Assignment of Judges to Active Duty

in the Trial Courts

The State is divided into nine Administrative Judicial Regions, in each of which a Presiding Judge is designated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. These presiding judges are authorized by Sections 74.054 and 74.056, Government Code, to assign judges of their respective regions for service on courts other than those to which they were elected. Judges who may be assigned are regular, retired ("Senior"), and former district judges, and regular, retired, and former statutory county court judges.

Minerva statue image The presiding judge of one administrative judicial region may request that the presiding judge of another region furnish judges for assignment in the region of the requesting judge. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court also is authorized by Section 74.057, Government Code, to assign judges of one administrative judicial region for service in another. The Chief Justice may also assign active and retired appellate judges to the trial bench.

During the year ended August 31, 1997, a total of 7,632 assignments were made to the trial courts of the State and 24,802 days were served by the judges on assignment. Assuming 250 working days per year, this service was the equivalent of 100 full-time judges being added to the trial courts of the state.

Retired and former judges who served during the year totaled 235. These judges received 6,901 assignments and served 23,886 days -- the equivalent of adding 96 full-time judges to active service during the year.

Active judges serving a regular court were assigned to courts in other areas 658 times. These judges served 822 days, adding the equivalent of 4 full-time judges to service.

The highest number of assignments were made within or to the Second Administrative Judicial Region (Houston area) with 1,524 assignments and 5,822 days of service and the First Administrative Judicial Region (Dallas area) with 1,398 assignments and 5,557 days of service.

The nine administrative regions made a total of 685 assignments of their resident judges for service in other regions: First (49); Second (154); Third (221); Fourth (39); Fifth (2); Sixth (22); Seventh (50); Eighth (103); and Ninth (45).