Re: Whether a county sheriff may simultaneously serve as a member of the board of trustees of an independent school district located in that county (RQ-0298-GA).
Submitted by Dennis Bonnen
Chair, Committee on Environmental Regulation
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA-328: The Chambers County sheriff may not simultaneously serve as a trustee of an independent school district located within an unincorporated area of the county in which the sheriff serves as the primary law enforcement official. Attorney General Opinions O-3308 (1941) and JM-519 (1986) are overruled to the extent of conflict.
Damage to Jail Property
Re: A sheriff’s authority to deduct costs incurred for damage to jail property from the commissary account of a prisoner found to be liable for the damage (RQ-0300-GA).
Submitted by Terry Julian
Texas Commission on Jail Standards
Summary, Opinion No. GA-329: A sheriff has the authority to deduct costs incurred for damage to jail property from the commissary account of a prisoner that is found liable for the damage in an institutional due process hearing. However, the sheriff must first comply with the Texas Commission on Jail Standard’s rules on disciplinary proceedings before taking such action.
Order of Nondisclosure
Re: Proper fee for filing a petition for an order of nondisclosure of certain criminal records regarding persons placed on deferred adjudication community supervision, and the authority of courts without general civil jurisdiction to entertain such a petition (RQ-0297-GA).
Submitted by Carl V. Reynolds
Office of Court Administration
Summary, Opinion No. GA-330: Currently, a clerk may not condition the filing of a petition for an order of nondisclosure upon payment of a fee other than the $28 fee expressly authorized by section 411.081(d) of the Government Code. The court that placed a person on deferred adjudication community supervision has jurisdiction to entertain the person’s petition for nondisclosure under section 411.081(d).
Blocked Railroad Crossing
Re: Whether federal law preempts Transportation Code section 471.007, which imposes a criminal penalty against a railway company if its train blocks a railroad crossing for more than 10 minutes (RQ-0299-GA).
Submitted by Kerry Spears
Milam County and District Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-331: Section 471.007 of the Transportation Code, which imposes a criminal penalty against a railway company if its train blocks a railroad crossing for more than 10 minutes, is preempted by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 and the Federal Railroad Safety Act.
Collection of Criminal Fines, Costs and Fees
Re: Authority of a commissioners court to assign the duties of collecting criminal fines, costs and fees to a county treasurer’s deputies (RQ-0301-GA).
Submitted by Christopher G. Taylor
Tom Green County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-332: Article 103.0031 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure does not authorize a county commissioners court to establish a collections department under the authority of a county treasurer without the consent of the county clerk. The county clerk serves as the clerk of a county court or statutory county court pursuant to the Texas Constitution and Texas statutes. A judge of a county court is not authorized to appoint the clerk of the county court or statutory court and, therefore, may not appoint a deputy of the county treasurer as the clerk of the court for purposes of collecting criminal fines and fees.