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Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas.


No. 05-10-01016-CR

Decided: February 28, 2011

Before Justices Moseley, Richter, and Lang-Miers


Opinion By Justice Richter

Fred Anderson waived a jury and pleaded not guilty to theft of copper cables valued less than $20,000.   See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 31.03(a), (e)(4)(A) (West Supp.2010).   After finding appellant guilty, the trial court assessed punishment, enhanced by two prior felony convictions, at two years' imprisonment.   In a single issue, appellant contends the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and render judgment.   We affirm.   The background of the case 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 the case is well settled.

In his sole issue, appellant complains Criminal District Court No. 5 lacked jurisdiction over his case because it was not properly transferred to the court's docket.   The indictment in this case was returned in the 204th Judicial District Court, but the record contains no order transferring the case to Criminal District Court No. 5, where the case was heard and the judgment rendered.   A grand jury formed and impaneled by a district judge inquires into offenses liable to indictment and hears testimony before voting on whether to indict an accused.  Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 20.09, 20.19 (West 2005);  Ex parte Edone, 740 S.W.2d 446, 448 (Tex.Crim.App.1987).   After the conclusion of testimony, the grand jury votes “as to the presentment of an indictment.”  Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 20.19.   Following presentment, an indictment is filed in a court with competent jurisdiction, i.e., jurisdiction to hear the case.   See 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, numbering, and assignment of cases for trial, and the distribution of the courts' work they consider necessary or desirable to conduct the business of the courts.   See 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, a specific district court may impanel a grand jury, but it does not necessarily follow that all cases returned by that grand jury are assigned to that court.   See Bourque v. State, 156 S.W.3d 675, 678 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2005, pet. ref'd).

Here, the record shows the grand jury was impaneled in the 204th Judicial District Court.   Following the return of appellant's indictment, the case was filed in Criminal District Court No. 5. Nothing in the record indicates this case was originally filed in or appeared on the trial docket of the 204th Judicial District Court.   Because Criminal District Court No. 5 had jurisdiction to hear appellant's case and render judgment, we resolve appellant's sole issue against him.

We affirm the trial court's judgment.


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