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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A group of plaintiffs sued Siemens Corp. in a Dallas trial court for breach of contract and fraud. Because a similar case was pending in a local county court-at-law, Siemens invoked Dallas County local court rules and asked the county court to transfer the case from the district court to the county court. The county court judge said that Siemens should seek permission from the district court first. Accordingly, Siemens filed its motion to transfer in the district court. Siemens asked the district court either to transfer the case to the county court or to deny the motion to defer the decision to transfer according to local rules to the county court. The district court denied Siemens’ motion. In its findings of fact and conclusions of law, the district court found that Dallas County’s local rules allowing transfer of a case from a district court to a county court are invalid, because they are not authorized by statute. They also violate the constitutional right to a 12-person jury, the district court found. Siemens files for a writ of mandamus with this court HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. The court begins its review by examining the statutes cited by the district court. Government Code 74.093 allows for the adoption of local rules governing transfer of cases. The only limitation on local rules governing transfer within a county is that the case must be transferred to a court that has jurisdiction over the case. The court notes that Government Code 25.0003 sets out the jurisdiction of statutory county courts in Texas, while 25.0592 specifically addresses jurisdiction in Dallas County’s county courts. Those courts are invested with concurrent jurisdiction with a district court in civil cases, regardless of the amount in controversy. “Because the two courts now have concurrent jurisdiction, the jurisdictional limitation on transfers contained in section 74.093 is not implicated in this case. Accordingly, we conclude section 74.093 authorizes the adoption of local rules of administration providing for the transfer of cases from district courts in Dallas County to statutory county courts in Dallas County.” The court specifically rejects the district court’s analysis in which it found that, while Government Code 74.121(b)(1)does not expressly authorize or prohibit transfer of cases from district to county courts, 74.121(b)(2), which is applicable only to Midland County, does not allow for the adoption of local rules to allow such transfers. The district court erred in its reasoning that “if Midland County could just adopt local rules pursuant to section 74.093, there would have been no need for section 74.121(b).” Having found no statutory bar to the local rule allowing for transfer of the case, the court then reviews the district court’s finding that the local rule was unconstitutional because it “strips a party of its constitutional right to a”minimum 9 person jury.’” The court first finds that, by filing a case in district court, a person is not automatically vested with a constitutional right to a 12-person jury that can be taken away only at the party’s pleasure. Furthermore, the size of a jury is not a jurisdictional matter. The size of the jury has no impact upon a trial court’s power to act in a particular case where jurisdiction has otherwise been conferred upon it. The court finds mandamus relief proper in this instance because the district court’s ruling was an abuse of discretion, and because this was one of those exceptional cases that may be essential to preserve important substantive and procedural rights. Furthermore, other Texas counties may face the same or similar issue with their local rules. “The issue � whether the local rules allowing transfer of cases from district courts to statutory county courts � fits well within the types of issues for which mandamus review is not only appropriate but necessary. It is an issue of law, one of first impression for this Court, but likely to recur. All cases pending in Dallas County are governed by the local rules and potentially affected by this decision.” OPINION:Carolyn Wright, J.; Wright, O’Neill and Lang, JJ.

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