Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3626
By: Naishtat
Judicial Affairs


Various sections of the Government Code authorize the imposition of
additional filing fees by certain courts to help a county the costs of
administration.  Proposed legislation during this session, if passed, will
result in statutory probate courts' being the only county-administered
courts without the option of imposing such an additional filing fee. 

H.B. 3626 provides for the imposition of an additional filing fee of $40
for statutory probate courts.  Following the existing provisions for an
additional filing fee for a judicial fund, a county would be able to choose
whether or not to participate, and would be precluded from collecting both
a fee as added under this Act and other certain fees. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 25, Government Code, by adding
Sections 25.00211 and 25.00212, as follows: 

Sec. 25.00211.  STATE CONTRIBUTION.  (a) Requires the state, beginning on
the first day of the fiscal year, to annually compensate a county that
collects fees under Section 51.703, Government Code, as added by this Act,
in the amount of $40,000 for each statutory probate court judge in the

(b)  Requires the amount to be paid from the judicial fund to the county's
salary fund in equal monthly installments. 

Sec. 25.00212.  EXCESS CONTRIBUTIONS.  (a)  Requires the comptroller of
public accounts (comptroller), at the end of the state fiscal year, to
determine the amounts deposited under Section 51.703, Government Code, and
the amounts paid to counties under Section 25.0211.  Requires the state, if
the amount paid from the judicial fund is greater than the amount paid to
the counties, to remit the excess to the counties in proportion to the
percentage of each county's total amount paid. 

(b)  Requires funds remitted under Subsection (a) to be paid to a county's
general fund and used only for court-related purposes specified under
Section 21.006 (Judicial Fund).   
SECTION 2.  Amends Subchapter H, Chapter 51, Government Code, by adding
Section 51.703, as follows: 

Requires a clerk of a statutory probate court (clerk) to collect a $40
filing fee (fee) in each probate, guardianship, mental health, or civil
case filed in the court, except as provided by Subsection (f).  Provides
that such fees are in addition to all other fees authorized or required by
law, and will be used for court-related purposes for the support of the

(b)  Requires fees collected under this section to be collected in the same
manner as other fees, fines, or costs are collected in the case. 

(c)  Requires the clerk to send the fee to the comptroller at least
monthly.  Requires the comptroller to deposit collected fees in the
judicial fund.   

(d)  Provides that Section 51.320, which relates to the provision of a bill
for service before a payment can be made, applies to this section. 

(e)  Provides that this section applies only to fees collected during a
12-month period beginning July 1 in a county in which the commissioners
court has adopted a resolution authorizing the fees (resolution) and filed
that resolution with the comptroller before the preceding June 1. 

(f)  Provides that a resolution under Subsection (e) continues until it is

 (g)  Requires a commissioners court that wants to rescind a resolution to
submit a resolution to the comptroller stating that desire before the June
1 preceding the first day of the state fiscal year. 

(h) Provides that a county that is not eligible on July 1, but becomes
eligible to participate under Subsection (e) during the year may submit a
resolution to the comptroller, and requires the comptroller to determine
the date the county may collect fees. Provides that such a county may not
receive a payment until the 60th day after the date the comptroller
determines the county may begin to collect fees. 

(i)  Provides that a clerk may not collect fees under this section and also
under Section 51.701 (Additional Filing Fee for Judicial Fund) or 51.702
(Additional Fees and Costs in Certain County Courts). 

SECTION 3.  Makes application of SECTION 2 of this Act prospective.

SECTION 4.  Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.