SB 823

85(R) - 2017
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Local Government

Companion Bill

HB 1904

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Konni Burton
Jane Nelson

Bill Caption

Relating to the powers and compensation of criminal law magistrates in Tarrant County. 

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify the compensation formula for full-time and part-time magistrates in Tarrant County. It would also expand some powers of the magistrates in Tarrant County concerning their role in handling criminal cases. If this bill passes, a judge may refer to a magistrate any criminal case or matter relating to a criminal case when defendants accept a plea bargain, or plead no contest. SB 823 would empower magistrates in Tarrant County to set conditions, modify, and revoke a defendant’s community supervision. In addition, it would allow magistrates to oversee specialty court proceedings. Finally, in cases where the defendant has negotiated a guilty plea and the case is referred to a Magistrate in Tarrant County, they may enter a finding of guilt and impose or suspend a sentence or defer adjudication if guilt. This bill would not expand their power to issue subsequent search warrants.

Vote Recommendation Notes

It is well within the proper role of government to decide how magistrates get compensated for their service and these changes do not appear to increase costs to the taxpayers of our state. The state also clearly has legitimate authority to delegate more or less authority to certain courts. SB 823 does not have a measurable impact on our liberty principles, therefore we will remain neutral.