Texas Attorney General Opinion: M-562 Page: 3 of 7
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Hon. Ted Butler, page 3 (M-562)
Three, Four and Five have to file for the Primary
Election of their respective parties and if nomi-
nated run for election in the General Election of
Under the provisions of Section 18 of Article V of
the Constitution of Texas, the power to divide the county from
time to time into justice precincts of not more than eight or
less than four is exclusively lodged in the commissioners courts
of the respective counties of this State. Williams v. Castleman,
112 Tex. 193, 247 S.W. 263 (1923); Dowlin v. Rigsby, 43 S.w. 271
(Tex.Civ.App. 1897, error ref.). In the exercise of its ex-
clusive power to change precinct boundaries, the commissioners
court can abolish an existing precinct and create a new pre-
cinct composed of the one abolished and a part of another with-
out redistricting the whole county. Hastings v. Townsend, 136
s.w. 1143 (Tex.Civ.App. 1911, no writ). Therefore, it is clear
that the Commissioners Court of Bexar County had the authority
to abolish Precincts Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight
and create three new precincts from the territory of the ones
abolished, leaving Precincts One and Two unchanged and unaf-
fected by the order.
The courts of this State have long followed the rule
that upon the effective date of an order, such as the one entered
by the Commissioners Court of Bexar County, the old precincts
and precinct offices cease to exist, and, as of that date, the
new precincts come into existence with the precinct offices
vacant. Williams v. Castleman, 112 Tex. 193, 247 S.W. 263
(1923); Dowlin v. Rigsby, 43 S.W. 271 (Tex.Civ.App. 1897, error
ref.); Brown v. Meeks, 96 S.W.2d 839 (Tex.Civ.App. 1936, error
dism.). However, the offices in precincts that are unaffected
by such order remain undisturbed and the persons holding such
offices are entitled to occupy them for the term to which they
were elected. State v. Akin, 112 Tenn. 603, 79 S.W. 805 (1904).
,We must now determine whether the method prescribed
by the Commnissioners Court to fill the vacancies in Precincts
Three, Four and Five, as authorized by Paragraph (a) of Article
2351-1/2, was proper. Section 28 of Article V of the Consti-
tution of Texas provides as follows:
"Vacancies in the office of judges of the
Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals,
the Court of Civil Appeals and, the District
Courts shall be filled by the Governor until
the next. succeeding General Election; and
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: M-562, text, 1970; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth269787/m1/3/: accessed January 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.