Sec. 201.007: Powers of Associate Judge

(a) Except as limited by an order of referral, an associate judge may:

(1) conduct a hearing;

(2) hear evidence;

(3) compel production of relevant evidence;

(4) rule on the admissibility of evidence;

(5) issue a summons for:

(A) the appearance of witnesses; and

(B) the appearance of a parent who has failed to appear before an agency authorized to conduct an investigation of an allegation of abuse or neglect of a child after receiving proper notice;

(6) examine a witness;

(7) swear a witness for a hearing;

(8) make findings of fact on evidence;

(9) formulate conclusions of law;

(10) recommend an order to be rendered in a case;

(11) regulate all proceedings in a hearing before the associate judge;

(12) order the attachment of a witness or party who fails to obey a subpoena;

(13) order the detention of a witness or party found guilty of contempt, pending approval by the referring court as provided by Section 201.013;

(14) without prejudice to the right of appeal under Section 201.015, render and sign:

(A) a final order agreed to in writing as to both form and substance by all parties;

(B) a final default order;

(C) a temporary order; or

(D) a final order in a case in which a party files an unrevoked waiver made in accordance with Rule 119, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, that waives notice to the party of the final hearing or waives the party's appearance at the final hearing;

(15) take action as necessary and proper for the efficient performance of the associate judge's duties; and

(16) sign a final order that includes a waiver of the right of appeal pursuant to Section 201.015.

(b) An associate judge may, in the interest of justice, refer a case back to the referring court regardless of whether a timely objection to the associate judge hearing the trial on the merits or presiding at a jury trial has been made by any party.

(c) An order described by Subsection (a)(14) that is rendered and signed by an associate judge constitutes an order of the referring court.

(d) An answer filed by or on behalf of a party who previously filed a waiver described in Subsection (a)(14)(D) shall revoke that waiver.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1302, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 476, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 550, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 839, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1406, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.