In a dispute over the assessment of costs on appeal, the Houston (First) Court of Appeals recently held that bond forfeiture cases are criminal as opposed to civil. Accordingly, the court redesignated the two appeals at issue as criminal cases with the abbreviation "CR." But for those hoping to avoid civil filing fees as a result of the court’s decision (see report at this link) — not so fast. The court of appeals also held that civil filing fees may be assessed despite the cases’ new designation. To top it off, the court held that costs could be assessed against the bond company under established criminal rules despite its success on appeal. For those unfamiliar with Texas’s judicial system, the criminal vs. civil designation is important for reasons other than filing fees. Texas has a bifurcated system with two courts of last resort, the Court of Criminal Appeals for criminal cases and the Texas Supreme Court for civil cases. The court of appeals’ opinion in Safety Nat’l Cas. Corp. v. State of Texas can be found at this link.