CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE


TITLE 7. ALTERNATE METHODS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION


CHAPTER 152. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYSTEM ESTABLISHED BY COUNTIES


Sec. 152.001. DEFINITION. In this chapter, "alternative dispute resolution system" means an informal forum in which mediation, conciliation, or arbitration is used to resolve disputes among individuals, entities, and units of government, including those having an ongoing relationship such as relatives, neighbors, landlords and tenants, employees and employers, and merchants and consumers.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1090 (S.B. 1271), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 152.002. ESTABLISHMENT. (a) The commissioners court of a county by order may establish an alternative dispute resolution system for the peaceable and expeditious resolution of disputes.

(b) The commissioners court may do all necessary acts to make the alternative dispute resolution system effective, including:

(1) contracting with a private nonprofit corporation, a political subdivision, a public corporation, or a combination of these entities for the purpose of administering the system;

(2) making reasonable rules relating to the system, including rules specifying whether criminal cases may be referred to the system; and

(3) vesting management of the system in a committee selected by the county bar association.

(c) The actions of a committee authorized by Subsection (b)(3) are subject to the approval of the commissioners court.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1090 (S.B. 1271), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 781 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 152.003. REFERRAL OF CASES. (a) A judge of a district court, county court, statutory county court, probate court, or justice of the peace court in a county in which an alternative dispute resolution system has been established may, on motion of a party or on the judge's or justice's own motion, refer a civil or, if the system accepts criminal cases and on the request of an attorney representing the state, a criminal case to the system regardless of whether the defendant in the criminal case has been formally charged. Referral under this section does not prejudice the case.

(b) Before requesting a referral of a criminal case under this section, an attorney representing the state must obtain the consent of the victim and the defendant to the referral.

(c) A criminal case may not be referred to the system if the defendant is charged with or convicted of an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, or convicted of an offense, the judgment for which contains an affirmative finding under Article 42A.054(c) or (d), Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 509, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 781 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.03, eff. January 1, 2017.

Sec. 152.004. FINANCING. (a) To establish and maintain an alternative dispute resolution system, the commissioners court may set a court cost in an amount not to exceed $15 to be taxed, collected, and paid as other court costs in each civil case filed in a county or district court in the county, including a civil case relating to probate matters but not including:

(1) a suit for delinquent taxes;

(2) a condemnation proceeding under Chapter 21, Property Code; or

(3) a proceeding under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

(b) The county is not liable for the payment of a court cost under this section.

(c) The clerks of the courts in the county shall collect and pay the costs to the county treasurer or, if the county does not have a treasurer, to the county officer who performs the functions of the treasurer, who shall deposit the costs in a separate fund known as the alternative dispute resolution system fund. The fund shall be administered by the commissioners court and may only be used to establish and maintain the system. The system shall be operated at one or more convenient and accessible places in the county.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.16(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.07(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 509, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1192 (H.B. 282), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 152.005. ADDITIONAL FEE FOR JUSTICE COURTS. (a) To establish and maintain an alternative dispute resolution system, the commissioners court may, in addition to the court cost authorized under Section 152.004, set a court cost in an amount not to exceed $5 for civil cases filed in a justice court located in the county, but not including:

(1) a suit for delinquent taxes; or

(2) an eviction proceeding, including a forcible detainer, a forcible entry and detainer, or a writ of re-entry.

(b) A clerk of the court shall collect and pay the court cost in the manner prescribed by Section 152.004(c).

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 509, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1192 (H.B. 282), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 152.006. FEE FOR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTERS. An entity described by Section 152.002(a) or (b)(1) that provides services for the resolution of disputes may collect a reasonable fee set by the commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1192 (H.B. 282), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 781 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 152.007. PARTICIPANT FEE FOR CRIMINAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION. (a) An entity that provides services for the resolution of criminal disputes under this chapter may collect a reasonable fee set by the commissioners court from a person who receives the services, not to exceed $350, except that a fee may not be collected from an alleged victim of the crime.

(b) Fees collected under this section may be paid on a periodic basis or on a deferred payment schedule at the discretion of the judge, magistrate, or program director administering the pretrial victim-offender mediation program. The fees must be based on the defendant's ability to pay.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 781 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.