Difference between revisions of "Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 6"

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shall have the qualifications as herein proscribed for justices of the Supreme Court. Said Court [sic] of Civil Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all civil cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as may be prescribed by law: Provided, That the decision of said courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error. Each of said Courts of Civil Appeals shall hold its sessions at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and at such time as may be prescribed by law. Said justices shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts, at a general election, for a term of six years, and shall receive for their services the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars per annum until otherwise provided by law. Said courts shall have such other jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law. Each Court of Civil Appeals shall appoint a clerk in the same manner as the clerk of the Supreme Court, which clerk shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law. Until the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals and Criminal Appeals, as herein provided for, the jurisdiction, power, and organization and location of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Commission of Appeals shall continue as they were before the adoption of this amendment. All civil cases which may be pending in the Court of Appeals shall, as soon as practicable after the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals, be certified to and the records thereof transmitted to the proper Courts of Civil Appeals, to be decided by said courts. At the first session of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and such of the Courts of Civil Appeals which may be hereafter created under this article after the first election of the judges of such courts under this amendment, the terms of office of the judges of each court shall be divided into three classes, and the justices thereof shall draw for the different classes. Those who shall draw class No. 1 shall hold their offices two years, those drawing class No. 2 shall hold their offices for four years, and those who may draw class No. 3 shall hold their offices for six years from the date of their election and until their successors are elected and qualified; and thereafter each of the said judges shall hold his office for six years, as provided in this Constitution."
 
shall have the qualifications as herein proscribed for justices of the Supreme Court. Said Court [sic] of Civil Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all civil cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as may be prescribed by law: Provided, That the decision of said courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error. Each of said Courts of Civil Appeals shall hold its sessions at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and at such time as may be prescribed by law. Said justices shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts, at a general election, for a term of six years, and shall receive for their services the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars per annum until otherwise provided by law. Said courts shall have such other jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law. Each Court of Civil Appeals shall appoint a clerk in the same manner as the clerk of the Supreme Court, which clerk shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law. Until the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals and Criminal Appeals, as herein provided for, the jurisdiction, power, and organization and location of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Commission of Appeals shall continue as they were before the adoption of this amendment. All civil cases which may be pending in the Court of Appeals shall, as soon as practicable after the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals, be certified to and the records thereof transmitted to the proper Courts of Civil Appeals, to be decided by said courts. At the first session of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and such of the Courts of Civil Appeals which may be hereafter created under this article after the first election of the judges of such courts under this amendment, the terms of office of the judges of each court shall be divided into three classes, and the justices thereof shall draw for the different classes. Those who shall draw class No. 1 shall hold their offices two years, those drawing class No. 2 shall hold their offices for four years, and those who may draw class No. 3 shall hold their offices for six years from the date of their election and until their successors are elected and qualified; and thereafter each of the said judges shall hold his office for six years, as provided in this Constitution."
  
The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeals, was made in 1980. See, e.g., Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=3 379] (2002) ("So from this early date, all criminal appeals went directly to one court, and there were no intermediate courts for criminal appeals.").
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The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeals, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=3 379] (2002) ("So from this early date, all criminal appeals went directly to one court, and there were no intermediate courts for criminal appeals.").
  
 
Note that the language that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of both the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.
 
Note that the language that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of both the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.
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* ''State ex rel. Mau v. Third Court of Appeals'', 560 S.W.3d 640, [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3842426256762637212#p644 644] n.5 (Tex.Crim.App. 2018) ("The courts of appeals now have jurisdiction to grant mandamus relief against statutory county court judges, such as the judge in this case. ''See'' Acts 2017, 85th Leg. . . . (amending Tex. Gov't Code § 22.221(b)(1), to include judges of statutory county courts as among those against whom courts of appeals may issue writs of mandamus). When a court of appeals and this Court have concurrent original jurisdiction of a petition for writ of mandamus against the judge of a district or county court, the petition should be first presented to the court of appeals absent a compelling reason not to.")
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* ''Ferreira v. Butler'', ___ S.W.3d ___, [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12805248248937903652#p--- ___] n.29 (Tex. 2019) ("''Faris'' was decided by the court of appeals, but we refused the application for writ of error, giving the court's opinion the precedential value of one of our own. ''See'' ''Texas Rules of Form'' [] (explaining that between 1927 and 1997, the notation 'writ refused' meant that the Court had determined that the '[j]udgment of the court of civil appeals [was] correct, that the Court was 'satisfied that the opinion ha[d] correctly declared the law', and that '[s]uch cases have equal precedential value with the . . . Court's own opinions'); ''cf''. Tex. R. App. P. 56.1(c) (as of September 1, 1997, a 'petition refused' notation has the same meaning).")
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* ''State ex rel. Mau v. Third Court of Appeals'', 560 S.W.3d 640, [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3842426256762637212#p644 644] n.5 (Tex.Crim.App. 2018) ("The courts of appeals now have jurisdiction to grant mandamus relief against statutory county court judges, such as the judge in this case. ''See'' Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 740 [] (amending Tex. Gov't Code § 22.221(b)(1), to include judges of statutory county courts as among those against whom courts of appeals may issue writs of mandamus). When a court of appeals and this Court have concurrent original jurisdiction of a petition for writ of mandamus against the judge of a district or county court, the petition should be first presented to the court of appeals absent a compelling reason not to.")
  
 
* ''Padilla v. McDaniel'', 122 S.W.3d 805, [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=18340182796557549678#p807 807] (Tex.Crim.App. 2003) (footnotes omitted) ("In 1983, shortly after . . . , an act of the legislature expanded their mandamus jurisdiction. It gave them general mandamus authority to enforce their jurisdictions, and general mandamus authority against district and county judges in their districts. This court held in 1987 that the 1983 act gave the courts of appeals mandamus jurisdiction in criminal law matters that is concurrent with this court's jurisdiction. Discretionary review of a court of appeals' decision to issue a writ of mandamus is not authorized, but this court may issue its writ of mandamus to overturn a court of appeals' mandamus decision.")
 
* ''Padilla v. McDaniel'', 122 S.W.3d 805, [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=18340182796557549678#p807 807] (Tex.Crim.App. 2003) (footnotes omitted) ("In 1983, shortly after . . . , an act of the legislature expanded their mandamus jurisdiction. It gave them general mandamus authority to enforce their jurisdictions, and general mandamus authority against district and county judges in their districts. This court held in 1987 that the 1983 act gave the courts of appeals mandamus jurisdiction in criminal law matters that is concurrent with this court's jurisdiction. Discretionary review of a court of appeals' decision to issue a writ of mandamus is not authorized, but this court may issue its writ of mandamus to overturn a court of appeals' mandamus decision.")

Latest revision as of 20:09, November 29, 2019

As amended November 6, 2001:

(a) The state shall be divided into courts of appeals districts, with each district having a Chief Justice, two or more other Justices, and such other officials as may be provided by law. The Justices shall have the qualifications prescribed for Justices of the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals may sit in sections as authorized by law. The concurrence of a majority of the judges sitting in a section is necessary to decide a case. Said Court [sic] of Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as may be prescribed by law. Provided, that the decision of said courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error. Said courts shall have such other jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law.

(b) Each of said Courts of Appeals shall hold its sessions at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and at such time as may be prescribed by law. Said Justices shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts at a general election, for a term of six years and shall receive for their services the sum provided by law.

(c) All constitutional and statutory references to the Courts of Civil Appeals shall be construed to mean the Courts of Appeals.

Editor Comments

As amended in 1891, this section read: "The Legislature shall, as soon as practicable after the adoption of this amendment, divide the State into not less than two nor more than three supreme judicial districts, and thereafter into such additional districts as the increase of population and business may require, and shall establish a Court of Civil Appeals in each of said districts, which shall consist of a chief justice and two associate justices, who shall have the qualifications as herein proscribed for justices of the Supreme Court. Said Court [sic] of Civil Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of their respective districts, which shall extend to all civil cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction, under such restrictions and regulations as may be prescribed by law: Provided, That the decision of said courts shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error. Each of said Courts of Civil Appeals shall hold its sessions at a place in its district to be designated by the Legislature, and at such time as may be prescribed by law. Said justices shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts, at a general election, for a term of six years, and shall receive for their services the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars per annum until otherwise provided by law. Said courts shall have such other jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law. Each Court of Civil Appeals shall appoint a clerk in the same manner as the clerk of the Supreme Court, which clerk shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law. Until the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals and Criminal Appeals, as herein provided for, the jurisdiction, power, and organization and location of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Commission of Appeals shall continue as they were before the adoption of this amendment. All civil cases which may be pending in the Court of Appeals shall, as soon as practicable after the organization of the Courts of Civil Appeals, be certified to and the records thereof transmitted to the proper Courts of Civil Appeals, to be decided by said courts. At the first session of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and such of the Courts of Civil Appeals which may be hereafter created under this article after the first election of the judges of such courts under this amendment, the terms of office of the judges of each court shall be divided into three classes, and the justices thereof shall draw for the different classes. Those who shall draw class No. 1 shall hold their offices two years, those drawing class No. 2 shall hold their offices for four years, and those who may draw class No. 3 shall hold their offices for six years from the date of their election and until their successors are elected and qualified; and thereafter each of the said judges shall hold his office for six years, as provided in this Constitution."

The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeals, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court, 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, 379 (2002) ("So from this early date, all criminal appeals went directly to one court, and there were no intermediate courts for criminal appeals.").

Note that the language that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of both the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

  • Ferreira v. Butler, ___ S.W.3d ___, ___ n.29 (Tex. 2019) ("Faris was decided by the court of appeals, but we refused the application for writ of error, giving the court's opinion the precedential value of one of our own. See Texas Rules of Form [] (explaining that between 1927 and 1997, the notation 'writ refused' meant that the Court had determined that the '[j]udgment of the court of civil appeals [was] correct, that the Court was 'satisfied that the opinion ha[d] correctly declared the law', and that '[s]uch cases have equal precedential value with the . . . Court's own opinions'); cf. Tex. R. App. P. 56.1(c) (as of September 1, 1997, a 'petition refused' notation has the same meaning).")
  • State ex rel. Mau v. Third Court of Appeals, 560 S.W.3d 640, 644 n.5 (Tex.Crim.App. 2018) ("The courts of appeals now have jurisdiction to grant mandamus relief against statutory county court judges, such as the judge in this case. See Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 740 [] (amending Tex. Gov't Code § 22.221(b)(1), to include judges of statutory county courts as among those against whom courts of appeals may issue writs of mandamus). When a court of appeals and this Court have concurrent original jurisdiction of a petition for writ of mandamus against the judge of a district or county court, the petition should be first presented to the court of appeals absent a compelling reason not to.")
  • Padilla v. McDaniel, 122 S.W.3d 805, 807 (Tex.Crim.App. 2003) (footnotes omitted) ("In 1983, shortly after . . . , an act of the legislature expanded their mandamus jurisdiction. It gave them general mandamus authority to enforce their jurisdictions, and general mandamus authority against district and county judges in their districts. This court held in 1987 that the 1983 act gave the courts of appeals mandamus jurisdiction in criminal law matters that is concurrent with this court's jurisdiction. Discretionary review of a court of appeals' decision to issue a writ of mandamus is not authorized, but this court may issue its writ of mandamus to overturn a court of appeals' mandamus decision.")

Historic Decisions

  • Miles v. Ford Motor Co., 914 S.W.2d 135, 137 n.3 (Tex. 1995) ("Even though the Constitution provides that '[t]he state shall be divided into courts of appeals districts,' Tex. Const. art. V, § 6 (emphasis supplied), twenty-two counties are located in two appellate districts and one, Brazos County, is located in three. See Tex. Gov't Code § 22.201. The first appellate overlap . . . . In addition to the thirteen counties already covered, the Legislature added Brazos County to both courts, while also leaving it in the Tenth District. Even though the people amended the Constitution in 1978 to allow larger appellate courts, the dual appellate court system in the state's most populous area remains.")
  • Draughn v. Brown, 651 S.W.2d 728, 730 (Tex. 1983) ("[J]ust as in Eades v. Drake, supra, the provisions in Tex.Rev.Civ.Stat.Ann. art. 1812(c) and 1813(a) calling for the drawing of lots for terms of office are void, because they violate the constitutional provision for elective six-year terms for judges of the courts of appeals. Tex. Const. art. V, § 6. Chief Justices Brown's and Evans' attempts to comply with the statutes and draw lots for terms of office will conflict with the holding in Eades v. Drake, supra. Therefore, without hearing oral argument, we grant the writ of mandamus pursuant to Tex.R.Civ.P. 483. If Chief Justices Brown and Evans draw lots for terms of office, the writ will issue.")
  • Electric Express & Baggage Co. v. Ablon, 218 S.W. 1030, 1034 (Tex. 1920) ("Our state Constitution, as amended in 1891, declares that 'decisions,' of Courts of Civil Appeals 'shall be conclusive on all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error.' Article 5, s 6. Our statute provides that judgments of these courts 'shall be conclusive in all cases on the facts of the case.' Article 1590, R. S. A portion of the opinion of the Court . . . . Under the above provisions of our Constitution and of article 1590, and our established practice, that decision or finding of fact, by that court, and its corresponding order of remand, are 'conclusive,' and, consequently, binding upon this court.")
  • San Antonio & Aransas Pass Ry. Co. v. Blair, 196 S.W. 502, 505 (Tex. 1917) ("Unless granted by the Constitution, the right of appeal itself is but a privilege . . . . With the right of appeal in such cases not a constitutional right, but a creation purely of the statute law and subject to the limitations of that law, with it thus pertaining merely to the remedy which the Legislature has full authority to restrict, to change and to regulate, neither can it be doubted that it would have been competent, as a mere question of legislative power, for the Legislature to have given to the Courts of Civil Appeals, themselves, the authority of determining when an appeal from their judgments should lie.")
  • Bond v. Carter, 72 S.W. 1059, 1059 (Tex. 1903) (citation omitted) ("This is a motion to annul an order of this court entered on the 19th day of January, 1903, which directed a transfer of this case from the Court of Civil Appeals for the Fifth Supreme Judicial District to that of the Fourth Supreme Judicial District. The case, together with others, was ordered to be transferred . . . . Counsel seem to have lost sight of another clause, found further on in the same section, which is as follows: 'Said courts shall have such other jurisdiction, original and appellate, as may be prescribed by law.' We think this broad and comprehensive provision amply sufficient to authorize the act in question.")
  • Choate v. San Antonio & A.P. Ry. Co., 44 S.W. 69, 69 (Tex. 1898) ("So that it is elementary that whether there be any evidence or not to support an issue is a question of law, and not of fact, and it follows that the decision of the court of civil appeals upon such a question is subject to review by this court. . . . The purpose of that provision in amended section 6, art. 5, of the constitution, which reads, 'that the decision of said courts shall be conclusive upon all questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error,' was not to enlarge their power over questions of fact, but to restrict, in express terms, the jurisdiction of the supreme court, and to confine it to questions of law.")
  • Nalle v. City of Austin, 22 S.W. 668, 670-71 (Tex. 1893) ("Under these circumstances the failure to provide that two members of a court of civil appeals should make a quorum strongly tends to evince the intention that every case in that court should be decided by a full bench. . . . Such a rule would be fraught with mischief, and would tend to obstruct the accomplishment of the very purpose for which the courts of civil appeals were created. In this connection it is to be noted that the same legislature which passed the amendment passed the act providing that two members of the court should be a quorum. Their construction of the constitutional question, unless clearly erroneous, should be upheld.")

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