Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

February 19, 2003
Contact: Janet Stieben
(512) 463-0104, (281) 296-0023

Williams Calls for Changes to The 9th Court of Appeals

Legislation increases number of justices and expands court locations

February 19, 2003 (Austin, TX) Senator Tommy Williams has filed bills to increase the number of 9th Court of Appeal justices to three, in addition to the chief justice, and to allow the court to transact business in any of the 11 county seats making up the 9th Court of Appeals district.

"The ninth court is over burdened and struggles with its present caseload. It is one of only four state appeals courts having just two justices and a chief justice. Senate Bill 449 increases the total number of justices to four which will enhance the work of this important court," said Williams.

The 11 counties served by the ninth court have experienced population changes, forcing many cases to be heard far away from involved parties.

Senator Todd Staples and Senator Kyle Janek are co-authoring both senate bills.

"Senate Bill 375 would allow the court to transact its business in the City of Beaumont, the present residing court location, or the county seat of any of the 11 counties served by the district," added Williams.

Senator Williams serves on the Senate Finance Committee, Business and Commerce Committee, Education Committee and Vice-Chair of Criminal Justice Committee and represents Chambers Liberty, Orange and parts of Harris, Jefferson and Montgomery counties.