ESTATES CODE - Title 2 - SUBTITLE A. SCOPE, JURISDICTION, VENUE, AND COURTS

Link to law: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ES/htm/ES.32.HTM
Published: 2015-07-01

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ESTATES CODE

TITLE 2. ESTATES OF DECEDENTS; DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY

SUBTITLE A. SCOPE, JURISDICTION, VENUE, AND COURTS

CHAPTER 32. JURISDICTION



Sec. 32.001. GENERAL PROBATE COURT JURISDICTION; APPEALS. (a) All probate proceedings must be filed and heard in a court exercising original probate jurisdiction. The court exercising original probate jurisdiction also has jurisdiction of all matters related to the probate proceeding as specified in Section 31.002 for that type of court.

(b) A probate court may exercise pendent and ancillary jurisdiction as necessary to promote judicial efficiency and economy.

(c) A final order issued by a probate court is appealable to the court of appeals.

(d) The administration of the estate of a decedent, from the filing of the application for probate and administration, or for administration, until the decree of final distribution and the discharge of the last personal representative, shall be considered as one proceeding for purposes of jurisdiction. The entire proceeding is a proceeding in rem.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 2912), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.002. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION FOR PROBATE PROCEEDINGS. (a) In a county in which there is no statutory probate court or county court at law exercising original probate jurisdiction, the county court has original jurisdiction of probate proceedings.

(b) In a county in which there is no statutory probate court, but in which there is a county court at law exercising original probate jurisdiction, the county court at law exercising original probate jurisdiction and the county court have concurrent original jurisdiction of probate proceedings, unless otherwise provided by law. The judge of a county court may hear probate proceedings while sitting for the judge of any other county court.

(c) In a county in which there is a statutory probate court, the statutory probate court has original jurisdiction of probate proceedings.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.003. JURISDICTION OF CONTESTED PROBATE PROCEEDING IN COUNTY WITH NO STATUTORY PROBATE COURT OR STATUTORY COUNTY COURT. (a) In a county in which there is no statutory probate court or county court at law exercising original probate jurisdiction, when a matter in a probate proceeding is contested, the judge of the county court may, on the judge's own motion, or shall, on the motion of any party to the proceeding, according to the motion:

(1) request the assignment of a statutory probate court judge to hear the contested matter, as provided by Section 25.0022, Government Code; or

(2) transfer the contested matter to the district court, which may then hear the contested matter as if originally filed in the district court.

(b) If a party to a probate proceeding files a motion for the assignment of a statutory probate court judge to hear a contested matter in the proceeding before the judge of the county court transfers the contested matter to a district court under this section, the county judge shall grant the motion for the assignment of a statutory probate court judge and may not transfer the matter to the district court unless the party withdraws the motion.

(b-1) If a judge of a county court requests the assignment of a statutory probate court judge to hear a contested matter in a probate proceeding on the judge's own motion or on the motion of a party to the proceeding as provided by this section, the judge may request that the statutory probate court judge be assigned to the entire proceeding on the judge's own motion or on the motion of a party.

(c) A party to a probate proceeding may file a motion for the assignment of a statutory probate court judge under this section before a matter in the proceeding becomes contested, and the motion is given effect as a motion for assignment of a statutory probate court judge under Subsection (a) if the matter later becomes contested.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a transfer of a contested matter in a probate proceeding to a district court under any authority other than the authority provided by this section:

(1) is disregarded for purposes of this section; and

(2) does not defeat the right of a party to the proceeding to have the matter assigned to a statutory probate court judge in accordance with this section.

(e) A statutory probate court judge assigned to a contested matter in a probate proceeding or to the entire proceeding under this section has the jurisdiction and authority granted to a statutory probate court by this subtitle. A statutory probate court judge assigned to hear only the contested matter in a probate proceeding shall, on resolution of the matter, including any appeal of the matter, return the matter to the county court for further proceedings not inconsistent with the orders of the statutory probate court or court of appeals, as applicable. A statutory probate court judge assigned to the entire probate proceeding as provided by Subsection (b-1) shall, on resolution of the contested matter in the proceeding, including any appeal of the matter, return the entire proceeding to the county court for further proceedings not inconsistent with the orders of the statutory probate court or court of appeals, as applicable.

(f) A district court to which a contested matter is transferred under this section has the jurisdiction and authority granted to a statutory probate court by this subtitle. On resolution of a contested matter transferred to the district court under this section, including any appeal of the matter, the district court shall return the matter to the county court for further proceedings not inconsistent with the orders of the district court or court of appeals, as applicable.

(g) If only the contested matter in a probate proceeding is assigned to a statutory probate court judge under this section, or if the contested matter in a probate proceeding is transferred to a district court under this section, the county court shall continue to exercise jurisdiction over the management of the estate, other than a contested matter, until final disposition of the contested matter is made in accordance with this section. Any matter related to a probate proceeding in which a contested matter is transferred to a district court may be brought in the district court. The district court in which a matter related to the proceeding is filed may, on its own motion or on the motion of any party, find that the matter is not a contested matter and transfer the matter to the county court with jurisdiction of the management of the estate.

(h) If a contested matter in a probate proceeding is transferred to a district court under this section, the district court has jurisdiction of any contested matter in the proceeding that is subsequently filed, and the county court shall transfer those contested matters to the district court. If a statutory probate court judge is assigned under this section to hear a contested matter in a probate proceeding, the statutory probate court judge shall be assigned to hear any contested matter in the proceeding that is subsequently filed.

(i) The clerk of a district court to which a contested matter in a probate proceeding is transferred under this section may perform in relation to the contested matter any function a county clerk may perform with respect to that type of matter.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.02, eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.004. JURISDICTION OF CONTESTED PROBATE PROCEEDING IN COUNTY WITH NO STATUTORY PROBATE COURT. (a) In a county in which there is no statutory probate court, but in which there is a county court at law exercising original probate jurisdiction, when a matter in a probate proceeding is contested, the judge of the county court may, on the judge's own motion, or shall, on the motion of any party to the proceeding, transfer the contested matter to the county court at law. In addition, the judge of the county court, on the judge's own motion or on the motion of a party to the proceeding, may transfer the entire proceeding to the county court at law.

(b) A county court at law to which a proceeding is transferred under this section may hear the proceeding as if originally filed in that court. If only a contested matter in the proceeding is transferred, on the resolution of the matter, the matter shall be returned to the county court for further proceedings not inconsistent with the orders of the county court at law.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.005. EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF PROBATE PROCEEDING IN COUNTY WITH STATUTORY PROBATE COURT. (a) In a county in which there is a statutory probate court, the statutory probate court has exclusive jurisdiction of all probate proceedings, regardless of whether contested or uncontested. A cause of action related to the probate proceeding must be brought in a statutory probate court unless the jurisdiction of the statutory probate court is concurrent with the jurisdiction of a district court as provided by Section 32.007 or with the jurisdiction of any other court.

(b) This section shall be construed in conjunction and in harmony with Chapter 401 and Section 402.001 and all other sections of this title relating to independent executors, but may not be construed to expand the court's control over an independent executor.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 6.007, eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.006. JURISDICTION OF STATUTORY PROBATE COURT WITH RESPECT TO TRUSTS AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY. In a county in which there is a statutory probate court, the statutory probate court has jurisdiction of:

(1) an action by or against a trustee;

(2) an action involving an inter vivos trust, testamentary trust, or charitable trust;

(3) an action by or against an agent or former agent under a power of attorney arising out of the agent's performance of the duties of an agent; and

(4) an action to determine the validity of a power of attorney or to determine an agent's rights, powers, or duties under a power of attorney.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 2912), Sec. 3, eff. January 1, 2014.



Sec. 32.007. CONCURRENT JURISDICTION WITH DISTRICT COURT. A statutory probate court has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in:

(1) a personal injury, survival, or wrongful death action by or against a person in the person's capacity as a personal representative;

(2) an action by or against a trustee;

(3) an action involving an inter vivos trust, testamentary trust, or charitable trust, including a charitable trust as defined by Section 123.001, Property Code;

(4) an action involving a personal representative of an estate in which each other party aligned with the personal representative is not an interested person in that estate;

(5) an action against an agent or former agent under a power of attorney arising out of the agent's performance of the duties of an agent; and

(6) an action to determine the validity of a power of attorney or to determine an agent's rights, powers, or duties under a power of attorney.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 13(a), eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.03, eff. January 1, 2014.