Resolution supports changing County Court at LawNo. 2 to probate court
BY JISHNU NAIR
INCREASE IN PROBATE CASES Cases that could be handled by a probate court have increased in a seven-year period.
probate court would also handle questions of guardianship, mental health and related eminent domain cases. Laird presented statistics showing probate cases filed annually with County Court at Law No. 2 increased from 1,000 in 2014 to approximately 1,700 in 2021. Mental health cases increased from under 200 in 2014 to about 1,100 in 2021, while guardianship cases increased from just over 400 to 900 in the 2014-21 time frame. The amount of time foster children in Texas spend in hotels, offices and other inadequate places has risen by more than 1,000% since December 2019, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Laird added the new court at law will help ease the courts’ caseload burdens. Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley asked whether the changeover would increase the case burden on other county courts. Laird said it would reduce caseloads for district courts in combina- tion with the new County Court at Law No. 6, not- ing it would also reduce the amount the county needs to spend on visiting judges who take the place of judges who have recused themselves.
Montgomery County Commissioners unani- mously supported a resolution March 8 in favor of legislative action to change one of the county’s courts at law to a probate court. County Court at Law No. 2, presided over by Claudia Laird—who presented the item to com- missioners—will become Montgomery County Probate Court No. 1, according to a previously approved Jan. 7 resolution from the county’s board of judges. In an emailed statement to Community Impact Newspaper , Laird said the next step would be for the next state legislative session to pass bills officially changing the court at law. During the March 8 meeting, Laird said the probate court would likely take effect at the end of 2023, follow- ing the county’s new County Court at Law No. 6. “It gives us a year to work cases into [County Court at Law No.] 6, and then we will become a statutory court at the end of 2023,” Laird said. According to the Texas State Law Library, pro- bate courts handle matters relating to a person’s estate after they die. Laird said the statutory
MONTGOMERY COUNTY ANNUAL CASE FILINGS
Mental health cases
SOURCE: CLAUDIA LAIRD, MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 2 JUDGE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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