JEREMY CRESPIN v. THE STATE OF TEXAS

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas.

JEREMY CRESPIN, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

No. 05-10-00784-CR

Decided: February 28, 2011

Before Justices Murphy, Fillmore, and Myers

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Opinion By Justice Fillmore

Jeremy Crespin waived a jury trial and pleaded guilty to the offenses of indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than fourteen.   See Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 21.11(a), 22.021(a)(1)(B) (West Supp.2010).   Pursuant to plea agreements, the trial court deferred adjudicating guilt, placed Crespin on five years' community supervision, and assessed fines relating to these offenses of $2,500 and $3,000, respectively.   In two issues, Crespin contends the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear the cases and render judgments.   We affirm.   The background of the cases and the evidence adduced at trial are well known to the parties, and therefore we limit recitation of the facts.   We issue this memorandum opinion pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 47.1 because the law to be applied in these cases is well settled.

Crespin complains the 363rd Judicial District Court lacked jurisdiction over his cases because they were not properly transferred to the court's docket.1  He argues the indictments in these cases were returned in the 203rd Judicial District Court, but the record contains no order transferring the cases to the 363rd Judicial District Court, where the cases were heard and the judgments rendered.   Crespin argues that because the 363rd Judicial District Court never acquired jurisdiction over his cases, the trial court's judgments are void.

A grand jury formed and impaneled by a district court is empowered to inquire into offenses liable to indictment.  Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 20.09 (West 2005);  Ex parte Edone, 740 S.W.2d 446, 448 (Tex.Crim.App.1987).   After the conclusion of testimony on an offense liable to indictment, the grand jury will vote concerning the “presentment of an indictment.”  Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 20.19 (West 2005);  Ex parte Edone, 740 S.W.2d at 448.   Following presentment, an indictment is filed in a court with jurisdiction to hear the case.  Bourque v. State, 156 S.W.3d 675, 678 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2005, pet. ref'd);  see also Hultin v. State, 171 Tex.Crim. 425, 351 S.W.2d 248, 255 (1961).

In counties having two or more district courts,

the judges of the courts may adopt rules governing the filing and numbering of cases, the assignment of cases for trial, and the distribution of the work of the courts as in their discretion they consider necessary or desirable for the orderly dispatch of the business of the courts.

Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 24.304 (West 2004);  see also Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 74.093 (West Supp.2010) (addressing adoption of local rules of administration to provide, in part, for assignment, docketing, transfer, and hearing of all cases).   Thus, in a county with two or more district courts, the court impaneling a grand jury will not necessarily be assigned an indictment presented by that grand jury.   See Bourque, 156 S.W.3d at 678.

A transfer order is not required when the case is addressed by the district court in which the indictment was originally filed.   See id.   Here, the records show the grand jury was impaneled in the 203rd Judicial District Court.   Following the return of Crespin's indictments, the cases were filed in the 363rd Judicial District Court.   Nothing in the record indicates the cases were originally filed in or appeared on the trial docket of the 203rd Judicial District Court.   Because the 363rd Judicial District Court had jurisdiction to hear the cases and render the judgments, we resolve Crespin's issues against him.

We affirm the trial court's judgments.

FOOTNOTES

FN1. In his plea agreements, Crespin reserved the right to appeal the imposition of sex offender registration requirements.   The trial court's certification recites that these are “plea-bargain case[s], but the trial court has given permission to appeal, and the defendant has the right of appeal.”   Although Crespin's complaints on appeal do not reference the sex offender registration requirements, we conclude we have jurisdiction over the appeals because the trial court granted Crespin permission to appeal.   See Tex.R.App. P. 25.2(a)(2)..  FN1. In his plea agreements, Crespin reserved the right to appeal the imposition of sex offender registration requirements.   The trial court's certification recites that these are “plea-bargain case[s], but the trial court has given permission to appeal, and the defendant has the right of appeal.”   Although Crespin's complaints on appeal do not reference the sex offender registration requirements, we conclude we have jurisdiction over the appeals because the trial court granted Crespin permission to appeal.   See Tex.R.App. P. 25.2(a)(2).

ROBERT M. FILLMORE JUSTICE

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