Publications

Studies & Special Reports 

Liberty and Justice: Pretrial Practices in Texas

March 2017

In October 2016, the Texas Judicial Council’s Criminal Justice Committee reviewed the evidence and produced a report advocating expansion of risk-informed release and personal bond. The report includes the eight recommendations.

Liberty and Justice: Pretrial Practices in Texas
Technical Appendix
Summary and Conclusions

Guardianship Compliance Project Performance Report

January 2017

As directed by Rider 20 (p. IV-28) in the Office of Court Administration appropriation of the General Appropriations Act (GAA), this report details the outcomes of the guardianship compliance pilot project funded by the 84th Legislature.

Guardianship Compliance Project Performance Report

Study on the Feasibility of a Guardianship Registry 

November 2016

As directed by House Bill 3424 (84th Legislature), this study reviews the feasibility of setting up a guardianship registry in Texas and best practices for protecting the privacy of individuals' information in the registry. The study finds that the registry is feasible and that adequate protections can be established to protect information in the registry.

Study on the Feasibility of a Guardianship Registry

Texas: Impact of the Expedited Actions Rules

October 2016

The National Center for State Courts and the State Justice Institute, which provided funding for this project, wanted information about the impact of civil justice reform efforts to help inform the deliberations of the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Committee as it drafted recommendations for a national audience. The evaluation design was intended to capitalize on this shared interest.

The Supreme Court of Texas, on November 13, 2012, adopted Rules for Dismissals and Expedited Actions intended to address the duration, cost, and degree of conflict in discovery, costs associated with mediation, time to disposition, and the length of trials in civil cases. Among the expected results of the Expedited Rules are a reduction in discovery conflicts and time spent in discovery, more deliberative use of mediation, declining time to case disposition, and fewer delays between scheduled trial dates and trials held.

Texas: Impact of the Expedited Action Rules

Texas Child Protective Services Workload Assessment Final Report

September 2016

In 2007, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) completed a judicial workload assessment for the Texas district courts, resulting in the weighted caseload model that is currently used to analyze judicial workload and the need for judges in the district courts. At the time of the workload assessment, it was not possible to distinguish Child Protective Services (CPS) cases from other types of family law cases, such as child support, protective orders, and paternity. For this reason, a single case weight was created to cover all of these case types. Because CPS cases are very different in nature from the other types of cases included in the “Other Family Law” category, a separate case weight for CPS was identified as a need. In 2010, the Office of Court Administration (OCA) implemented a new reporting system that was capable of tracking CPS cases as a distinct category, making it possible to construct a separate case weight for CPS cases. Subsequently, OCA, with funding from The Supreme Court Children’s Commission, contracted with NCSC to comprehensively reexamine the judicial time needed to handle CPS cases.

Texas Child Protective Services Workload Assessment

Report of the Task Force to Promote Uniformity in Collection & Reporting of Information on Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Human Trafficking

Published September 2016

As directed by House Bill 2455 (84th Legislature), this study focuses on the collection and reporting of data surrounding family violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Policy recommendations and best practice guidelines are included for the uniform collection and reporting of information relating to family violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking and the implementation of dating violence training and awareness education in public schools under Texas Education Code §37.0831.

Recommendations for Collecting and Reporting Data Relating To Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, And Human Trafficking

Asset Forfeiture in Texas: DPS and County Interactions

Published: December 2014

This research report, conducted by the Texas A&M Public Policy Research Institute, reviews asset forfeiture trends based upon DPS Sting Operations, the use of forfeiture funds by DPS and prosecutors, and the cost impact on counties where the alleged criminal activity that is the basis of the forfeiture occurred.

Asset Forfeiture in Texas: DPS and County Interactions

Texas Guardianship Cases: Improving Court Processes and Monitoring Practices in Texas Courts

Published: November 2014

This report focuses on the growing importance of guardianship in the court community in recent years as courts grapple with how best to handle the increase in cases requiring the appointment of a guardian and in institutionalizing proven case management practices that are associated with ensuring a ward's well-being and best interests.

Texas Guardianship Cases: Improving Court Processes and Monitoring Practices in Texas Courts

Study on the Adequacy and Appropriateness of Additional Compensation Paid to Certain County Judges

Published: November 2014

As directed by Senate Bill 1080 (83rd Legislature), this study focuses on the salary supplements paid by the state to county judges that certify that they spend 40% of more of their time on judicial functions. Recommendations for modification are included.

Study on the Adequacy and Appropriateness of Additional Compensation Paid to Certain County Judges

Report on the Necessity of Certain Court Costs and Fees - SB 1908

Published: September 2014

Senate Bill 1908 (83rd Legislature), required OCA to study the existing fees and costs and determine whether the fees and costs are "necessary to accomplish the stated statutory purpose."

Report on the Necessity of Certain Court Costs and Fees - SB 1908

Case Management and Space Needs Review: Harris County IV-D Courts

Published: March 2014

This study focused on the caseflow management practices and procedures, physical location and space, technology, and court security measures needed for a model IV-D court.

Case Management and Space Needs Review: Harris County IV-D Courts

Examining Texas County Courts at Law Civil Court Reorganization

Published: December 2012

This study, conducted by the National Center for State Courts, was designed to help OCA determine the feasibility, efficiency, and potential cost of converting to district courts those statutory county courts at law (CCLs) with jurisdiction in civil cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $200,000. This study was a requirement of House Bill 79, passed by the 82nd Legislature, First Called Session (2011).

Examining Texas County Courts at Law Civil Court Reorganization

Criminal Justice Process Study: Midland County

Published: July 2007

This report examines the criminal justice processes affecting the size and composition of Midland County's incarcerated population, using observations from onsite visits, and data analysis, and offers recommendations to the Midland County Commissioners Court and the criminal justice community.

Criminal Justice Process Study: Midland County

Measuring Current Judicial Workload in Texas

Published: June 2007

This report describes the methods and results of a research enquiry conducted by the National Center for State Courts on workload in the district courts in Texas.

Measuring Current Judicial Workload in Texas

Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts and the Legal Profession in Texas

Published: December 1998

This study provides baseline information about how Texans view the courts and the legal profession in their state.

Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts and the Legal Profession in Texas