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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The state filed complaints in the Justice Court for Precinct 5 of Harris County that accused the appellees of separate offenses of failure to stop at a stop sign. The justice court granted the appellees’ motions to dismiss the misdemeanor complaints against them, because neither complaint alleged the specific location of the offense. The state filed notices of appeal in the justice court. The notices said, “The State now gives written Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals sitting at Houston, Texas.” The appeals went to the First Court of Appeals. The appellees argued that courts of appeals did not have jurisdiction. They relied on Articles 4.08 and 45.042 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which speak to the county courts’ jurisdiction of appeals from justice courts. The state based its argument that a state’s appeal will be heard by the court of appeals on the first sentence of Article 44.01(f) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The court of appeals concluded that “Article 44.01 allow[s] the State to appeal, and Articles 4.08 and 45.042 establish[] the court with the initial appellate jurisdiction to hear the case.” Because “the State should have brought [its] appeals to the county courts,” the court of appeals dismissed the state’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. HOLDING:Affirmed. The state questioned how there can be a trial de novo in cases in which it was appealing the justice court’s rulings which granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss the complaint. The state asked, “Is the trial de novo to be upon the complaint that the justice court had previously dismissed � in which case the justice court’s ruling on the defendant’s motion to dismiss would be ignored?” and “Is the trial de novo to be upon another complaint or an amended complaint � in which case the State’s right to appeal the justice court’s ruling would have been abrogated?” The court answered the state’s first question, “yes.” A trial de novo on a complaint that a justice court dismissed would ignore the justice court’s ruling. That is what Article 44.17 means when it says “the trial shall be de novo in the trial in the county court, the same as if the prosecution had been originally commenced in that court.” The state also argued that Article 44.01(f) “contemplates that a State’s appeal brought under that statute will be heard by the court of appeals.” Article 44.01(f) provides that “The court of appeals shall give precedence in its docket to an appeal filed under Subsection (a) or (b) of this article.” The state contends that this provision about precedence in court of appeals’ dockets means that courts of appeals have jurisdiction of every appeal filed under subsection (a) or (b). The language of the statute will not bear the weight of that inference, the court decides. Article 44.01(f) speaks only to the precedence of appeals of which the court of appeals has jurisdiction. It cannot be read to create jurisdiction or to assume the existence of a jurisdiction that is not elsewhere granted. The basic principles of statutory construction require that all the provisions be given effect. This is easily and naturally done. Article 44.01(a) allows the state to appeal certain orders. Articles 4.08 and 45.042 establish that appeals from a justice court must be taken to the county court. Articles 44.17 and 45.042 specify that an appeal to county court shall be conducted de novo. If the state takes an appeal after such a de novo proceeding in the county court, Article 44.01(f) means that that appeal shall be given precedence by the court of appeals. OPINION:Paul Womack, J., delivered the court’s opinion.

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