Chief Justice Hecht delivers State of the Judiciary 2019
February 06, 2019
Chief Justice Hecht delivered the State of the Judiciary at 11:00 am, February 6, 2019. Read the transcript of his speech.
FY 2018 Annual Statistical Report Released
February 01, 2019
The Office of Court Administration has published the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary, which contains state-level data trends, court-level data trends and details statistics across the courts and case types in the state.
SB 47 Study on Record Retention, Availability & Access of Records Regarding Fine-Only Misdemeanors
January 23, 2019
The 85th Legislature’s Senate Bill 47 directed OCA to study the ways non-traffic fine-only (Class C) misdemeanor records are held in Texas. Specifically, Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) required OCA’s study to address:
- The public availability of conviction records for misdemeanors punishable by fine only;
- The public availability of records relating to suspension of sentence and deferral of final disposition under Article 45.051 (Suspension of Sentence and Deferral of Final Disposition), Code of Criminal Procedure, for misdemeanors punishable by fine only;
- The public availability of records described by sections (1) or (2) that are related to a child younger than 18 years of age;
- Whether public access to and availability of records described by sections (1) through (3) have been expanded or restricted by the county over time;
- Whether local agencies holding records described by sections (1) through (3) destroy those records;
- The reasons and criteria for any destruction of records described by sections (1) through (3); and
- The retention schedule of each local agency holding records described by sections (1) through (3), if the agency routinely destroys those records.
Study on Record Retention, Availability & Access of Records Regarding Fine-Only Misdemeanors
OCA Releases Report on Texas Guardianship Reform
January 18, 2019
A person who is placed under guardianship loses civil rights, personal decision-making power, and the authority to control their own money and assets. Those rights and powers are entrusted to a guardian to protect the person from exploitation– but this arrangement leaves the person under guardianship vulnerable to exploitation if not properly monitored. For this reason, statutorily-required processes have been put in place to protect incapacitated persons who may be placed under guardianship – starting with an assessment of whether guardianship is necessary or whether an alternative to guardianship is a viable option. Laws are also in place requiring guardians to be bonded, to be registered, to report yearly to the court on the personal and financial position of persons under their care, and to obtain permission from the court before making major decisions in the life or financial management of a person in their care.
HB 1204 Study on Certain Juvenile Justice Issues
December 18, 2018
The 85th Legislature’s House Bill 1204 directed the Office of Court Administration to conduct a study on the use of the terms “juvenile,” “child,” and “minor” throughout the criminal justice and juvenile justice statutes of Texas and the varying definitions assigned to those terms. The bill also instructed OCA to determine:
- Whether adjudication under the adult criminal justice system of juveniles charged with misdemeanors punishable by fine only is just and efficient; and
- Whether certain procedures under the juvenile justice system, if used in the adjudication of juveniles charged with misdemeanors punishable by fine only, would provide a more just and efficient process for responding to violations of the law by juvenile offenders.
Texas Courts of Appeals Report a Strong Fiscal Year 2018
November 08, 2018
During the most recent fiscal year, the state’s fourteen courts of appeals continued a trend of strong judicial performance. The number of opinions issued by each justice increased by 4.5% from Fiscal Year 2017, and the total number of opinions issued by the courts increased by 1.3% to almost 10,000 opinions.
Judicial Compensation Commission Releases 2018 Report to the Legislature
September 26, 2018
The Judicial Compensation Commission released its 2018 Report to the Legislature this month. Among its recommendations is a 15% increase in compensation for judges and justices on the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Courts of Appeals and District Courts. Each biennium, the Commission is required to take into consideration several factors, most importantly, the level of overall compensation adequate to attract the most highly qualified individuals in the state, from a diversity of life and professional experiences, to serve in the judiciary without unreasonable economic hardship and with judicial independence unaffected by financial concerns.