Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1518
By: Cain
Judicial Affairs


Current law authorizes certain county and district courts to impose
additional filing fees to help a county offset administration costs.
However the law does not afford this same authority to statutory probate
courts.   H.B. 3626 requires the clerk of a statutory probate court, with
commissioners court authorization, to collect a $40 filing fee. 


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 that the amount 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 in the judicial fund under Section 51.703
and the amounts paid to counties under Section 25.00211.  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 that funds remitted under Subsection (a) 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), except as provided
by Subsection (f), to collect a $40 filing fee (fee) in each probate,
guardianship, mental health, or civil case filed in the court to be used
for court-related purposes for the support of the judiciary. 

(b)  Requires that the fee 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 the fees in the judicial
(d)  Provides that Section 51.320 (Bills for Services) applies to this

(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 and filed that
resolution with the comptroller before June 1 immediately preceding the
first 12 month period for which fees are to be collected. 

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

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

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

(i)  Prohibits the clerk from collecting fees under this section and 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.