March 13, 2020

Court of Criminal Appeals

Holder v. State

No. PD-1269-16                3/11/20


In light of Carpenter v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2206 (2018), does the third-party doctrine extend to cell site location information (CSLI) under Article I, §9 of the Texas Constitution?

Holding (Hervey, J.):

No. The Court held that the third-party doctrine alone cannot defeat a person’s expectation of privacy in at least 23 days of historical CSLI under Article I, §9. The Court adopted the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Carpenter to no longer apply the third-party doctrine to CSLI records under the Texas Constitution. The Court indicated that there was no significant difference in the text of Article I, §9 and the Fourth Amendment nor any historically documented difference in which the Framers of the 1876 Texas Constitution thought that Texas citizens should enjoy less protection from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Texas Constitution than the U.S. Constitution. Read Opinion.

Concurring and Dissenting (Yeary, J.):

“I agree with the Court’s resolution of the [defendant]’s statutory claim. That resolution is consistent with our opinion last year in Sims v. State, 569 S.W.3d 634 (Tex. Crim. App. 2019). To that extent, I concur in the result the majority reaches today. I part ways with the Court, however, in its interpretation of Article I, §9 of the Texas Constitution.… Instead of slavishly following Carpenter, as the Court now does, I would adhere to the construction that we unanimously placed upon Article I, §9, of our State Constitution in Hankston. Given that our construction in Hankston was the one that we said ‘ma[d]e more sense’ to us, 517 S.W.3d at 120, it is far from clear to me that we should follow Carpenter’s lead.” Read Opinion.


This is a comparatively rare opinion on Article I, §9 of the Texas Constitution. The result is consistent with Carpenter, which was decided after the case was tried and affirmed on appeal. The Court addressed this claim under the Texas Constitution because the defendant did not raise a claim under the federal constitution on appeal.

Texas Attorney General

KP-0292               3/9/20


  1. Does a judge of a statutory county court have the authority to set the salaries of court staff?
  2. Can the commissioners court reduce the salaries of court staff without first giving notice to the judge of the court?
  3. Must the commissioners court set reasonable salaries of court staff?


  1. No. Under §25.2702 of the Government Code, the judge of the 1st Multicounty Court at Law does not possess the authority to set the salaries of the official court reporter and the court administrator.
  2. Yes. The commissioners court may reduce salaries of the court reporter and the court administrator of the multicounty court at law without giving the judge specific notice before adopting the budget.
  3. Yes. The commissioners court must set reasonable salaries for the court reporter and the court administrator, subject to judicial review in district court for abuse of discretion. Read Opinion.


You have to feel sorry for the court reporter and court coordinator whose salaries keep going up and down in this game of political football.