Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2287
By: King, Tracy
Judicial Affairs


Currently, there are no municipal courts of record in the City of Rio
Bravo. Appeals from a municipal court are performed by a trail de novo or a
new trial.  H.B. 2287 would create a municipal court of record in Rio


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to municipal court of record and appellate
courts in SECTION 1 (Section 30.01708, Government Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Chapter 30, Government Code, by adding Subchapter RR, as


Sec.  30.01691.  APPLICATION.  Provides that this subchapter applies to the
City of Rio Bravo (city).   

Sec. 30.01692.  CREATION.  Authorizes a governing body of the city, by
ordinance, to create a municipal court of record (court) if it is
determined to be necessary.  Authorizes a governing body of the city, by
ordinance, to determine the number of courts of record required to dispose
of the cases and to establish as many as are needed.  Requires the
ordinance establishing the courts to give each court a numerical
designation, beginning with "Municipal Court of Record No. 1."  Prohibits a
court from existing concurrently with municipal courts that are not courts
of record in the city.  Provides that a court has no terms and is
authorized to sit at any time for the transaction of its business. 

Sec. 30.01693.  JURISDICTION.  Provides that a municipal court of record
has the jurisdiction provided by general law for municipal courts.
Provides that the court has jurisdiction over cases arising outside the
territorial limits of the city under the ordinances authorized by Section
215.072 (Dairies; Slaughterhouses), 217.042 (Nuisance), 341.903 (Authority
of Home-Rule Municipality to Police Municipally Owned Property Outside
Municipality), and 401.002 (Protection of Streams and Watersheds by
Home-Rule Municipality), Local Government Code. 

Sec. 30.01694.  APPLICATION OF OTHER LAWS.  Provides that certain general
laws and any charter provision or ordinance of the city relating to the
municipal court apply to the court unless the law, charter, or provision is
either in conflict or inconsistent with this subchapter. 

Sec. 30.01695.  JUDGE.  (a) Provides that a court is presided over by a
municipal judge. 

(b) Requires the governing body of the city to appoint one of the judges to
be the chief judge. 

(c) Establishes that a municipal judge is appointed for two year terms.
(d) Provides that a municipal judge must be a citizen of the United States
and of this state. Prohibits a person from serving as a municipal judge
while the person holds office or employment with the city government.
Provides that a person who takes office or employment with the city
government vacates the judicial office.  Requires the judge to devote as
much time to the office as is required. 

(e) Authorizes municipal judges to exchange, sit and act for each other in
any proceeding pending in the courts, if there is more than one court in
the city.  Provides that an act performed by any judge is binding on all
parties to the proceeding. 

(f) Entitles a municipal judge to a salary of an amount which is determined
by the governing body, paid by the city,  and prohibited from being
diminished during the term of office.  Prohibits the salary from being
based directly or indirectly on fines, fees, or costs collected by the

(g) Provides that a municipal judge may be removed at any time for
incompetence, misconduct, malfeasance, or disability. 

(h) Requires a municipal judge to take judicial notice of the city
ordinances and corporate limits in a case tried before the court.
Authorizes a judge to grant certain writs necessary to the enforcement of
the jurisdiction of the courts and in cases in which the offense charged is
within the jurisdiction of the court.  Authorizes a municipal judge to
issue administrative search warrants. 

(i) Requires the governing body of the city to appoint a qualified person
to fill a vacancy in the office of municipal judge for the remainder of the
unexpired term. 

(j) Authorizes a governing body to appoint one or more qualified persons to
be available to serve for a municipal judge who is temporarily absent due
to certain conditions. Requires the municipal judge, if there is no chief
judge, to select one of the persons appointed to serve during the absence.
Provides that an alternate judge while serving has all the powers and shall
discharge all the duties of a municipal judge.  Requires an alternate judge
to have the same qualifications as a municipal judge. 

Sec. 30.01696.  CLERK; OTHER PERSONNEL.  Requires the city manager or city
administrator to appoint a clerk of the municipal court of record who may
hire, direct, and remove the personnel authorized in the city's annual
budget for the clerk's office.  Requires the clerk or the clerk's deputies
to perform certain required duties for the court.  Requires the clerk to
perform the duties in accordance with statutes, city charters, and city

Sec. 30.01697.  COURT REPORTER.  Requires the city to provide a court
reporter for the purpose of preserving a record in cases tried before the
court.  Requires the clerk to hire a qualified court reporter, and who is
to be compensated by the city.  Sets forth authorized methods for recording
proceedings, and the length of time required to keep the record. Provides
that a court reporter is not required to record testimony in a case unless
the judge or one of the parties requests a record.  Establishes that a
party's request must be in writing and filed with the court.  Authorizes
the governing body to provide that in lieu of a court reporter, the record
may be recorded by a good quality electronic recording device.  Sets forth
conditions and requirements regarding electronic recording during trial and

Sec. 30.01698.  PROSECUTIONS BY CITY ATTORNEY.  Requires all prosecutions
in the court to be conducted by the city attorney or an assistant or deputy
city attorney. 
Sec. 30.01699.  JURY.  Entitles a person who is brought before the court
and charged with an offense to be tried  by a jury of six persons unless
that right is waived according to law. Requires the jury to decide all
questions of fact or credibility of witnesses.  Requires the court to
determine all matters of law and to charge the jury on the law.  Requires a
juror to meet certain qualifications.   
Sec. 30.01700.  APPEAL.  Provides that a defendant has the right of appeal
from a judgment or conviction in a municipal court.  Establishes that
county courts at law of Bexar County have jurisdiction over an appeal.
Provides that the state has no right to an appeal or to a new trial.
Requires an appellate court to determine each appeal from a municipal court
conviction on the basis of errors that are set forth and presented.
Prohibits a municipal court of record from being a trial de novo.  Sets
forth the requirements and deadlines for the defendant required in order to
perfect an appeal.   

Sec. 30.01701.  APPEAL BOND.  Prohibits the defendant from taking an appeal
until the defendant files an appeal bond with the municipal court,
providing the defendant is not in custody.  Sets forth requirements,
deadlines, and fees regarding an appeal bond. 
Sec. 30.01702.  RECORD ON APPEAL.  Provides that the record on appeal
consists of a transcript and, if necessary to the appeal, a statement of
facts.  Requires the court reporter to prepare the record of the
proceedings.  Requires the defendant, if possible, to incur the cost of the
transcription.  Requires the court to pay for the transcription if proven
that the defendant is not able to pay.  Establishes that if the case is
reversed on appeal, the court shall refund the defendant the cost of the
Sec. 30.01703.  TRANSCRIPT.  Requires the municipal court clerk, upon
request of the defendant, to prepare under the clerk's hand and seal a
transcript of the municipal court proceedings.  Sets forth required copies
to be included in the transcript.  Authorizes the clerk to include in the
transcript additional portions of court proceedings in the court prepared
from mechanical or video recordings. 

Sec. 30.01704.  BILLS OF EXCEPTION.  Authorizes either party to include
bills of exception in the transcript subject to the applicable provisions
of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.  Sets forth deadlines for filing
of bills of exception. 

Sec. 30.01705.  STATEMENTS OF FACTS.  Sets forth requirements for a
statement of facts included in the record on appeal. 

that the parties must file certain written documents with the municipal
court clerk, by a specific deadline.  Requires the judge, upon completion
of the record, to approve the record in the manner provided for record
completion, approval, and notification in the court of appeals.  Requires
the clerk to send the record to the appellate court clerk to notify the
defendant and the prosecuting attorney that the record has been filed. 

Sec. 30.01707.  BRIEF ON APPEAL.  Provides that a defendant's brief on
appeal must present points of error in the required manner.  Provides that
the defendant must file the brief with the appellate court clerk by a
certain deadline.  Provides that the defendant must certify that the brief
has been properly mailed to the prosecuting attorney. Provides that the
prosecuting attorney must file the appellee's brief with the appellate
court clerk by a certain deadline.  Requires each party to deliver a copy
of the brief to the opposing party and to the municipal judge. 

Sec. 30.01708.  COURT RULES.  Provides that the Code of Criminal Procedure
governs the trial of cases before the court that are not inconsistent with
general law.  Authorizes the court to make and enforce all rules of
practice and procedure that are not inconsistent with general law.
Provides that a bond must be payable to the state for the use and benefit
of the city. Authorizes a peace officer to serve process issued by a court.
Authorizes the appellate court to make and enforce all rules of practice
and procedure that are not inconsistent with general law and that are
necessary to expedite the dispatch of appeals from the municipal court of
Sec. 30.01709.  DISPOSITION ON APPEAL.  Provides that the appellate court,
according to law and the nature of the case, is authorized to affirm,
reverse, or reform the original  judgment.  Requires the appellate court to
presume certain conditions exist unless otherwise noted.  Requires the
court, in each case decided, to deliver a written opinion or order either
sustaining or overruling each assignment of error presented, and to set
forth the reason for each decision.  Requires the appellate court clerk to
mail copies of the decision to the parties and to the municipal judge as
soon as the decision is rendered.  
Sec. 30.01710.  CERTIFICATE OF APPELLATE PROCEEDINGS.  Requires the clerk
of the court to certify the proceedings and the judgment, and to mail the
certificate to the municipal court.  Requires the municipal court clerk to
file the certificate with the papers in the case and note the certificate
on the case docket.  Provides that  if the municipal court of record
judgment is affirmed, further action to enforce the judgment is not
necessary except to fulfill certain conditions.    

Sec. 30.01711.  EFFECT OF ORDER OF NEW TRIAL.  Provides that if the
appellate court awards a new trial to the defendant, the case stands as if
a new trial had been granted by the municipal court of record. 

Sec. 30.01712.  APPEAL TO COURT OF APPEALS.  Provides that the defendant
has the right to appeal to the court of appeals if the fine assessed
against the defendant exceeds $100 and if the judgment is affirmed by the
appellate court.  Establishes that provisions of the Code of Criminal
Procedure relating to direct appeals from a county or a district court to
the court of appeals apply to the appeal, except regarding certain

SECTION 2.Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.