C. Video Testimony of Certain Professionals

In a proceeding brought forth by DFPS concerning a child who is alleged in a suit to have been abused or neglected, the court may order that the testimony of a professional be taken outside the courtroom by videoconference:

•   On the agreement of the department’s counsel and the respondent’s counsel; or

•   If good cause exists, on the court’s own motion. Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007(b).

In ordering testimony to be taken as provided by Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007(b), the court shall ensure that the videoconference testimony allows:

•   The parties and attorneys involved in the proceeding to be able to see and hear the professional as the professional testifies; and

•   The professional is able to see and hear the parties and attorneys examining the professional while the professional is testifying. Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007(c).

Professional means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children. The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers. Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007(a); Tex. Fam. Code § 261.101(b).

If the court permits the testimony of a professional by videoconference as provided by Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007 to be admitted during the proceeding, the professional may not be compelled to by physically present in the court during the same proceeding to provide the same testimony unless ordered by the court. Tex. Fam. Code § 104.007(d).