1995 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1665 (1995)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0060 and id is 1 raw text is: Office of the ttornep @eneral
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ATTORNEY GENERAL                       January 9, 1995
Honorable John T. Montford            Opinion No. DM-313
Finance Committee                    Re: Whether a county is required to accept
Texas State Senate                   warrantless arrestees from a municipal police
P.O. Box 12068                        department, and related questions (RQ-606)
Austin, Texas 78711
Dear Senator Montford:
In view of a dispute between the City of Odessa (the city) and Ector County (the
county) as to who is responsible for incarcerating certain persons arrested by the city
police for the violation of state criminal provisions, you have asked this office a series of
You ask first whether, if a city police officer arrests a person for violating a state
criminal statute and a magistrate issues a commitment order for the person, the county is
required to incarcerate the person. In our view, Attorney General Opinion JM-151 (1984)
and article 2.18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure both answer this question in the
Article 2.18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that [w]hen a prisoner is
committed to jail by warrant from a magistrate or court, he shall be placed in jail by the
sheriff. To permit such a prisoner to remain out of jail is a violation of duty on the part
of [the] sheriff. Accordingly, Attorney General Opinion JM-151 held that a county jail
was required to accept state statute violators after a magistrate had committed them to the
jail. JM-151, at 2.
Your second question concerns whether a municipal judge may issue such a
commitment order, particularly when the offense charged is a class A or B misdemeanor.
The warrant of commitment is defined by article 16.20 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
which further stipulates its requisites. According to article 16.20, A 'commitment' is an
order signed by the proper magistrate directing a sheriff to receive and place in jail the
person so committed.
'Attorney General Opinion JM-151 did not overrule, and this opinion should not be construed to
overrule, Attorney General Opinion MW-52 (1979), which held that a sheriff has no duty to confine a
person in the county jail solely for the violation of a municipal ordinance.

p. 1665

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