HBA-KMH S.B. 263 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 263 By: Duncan Judicial Affairs 5/10/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the chief justice of the supreme court is authorized to assign a former judge of certain courts to active service as a visiting judge. The Government Code does not set forth the eligibility requirements for a visiting judge. S.B. 263 sets forth those eligibility requirements and clarifies the process of objecting to a judge's assignment. 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. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 74.003, Government Code, by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (f), as follows: (b) Provides that in order for a retired justice or judge to be eligible for assignment to a court of appeals for active service, the retired judge or justice must have served as an active justice or judge for at least 96 months in a district, statutory probate, statutory county, or appellate court, including at least 48 months in an appellate court. Provides that the retired judge or justice must not have been removed from office and must certify under oath to the chief justice of the supreme court, on a form prescribed by the chief justice, that the judge or justice did not resign from office after having received notice that formal proceedings by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct had been instituted as provided in Section 33.022 (Complainant's and Judge's Rights) and before the final disposition of the proceedings. Provides that the retired judge or justice must also annually demonstrate that the judge or justice has completed in the past calendar year the educational requirements for active appellate court justices or judges and must certify to the chief justice of the supreme court a willingness not to appear and plead as an attorney in any court in this state for a period of two years. (f) Establishes that for the purposes of computing months of active service in Subsection (b), a month of service is calculated as a calendar month or a portion of a calendar month in which a judge or justice was authorized by election or appointment to preside. SECTION 2. Amends Section 74.053, Government Code, as follows: Sec. 74.053. New title: OBJECTION TO JUDGE ASSIGNED TO A TRIAL COURT. Requires a presiding judge, when assigned to a trial court, to give notice of the assignment to each attorney representing a party to the case that is to be heard if it is reasonable and practicable and if time permits. Provides that an objection must be filed not later than one week after the party receives notice of the assignment or if seven days notice is not given, before the first hearing or trial commences, whichever comes first. Authorizes the presiding judge to extend the time to file an objection on written motion by a party who demonstrates good cause. Prohibits an assigned judge or justice from sitting in a case if the judge or justice was defeated in the last primary or general election for which the judge or justice was a candidate for the judicial office held by the judge or justice and if either party objects to the judge or justice. Defines "party." Authorizes notice and objections under this section to be served by electronic mail. SECTION 3. Amends Sections 74.055(c) and (e), Government Code, to require a retired or former judge to have served as an active judge for at least 96 months, rather than 48 months, in a court to be eligible to be named on a certain list. Makes a nonsubstantive change. SECTION 4. Amends 75.551, Government Code, to provide that an objection must be filed not later than one week after the party receives notice of the assignment or if seven days notice is not given, before the case is submitted to the court, whichever comes first, rather than before the first hearing in which the assigned judge or justice is assigned to sit. Authorizes the court to extend the deadline on a showing of good cause. Prohibits an assigned judge, rather than a former judge, who was defeated in the last election, rather than a retired judge or justice, from sitting in an appellate case if either party objects. Defines "party." Authorizes notice and objections under this section to be served by electronic mail. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 5. Repealer: Section 74.055(d), Government Code (regarding a list of retired and former judges subject to assignment). Section 74.055(d) currently provides that a former district judge need not fulfill a 48-month service requirement in order to appear on the list of retired and former judges. SECTION 6. (a) Makes application of Sections 2 and 4 of this Act prospective. (b) Makes application of Sections 1, 3, and 5 of this Act prospective, except as provided by Subsection (c). (c) Provides that the change in law made by Sections 1, 3, and 5 of this Act does not apply to a person who immediately before the effective date of this Act is eligible to be assigned as a visiting judge by the chief justice of the supreme court under Section 74.003(b) or Chapter 75 (Other Court Administration), Government Code, or to be named on a list of retired and former judges under Section 74.055(c), Government Code, and the former law is continued in effect for determining that person's eligibility for those purposes. SECTION 7.Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 8.Emergency clause.