HBA-BSM H.B. 3643 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3643 By: Seaman Judicial Affairs 4/10/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, there is no statutory authority for the creation of a county court at law in Aransas County. Aransas County is currently served by three district courts, and the demands of the district judges in other counties cause unnecessary delay for legal matters in Aransas County. Because Aransas County has experienced population growth of more than 25 percent during the last decade, the legal community in Aransas County has requested the creation of a county court at law to meet the growing legal needs of Aransas County. House Bill 3643 creates the County Court at Law of Aransas County and establishes its jurisdiction in regard to probate, juvenile, family, civil, and certain criminal cases. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 3643 amends the Government Code to create the County Court at Law of Aransas County. The bill provides that the county court at law has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in family law cases to conduct arraignments, conduct pretrial hearings, and accept guilty pleas. The bill also provides that the district clerk serves as clerk of a county court at law in matters of concurrent jurisdiction with the district court and the county clerk serves as clerk of a county court at law in all other cases. The district clerk is required to establish a separate docket for a county court at law. The bill also requires the commissioners court to provide the deputy clerks, bailiffs, and other personnel necessary to operate a county court at law. The jury is to be composed of 12 members in all matters of concurrent jurisdiction with the district court and six-members in misdemeanor criminal cases and all other cases. The bill also provides that the County Court of Aransas County has no probate, juvenile, civil, or criminal jurisdiction. The County Court at Law of Aransas County is created December 31, 2002 or on an earlier date determined by the commissioners court by an order entered in its minutes. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.