2009 Texas Code
CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE
TITLE 7. ALTERNATE METHODS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CHAPTER 151. TRIAL BY SPECIAL JUDGE  

CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE

TITLE 7. ALTERNATE METHODS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION

CHAPTER 151. TRIAL BY SPECIAL JUDGE

Sec. 151.001. REFERRAL BY AGREEMENT. On agreement of the

parties, in civil or family law matters pending in a district

court, statutory probate court, or statutory county court, the

judge in whose court the case is pending may order referral of

the case as provided by this chapter and shall stay proceedings

in the judge's court pending the outcome of the trial. Any or

all of the issues in the cases, whether an issue of fact or law,

may be referred.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.06(a),

eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 151.002. MOTION FOR REFERRAL. Each party to the action

must file in the court in which the case is filed a motion that:

(1) requests the referral;

(2) waives the party's right to trial by jury;

(3) states the issues to be referred;

(4) states the time and place agreed on by the parties for the

trial; and

(5) states the name of the special judge, the fact that the

special judge has agreed to hear the case, and the fee the judge

is to receive as agreed on by the parties.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Sec. 151.003. QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGE. The special judge must

be a retired or former district, statutory county court, or

appellate judge who:

(1) has served as a judge for at least four years in a district,

statutory county court, or appellate court;

(2) has developed substantial experience in his area of

specialty;

(3) has not been removed from office or resigned while under

investigation for discipline or removal; and

(4) annually demonstrates that he has completed in the past

calendar year at least five days of continuing legal education in

courses approved by the state bar or the supreme court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.06(a),

eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 179, Sec. 2(a),

eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 33, Sec. 1, eff.

April 19, 1991.

Sec. 151.004. REFERRAL ORDER ENTERED. An order of referral must

specify the issue referred and the name of the special judge. An

order of referral may designate the time and place for trial and

the time for filing of the special judge's report. The clerk of

the court shall send a copy of the order to the special judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.06(a),

eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 151.005. PROCEDURE. Rules and statutes relating to

procedure and evidence in the referring judge's court apply to a

trial under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 151.006. POWERS OF SPECIAL JUDGE. (a) A special judge

shall conduct the trial in the same manner as a court trying an

issue without a jury.

(b) While serving as a special judge, the special judge has the

powers of the referring judge except that the special judge may

not hold a person in contempt of court unless the person is a

witness before the special judge.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.06(a),

eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 151.007. REPRESENTATION BY ATTORNEY. A party has the right

to be represented by an attorney at the trial held as provided by

this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Sec. 151.008. COURT REPORTER REQUIRED. To maintain a record of

the proceedings at the hearing, the special judge shall provide a

court reporter who meets the qualifications prescribed by law for

court reporters in the referring judge's court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.06(a),

eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 151.009. FEES AND COSTS. (a) The parties, in equal

shares, shall pay:

(1) the special judge's fee; and

(2) all administrative costs, including the court reporter's

fee, related to the trial.

(b) A cost for a witness called by a party or any other cost

related only to a single party's case shall be paid by the party

who incurred the cost.

(c) The state or a unit of local government may not pay any

costs related to a trial under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Sec. 151.010. RESTRICTIONS. Unless otherwise ordered by the

referring judge, a trial under this chapter may not be held in a

public courtroom, and a public employee may not be involved in

the trial during regular working hours.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

675, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 151.011. SPECIAL JUDGE'S VERDICT. The special judge's

verdict must comply with the requirements for a verdict by the

court. The verdict stands as a verdict of the referring judge's

court. Unless otherwise specified in an order of referral, the

special judge shall submit the verdict not later than the 60th

day after the day the trial adjourns.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 151.012. NEW TRIAL. If the special judge does not submit

the verdict within the time period provided by Section 151.011,

the court may grant a new trial if:

(1) a party files a motion requesting the new trial;

(2) notice is given to all parties stating the time and place

that a hearing will be held on the motion; and

(3) the hearing is held.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Sec. 151.013. RIGHT TO APPEAL. The right to appeal is

preserved. An appeal is from the order of the referring judge's

court as provided by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and the

Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept.

1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

49, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

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