be adopted by two-thirds vote of the justices of the peace.

(i)

A local rule may provide for assigning, docketing, transferring, or hearing of a case.

(j)

Notwithstanding other provisions of law regarding venue:

(1)

a misdemeanor case to be tried in a justice court of Harris County may be prosecuted, according to a local rule, in any precinct in the county designated by the local rule; and

(2)

a civil case, except a suit for forcible entry and detainer or involving real property, may be brought, according to local rule, in any precinct in the county designated by the local rule.

(k)

Each justice of the peace shall enter the local rules on the minutes of the court. On request, a justice of the peace shall provide a copy of the local rules to any interested person.
Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 31, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 216, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 661, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 583, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
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Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021