Judge George Gallagher presided over the state's criminal case against Relator Warren Kenneth Paxton, Jr. in Collin County. Gallagher granted the state's motion to transfer the case to Harris County, and relator advised Gallagher that he did not consent to Gallagher continuing to preside over the case in Harris County. Relator also moved for the Collin County clerk to transfer files to Harris County. Gallagher, however, scheduled the trial in Harris County and invited the parties to tour the Harris County facilities. Furthermore, the Collin County clerk declined to transfer files, advising relator that doing so might run afoul of Gallagher's directions. Relator sought mandamus relief, on grounds that a judge who transfers venue may not preside over the case without the consent of the state, the defendant, and defendant's counsel. The court found that a change of venue order "immediately and automatically" vests jurisdiction in the new court. The court also found that under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 31.09, a judge who transfers venue cannot continue to preside over the case without consent of all parties. Because defendant withheld his consent, the court held that all orders Gallagher issued after the change of venue were void. The court thus granted conditional mandamus relief, ordering Gallagher to vacate the scheduling order, any express or implied orders preventing the Collin County clerk from transferring case files, and any other orders issued after the change of venue. In Re Paxton, Dallas Court of Appeals, Case No. 05-17-00507-CV, 5/30/17.
ROBERT M. FILLMORE, JUSTICE