Economic Development Corp., Entertainment Projects
Re: Whether section 505.152 of the Local Government Code authorizes an economic development corporation to fund certain entertainment projects (RQ-1156-GA).
Submitted by Joseph Deshotel
Chair, Committee on Land and Resource Management
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1050: A court could conclude that funding for a private radio station’s building renovations and equipment upgrades is not of the same kind or class of project as those projects expressly authorized in section 505.152 of the Local Government Code and that section 505.152 therefore does not authorize an economic development corporation to fund that proposed project. The Legislature granted the board of directors of an economic development corporation broad discretion in determining whether a specific project is “required or suitable for use for … entertainment,” and it is for the board to decide in the first instance. A court would likely conclude that funding for a city owned pavilion is of the same kind or class of project as those projects expressly authorized in section 505.152.
Waiving Marriage Waiting Period
Re: Whether subsection 2.204(c) of the Family Code authorizes a justice of the peace to grant a waiver of the 72-hour waiting period after the issuance of a marriage license (RQ-1160-GA).
Submitted by Luis V. Saenz
Cameron County District Attorney
Cameron County Courthouse
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1053: A court would likely conclude that a justice of the peace is not a judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases” for purposes of subsection 2.204(c) of the Family Code and thus may not grant a waiver of the 72-hour waiting period after the issuance of a marriage license.
New/Changed Court Costs, Fees
Re: The scope of subsection 51.607(a) of the Government Code concerning the Comptroller of Public Accounts’ identification of new or changed court costs and fees (RQ-1162-GA).
Submitted by Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1055: The plain language of Government Code subsection 5l.607(a) applies only to court-related costs and fees. The Records Management and Preservation Fee authorized under Local Government Code subsection 118.01l(b) relates to the filing of non-court-related documents. It therefore does not fall within the scope of the Comptroller’s duties under subsection 51.607(a).
Required Number of Warning Citations
Re: Whether section 720.002 of the Transportation Code prohibits a political subdivision or state agency from requiring peace officers to issue a certain number of warning citations (RQ-1164-GA).
Submitted by Joe C. Pickett
Chair, Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1056: A court could conclude that only a warning that consists of a summons, ticket or other official document, a traffic violation, and an order requiring the motorist to respond is likely to be considered a traffic citation subject to the prohibition in section 720.002 of the Transportation Code. A court could also conclude that the text and purpose of section 720.002 require the term “traffic citation” to be construed broadly to include traffic warnings. We cannot definitively determine whether the prohibitions of section 720.002 encompass traffic warnings.
Development District, Nonprofit Corporation
Re: Whether a municipal development district may fund a new building for a senior civic center if the center will be operated by a private nonprofit corporation (RQ-1165-GA).
Submitted by Rob Baiamonte
Goliad County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1058: Whether any particular project of a municipal development district meets the statutory requirements in order to be funded as a development project involves questions of fact that cannot be determined through the opinion process.
A court would likely conclude that chapter 377 of the Local Government Code authorizes a municipal development district to contract with a private, nonprofit organization to operate a civic center.
Use of Asset Forfeiture Funds
Re: Whether Code of Criminal Procedure article 59.06 authorizes a district attorney
to use asset forfeiture funds in specific circumstances (RQ-1166-GA).
Submitted by John T. Hubert
Kleberg and Kenedy Counties District Attorney
Kleberg County Courthouse
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1059: A court would be unlikely to conclude that a district
attorney may use asset forfeiture funds to purchase land and a building for subsequent sale or lease to other entities as such use of the property would likely not be considered an official purpose of the district attorney’s office under article 59.06 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Salary Increases After Passage of Budget
Re: Salary increases for assistant auditors and administrative assistants after passage of the county budget (RQ-1170-GA).
Submitted by Richard N. Countiss
San Jacinto County District Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1062: Section 84.021 of the Local Government Code requires a Commissioners Court to order the salaries of assistant county auditors, as properly certified by the district judges of the county, to be paid on the performance of services. Section 84.021 does not require district judges to include the names of assistant auditors in the list of appointees they certify to the County Commissioners Court under that provision.
Criminal Court Costs
Re: Assessment and distribution of criminal court costs (RQ-1171-GA).
Submitted by David Slayton
Office of Court Administration
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1063: The fee imposed under article 102.005 of the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to a defendant convicted of an offense in a county-level court. A defendant whose conviction from a municipal court of record was affirmed at the county-court level would not be subject to the fees imposed under article 102.005 because the conviction occurred at the municipal level. Unlike an appeal from a municipal court of record, however, a defendant appealing a conviction from a municipal court that is not a court of record may be convicted at the county court level following a trial de novo.
Certain court costs and fees will be assessed for each convicted offense of a defendant, while others will be assessed once per case, and a determination about a specific cost or fee will require a review of the statute or rule imposing that cost.
While articles 42.03 and 45.041 of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorize a court to give a defendant credit only for time served from the time of arrest and confinement until sentencing by the trial court, other provisions authorize certain courts to use a defendant’s time served to satisfy court fines and costs in specific instances. Whether a convicted defendant may be given credit toward outstanding court costs will require analyzing specific facts against the relevant statute authorizing the credit.
Article 102.011(a)(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a court to assess a separate fee for each arrest warrant issued even when multiple warrants result in only one arrest.
Article 102.011(a)(6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a $5 fee for commitment or release services performed in the case by a peace officer. A court could conclude that any commitment or release from jail after the conclusion of the case will not be a service performed in the case and that article 102.0ll(a)(6) does not authorize fees for those services.