Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code

As effective September 1, 2019

Table of Contents

Title 1

Chapter 1

Sec. 1.001

Sec. 1.002

Sec. 1.003

Title 2

Subtitle A

Chapter 5

Sec. 5.001

Chapter 6

Sec. 6.001

Sec. 6.002

Sec. 6.003

Sec. 6.004

Chapter 7

Subchapter A

Sec. 7.001

Sec. 7.002

Sec. 7.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 7.011

Subchapter C

Sec. 7.021

Chapter 8

Sec. 8.01

Sec. 8.02

Chapter 9

Subchapter A

Sec. 9.001

Sec. 9.002

Sec. 9.003

Sec. 9.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 9.011

Sec. 9.012

Sec. 9.013

Sec. 9.014

Chapter 10

Sec. 10.001

Sec. 10.002

Sec. 10.003

Sec. 10.004

Sec. 10.005

Sec. 10.006

Chapter 11

Subchapter A

Sec. 11.001

Sec. 11.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 11.051

Sec. 11.052

Sec. 11.053

Sec. 11.054

Sec. 11.055

Sec. 11.056

Sec. 11.057

Subchapter C

Sec. 11.101

Sec. 11.102

Sec. 11.103

Sec. 11.1035

Sec. 11.104

Chapter 12

Sec. 12.001

Sec. 12.002

Sec. 12.003

Sec. 12.004

Sec. 12.005

Sec. 12.006

Sec. 12.007

Chapter 13

Sec. 13.001

Sec. 13.002

Sec. 13.003

Sec. 13.004

Chapter 14

Sec. 14.001

Sec. 14.002

Sec. 14.003

Sec. 14.004

Sec. 14.005

Sec. 14.006

Sec. 14.007

Sec. 14.008

Sec. 14.009

Sec. 14.010

Sec. 14.011

Sec. 14.012

Sec. 14.013

Sec. 14.014

Subtitle B

Chapter 15

Subchapter A

Sec. 15.001

Sec. 15.002

Sec. 15.003

Sec. 15.004

Sec. 15.005

Sec. 15.006

Sec. 15.007

Subchapter B

Sec. 15.011

Sec. 15.0115

Sec. 15.012

Sec. 15.013

Sec. 15.014

Sec. 15.015

Sec. 15.0151

Sec. 15.016

Sec. 15.017

Sec. 15.018

Sec. 15.0181

Sec. 15.019

Sec. 15.020

Subchapter C

Sec. 15.031

Sec. 15.032

Sec. 15.033

Sec. 15.035

Sec. 15.038

Sec. 15.039

Subchapter D

Sec. 15.062

Sec. 15.063

Sec. 15.064

Sec. 15.0641

Sec. 15.0642

Sec. 15.065

Sec. 15.066

Subchapter E

Sec. 15.081

Sec. 15.082

Sec. 15.0821

Sec. 15.083

Sec. 15.084

Sec. 15.085

Sec. 15.086

Sec. 15.087

Sec. 15.088

Sec. 15.089

Sec. 15.090

Sec. 15.091

Sec. 15.092

Sec. 15.093

Sec. 15.094

Sec. 15.095

Sec. 15.096

Sec. 15.097

Sec. 15.098

Sec. 15.099

Sec. 15.100

Chapter 16

Subchapter A

Sec. 16.001

Sec. 16.002

Sec. 16.003

Sec. 16.0031

Sec. 16.004

Sec. 16.0045

Sec. 16.005

Sec. 16.006

Sec. 16.007

Sec. 16.008

Sec. 16.009

Sec. 16.010

Sec. 16.011

Sec. 16.012

Subchapter B

Sec. 16.021

Sec. 16.022

Sec. 16.023

Sec. 16.024

Sec. 16.025

Sec. 16.026

Sec. 16.0265

Sec. 16.027

Sec. 16.028

Sec. 16.029

Sec. 16.030

Sec. 16.031

Sec. 16.032

Sec. 16.033

Sec. 16.034

Sec. 16.035

Sec. 16.036

Sec. 16.037

Sec. 16.038

Subchapter C

Sec. 16.051

Subchapter D

Sec. 16.061

Sec. 16.062

Sec. 16.063

Sec. 16.064

Sec. 16.065

Sec. 16.066

Sec. 16.067

Sec. 16.068

Sec. 16.069

Sec. 16.070

Sec. 16.071

Sec. 16.072

Chapter 17

Subchapter A

Sec. 17.001

Sec. 17.002

Sec. 17.003

Sec. 17.004

Sec. 17.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 17.021

Sec. 17.022

Sec. 17.023

Sec. 17.024

Sec. 17.025

Sec. 17.026

Sec. 17.027

Sec. 17.028

Sec. 17.029

Sec. 17.030

Sec. 17.031

Sec. 17.032

Sec. 17.033

Subchapter C

Sec. 17.041

Sec. 17.042

Sec. 17.043

Sec. 17.044

Sec. 17.045

Subchapter D

Sec. 17.061

Sec. 17.062

Sec. 17.063

Sec. 17.064

Sec. 17.065

Sec. 17.066

Sec. 17.067

Sec. 17.068

Sec. 17.069

Subchapter E

Sec. 17.091

Sec. 17.092

Sec. 17.093

Chapter 18

Subchapter A

Sec. 18.001

Sec. 18.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 18.031

Sec. 18.032

Sec. 18.033

Subchapter C

Sec. 18.061

Sec. 18.062

Subchapter D

Sec. 18.091

Chapter 19

Sec. 19.001

Sec. 19.002

Sec. 19.003

Sec. 19.004

Sec. 19.005

Sec. 19.006

Sec. 19.007

Sec. 19.008

Sec. 19.009

Chapter 20

Sec. 20.001

Sec. 20.002

Chapter 21

Subchapter A

Sec. 21.001

Sec. 21.002

Sec. 21.003

Sec. 21.004

Sec. 21.005

Sec. 21.006

Sec. 21.007

Sec. 21.008

Sec. 21.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 21.021

Sec. 21.022

Sec. 21.023

Subchapter C

Sec. 21.031

Sec. 21.032

Subchapter D

Sec. 21.051

Chapter 22

Subchapter A

Sec. 22.001

Sec. 22.002

Sec. 22.003

Sec. 22.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 22.011

Subchapter C

Sec. 22.021

Sec. 22.022

Sec. 22.023

Sec. 22.024

Sec. 22.025

Sec. 22.026

Sec. 22.027

Chapter 23

Sec. 23.001

Sec. 23.002

Chapter 24

Sec. 24.001

Chapter 26

Subchapter A

Sec. 26.001

Sec. 26.002

Sec. 26.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 26.051

Chapter 27

Sec. 27.001

Sec. 27.002

Sec. 27.003

Sec. 27.004

Sec. 27.005

Sec. 27.006

Sec. 27.007

Sec. 27.0075

Sec. 27.008

Sec. 27.009

Sec. 27.010

Sec. 27.011

Chapter 30

Sec. 30.001

Sec. 30.002

Sec. 30.003

Sec. 30.004

Sec. 30.005

Sec. 30.006

Sec. 30.007

Sec. 30.008

Sec. 30.009

Sec. 30.010

Sec. 30.011

Sec. 30.012

Sec. 30.013

Sec. 30.014

Sec. 30.015

Sec. 30.016

Sec. 30.017

Sec. 30.018

Sec. 30.021

Subtitle C

Chapter 31

Sec. 31.001

Sec. 31.002

Sec. 31.0025

Sec. 31.003

Sec. 31.004

Sec. 31.005

Sec. 31.006

Sec. 31.007

Sec. 31.008

Sec. 31.010

Chapter 32

Sec. 32.001

Sec. 32.002

Sec. 32.003

Chapter 33

Subchapter A

Sec. 33.001

Sec. 33.002

Sec. 33.003

Sec. 33.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 33.011

Sec. 33.012

Sec. 33.013

Sec. 33.015

Sec. 33.016

Sec. 33.017

Chapter 34

Subchapter A

Sec. 34.001

Sec. 34.002

Sec. 34.003

Sec. 34.004

Sec. 34.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 34.021

Sec. 34.022

Subchapter C

Sec. 34.041

Sec. 34.042

Sec. 34.043

Sec. 34.044

Sec. 34.0445

Sec. 34.045

Sec. 34.046

Sec. 34.047

Sec. 34.048

Subchapter D

Sec. 34.061

Sec. 34.062

Sec. 34.063

Sec. 34.064

Sec. 34.065

Sec. 34.066

Sec. 34.067

Sec. 34.068

Sec. 34.069

Sec. 34.070

Sec. 34.071

Sec. 34.072

Sec. 34.073

Sec. 34.074

Sec. 34.075

Sec. 34.076

Chapter 35

Sec. 35.001

Sec. 35.002

Sec. 35.003

Sec. 35.004

Sec. 35.006

Sec. 35.007

Sec. 35.008

Chapter 36A

Sec. 36A.001

Sec. 36A.002

Sec. 36A.003

Sec. 36A.004

Sec. 36A.005

Sec. 36A.006

Sec. 36A.007

Sec. 36A.008

Sec. 36A.009

Sec. 36A.010

Sec. 36A.011

Chapter 37

Sec. 37.001

Sec. 37.002

Sec. 37.003

Sec. 37.004

Sec. 37.005

Sec. 37.0055

Sec. 37.006

Sec. 37.007

Sec. 37.008

Sec. 37.009

Sec. 37.010

Sec. 37.011

Chapter 38

Sec. 38.001

Sec. 38.002

Sec. 38.003

Sec. 38.004

Sec. 38.005

Sec. 38.006

Chapter 39

Sec. 39.001

Sec. 39.002

Chapter 40

Sec. 40.001

Chapter 41

Sec. 41.001

Sec. 41.002

Sec. 41.003

Sec. 41.004

Sec. 41.005

Sec. 41.006

Sec. 41.007

Sec. 41.008

Sec. 41.009

Sec. 41.010

Sec. 41.0105

Sec. 41.011

Sec. 41.0115

Sec. 41.012

Sec. 41.013

Sec. 41.014

Chapter 42

Sec. 42.001

Sec. 42.002

Sec. 42.003

Sec. 42.004

Sec. 42.005

Chapter 43

Sec. 43.001

Sec. 43.002

Sec. 43.003

Sec. 43.004

Sec. 43.005

Subtitle D

Chapter 51

Subchapter A

Sec. 51.001

Sec. 51.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 51.011

Sec. 51.012

Sec. 51.013

Sec. 51.014

Sec. 51.015

Sec. 51.016

Sec. 51.017

Chapter 52

Sec. 52.001

Sec. 52.005

Sec. 52.006

Title 3

Chapter 61

Subchapter A

Sec. 61.001

Sec. 61.002

Sec. 61.0021

Sec. 61.003

Sec. 61.004

Sec. 61.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 61.021

Sec. 61.022

Sec. 61.023

Subchapter C

Sec. 61.041

Sec. 61.042

Sec. 61.043

Sec. 61.044

Sec. 61.045

Subchapter D

Sec. 61.061

Sec. 61.062

Sec. 61.063

Subchapter E

Sec. 61.081

Sec. 61.082

Chapter 62

Subchapter A

Sec. 62.001

Sec. 62.002

Sec. 62.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 62.021

Sec. 62.022

Sec. 62.023

Subchapter C

Sec. 62.041

Sec. 62.042

Sec. 62.043

Sec. 62.044

Sec. 62.045

Sec. 62.046

Subchapter D

Sec. 62.061

Sec. 62.062

Sec. 62.063

Chapter 63

Sec. 63.001

Sec. 63.002

Sec. 63.003

Sec. 63.004

Sec. 63.005

Sec. 63.006

Sec. 63.007

Sec. 63.008

Chapter 64

Subchapter A

Sec. 64.001

Sec. 64.002

Sec. 64.003

Sec. 64.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 64.021

Sec. 64.022

Sec. 64.023

Subchapter C

Sec. 64.031

Sec. 64.032

Sec. 64.033

Sec. 64.034

Sec. 64.035

Sec. 64.036

Subchapter D

Sec. 64.051

Sec. 64.052

Sec. 64.053

Sec. 64.054

Sec. 64.055

Sec. 64.056

Subchapter E

Sec. 64.071

Sec. 64.072

Sec. 64.0721

Sec. 64.073

Sec. 64.074

Sec. 64.075

Sec. 64.076

Subchapter F

Sec. 64.091

Sec. 64.092

Sec. 64.093

Subchapter G

Sec. 64.101

Sec. 64.102

Sec. 64.103

Sec. 64.104

Sec. 64.105

Sec. 64.106

Sec. 64.107

Sec. 64.108

Chapter 65

Subchapter A

Sec. 65.001

Sec. 65.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 65.011

Sec. 65.012

Sec. 65.013

Sec. 65.014

Sec. 65.015

Sec. 65.016

Sec. 65.017

Subchapter C

Sec. 65.021

Sec. 65.022

Sec. 65.023

Subchapter D

Sec. 65.031

Subchapter E

Sec. 65.041

Sec. 65.042

Sec. 65.043

Sec. 65.044

Sec. 65.045

Chapter 66

Sec. 66.001

Sec. 66.002

Sec. 66.003

Title 4

Chapter 71

Subchapter A

Sec. 71.001

Sec. 71.002

Sec. 71.003

Sec. 71.004

Sec. 71.005

Sec. 71.0055

Sec. 71.006

Sec. 71.007

Sec. 71.008

Sec. 71.009

Sec. 71.010

Sec. 71.011

Sec. 71.012

Subchapter B

Sec. 71.021

Sec. 71.022

Subchapter C

Sec. 71.031

Subchapter D

Sec. 71.051

Chapter 72

Sec. 72.001

Sec. 72.002

Sec. 72.003

Sec. 72.004

Chapter 73

Subchapter A

Sec. 73.001

Sec. 73.002

Sec. 73.003

Sec. 73.004

Sec. 73.005

Sec. 73.006

Subchapter B

Sec. 73.051

Sec. 73.052

Sec. 73.053

Sec. 73.054

Sec. 73.055

Sec. 73.056

Sec. 73.057

Sec. 73.058

Sec. 73.059

Sec. 73.060

Sec. 73.061

Sec. 73.062

Chapter 74

Subchapter A

Sec. 74.001

Sec. 74.002

Sec. 74.003

Sec. 74.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 74.051

Sec. 74.052

Sec. 74.053

Subchapter C

Sec. 74.101

Sec. 74.102

Sec. 74.103

Sec. 74.104

Sec. 74.105

Sec. 74.106

Sec. 74.107

Subchapter D

Sec. 74.151

Sec. 74.152

Sec. 74.153

Sec. 74.154

Subchapter E

Sec. 74.201

Subchapter F

Sec. 74.251

Subchapter G

Sec. 74.301

Sec. 74.302

Sec. 74.303

Subchapter H

Sec. 74.351

Sec. 74.352

Subchapter I

Sec. 74.401

Sec. 74.402

Sec. 74.403

Subchapter J

Sec. 74.451

Subchapter K

Sec. 74.501

Sec. 74.502

Sec. 74.503

Sec. 74.504

Sec. 74.505

Sec. 74.506

Sec. 74.507

Chapter 74A

Sec. 74A.001

Sec. 74A.002

Sec. 74A.003

Chapter 75

Sec. 75.001

Sec. 75.002

Sec. 75.0022

Sec. 75.0025

Sec. 75.003

Sec. 75.004

Sec. 75.006

Sec. 75.007

Chapter 75A

Sec. 75A.001

Sec. 75A.002

Sec. 75A.003

Sec. 75A.004

Chapter 76

Sec. 76.001

Sec. 76.002

Sec. 76.003

Sec. 76.004

Chapter 77

Sec. 77.001

Sec. 77.002

Sec. 77.003

Sec. 77.004

Chapter 78

Subchapter A

Sec. 78.001

Subchapter B

Sec. 78.051

Sec. 78.052

Sec. 78.053

Sec. 78.054

Subchapter C

Sec. 78.101

Sec. 78.102

Sec. 78.103

Sec. 78.104

Subchapter D

Sec. 78.151

Chapter 78A

Sec. 78A.001

Sec. 78A.002

Chapter 79

Sec. 79.001

Sec. 79.002

Sec. 79.003

Sec. 79.0031

Sec. 79.004

Chapter 80

Sec. 80.001

Sec. 80.002

Sec. 80.003

Chapter 81

Sec. 81.001

Sec. 81.002

Sec. 81.003

Sec. 81.004

Sec. 81.005

Sec. 81.006

Sec. 81.007

Sec. 81.008

Sec. 81.009

Sec. 81.010

Chapter 82

Sec. 82.001

Sec. 82.002

Sec. 82.003

Sec. 82.004

Sec. 82.005

Sec. 82.006

Sec. 82.007

Sec. 82.008

Chapter 83

Sec. 83.001

Chapter 84

Sec. 84.001

Sec. 84.002

Sec. 84.003

Sec. 84.004

Sec. 84.005

Sec. 84.006

Sec. 84.0061

Sec. 84.0065

Sec. 84.0066

Sec. 84.007

Sec. 84.008

Chapter 85

Sec. 85.001

Sec. 85.002

Sec. 85.003

Sec. 85.004

Sec. 85.005

Sec. 85.006

Chapter 86

Sec. 86.001

Sec. 86.002

Sec. 86.003

Sec. 86.004

Sec. 86.005

Sec. 86.006

Sec. 86.007

Chapter 87

Sec. 87.001

Sec. 87.002

Sec. 87.003

Sec. 87.004

Sec. 87.005

Chapter 88

Sec. 88.001

Sec. 88.0015

Sec. 88.002

Sec. 88.003

Chapter 89

Sec. 89.001

Sec. 89.002

Sec. 89.003

Chapter 90

Subchapter A

Sec. 90.001

Sec. 90.002

Sec. 90.003

Sec. 90.004

Sec. 90.005

Sec. 90.006

Sec. 90.007

Sec. 90.008

Sec. 90.009

Sec. 90.010

Sec. 90.011

Sec. 90.012

Subchapter B

Sec. 90.051

Sec. 90.052

Sec. 90.053

Sec. 90.054

Sec. 90.055

Sec. 90.056

Sec. 90.057

Sec. 90.058

Chapter 91

Sec. 91.001

Sec. 91.002

Sec. 91.003

Sec. 91.004

Chapter 91A

Sec. 91A.001

Sec. 91A.002

Sec. 91A.003

Chapter 92

Sec. 92.001

Sec. 92.002

Sec. 92.003

Sec. 92.004

Chapter 92A

Sec. 92A.001

Sec. 92A.002

Sec. 92A.003

Chapter 93

Sec. 93.001

Sec. 93.002

Chapter 94

Sec. 94.001

Sec. 94.002

Sec. 94.003

Chapter 95

Sec. 95.001

Sec. 95.002

Sec. 95.003

Sec. 95.004

Chapter 95A

Sec. 95A.0001

Chapter 96

Sec. 96.001

Sec. 96.002

Sec. 96.003

Sec. 96.004

Chapter 97

Sec. 97.001

Sec. 97.002

Chapter 98

Sec. 98.001

Sec. 98.002

Sec. 98.0025

Sec. 98.003

Sec. 98.004

Sec. 98.005

Sec. 98.006

Chapter 98A

Sec. 98A.001

Sec. 98A.002

Sec. 98A.003

Sec. 98A.004

Sec. 98A.005

Sec. 98A.006

Chapter 98b

Sec. 98B.001

Sec. 98B.002

Sec. 98B.003

Sec. 98B.004

Sec. 98B.005

Sec. 98B.006

Sec. 98B.007

Chapter 99

Sec. 99.001

Sec. 99.002

Sec. 99.003

Sec. 99.004

Sec. 99.005

Sec. 99.006

Chapter 100

Sec. 100.001

Chapter 100A

Sec. 100A.001

Sec. 100A.002

Sec. 100A.003

Sec. 100A.004

Title 5

Chapter 101

Subchapter A

Sec. 101.001

Sec. 101.002

Sec. 101.003

Sec. 101.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 101.021

Sec. 101.0211

Sec. 101.0215

Sec. 101.022

Sec. 101.023

Sec. 101.024

Sec. 101.025

Sec. 101.026

Sec. 101.027

Sec. 101.028

Sec. 101.029

Subchapter C

Sec. 101.051

Sec. 101.052

Sec. 101.053

Sec. 101.054

Sec. 101.055

Sec. 101.056

Sec. 101.057

Sec. 101.058

Sec. 101.059

Sec. 101.060

Sec. 101.061

Sec. 101.062

Sec. 101.063

Sec. 101.064

Sec. 101.065

Sec. 101.066

Sec. 101.067

Subchapter D

Sec. 101.101

Sec. 101.102

Sec. 101.103

Sec. 101.104

Sec. 101.105

Sec. 101.106

Sec. 101.107

Sec. 101.108

Sec. 101.109

Chapter 102

Sec. 102.001

Sec. 102.002

Sec. 102.003

Sec. 102.004

Sec. 102.005

Sec. 102.006

Chapter 103

Subchapter A

Sec. 103.001

Sec. 103.002

Sec. 103.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 103.051

Sec. 103.052

Sec. 103.053

Sec. 103.0535

Sec. 103.0536

Sec. 103.054

Subchapter C

Sec. 103.101

Sec. 103.102

Subchapter D

Sec. 103.151

Sec. 103.152

Sec. 103.153

Sec. 103.154

Chapter 104

Sec. 104.001

Sec. 104.002

Sec. 104.003

Sec. 104.0035

Sec. 104.004

Sec. 104.005

Sec. 104.006

Sec. 104.007

Sec. 104.008

Sec. 104.009

Chapter 105

Sec. 105.001

Sec. 105.002

Sec. 105.003

Sec. 105.004

Sec. 105.005

Chapter 106

Sec. 106.001

Sec. 106.002

Sec. 106.003

Sec. 106.004

Chapter 107

Sec. 107.001

Sec. 107.002

Sec. 107.003

Sec. 107.004

Sec. 107.005

Chapter 108

Sec. 108.001

Sec. 108.002

Sec. 108.003

Sec. 108.004

Chapter 109

Sec. 109.001

Sec. 109.002

Sec. 109.003

Sec. 109.004

Sec. 109.005

Sec. 109.006

Sec. 109.007

Chapter 110

Sec. 110.001

Sec. 110.002

Sec. 110.003

Sec. 110.004

Sec. 110.005

Sec. 110.006

Sec. 110.007

Sec. 110.008

Sec. 110.009

Sec. 110.010

Sec. 110.011

Sec. 110.012

Chapter 111

Sec. 111.001

Sec. 111.002

Sec. 111.003

Sec. 111.004

Sec. 111.005

Sec. 111.006

Chapter 112

Sec. 112.001

Chapter 113

Sec. 113.001

Sec. 113.002

Sec. 113.003

Sec. 113.004

Sec. 113.005

Sec. 113.006

Sec. 113.007

Sec. 113.008

Sec. 113.009

Chapter 114

Sec. 114.001

Sec. 114.002

Sec. 114.003

Sec. 114.004

Sec. 114.005

Sec. 114.006

Sec. 114.007

Sec. 114.008

Sec. 114.009

Sec. 114.010

Sec. 114.011

Sec. 114.012

Sec. 114.013

Chapter 116

Sec. 116.001

Sec. 116.002

Sec. 116.003

Title 6

Chapter 121

Sec. 121.001

Sec. 121.002

Sec. 121.003

Sec. 121.004

Sec. 121.005

Sec. 121.006

Sec. 121.007

Sec. 121.008

Sec. 121.009

Sec. 121.010

Sec. 121.011

Sec. 121.012

Sec. 121.013

Sec. 121.014

Sec. 121.015

Sec. 121.016

Chapter 122

Sec. 122.001

Sec. 122.001

Sec. 122.002

Sec. 122.0021

Sec. 122.0022

Sec. 122.003

Chapter 123

Sec. 123.001

Sec. 123.002

Sec. 123.003

Sec. 123.004

Chapter 124

Sec. 124.001

Chapter 125

Subchapter A

Sec. 125.001

Sec. 125.0015

Sec. 125.0017

Sec. 125.0017

Sec. 125.002

Sec. 125.0025

Sec. 125.003

Sec. 125.004

Subchapter C

Sec. 125.042

Sec. 125.043

Sec. 125.044

Sec. 125.045

Sec. 125.046

Sec. 125.047

Subchapter D

Sec. 125.061

Sec. 125.062

Sec. 125.063

Sec. 125.064

Sec. 125.065

Sec. 125.066

Sec. 125.067

Sec. 125.0675

Sec. 125.068

Sec. 125.069

Sec. 125.070

Chapter 126

Subchapter A

Sec. 126.001

Sec. 126.002

Sec. 126.003

Sec. 126.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 126.011

Sec. 126.012

Sec. 126.013

Chapter 127

Sec. 127.001

Sec. 127.002

Sec. 127.003

Sec. 127.004

Sec. 127.005

Sec. 127.006

Sec. 127.007

Chapter 128

Subchapter A

Sec. 128.001

Subchapter B

Sec. 128.051

Sec. 128.052

Sec. 128.053

Chapter 129

Sec. 129.001

Sec. 129.002

Sec. 129.003

Chapter 129A

Sec. 129A.001

Sec. 129A.002

Sec. 129A.003

Sec. 129A.004

Sec. 129A.005

Chapter 130

Sec. 130.001

Sec. 130.002

Sec. 130.003

Sec. 130.004

Sec. 130.005

Chapter 131

Sec. 131.001

Sec. 131.002

Sec. 131.003

Sec. 131.004

Sec. 131.005

Sec. 131.006

Sec. 131.007

Sec. 131.008

Chapter 132

Sec. 132.001

Chapter 133

Sec. 133.001

Sec. 133.002

Sec. 133.003

Chapter 134

Sec. 134.001

Sec. 134.002

Sec. 134.003

Sec. 134.004

Sec. 134.005

Chapter 134A

Sec. 134A.001

Sec. 134A.002

Sec. 134A.003

Sec. 134A.004

Sec. 134A.005

Sec. 134A.006

Sec. 134A.007

Sec. 134A.008

Chapter 136

Sec. 136.001

Chapter 137

Sec. 137.001

Sec. 137.002

Sec. 137.003

Sec. 137.004

Sec. 137.005

Sec. 137.006

Sec. 137.007

Sec. 137.008

Sec. 137.009

Sec. 137.010

Sec. 137.011

Chapter 138

Sec. 138.001

Sec. 138.002

Sec. 138.003

Sec. 138.004

Chapter 139

Subchapter A

Sec. 139.001

Sec. 139.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 139.101

Sec. 139.102

Chapter 140

Sec. 140.001

Sec. 140.002

Sec. 140.003

Sec. 140.004

Sec. 140.005

Sec. 140.006

Sec. 140.007

Sec. 140.008

Sec. 140.009

Chapter 140A

Subchapter A

Sec. 140A.001

Sec. 140A.0015

Sec. 140A.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 140A.051

Sec. 140A.052

Sec. 140A.053

Sec. 140A.054

Sec. 140A.055

Sec. 140A.056

Sec. 140A.057

Sec. 140A.058

Sec. 140A.059

Sec. 140A.060

Sec. 140A.061

Sec. 140A.062

Sec. 140A.063

Sec. 140A.064

Subchapter C

Sec. 140A.101

Sec. 140A.102

Sec. 140A.103

Sec. 140A.104

Sec. 140A.105

Sec. 140A.106

Sec. 140A.107

Sec. 140A.108

Sec. 140A.109

Sec. 140A.110

Sec. 140A.111

Chapter 141

Sec. 141.001

Sec. 141.002

Sec. 141.003

Sec. 141.004

Sec. 141.005

Sec. 141.006

Sec. 141.007

Chapter 142

Sec. 142.001

Sec. 142.002

Chapter 142A

Sec. 142A.001

Sec. 142A.002

Chapter 143

Sec. 143.001

Sec. 143.002

Chapter 144

Sec. 144.001

Sec. 144.005

Sec. 144.006

Sec. 144.007

Sec. 144.008

Sec. 144.009

Sec. 144.010

Chapter 145

Sec. 145.001

Sec. 145.0015

Sec. 145.002

Sec. 145.003

Sec. 145.004

Chapter 146

Sec. 146.001

Sec. 146.002

Sec. 146.003

Sec. 146.004

Chapter 147

Subchapter A

Sec. 147.001

Sec. 147.002

Sec. 147.003

Sec. 147.004

Sec. 147.005

Sec. 147.006

Sec. 147.007

Sec. 147.008

Sec. 147.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 147.041

Sec. 147.042

Sec. 147.043

Sec. 147.044

Sec. 147.045

Sec. 147.046

Sec. 147.047

Sec. 147.048

Subchapter C

Sec. 147.081

Sec. 147.082

Sec. 147.083

Sec. 147.084

Sec. 147.085

Subchapter D

Sec. 147.121

Sec. 147.122

Sec. 147.123

Chapter 149

Sec. 149.001

Sec. 149.002

Sec. 149.003

Sec. 149.004

Sec. 149.005

Sec. 149.006

Chapter 150

Sec. 150.001

Sec. 150.002

Sec. 150.003

Sec. 150.004

Chapter 150A

Sec. 150A.001

Sec. 150A.002

Title 7

Chapter 151

Sec. 151.001

Sec. 151.002

Sec. 151.003

Sec. 151.004

Sec. 151.005

Sec. 151.006

Sec. 151.007

Sec. 151.008

Sec. 151.009

Sec. 151.010

Sec. 151.011

Sec. 151.012

Sec. 151.013

Chapter 152

Sec. 152.001

Sec. 152.002

Sec. 152.003

Sec. 152.004

Sec. 152.005

Sec. 152.006

Sec. 152.007

Chapter 154

Subchapter A

Sec. 154.001

Sec. 154.002

Sec. 154.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 154.021

Sec. 154.022

Sec. 154.023

Sec. 154.024

Sec. 154.025

Sec. 154.026

Sec. 154.027

Sec. 154.028

Subchapter C

Sec. 154.051

Sec. 154.052

Sec. 154.053

Sec. 154.054

Sec. 154.055

Subchapter D

Sec. 154.071

Sec. 154.072

Sec. 154.073

Chapter 155

Sec. 155.001

Sec. 155.002

Sec. 155.003

Sec. 155.004

Sec. 155.005

Sec. 155.006

Chapter 171

Subchapter A

Sec. 171.001

Sec. 171.002

Sec. 171.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 171.021

Sec. 171.022

Sec. 171.023

Sec. 171.024

Sec. 171.025

Sec. 171.026

Subchapter C

Sec. 171.041

Sec. 171.042

Sec. 171.043

Sec. 171.044

Sec. 171.045

Sec. 171.046

Sec. 171.047

Sec. 171.048

Sec. 171.049

Sec. 171.050

Sec. 171.051

Sec. 171.052

Sec. 171.053

Sec. 171.054

Sec. 171.055

Subchapter D

Sec. 171.081

Sec. 171.082

Sec. 171.083

Sec. 171.084

Sec. 171.085

Sec. 171.086

Sec. 171.087

Sec. 171.088

Sec. 171.089

Sec. 171.090

Sec. 171.091

Sec. 171.092

Sec. 171.093

Sec. 171.094

Sec. 171.095

Sec. 171.096

Sec. 171.097

Sec. 171.098

Chapter 172

Subchapter A

Sec. 172.001

Sec. 172.002

Sec. 172.003

Sec. 172.004

Sec. 172.005

Sec. 172.006

Sec. 172.007

Subchapter B

Sec. 172.031

Sec. 172.032

Sec. 172.033

Subchapter C

Sec. 172.051

Sec. 172.052

Sec. 172.053

Sec. 172.054

Sec. 172.055

Sec. 172.056

Sec. 172.057

Sec. 172.058

Sec. 172.059

Sec. 172.060

Sec. 172.061

Sec. 172.062

Sec. 172.063

Sec. 172.064

Subchapter D

Sec. 172.081

Sec. 172.082

Sec. 172.083

Subchapter E

Sec. 172.101

Sec. 172.102

Sec. 172.103

Sec. 172.104

Sec. 172.105

Sec. 172.106

Sec. 172.107

Sec. 172.108

Sec. 172.109

Sec. 172.110

Sec. 172.111

Sec. 172.112

Sec. 172.113

Sec. 172.114

Sec. 172.115

Sec. 172.116

Sec. 172.117

Sec. 172.118

Subchapter F

Sec. 172.141

Sec. 172.142

Sec. 172.143

Sec. 172.144

Sec. 172.145

Sec. 172.146

Sec. 172.147

Sec. 172.148

Sec. 172.149

Sec. 172.150

Subchapter G

Sec. 172.171

Sec. 172.172

Sec. 172.173

Sec. 172.174

Sec. 172.175

Subchapter H

Sec. 172.201

Sec. 172.202

Sec. 172.203

Sec. 172.204

Sec. 172.205

Sec. 172.206

Sec. 172.207

Sec. 172.208

Sec. 172.209

Sec. 172.210

Sec. 172.211

Sec. 172.212

Sec. 172.213

Sec. 172.214

Sec. 172.215

Chapter 173

Sec. 173.001

Sec. 173.002

Sec. 173.003

Sec. 173.004

Title 1

Chapter 1

Sec. 1.001: Purpose of Code

(a) This code is enacted as a part of the state's continuing statutory revision program, begun by the Texas Legislative Council in 1963 as directed by the legislature in Chapter 323, Government Code. The program contemplates a topic-by-topic revision of the state's general and permanent statute law without substantive change.

(b) Consistent with the objectives of the statutory revision program, the purpose of this code is to make the law encompassed by this code more accessible and understandable, by:

(1) rearranging the statutes into a more logical order;

(2) employing a format and numbering system designed to facilitate citation of the law and to accommodate future expansion of the law;

(3) eliminating repealed, duplicative, unconstitutional, expired, executed, and other ineffective provisions; and

(4) restating the law in modern American English to the greatest extent possible.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 1.002: Construction of Code

The Code Construction Act (Chapter 311, Government Code) applies to the construction of each provision in this code, except as otherwise expressly provided by this code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 1.003: Internal References

In this code:

(1) a reference to a title, chapter, or section without further identification is a reference to a title, chapter, or section of this code; and

(2) a reference to a subtitle, subchapter, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, or other numbered or lettered unit without further identification is a reference to a unit of the next larger unit of this code in which the reference appears.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Title 2

Subtitle A

Chapter 5

Sec. 5.001: Rule of Decision

(a) The rule of decision in this state consists of those portions of the common law of England that are not inconsistent with the constitution or the laws of this state, the constitution of this state, and the laws of this state.

(b) In any action governed by the laws of this state concerning rights and obligations under the law, the American Law Institute's Restatements of the Law are not controlling.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 845 (H.B. 2757), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Chapter 6

Sec. 6.001: State and Federal Agencies Exempt from Bond for Court Costs Or Appeal

(a) A governmental entity or officer listed in Subsection (b) may not be required to file a bond for court costs incident to a suit filed by the entity or officer or for an appeal or writ of error taken out by the entity or officer and is not required to give a surety for the issuance of a bond to take out a writ of attachment, writ of sequestration, distress warrant, or writ of garnishment in a civil suit.

(b) The following are exempt from the bond requirements:

(1) this state;

(2) a department of this state;

(3) the head of a department of this state;

(4) a county of this state;

(5) the Federal Housing Administration;

(6) the Federal National Mortgage Association;

(7) the Government National Mortgage Association;

(8) the Veterans' Administration;

(9) the administrator of veterans affairs;

(10) any national mortgage savings and loan insurance corporation created by an act of congress as a national relief organization that operates on a statewide basis; and

(11) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in its capacity as receiver or in its corporate capacity.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a county or district attorney is not exempted from filing a bond to take out an extraordinary writ unless the commissioners court of the county approves the exemption in an action brought in behalf of the county or unless the attorney general approves the exemption in an action brought in behalf of the state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.03(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 6.002: Cities Exempt from Security for Court Costs

(a) Security for costs may not be required of an incorporated city or town of this state in an action, suit, or proceeding.

(b) A municipality may institute and prosecute suits without giving security for cost and may appeal from judgment without giving supersedeas or cost bond.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 6.003: Water Districts Exempt from Appeal Bond

(a) A governmental entity listed in Subsection (b) may not be required to give bond on an appeal or writ of error taken in a civil case that the entity is prosecuting or defending in its official capacity.

(b) The following are exempt from the appeal bond requirements:

(1) a water improvement district, a water control and improvement district, an irrigation district, a conservation and reclamation district, or a water control and preservation district organized under state law;

(2) a levee improvement district organized under state law;

(3) a drainage district organized under state law; and

(4) an entity created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1070, Sec. 46, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 6.004: School Districts Exempt from Security for Court Costs and Appeal Bond

A school district may institute and prosecute suits without giving security for cost and may appeal from judgment without giving supersedeas or cost bond.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 243 (H.B. 942), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Chapter 7

Subchapter A

Sec. 7.001: Liability for Refusal Or Neglect in Performance of Official Duties

(a) A clerk, sheriff, or other officer who neglects or refuses to perform a duty required under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or under a provision of this code derived from those rules is liable for actual damages only in a suit brought by a person injured by the officer's neglect or refusal.

(b) The officer may be punished for contempt of court for neglect or refusal in the performance of those duties. The court shall set the fine at not less than $10 or more than $100, with costs. The officer must be given 10 days' notice of the motion.

(c) This section does not create a cause of action for an action that can otherwise be brought under Chapter 34. A party may seek actual damages under this section or Chapter 34, or the party may seek contempt sanctions, but the party may not seek both damages and contempt.

(d) An action or motion brought under this section must comply with and is subject to the provisions in Sections 34.068, 34.069, 34.070, and 34.074, except that a motion brought under Subsection (b) need not comply with Section 34.068(b).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 7.002: Liability for Deposits Pending Suit

(a) An officer who has custody of a sum of money, a debt, an instrument, or other property paid to or deposited with a court pending the outcome of a cause of action shall seal the property in a secure package in a safe or bank vault that is accessible and subject to the control of the court.

(b) The officer shall keep in his office as part of his records an itemized inventory of property deposited with the court. The inventory must list the disposition of the property and the account for which the property was received.

(c) At the expiration of the officer's term, the officer shall transfer all deposited property and the inventory to the officer's successor in office. The successor shall give a receipt for the transferred property and the inventory.

(d) This section does not exempt an officer or the officer's surety from liability on the officer's bond due to neglect or other default in regard to the deposited property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 7.003: Liability Regarding Execution of Writs

(a) Except as provided by Section 34.061, an officer is not liable for damages resulting from the execution of a writ issued by a court of this state if the officer in good faith executes or attempts to execute the writ as provided by law and by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) An officer shall execute a writ issued by a court of this state without requiring that bond be posted for the indemnification of the officer.

(c) An officer shows that the officer acted in good faith when the officer shows that a reasonably prudent officer, under the same or similar circumstances, could have believed that the officer's conduct was justified based on the information the officer possessed when the conduct occurred.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Subchapter B

Sec. 7.011: Attorney's Liability for Costs

An attorney who is not a party to a civil proceeding is not liable for payment of costs incurred by a party to the proceeding.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 7.021: Suit on Official Bonds

Suit may be brought in the name of this state alone on an official bond for the benefit of all the parties entitled to recover on the bond if:

(1) the bond is made payable to this state or to an officer of this state; and

(2) a recovery on the bond is authorized by or would inure to the benefit of parties other than this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 8

Sec. 8.01: State Exemption

The state is exempt from the payment of the filing fee imposed by Section 51.701, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.01(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 8.02: Fee Paid By Opposing Party

If the state prevails in a lawsuit, the opposing party shall pay the entire amount of any filing fee attributable to the state, including any amount exempted under Section 8.01.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.01(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Chapter 9

Subchapter A

Sec. 9.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claimant" means a party, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, third-party plaintiff, or intervenor, seeking recovery of damages. In an action in which a party seeks recovery of damages for injury to another person, damage to the property of another person, death of another person, or other harm to another person, "claimant" includes both that other person and the party seeking recovery of damages.

(2) "Defendant" means a party, including a counterdefendant, cross-defendant, or third-party defendant, from whom a claimant seeks relief.

(3) "Groundless" means:

(A) no basis in fact; or

(B) not warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.

(4) "Pleading" includes a motion.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Sec. 9.002: Applicability

(a) This chapter applies to an action in which a claimant seeks:

(1) damages for personal injury, property damage, or death, regardless of the legal theories or statutes on the basis of which recovery is sought, including an action based on intentional conduct, negligence, strict tort liability, products liability (whether strict or otherwise), or breach of warranty; or

(2) damages other than for personal injury, property damage, or death resulting from any tortious conduct, regardless of the legal theories or statutes on the basis of which recovery is sought, including libel, slander, or tortious interference with a contract or other business relation.

(b) This chapter applies to any party who is a claimant or defendant, including but not limited to:

(1) a county;

(2) a municipality;

(3) a public school district;

(4) a public junior college district;

(5) a charitable organization;

(6) a nonprofit organization;

(7) a hospital district;

(8) a hospital authority;

(9) any other political subdivision of the state; and

(10) the State of Texas.

(c) In an action to which this chapter applies, the provisions of this chapter prevail over all other law to the extent of any conflict.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Sec. 9.003: Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

This chapter does not alter the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Sec. 9.004: Applicability

This chapter does not apply to the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code) or to Chapter 21, Insurance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Subchapter B

Sec. 9.011: Signing of Pleadings

The signing of a pleading as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes a certificate by the signatory that to the signatory's best knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, the pleading is not:

(1) groundless and brought in bad faith;

(2) groundless and brought for the purpose of harassment; or

(3) groundless and interposed for any improper purpose, such as to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Sec. 9.012: Violation; Sanction

(a) At the trial of the action or at any hearing inquiring into the facts and law of the action, after reasonable notice to the parties, the court may on its own motion, or shall on the motion of any party to the action, determine if a pleading has been signed in violation of any one of the standards prescribed by Section 9.011.

(b) In making its determination of whether a pleading has been signed in violation of any one of the standards prescribed by Section 9.011, the court shall take into account:

(1) the multiplicity of parties;

(2) the complexity of the claims and defenses;

(3) the length of time available to the party to investigate and conduct discovery; and

(4) affidavits, depositions, and any other relevant matter.

(c) If the court determines that a pleading has been signed in violation of any one of the standards prescribed by Section 9.011, the court shall, not earlier than 90 days after the date of the determination, at the trial or hearing or at a separate hearing following reasonable notice to the offending party, impose an appropriate sanction on the signatory, a represented party, or both.

(d) The court may not order an offending party to pay the incurred expenses of a party who stands in opposition to the offending pleading if, before the 90th day after the court makes a determination under Subsection (a), the offending party withdraws the pleading or amends the pleading to the satisfaction of the court or moves for dismissal of the pleading or the offending portion of the pleading.

(e) The sanction may include one or more of the following:

(1) the striking of a pleading or the offending portion thereof;

(2) the dismissal of a party; or

(3) an order to pay to a party who stands in opposition to the offending pleading the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, including costs, reasonable attorney's fees, witness fees, fees of experts, and deposition expenses.

(f) The court may not order an offending party to pay the incurred expenses of a party who stands in opposition to the offending pleading if the court has, with respect to the same subject matter, imposed sanctions on the party who stands in opposition to the offending pleading under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(g) All determinations and orders pursuant to this chapter are solely for purposes of this chapter and shall not be the basis of any liability, sanction, or grievance other than as expressly provided in this chapter.

(h) This section does not apply to any proceeding to which Section 10.004 or Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, applies.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1111, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 9.013: Report to Grievance Committee

(a) If the court imposes a sanction against an offending party under Section 9.012, the offending party is represented by an attorney who signed the pleading in violation of any one of the standards under Section 9.011, and the court finds that the attorney has consistently engaged in activity that results in sanctions under Section 9.012, the court shall report its finding to an appropriate grievance committee as provided by the State Bar Act (Article 320a-1, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) or by a similar law in the jurisdiction in which the attorney resides.

(b) The report must contain:

(1) the name of the attorney who represented the offending party;

(2) the finding by the court that the pleading was signed in violation of any one of the standards under Section 9.011;

(3) a description of the sanctions imposed against the signatory and the offending party; and

(4) the finding that the attorney has consistently engaged in activity that results in sanctions under Section 9.012.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Sec. 9.014: Pleadings Not Frivolous

(a) A general denial does not constitute a violation of any of the standards prescribed by Section 9.011.

(b) The amount requested for damages in a pleading does not constitute a violation of any of the standards prescribed by Section 9.011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 2, 1987.

Chapter 10

Sec. 10.001: Signing of Pleadings and Motions

The signing of a pleading or motion as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes a certificate by the signatory that to the signatory's best knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry:

(1) the pleading or motion is not being presented for any improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

(2) each claim, defense, or other legal contention in the pleading or motion is warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;

(3) each allegation or other factual contention in the pleading or motion has evidentiary support or, for a specifically identified allegation or factual contention, is likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

(4) each denial in the pleading or motion of a factual contention is warranted on the evidence or, for a specifically identified denial, is reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 10.002: Motion for Sanctions

(a) A party may make a motion for sanctions, describing the specific conduct violating Section 10.001.

(b) The court on its own initiative may enter an order describing the specific conduct that appears to violate Section 10.001 and direct the alleged violator to show cause why the conduct has not violated that section.

(c) The court may award to a party prevailing on a motion under this section the reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred in presenting or opposing the motion, and if no due diligence is shown the court may award to the prevailing party all costs for inconvenience, harassment, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred or caused by the subject litigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 10.003: Notice and Opportunity to Respond

The court shall provide a party who is the subject of a motion for sanctions under Section 10.002 notice of the allegations and a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 10.004: Violation; Sanction

(a) A court that determines that a person has signed a pleading or motion in violation of Section 10.001 may impose a sanction on the person, a party represented by the person, or both.

(b) The sanction must be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated.

(c) A sanction may include any of the following:

(1) a directive to the violator to perform, or refrain from performing, an act;

(2) an order to pay a penalty into court; and

(3) an order to pay to the other party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by the other party because of the filing of the pleading or motion, including reasonable attorney's fees.

(d) The court may not award monetary sanctions against a represented party for a violation of Section 10.001(2).

(e) The court may not award monetary sanctions on its own initiative unless the court issues its order to show cause before a voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by or against the party or the party's attorney who is to be sanctioned.

(f) The filing of a general denial under Rule 92, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, shall not be deemed a violation of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 10.005: Order

A court shall describe in an order imposing a sanction under this chapter the conduct the court has determined violated Section 10.001 and explain the basis for the sanction imposed.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 10.006: Conflict

Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Chapter 11

Subchapter A

Sec. 11.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Defendant" means a person or governmental entity against whom a plaintiff commences or maintains or seeks to commence or maintain a litigation.

(2) "Litigation" means a civil action commenced, maintained, or pending in any state or federal court.

(3) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

(4) "Moving defendant" means a defendant who moves for an order under Section 11.051 determining that a plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and requesting security.

(5) "Plaintiff" means an individual who commences or maintains a litigation pro se.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 9.01, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.002: Applicability

(a) This chapter does not apply to an attorney licensed to practice law in this state unless the attorney proceeds pro se.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a municipal court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Subchapter B

Sec. 11.051: Motion for Order Determining Plaintiff a Vexatious Litigant and Requesting Security

In a litigation in this state, the defendant may, on or before the 90th day after the date the defendant files the original answer or makes a special appearance, move the court for an order:

(1) determining that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant; and

(2) requiring the plaintiff to furnish security.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 11.052: Stay of Proceedings on Filing of Motion

(a) On the filing of a motion under Section 11.051, the litigation is stayed and the moving defendant is not required to plead:

(1) if the motion is denied, before the 10th day after the date it is denied; or

(2) if the motion is granted, before the 10th day after the date the moving defendant receives written notice that the plaintiff has furnished the required security.

(b) On the filing of a motion under Section 11.051 on or after the date the trial starts, the litigation is stayed for a period the court determines.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 11.053: Hearing

(a) On receipt of a motion under Section 11.051, the court shall, after notice to all parties, conduct a hearing to determine whether to grant the motion.

(b) The court may consider any evidence material to the ground of the motion, including:

(1) written or oral evidence; and

(2) evidence presented by witnesses or by affidavit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 11.054: Criteria for Finding Plaintiff a Vexatious Litigant

A court may find a plaintiff a vexatious litigant if the defendant shows that there is not a reasonable probability that the plaintiff will prevail in the litigation against the defendant and that:

(1) the plaintiff, in the seven-year period immediately preceding the date the defendant makes the motion under Section 11.051, has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained at least five litigations as a pro se litigant other than in a small claims court that have been:

(A) finally determined adversely to the plaintiff;

(B) permitted to remain pending at least two years without having been brought to trial or hearing; or

(C) determined by a trial or appellate court to be frivolous or groundless under state or federal laws or rules of procedure;

(2) after a litigation has been finally determined against the plaintiff, the plaintiff repeatedly relitigates or attempts to relitigate, pro se, either:

(A) the validity of the determination against the same defendant as to whom the litigation was finally determined; or

(B) the cause of action, claim, controversy, or any of the issues of fact or law determined or concluded by the final determination against the same defendant as to whom the litigation was finally determined; or

(3) the plaintiff has previously been declared to be a vexatious litigant by a state or federal court in an action or proceeding based on the same or substantially similar facts, transition, or occurrence.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.055: Security

(a) A court shall order the plaintiff to furnish security for the benefit of the moving defendant if the court, after hearing the evidence on the motion, determines that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant.

(b) The court in its discretion shall determine the date by which the security must be furnished.

(c) The court shall provide that the security is an undertaking by the plaintiff to assure payment to the moving defendant of the moving defendant's reasonable expenses incurred in or in connection with a litigation commenced, caused to be commenced, maintained, or caused to be maintained by the plaintiff, including costs and attorney's fees.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 11.056: Dismissal for Failure to Furnish Security

The court shall dismiss a litigation as to a moving defendant if a plaintiff ordered to furnish security does not furnish the security within the time set by the order.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 11.057: Dismissal on the Merits

If the litigation is dismissed on its merits, the moving defendant has recourse to the security furnished by the plaintiff in an amount determined by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Subchapter C

Sec. 11.101: Prefiling Order; Contempt

(a) A court may, on its own motion or the motion of any party, enter an order prohibiting a person from filing, pro se, a new litigation in a court to which the order applies under this section without permission of the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a) to file the litigation if the court finds, after notice and hearing as provided by Subchapter B, that the person is a vexatious litigant.

(b) A person who disobeys an order under Subsection (a) is subject to contempt of court.

(c) A litigant may appeal from a prefiling order entered under Subsection (a) designating the person a vexatious litigant.

(d) A prefiling order entered under Subsection (a) by a justice or constitutional county court applies only to the court that entered the order.

(e) A prefiling order entered under Subsection (a) by a district or statutory county court applies to each court in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 9.02, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.102: Permission By Local Administrative Judge

(a) A vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 is prohibited from filing, pro se, new litigation in a court to which the order applies without seeking the permission of:

(1) the local administrative judge of the type of court in which the vexatious litigant intends to file, except as provided by Subdivision (2); or

(2) the local administrative district judge of the county in which the vexatious litigant intends to file if the litigant intends to file in a justice or constitutional county court.

(b) A vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 who files a request seeking permission to file a litigation shall provide a copy of the request to all defendants named in the proposed litigation.

(c) The appropriate local administrative judge described by Subsection (a) may make a determination on the request with or without a hearing. If the judge determines that a hearing is necessary, the judge may require that the vexatious litigant filing a request under Subsection (b) provide notice of the hearing to all defendants named in the proposed litigation.

(d) The appropriate local administrative judge described by Subsection (a) may grant permission to a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 to file a litigation only if it appears to the judge that the litigation:

(1) has merit; and

(2) has not been filed for the purposes of harassment or delay.

(e) The appropriate local administrative judge described by Subsection (a) may condition permission on the furnishing of security for the benefit of the defendant as provided in Subchapter B.

(f) A decision of the appropriate local administrative judge described by Subsection (a) denying a litigant permission to file a litigation under Subsection (d), or conditioning permission to file a litigation on the furnishing of security under Subsection (e), is not grounds for appeal, except that the litigant may apply for a writ of mandamus with the court of appeals not later than the 30th day after the date of the decision. The denial of a writ of mandamus by the court of appeals is not grounds for appeal to the supreme court or court of criminal appeals.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 9.03, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.103: Duties of Clerk

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a clerk of a court may not file a litigation, original proceeding, appeal, or other claim presented, pro se, by a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 unless the litigant obtains an order from the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a) permitting the filing.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

(c) If the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a) issues an order permitting the filing of the litigation, the litigation remains stayed and the defendant need not plead until the 10th day after the date the defendant is served with a copy of the order.

(d) A clerk of a court of appeals may file an appeal from a prefiling order entered under Section 11.101 designating a person a vexatious litigant or a timely filed writ of mandamus under Section 11.102.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 9.04, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.1035: Mistaken Filing

(a) If the clerk mistakenly files litigation presented, pro se, by a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 without an order from the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a), any party may file with the clerk and serve on the plaintiff and the other parties to the litigation a notice stating that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant required to obtain permission under Section 11.102 to file litigation.

(b) Not later than the next business day after the date the clerk receives notice that a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 has filed, pro se, litigation without obtaining an order from the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a), the clerk shall notify the court that the litigation was mistakenly filed. On receiving notice from the clerk, the court shall immediately stay the litigation and shall dismiss the litigation unless the plaintiff, not later than the 10th day after the date the notice is filed, obtains an order from the appropriate local administrative judge described by Section 11.102(a) permitting the filing of the litigation.

(c) An order dismissing litigation that was mistakenly filed by a clerk may not be appealed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 11.104: Notice to Office of Court Administration; Dissemination of List

(a) A clerk of a court shall provide the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System a copy of any prefiling order issued under Section 11.101 not later than the 30th day after the date the prefiling order is signed.

(b) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall post on the agency's Internet website a list of vexatious litigants subject to prefiling orders under Section 11.101. On request of a person designated a vexatious litigant, the list shall indicate whether the person designated a vexatious litigant has filed an appeal of that designation.

(c) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System may not remove the name of a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 from the agency's Internet website unless the office receives a written order from the court that entered the prefiling order or from an appellate court. An order of removal affects only a prefiling order entered under Section 11.101 by the same court. A court of appeals decision reversing a prefiling order entered under Section 11.101 affects only the validity of an order entered by the reversed court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 9.05, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1224 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2013.

Chapter 12

Sec. 12.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Court record" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.01, Penal Code.

(2) "Exemplary damages" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(2-a) "Filing office" has the meaning assigned by Section 9.102, Business & Commerce Code.

(2-b) "Financing statement" has the meaning assigned by Section 9.102, Business & Commerce Code.

(2-c) "Inmate" means a person housed in a secure correctional facility.

(3) "Lien" means a claim in property for the payment of a debt and includes a security interest.

(4) "Public servant" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code, and includes officers and employees of the United States.

(5) "Secure correctional facility" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.001 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 2566), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 12.002: Liability

(a) A person may not make, present, or use a document or other record with:

(1) knowledge that the document or other record is a fraudulent court record or a fraudulent lien or claim against real or personal property or an interest in real or personal property;

(2) intent that the document or other record be given the same legal effect as a court record or document of a court created by or established under the constitution or laws of this state or the United States or another entity listed in Section 37.01, Penal Code, evidencing a valid lien or claim against real or personal property or an interest in real or personal property; and

(3) intent to cause another person to suffer:

(A) physical injury;

(B) financial injury; or

(C) mental anguish or emotional distress.

(a-1) Except as provided by Subsection (a-2), a person may not file an abstract of a judgment or an instrument concerning real or personal property with a court or county clerk, or a financing statement with a filing office, if the person:

(1) is an inmate; or

(2) is not licensed or regulated under Title 11, Insurance Code, and is filing on behalf of another person who the person knows is an inmate.

(a-2) A person described by Subsection (a-1) may file an abstract, instrument, or financing statement described by that subsection if the document being filed includes a statement indicating that:

(1) the person filing the document is an inmate; or

(2) the person is filing the document on behalf of a person who is an inmate.

(b) A person who violates Subsection (a) or (a-1) is liable to each injured person for:

(1) the greater of:

(A) $10,000; or

(B) the actual damages caused by the violation;

(2) court costs;

(3) reasonable attorney's fees; and

(4) exemplary damages in an amount determined by the court.

(c) A person claiming a lien under Chapter 53, Property Code, is not liable under this section for the making, presentation, or use of a document or other record in connection with the assertion of the claim unless the person acts with intent to defraud.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.002 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 2566), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1260 (H.B. 669), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 12.003: Cause of Action

(a) The following persons may bring an action to enjoin violation of this chapter or to recover damages under this chapter:

(1) the attorney general;

(2) a district attorney;

(3) a criminal district attorney;

(4) a county attorney with felony responsibilities;

(5) a county attorney;

(6) a municipal attorney;

(7) in the case of a fraudulent judgment lien, the person against whom the judgment is rendered; and

(8) in the case of a fraudulent lien or claim against real or personal property or an interest in real or personal property, the obligor or debtor, or a person who owns an interest in the real or personal property.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, a person or a person licensed or regulated by Title 11, Insurance Code (the Texas Title Insurance Act), does not have a duty to disclose a fraudulent, as described by Section 51.901(c), Government Code, court record, document, or instrument purporting to create a lien or purporting to assert a claim on real property or an interest in real property in connection with a sale, conveyance, mortgage, or other transfer of the real property or interest in real property.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a purported judgment lien or document establishing or purporting to establish a judgment lien against property in this state, that is issued or purportedly issued by a court or a purported court other than a court established under the laws of this state or the United States, is void and has no effect in the determination of any title or right to the property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.003 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 11.104, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 12.004: Venue

An action under this chapter may be brought in any district court in the county in which the recorded document is recorded or in which the real property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.004 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 12.005: Filing Fees

(a) The fee for filing an action under this chapter is $15. The plaintiff must pay the fee to the clerk of the court in which the action is filed. Except as provided by Subsection (b), the plaintiff may not be assessed any other fee, cost, charge, or expense by the clerk of the court or other public official in connection with the action.

(b) The fee for service of notice of an action under this section charged to the plaintiff may not exceed:

(1) $20 if the notice is delivered in person; or

(2) the cost of postage if the service is by registered or certified mail.

(c) A plaintiff who is unable to pay the filing fee and fee for service of notice may file with the court an affidavit of inability to pay under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) If the fee imposed under Subsection (a) is less than the filing fee the court imposes for filing other similar actions and the plaintiff prevails in the action, the court may order a defendant to pay to the court the differences between the fee paid under Subsection (a) and the filing fee the court imposes for filing other similar actions.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.005 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 12.006: Plaintiff's Costs

(a) The court shall award the plaintiff the costs of bringing the action if:

(1) the plaintiff prevails; and

(2) the court finds that the defendant, at the time the defendant caused the recorded document to be recorded or filed, knew or should have known that the recorded document is fraudulent, as described by Section 51.901(c), Government Code.

(b) For purposes of this section, the costs of bringing the action include all court costs, attorney's fees, and related expenses of bringing the action, including investigative expenses.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.006 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 12.007: Effect on Other Law

This law is cumulative of other law under which a person may obtain judicial relief with respect to a recorded document or other record.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 16, eff. May 21, 1997. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 11.007 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 13

Sec. 13.001: Dismissal of Action

(a) A court in which an affidavit of inability to pay under Rule 145, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, has been filed may dismiss the action on a finding that:

(1) the allegation of poverty in the affidavit is false; or

(2) the action is frivolous or malicious.

(b) In determining whether an action is frivolous or malicious, the court may consider whether:

(1) the action's realistic chance of ultimate success is slight;

(2) the claim has no arguable basis in law or in fact; or

(3) it is clear that the party cannot prove a set of facts in support of the claim.

(c) An action may be dismissed under Subsection (a) as frivolous or malicious either before or after service of process.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 976, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1987.

Sec. 13.002: Judgment

Judgment may be rendered for costs at the conclusion of the action as in other cases, but the state is not liable for any of those costs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 976, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1987.

Sec. 13.003: Free Transcript of Statement of Facts on Appeal

(a) Subject to Subsection (c), a court reporter shall provide without cost a statement of facts and a clerk of a court shall prepare a transcript for appealing a judgment from the court only if:

(1) an affidavit of inability to pay the cost of the appeal has been filed under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure; and

(2) the trial judge finds:

(A) the appeal is not frivolous; and

(B) the statement of facts and the clerk's transcript is needed to decide the issue presented by the appeal.

(b) In determining whether an appeal is frivolous, a judge may consider whether the appellant has presented a substantial question for appellate review.

(c) The trial judge may order a clerk of a court to prepare a transcript, or any part of the transcript, necessary for making the determination required by Subsection (a)(2).

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 861, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 467, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 13.004: Inapplicability to Certain Claims

This chapter does not apply to a claim governed by Chapter 14.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 3, eff. June 8, 1995.

Chapter 14

Sec. 14.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claim" means a cause of action governed by this chapter.

(2) "Department" means the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

(3) "Inmate" means a person housed in a secure correctional facility.

(4) "Secure correctional facility" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code.

(5) "Trust account" means an inmate's trust account administered by the department under Section 501.014, Government Code, by a facility under contract with the department, or by a jail.

(6) "Unsworn declaration" means a document executed in accordance with Chapter 132.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.002: Scope of Chapter

(a) This chapter applies only to an action, including an appeal or original proceeding, brought by an inmate in a district, county, justice of the peace, or small claims court or an appellate court, including the supreme court or the court of criminal appeals, in which an affidavit or unsworn declaration of inability to pay costs is filed by the inmate.

(b) This chapter does not apply to an action brought under the Family Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 12.01, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 14.003: Dismissal of Claim

(a) A court may dismiss a claim, either before or after service of process, if the court finds that:

(1) the allegation of poverty in the affidavit or unsworn declaration is false;

(2) the claim is frivolous or malicious; or

(3) the inmate filed an affidavit or unsworn declaration required by this chapter that the inmate knew was false.

(b) In determining whether a claim is frivolous or malicious, the court may consider whether:

(1) the claim's realistic chance of ultimate success is slight;

(2) the claim has no arguable basis in law or in fact;

(3) it is clear that the party cannot prove facts in support of the claim; or

(4) the claim is substantially similar to a previous claim filed by the inmate because the claim arises from the same operative facts.

(c) In determining whether Subsection (a) applies, the court may hold a hearing. The hearing may be held before or after service of process, and it may be held on motion of the court, a party, or the clerk of the court.

(d) On the filing of a motion under Subsection (c), the court shall suspend discovery relating to the claim pending the hearing.

(e) A court that dismisses a claim brought by a person housed in a facility operated by or under contract with the department may notify the department of the dismissal and, on the court's own motion or the motion of any party or the clerk of the court, may advise the department that a mental health evaluation of the inmate may be appropriate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.004: Affidavit Relating to Previous Filings

(a) An inmate who files an affidavit or unsworn declaration of inability to pay costs shall file a separate affidavit or declaration:

(1) identifying each action, other than an action under the Family Code, previously brought by the person and in which the person was not represented by an attorney, without regard to whether the person was an inmate at the time the action was brought; and

(2) describing each action that was previously brought by:

(A) stating the operative facts for which relief was sought;

(B) listing the case name, cause number, and the court in which the action was brought;

(C) identifying each party named in the action; and

(D) stating the result of the action, including whether the action or a claim that was a basis for the action was dismissed as frivolous or malicious under Section 13.001 or Section 14.003 or otherwise.

(b) If the affidavit or unsworn declaration filed under this section states that a previous action or claim was dismissed as frivolous or malicious, the affidavit or unsworn declaration must state the date of the final order affirming the dismissal.

(c) The affidavit or unsworn declaration must be accompanied by the certified copy of the trust account statement required by Section 14.006(f).

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 12.02, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 14.005: Grievance System Decision; Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

(a) An inmate who files a claim that is subject to the grievance system established under Section 501.008, Government Code, shall file with the court:

(1) an affidavit or unsworn declaration stating the date that the grievance was filed and the date the written decision described by Section 501.008(d), Government Code, was received by the inmate; and

(2) a copy of the written decision from the grievance system.

(b) A court shall dismiss a claim if the inmate fails to file the claim before the 31st day after the date the inmate receives the written decision from the grievance system.

(c) If a claim is filed before the grievance system procedure is complete, the court shall stay the proceeding with respect to the claim for a period not to exceed 180 days to permit completion of the grievance system procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.006: Court Fees, Court Costs, Other Costs

(a) A court may order an inmate who has filed a claim to pay court fees, court costs, and other costs in accordance with this section and Section 14.007. The clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the court's order and a certified bill of costs to the department or jail, as appropriate.

(b) On the court's order, the inmate shall pay an amount equal to the lesser of:

(1) 20 percent of the preceding six months' deposits to the inmate's trust account; or

(2) the total amount of court fees and costs.

(c) In each month following the month in which payment is made under Subsection (b), the inmate shall pay an amount equal to the lesser of:

(1) 10 percent of that month's deposits to the trust account; or

(2) the total amount of court fees and costs that remain unpaid.

(d) Payments under Subsection (c) shall continue until the total amount of court fees and costs are paid or until the inmate is released from confinement.

(e) On receipt of a copy of an order issued under Subsection (a), the department or jail shall withdraw money from the trust account in accordance with Subsections (b), (c), and (d). The department or jail shall hold the money in a separate account and shall forward the money to the court clerk on the earlier of the following dates:

(1) the date the total amount to be forwarded equals the total amount of court fees and costs that remains unpaid; or

(2) the date the inmate is released.

(f) The inmate shall file a certified copy of the inmate's trust account statement with the court. The statement must reflect the balance of the account at the time the claim is filed and activity in the account during the six months preceding the date on which the claim is filed. The court may request the department or jail to furnish the information required under this subsection.

(g) An inmate may authorize payment in addition to that required by this section.

(h) The court may dismiss a claim if the inmate fails to pay fees and costs assessed under this section.

(i) An inmate may not avoid the fees and costs assessed under this section by nonsuiting a party or by voluntarily dismissing the action.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.007: Other Costs

(a) An order of a court under Section 14.006(a) shall include the costs described by Subsection (b) if the court finds that:

(1) the inmate has previously filed an action to which this chapter applies; and

(2) a final order has been issued that affirms that the action was dismissed as frivolous or malicious under Section 13.001 or Section 14.003 or otherwise.

(b) Costs under Subsection (a) shall include, as costs of court, expenses incurred by the court or by the department, jail, or private facility operator, in connection with the claim and not otherwise charged to the inmate under Section 14.006, including:

(1) expenses of service of process;

(2) postage; and

(3) transportation, housing, or medical care incurred in connection with the appearance of the inmate in the court for any proceeding.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 12.03, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 14.008: Hearing

(a) The court may hold a hearing under this chapter at a jail or a facility operated by or under contract with the department or may conduct the hearing with video communications technology that permits the court to see and hear the inmate and that permits the inmate to see and hear the court and any other witness.

(b) A hearing conducted under this section by video communications technology shall be recorded on videotape. The recording is sufficient to serve as a permanent record of the hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.009: Submission of Evidence

(a) The court may request a person with an admissible document or admissible testimony relevant to the subject matter of the hearing to submit a copy of the document or written statement stating the substance of the testimony.

(b) A written statement submitted under this section must be made under oath or made as an unsworn declaration under Section 132.001.

(c) A copy of a document submitted under this section must be accompanied by a certification executed under oath by an appropriate custodian of the record stating that the copy is correct and any other matter relating to the admissibility of the document that the court requires.

(d) A person submitting a written statement or document under this section is not required to appear at the hearing.

(e) The court shall require that the inmate be provided with a copy of each written statement or document not later than 14 days before the date on which the hearing is to begin.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.010: Dismissal of Claim

(a) The court may enter an order dismissing the entire claim or a portion of the claim under this chapter.

(b) If a portion of the claim is dismissed, the court shall designate the issues and defendants on which the claim may proceed, subject to Sections 14.006 and 14.007.

(c) An order under this section is not subject to interlocutory appeal by the inmate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.011: Effect on Other Claims

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), on receipt of an order assessing fees and costs under Section 14.006 that indicates that the court made the finding described by Section 14.007(a), a clerk of a court may not accept for filing another claim by the inmate until the fees and costs assessed under Section 14.006 are paid.

(b) A court may allow an inmate who has not paid the fees and costs assessed against the inmate to file a claim for injunctive relief seeking to enjoin an act or failure to act that creates a substantial threat of irreparable injury or serious physical harm to the inmate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.012: Questionnaire

To implement this chapter, a court may develop, for use in that court, a questionnaire to be filed by the inmate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.013: Review and Recommendation By Magistrates

(a) The supreme court shall, by rule, adopt a system under which a court may refer a suit governed by this chapter to a magistrate for review and recommendation.

(b) The system adopted under Subsection (a) may be funded from money appropriated to the supreme court or from money received by the supreme court through interagency contract or contracts.

(c) For the purposes of Section 14.014, the adoption of a system by rule under Subsection (a) does not constitute a modification or repeal of a provision of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Sec. 14.014: Conflict with Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, this chapter may not be modified or repealed by a rule adopted by the supreme court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 2, eff. June 8, 1995.

Subtitle B

Chapter 15

Subchapter A

Sec. 15.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(a) "Principal office" means a principal office of the corporation, unincorporated association, or partnership in this state in which the decision makers for the organization within this state conduct the daily affairs of the organization. The mere presence of an agency or representative does not establish a principal office.

(b) "Proper venue" means:

(1) the venue required by the mandatory provisions of Subchapter B or another statute prescribing mandatory venue; or

(2) if Subdivision (1) does not apply, the venue provided by this subchapter or Subchapter C.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.002: Venue: General Rule

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter or Subchapter B or C, all lawsuits shall be brought:

(1) in the county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred;

(2) in the county of defendant's residence at the time the cause of action accrued if defendant is a natural person;

(3) in the county of the defendant's principal office in this state, if the defendant is not a natural person; or

(4) if Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) do not apply, in the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time of the accrual of the cause of action.

(b) For the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice, a court may transfer an action from a county of proper venue under this subchapter or Subchapter C to any other county of proper venue on motion of a defendant filed and served concurrently with or before the filing of the answer, where the court finds:

(1) maintenance of the action in the county of suit would work an injustice to the movant considering the movant's economic and personal hardship;

(2) the balance of interests of all the parties predominates in favor of the action being brought in the other county; and

(3) the transfer of the action would not work an injustice to any other party.

(c) A court's ruling or decision to grant or deny a transfer under Subsection (b) is not grounds for appeal or mandamus and is not reversible error.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 15.001 and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.003: Multiple Plaintiffs and Intervening Plaintiffs

(a) In a suit in which there is more than one plaintiff, whether the plaintiffs are included by joinder, by intervention, because the lawsuit was begun by more than one plaintiff, or otherwise, each plaintiff must, independently of every other plaintiff, establish proper venue. If a plaintiff cannot independently establish proper venue, that plaintiff's part of the suit, including all of that plaintiff's claims and causes of action, must be transferred to a county of proper venue or dismissed, as is appropriate, unless that plaintiff, independently of every other plaintiff, establishes that:

(1) joinder of that plaintiff or intervention in the suit by that plaintiff is proper under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(2) maintaining venue as to that plaintiff in the county of suit does not unfairly prejudice another party to the suit;

(3) there is an essential need to have that plaintiff's claim tried in the county in which the suit is pending; and

(4) the county in which the suit is pending is a fair and convenient venue for that plaintiff and all persons against whom the suit is brought.

(b) An interlocutory appeal may be taken of a trial court's determination under Subsection (a) that:

(1) a plaintiff did or did not independently establish proper venue; or

(2) a plaintiff that did not independently establish proper venue did or did not establish the items prescribed by Subsections (a)(1)-(4).

(c) An interlocutory appeal permitted by Subsection (b) must be taken to the court of appeals district in which the trial court is located under the procedures established for interlocutory appeals. The appeal may be taken by a party that is affected by the trial court's determination under Subsection (a). The court of appeals shall:

(1) determine whether the trial court's order is proper based on an independent determination from the record and not under either an abuse of discretion or substantial evidence standard; and

(2) render judgment not later than the 120th day after the date the appeal is perfected.

(d) An interlocutory appeal under Subsection (b) has the effect of staying the commencement of trial in the trial court pending resolution of the appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 15.004: Mandatory Venue Provisions Governs Multiple Claims

In a suit in which a plaintiff properly joins two or more claims or causes of action arising from the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences, and one of the claims or causes of action is governed by the mandatory venue provisions of Subchapter B, the suit shall be brought in the county required by the mandatory venue provision.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.005: Multiple Defendants

In a suit in which the plaintiff has established proper venue against a defendant, the court also has venue of all the defendants in all claims or actions arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.006: Venue Determined By Facts Existing at the Time of Accrual

A court shall determine the venue of a suit based on the facts existing at the time the cause of action that is the basis of the suit accrued.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.007: Conflict with Certain Provisions

Notwithstanding Sections 15.004, 15.005, and 15.031, to the extent that venue under this chapter for a suit by or against an executor, administrator, or guardian as such, for personal injury, death, or property damage conflicts with venue provisions under the Estates Code, this chapter controls.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 20.001, eff. September 1, 2015.

Subchapter B

Sec. 15.011: Land

Actions for recovery of real property or an estate or interest in real property, for partition of real property, to remove encumbrances from the title to real property, for recovery of damages to real property, or to quiet title to real property shall be brought in the county in which all or a part of the property is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.0115: Landlord-Tenant

(a) Except as provided by another statute prescribing mandatory venue, a suit between a landlord and a tenant arising under a lease shall be brought in the county in which all or a part of the real property is located.

(b) In this section, "lease" means any written or oral agreement between a landlord and a tenant that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, or other provisions relating to the use and occupancy of the real property that is the subject of the agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.012: Injunction Against Suit

Actions to stay proceedings in a suit shall be brought in the county in which the suit is pending.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.013: Injunction Against Execution of Judgment

Actions to restrain execution of a judgment based on invalidity of the judgment or of the writ shall be brought in the county in which the judgment was rendered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.014: Head of State Department

An action for mandamus against the head of a department of the state government shall be brought in Travis County.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.015: Counties

An action against a county shall be brought in that county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.0151: Certain Political Subdivisions

(a) Except as provided by a law not contained in this chapter, an action against a political subdivision that is located in a county with a population of 100,000 or less shall be brought in the county in which the political subdivision is located. If the political subdivision is located in more than one county and the population of each county is 100,000 or less, the action shall be brought in any county in which the political subdivision is located.

(b) In this section, "political subdivision" means a governmental entity in this state, other than a county, that is not a state agency. The term includes a municipality, school or junior college district, hospital district, or any other special purpose district or authority.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 733, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 15.016: Other Mandatory Venue

An action governed by any other statute prescribing mandatory venue shall be brought in the county required by that statute.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.017: Libel, Slander, Or Invasion of Privacy

A suit for damages for libel, slander, or invasion of privacy shall be brought and can only be maintained in the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time of the accrual of the cause of action, or in the county in which the defendant resided at the time of filing suit, or in the county of the residence of defendants, or any of them, or the domicile of any corporate defendant, at the election of the plaintiff.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.018: Federal Employers' Liability Act

(a) This section only applies to suits brought under the federal Employers' Liability Act (45 U.S.C. Section 51 et seq.).

(b) All suits brought under the federal Employers' Liability Act shall be brought:

(1) in the county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred;

(2) in the county where the defendant's principal office in this state is located; or

(3) in the county where the plaintiff resided at the time the cause of action accrued.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 1602), Sec. 1, eff. May 24, 2007.

Sec. 15.0181: Jones Act

(a) In this section:

(1) "Coastal county" means:

(A) a county in a coastal area, as defined by Section 33.004, Natural Resources Code; or

(B) a county having a United States Customs port through which waterborne freight is transported.

(2) "Coastal erosion" means the loss of land, marshes, wetlands, beaches, or other coastal features because of the actions of wind, waves, tides, storm surges, subsidence, or other forces.

(3) "Erosion response project" means an action intended to address or mitigate coastal erosion, including beach nourishment, sediment management, beneficial use of dredged material, creation or enhancement of a dune, wetland, or marsh, and construction of a breakwater, bulkhead, groin, jetty, or other structure.

(4) "Gulf Coast state" means Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida.

(5) "Inland waters" means the navigable waters shoreward of the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and other inland waters of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, or Indiana or of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Florida from the Florida-Alabama border down to and including the shoreline of Key West, Florida. The term does not include the Great Lakes.

(b) This section applies only to suits brought under the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. Section 30104).

(c) Except as provided by this section, a suit brought under the Jones Act shall be brought:

(1) in the county where the defendant's principal office in this state is located;

(2) in the county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred; or

(3) in the county where the plaintiff resided at the time the cause of action accrued.

(d) If all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred on the inland waters of this state, ashore in this state, or during the course of an erosion response project in this state, the suit shall be brought:

(1) in the county in which all or a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred; or

(2) in the county where the defendant's principal office in this state is located.

(e) If all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred on inland waters outside this state, ashore in a Gulf Coast state, or during the course of an erosion response project in a Gulf Coast state, the suit shall be brought:

(1) in the county where the defendant's principal office in this state is located if the defendant's principal office in this state is located in a coastal county;

(2) in Harris County unless the plaintiff resided in Galveston County at the time the cause of action accrued;

(3) in Galveston County unless the plaintiff resided in Harris County at the time the cause of action accrued; or

(4) if the defendant does not have a principal office in this state located in a coastal county, in the county where the plaintiff resided at the time the cause of action accrued.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 1602), Sec. 2, eff. May 24, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 5.001, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 15.019: Inmate Litigation

(a) Except as provided by Section 15.014, an action that accrued while the plaintiff was housed in a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall be brought in the county in which the facility is located.

(b) An action brought by two or more plaintiffs that accrued while the plaintiffs were housed in a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall be brought in a county in which a facility that housed one of the plaintiffs is located.

(c) This section does not apply to an action brought under the Family Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 378, Sec. 1, eff. June 8, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 15.018 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(3), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 15.020: Major Transactions: Specification of Venue By Agreement

(a) In this section, "major transaction" means a transaction evidenced by a written agreement under which a person pays or receives, or is obligated to pay or entitled to receive, consideration with an aggregate stated value equal to or greater than $1 million. The term does not include a transaction entered into primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, or to settle a personal injury or wrongful death claim, without regard to the aggregate value.

(b) An action arising from a major transaction shall be brought in a county if the party against whom the action is brought has agreed in writing that a suit arising from the transaction may be brought in that county.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, an action arising from a major transaction may not be brought in a county if:

(1) the party bringing the action has agreed in writing that an action arising from the transaction may not be brought in that county, and the action may be brought in another county of this state or in another jurisdiction; or

(2) the party bringing the action has agreed in writing that an action arising from the transaction must be brought in another county of this state or in another jurisdiction, and the action may be brought in that other county, under this section or otherwise, or in that other jurisdiction.

(d) This section does not apply to an action if:

(1) the agreement described by this section was unconscionable at the time that it was made;

(2) the agreement regarding venue is voidable under Chapter 272, Business & Commerce Code; or

(3) venue is established under a statute of this state other than this title.

(e) This section does not affect venue and jurisdiction in an action arising from a transaction that is not a major transaction.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 84, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.10, eff. April 1, 2009.

Subchapter C

Sec. 15.031: Executor; Administrator; Guardian

If the suit is against an executor, administrator, or guardian, as such, to establish a money demand against the estate which he represents, the suit may be brought in the county in which the estate is administered, or if the suit is against an executor, administrator, or guardian growing out of a negligent act or omission of the person whose estate the executor, administrator, or guardian represents, the suit may be brought in the county in which the negligent act or omission of the person whose estate the executor, administrator, or guardian represents occurred.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.032: Insurance

Suit against fire, marine, or inland insurance companies may also be commenced in any county in which the insured property was situated. A suit on a policy may be brought against any life insurance company, or accident insurance company, or life and accident, or health and accident, or life, health, and accident insurance company in the county in which the company's principal office in this state is located or in the county in which the loss has occurred or in which the policyholder or beneficiary instituting the suit resided at the time the cause of action accrued.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.033: Breach of Warranty By Manufacturer

A suit for breach of warranty by a manufacturer of consumer goods may be brought in any county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, in the county in which the manufacturer has its principal office in this state, or in the county in which the plaintiff resided at the time the cause of action accrued.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.035: Contract in Writing

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), if a person has contracted in writing to perform an obligation in a particular county, expressly naming the county or a definite place in that county by that writing, suit on or by reason of the obligation may be brought against him either in that county or in the county in which the defendant has his domicile.

(b) In an action founded on a contractual obligation of the defendant to pay money arising out of or based on a consumer transaction for goods, services, loans, or extensions of credit intended primarily for personal, family, household, or agricultural use, suit by a creditor on or by reason of the obligation may be brought against the defendant either in the county in which the defendant in fact signed the contract or in the county in which the defendant resides when the action is commenced. No term or statement contained in an obligation described in this section shall constitute a waiver of these provisions.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.038: Other Permissive Venue

An action governed by any other statute prescribing permissive venue may be brought in the county allowed by that statute.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.039: Transient Person

A transient person may be sued in any county in which he may be found.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 15.062: Counterclaims, Cross Claims, and Third-Party Claims

(a) Venue of the main action shall establish venue of a counterclaim, cross claim, or third-party claim properly joined under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or any applicable statute.

(b) If an original defendant properly joins a third-party defendant, venue shall be proper for a claim arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences by the plaintiff against the third-party defendant if the claim arises out of the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the original defendant.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.063: Transfer

The court, on motion filed and served concurrently with or before the filing of the answer, shall transfer an action to another county of proper venue if:

(1) the county in which the action is pending is not a proper county as provided by this chapter;

(2) an impartial trial cannot be had in the county in which the action is pending; or

(3) written consent of the parties to transfer to any other county is filed at any time.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.064: Hearings

(a) In all venue hearings, no factual proof concerning the merits of the case shall be required to establish venue. The court shall determine venue questions from the pleadings and affidavits. No interlocutory appeal shall lie from the determination.

(b) On appeal from the trial on the merits, if venue was improper it shall in no event be harmless error and shall be reversible error. In determining whether venue was or was not proper, the appellate court shall consider the entire record, including the trial on the merits.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.0641: Venue Rights of Multiple Defendants

In a suit in which two or more defendants are joined, any action or omission by one defendant in relation to venue, including a waiver of venue by one defendant, does not operate to impair or diminish the right of any other defendant to properly challenge venue.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.0642: Mandamus

A party may apply for a writ of mandamus with an appellate court to enforce the mandatory venue provisions of this chapter. An application for the writ of mandamus must be filed before the later of:

(1) the 90th day before the date the trial starts; or

(2) the 10th day after the date the party receives notice of the trial setting.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 15.065: Watercourse Or Roadway Forming County Boundary

If a river, watercourse, highway, road, or street forms the boundary line between two counties, the courts of each county have concurrent jurisdiction over the parts of the watercourse or roadway that form the boundary of the county in the same manner as if the watercourse or roadway were in that county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.066: Conflict with Rules of Civil Procedure

Subject to Section 22.004, Government Code, to the extent that this chapter conflicts with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, this chapter controls.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 138, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Subchapter E

Sec. 15.081: Application

This subchapter applies only to suits brought in a justice court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.082: Venue: General Rule

Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter or by any other law, a suit in justice court shall be brought in the county and precinct in which one or more defendants reside.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.0821: Administrative Rules for Transfer

The justices of the peace in each county shall, by majority vote, adopt local rules of administration regarding the transfer of a pending case from one precinct to a different precinct.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 5.04, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 15.083: Residence of a Single Man

A single man's residence is where he boards.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.084: Forcible Entry and Detainer

A suit for forcible entry and detainer shall be brought in the precinct in which all or part of the premises is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.085: Executor; Administrator; Guardian

A suit against an executor, an administrator, or a guardian shall be brought in the county in which the administration or guardianship is pending and in the precinct in which the county seat is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.086: Counties

A suit against a county shall be brought in the precinct in which the county seat of that county is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.087: Option: Suit in Defendant's County of Residence

A suit to which a permissive venue section of this subchapter applies may be brought and maintained either in the county provided for by that section or in the county in which the defendant resides.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.088: Nonresident; Residence Unknown

A suit against a nonresident of this state or against a person whose residence is unknown may be brought in the county and precinct in which the plaintiff resides.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.089: Transient Person

A suit against a transient person may be brought in any county and precinct in which the transient person is found.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.090: Personal Property

A suit to recover personal property may be brought in the county and precinct in which the property is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.091: Rents

A suit to recover rents may be brought in the county and precinct in which all or part of the rented premises is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.092: Contract

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a suit on a written contract that promises performance at a particular place may be brought in the county and precinct in which the contract was to be performed.

(b) A suit on an oral or written contract for labor actually performed may be brought in the county and precinct in which the labor was performed.

(c) A suit by a creditor on a contract for goods, services, or loans intended primarily for personal, family, household, or agricultural use may be brought only in the county and precinct in which the contract was signed or in which the defendant resides.

(d) A contract described by Subsection (c) may not waive the venue provided by that subsection.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.093: Torts

A tort suit for damages may be brought in the county and precinct in which the injury was inflicted.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.094: Corporation; Association; Joint-Stock Company

A suit against a private corporation, association, or joint-stock company may be brought in the county and precinct in which:

(1) all or part of the cause of action arose;

(2) the corporation, association, or company has an agency or representative; or

(3) the principal office of the corporation, association, or company is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.095: Railroad Companies; Carriers

A suit against a railroad company, a canal company, or the owners of a line of transportation vehicles for injury to a person or property on the railroad, canal, or line of vehicles or for liability as a carrier may be brought in a precinct through which that railroad, canal, or line of vehicles passes or in a precinct in which the route of that railroad, canal, or vehicle begins or ends.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.096: Steamboat Or Other Vessel

A suit against the owner of a steamboat or other vessel may be brought in the county or precinct in which:

(1) the steamboat or vessel may be found;

(2) the cause of action arose; or

(3) the liability accrued or was contracted.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.097: Insurance Companies

(a) A suit against a fire, marine, or inland marine insurance company may be brought in the county and precinct in which all or part of the insured property was located.

(b) A suit against an accident and life insurance company or association may be brought in the county and precinct in which one or more of the insured persons resided when the injury or death occurred.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.098: Pleading Requirements

If a suit is brought in a county or precinct in which the defendant does not reside, the citation or pleading must affirmatively show that the suit comes within an exception provided for by this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.099: More Than One Justice

If there is more than one justice of the peace in a precinct or in an incorporated city or town, suit may be brought before any justice of the peace in that precinct or incorporated city or town.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 15.100: Disqualified Justice

If the justice in the proper precinct is not qualified to try the suit, suit may be brought before the nearest qualified justice in the county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 16

Subchapter A

Sec. 16.001: Effect of Disability

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, a person is under a legal disability if the person is:

(1) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person is married; or

(2) of unsound mind.

(b) If a person entitled to bring a personal action is under a legal disability when the cause of action accrues, the time of the disability is not included in a limitations period.

(c) A person may not tack one legal disability to another to extend a limitations period.

(d) A disability that arises after a limitations period starts does not suspend the running of the period.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1049, Sec. 56, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 16.002: One-Year Limitations Period

(a) A person must bring suit for malicious prosecution, libel, slander, or breach of promise of marriage not later than one year after the day the cause of action accrues.

(b) A person must bring suit to set aside a sale of property seized under Subchapter E, Chapter 33, Tax Code, not later than one year after the date the property is sold.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1017, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 16.003: Two-Year Limitations Period

(a) Except as provided by Sections 16.010, 16.0031, and 16.0045, a person must bring suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.

(b) A person must bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues in an action for injury resulting in death. The cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 739, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 26, Sec. 2, eff. May 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 16.0031: Asbestos-Related Or Silica-Related Injuries

(a) In an action for personal injury or death resulting from an asbestos-related injury, as defined by Section 90.001, the cause of action accrues for purposes of Section 16.003 on the earlier of the following dates:

(1) the date of the exposed person's death; or

(2) the date that the claimant serves on a defendant a report complying with Section 90.003 or 90.010(f).

(b) In an action for personal injury or death resulting from a silica-related injury, as defined by Section 90.001, the cause of action accrues for purposes of Section 16.003 on the earlier of the following dates:

(1) the date of the exposed person's death; or

(2) the date that the claimant serves on a defendant a report complying with Section 90.004 or 90.010(f).

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 16.004: Four-Year Limitations Period

(a) A person must bring suit on the following actions not later than four years after the day the cause of action accrues:

(1) specific performance of a contract for the conveyance of real property;

(2) penalty or damages on the penal clause of a bond to convey real property;

(3) debt;

(4) fraud; or

(5) breach of fiduciary duty.

(b) A person must bring suit on the bond of an executor, administrator, or guardian not later than four years after the day of the death, resignation, removal, or discharge of the executor, administrator, or guardian.

(c) A person must bring suit against his partner for a settlement of partnership accounts, and must bring an action on an open or stated account, or on a mutual and current account concerning the trade of merchandise between merchants or their agents or factors, not later than four years after the day that the cause of action accrues. For purposes of this subsection, the cause of action accrues on the day that the dealings in which the parties were interested together cease.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 950, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 16.0045: Limitations Period for Claims Arising from Certain Offenses

(a) A person must bring suit for personal injury not later than 30 years after the day the cause of action accrues if the injury arises as a result of conduct that violates:

(1) Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code (sexual assault of a child);

(2) Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code (aggravated sexual assault of a child);

(3) Section 21.02, Penal Code (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children);

(4) Section 20A.02(a)(7)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (H) or Section 20A.02(a)(8), Penal Code, involving an activity described by Section 20A.02(a)(7)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (H) or sexual conduct with a child trafficked in the manner described by Section 20A.02(a)(7), Penal Code (certain sexual trafficking of a child);

(5) Section 43.05(a)(2), Penal Code (compelling prostitution by a child); or

(6) Section 21.11, Penal Code (indecency with a child).

(b) A person must bring suit for personal injury not later than five years after the day the cause of action accrues if the injury arises as a result of conduct that violates:

(1) Section 22.011(a)(1), Penal Code (sexual assault);

(2) Section 22.021(a)(1)(A), Penal Code (aggravated sexual assault);

(3) Section 20A.02, Penal Code (trafficking of persons), other than conduct described by Subsection (a)(4); or

(4) Section 43.05(a)(1), Penal Code (compelling prostitution).

(c) In an action for injury resulting in death arising as a result of conduct described by Subsection (a) or (b), the cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person.

(d) A limitations period under this section is tolled for a suit on the filing of a petition by any person in an appropriate court alleging that the identity of the defendant in the suit is unknown and designating the unknown defendant as "John or Jane Doe." The person filing the petition shall proceed with due diligence to discover the identity of the defendant and amend the petition by substituting the real name of the defendant for "John or Jane Doe" not later than the 30th day after the date that the defendant is identified to the plaintiff. The limitations period begins running again on the date that the petition is amended.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 739, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (H.B. 8), Sec. 3.01, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 24), Sec. 3.01, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 918 (H.B. 189), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1306 (H.B. 3809), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 16.005: Action for Closing Street Or Road

(a) A person must bring suit for any relief from the following acts not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues:

(1) the passage by a governing body of an incorporated city or town of an ordinance closing and abandoning, or attempting to close and abandon, all or any part of a public street or alley in the city or town, other than a state highway; or

(2) the adoption by a commissioners court of an order closing and abandoning, or attempting to close and abandon, all or any part of a public road or thoroughfare in the county, other than a state highway.

(b) The cause of action accrues when the order or ordinance is passed or adopted.

(c) If suit is not brought within the period provided by this section, the person in possession of the real property receives complete title to the property by limitations and the right of the city or county to revoke or rescind the order or ordinance is barred.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.006: Carriers of Property

(a) A carrier of property for compensation or hire must bring suit for the recovery of charges not later than three years after the day on which the cause of action accrues.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), a person must bring suit for overcharges against a carrier of property for compensation or hire not later than three years after the cause of action accrues.

(c) If the person has presented a written claim for the overcharges within the three-year period, the limitations period is extended for six months from the date written notice is given by the carrier to the claimant of disallowance of the claim in whole or in part, as specified in the carrier's notice.

(d) If on or before the expiration of the three-year period, the carrier brings an action under Subsection (a) to recover charges relating to the service or, without beginning an action, collects charges relating to that service, the limitations period is extended for 90 days from the day on which the action is begun or the charges are collected.

(e) A cause of action regarding a shipment of property accrues on the delivery or tender of the property by the carrier.

(f) In this section, "overcharge" means a charge for transportation services in excess of the lawfully applicable amount.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.007: Return of Execution

A person must bring suit against a sheriff or other officer or the surety of the sheriff or officer for failure to return an execution issued in the person's favor, not later than five years after the date on which the execution was returnable.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.008: Architects, Engineers, Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects Furnishing Design, Planning, Or Inspection of Construction of Improvements

(a) A person must bring suit for damages for a claim listed in Subsection (b) against a registered or licensed architect, engineer, interior designer, or landscape architect in this state, who designs, plans, or inspects the construction of an improvement to real property or equipment attached to real property, not later than 10 years after the substantial completion of the improvement or the beginning of operation of the equipment in an action arising out of a defective or unsafe condition of the real property, the improvement, or the equipment.

(b) This section applies to suit for:

(1) injury, damage, or loss to real or personal property;

(2) personal injury;

(3) wrongful death;

(4) contribution; or

(5) indemnity.

(c) If the claimant presents a written claim for damages, contribution, or indemnity to the architect, engineer, interior designer, or landscape architect within the 10-year limitations period, the period is extended for two years from the day the claim is presented.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 860, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 16.009: Persons Furnishing Construction Or Repair of Improvements

(a) A claimant must bring suit for damages for a claim listed in Subsection (b) against a person who constructs or repairs an improvement to real property not later than 10 years after the substantial completion of the improvement in an action arising out of a defective or unsafe condition of the real property or a deficiency in the construction or repair of the improvement.

(b) This section applies to suit for:

(1) injury, damage, or loss to real or personal property;

(2) personal injury;

(3) wrongful death;

(4) contribution; or

(5) indemnity.

(c) If the claimant presents a written claim for damages, contribution, or indemnity to the person performing or furnishing the construction or repair work during the 10-year limitations period, the period is extended for two years from the date the claim is presented.

(d) If the damage, injury, or death occurs during the 10th year of the limitations period, the claimant may bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.

(e) This section does not bar an action:

(1) on a written warranty, guaranty, or other contract that expressly provides for a longer effective period;

(2) against a person in actual possession or control of the real property at the time that the damage, injury, or death occurs; or

(3) based on wilful misconduct or fraudulent concealment in connection with the performance of the construction or repair.

(f) This section does not extend or affect a period prescribed for bringing an action under any other law of this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.010: Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

(a) A person must bring suit for misappropriation of trade secrets not later than three years after the misappropriation is discovered or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered.

(b) A misappropriation of trade secrets that continues over time is a single cause of action and the limitations period described by Subsection (a) begins running without regard to whether the misappropriation is a single or continuing act.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 26, Sec. 1, eff. May 1, 1997.

Sec. 16.011: Surveyors

(a) A person must bring suit for damages arising from an injury or loss caused by an error in a survey conducted by a registered public surveyor or a licensed state land surveyor:

(1) not later than 10 years after the date the survey is completed if the survey is completed on or after September 1, 1989; or

(2) not later than September 1, 1991, or 10 years after the date the survey was completed, whichever is later, if the survey was completed before September 1, 1989.

(b) If the claimant presents a written claim for damages to the surveyor during the 10-year limitations period, the period is extended for two years from the date the claim is presented.

(c) This section is a statute of repose and is independent of any other limitations period.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1173, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 16.012: Products Liability

(a) In this section:

(1) "Claimant," "seller," and "manufacturer" have the meanings assigned by Section 82.001.

(2) "Products liability action" means any action against a manufacturer or seller for recovery of damages or other relief for harm allegedly caused by a defective product, whether the action is based in strict tort liability, strict products liability, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of express or implied warranty, or any other theory or combination of theories, and whether the relief sought is recovery of damages or any other legal or equitable relief, including a suit for:

(A) injury or damage to or loss of real or personal property;

(B) personal injury;

(C) wrongful death;

(D) economic loss; or

(E) declaratory, injunctive, or other equitable relief.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c), (d), and (d-1), a claimant must commence a products liability action against a manufacturer or seller of a product before the end of 15 years after the date of the sale of the product by the defendant.

(c) If a manufacturer or seller expressly warrants in writing that the product has a useful safe life of longer than 15 years, a claimant must commence a products liability action against that manufacturer or seller of the product before the end of the number of years warranted after the date of the sale of the product by that seller.

(d) This section does not apply to a products liability action seeking damages for personal injury or wrongful death in which the claimant alleges:

(1) the claimant was exposed to the product that is the subject of the action before the end of 15 years after the date the product was first sold;

(2) the claimant's exposure to the product caused the claimant's disease that is the basis of the action; and

(3) the symptoms of the claimant's disease did not, before the end of 15 years after the date of the first sale of the product by the defendant, manifest themselves to a degree and for a duration that would put a reasonable person on notice that the person suffered some injury.

(d-1) This section does not reduce a limitations period for a cause of action described by Subsection (d) that accrues before the end of the limitations period under this section.

(e) This section does not extend the limitations period within which a products liability action involving the product may be commenced under any other law.

(f) This section applies only to the sale and not to the lease of a product.

(g) This section does not apply to any claim to which the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (Pub. L. No. 103-298, 108 Stat. 1552 (1994), reprinted in note, 49 U.S.C. Section 40101) or its exceptions are applicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 5.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter B

Sec. 16.021: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Adverse possession" means an actual and visible appropriation of real property, commenced and continued under a claim of right that is inconsistent with and is hostile to the claim of another person.

(2) "Color of title" means a consecutive chain of transfers to the person in possession that:

(A) is not regular because of a muniment that is not properly recorded or is only in writing or because of a similar defect that does not want of intrinsic fairness or honesty; or

(B) is based on a certificate of headright, land warrant, or land scrip.

(3) "Peaceable possession" means possession of real property that is continuous and is not interrupted by an adverse suit to recover the property.

(4) "Title" means a regular chain of transfers of real property from or under the sovereignty of the soil.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.022: Effect of Disability

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, a person is under a legal disability if the person is:

(1) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person is married;

(2) of unsound mind; or

(3) serving in the United States Armed Forces during time of war.

(b) If a person entitled to sue for the recovery of real property or entitled to make a defense based on the title to real property is under a legal disability at the time title to the property vests or adverse possession commences, the time of the disability is not included in a limitations period.

(c) Except as provided by Sections 16.027 and 16.028, after the termination of the legal disability, a person has the same time to present a claim that is allowed to others under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1049, Sec. 57, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 16.023: Tacking of Successive Interests

To satisfy a limitations period, peaceable and adverse possession does not need to continue in the same person, but there must be privity of estate between each holder and his successor.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.024: Adverse Possession: Three-Year Limitations Period

A person must bring suit to recover real property held by another in peaceable and adverse possession under title or color of title not later than three years after the day the cause of action accrues.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.025: Adverse Possession: Five-Year Limitations Period

(a) A person must bring suit not later than five years after the day the cause of action accrues to recover real property held in peaceable and adverse possession by another who:

(1) cultivates, uses, or enjoys the property;

(2) pays applicable taxes on the property; and

(3) claims the property under a duly registered deed.

(b) This section does not apply to a claim based on a forged deed or a deed executed under a forged power of attorney.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.026: Adverse Possession: 10-Year Limitations Period

(a) A person must bring suit not later than 10 years after the day the cause of action accrues to recover real property held in peaceable and adverse possession by another who cultivates, uses, or enjoys the property.

(b) Without a title instrument, peaceable and adverse possession is limited in this section to 160 acres, including improvements, unless the number of acres actually enclosed exceeds 160. If the number of enclosed acres exceeds 160 acres, peaceable and adverse possession extends to the real property actually enclosed.

(c) Peaceable possession of real property held under a duly registered deed or other memorandum of title that fixes the boundaries of the possessor's claim extends to the boundaries specified in the instrument.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 764, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 16.0265: Adverse Possession By Cotenant Heir: 15-Year Combined Limitations Period

(a) In this section, "cotenant heir" means one of two or more persons who simultaneously acquire identical, undivided ownership interests in, and rights to possession of, the same real property by operation of the applicable intestate succession laws of this state or a successor in interest of one of those persons.

(b) One or more cotenant heirs of real property may acquire the interests of other cotenant heirs in the property by adverse possession under this section if, for a continuous, uninterrupted 10-year period immediately preceding the filing of the affidavits required by Subsection (c):

(1) the possessing cotenant heir or heirs:

(A) hold the property in peaceable and exclusive possession;

(B) cultivate, use, or enjoy the property; and

(C) pay all property taxes on the property not later than two years after the date the taxes become due; and

(2) no other cotenant heir has:

(A) contributed to the property's taxes or maintenance;

(B) challenged a possessing cotenant heir's exclusive possession of the property;

(C) asserted any other claim against a possessing cotenant heir in connection with the property, such as the right to rental payments from a possessing cotenant heir;

(D) acted to preserve the cotenant heir's interest in the property by filing notice of the cotenant heir's claimed interest in the deed records of the county in which the property is located; or

(E) entered into a written agreement with the possessing cotenant heir under which the possessing cotenant heir is allowed to possess the property but the other cotenant heir does not forfeit that heir's ownership interest.

(c) To make a claim of adverse possession against a cotenant heir under this section, the cotenant heir or heirs claiming adverse possession must:

(1) file in the deed records of the county in which the real property is located an affidavit of heirship in the form prescribed by Section 203.002, Estates Code, and an affidavit of adverse possession that complies with the requirements of Subsection (d);

(2) publish notice of the claim in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is located for the four consecutive weeks immediately following the date the affidavits required by Subdivision (1) are filed; and

(3) provide written notice of the claim to the last known addresses of all other cotenant heirs by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(d) The affidavits required by Subsection (c) may be filed separately or combined into a single instrument. The affidavit of adverse possession must include:

(1) a legal description of the property that is the subject of the adverse possession;

(2) an attestation that each affiant is a cotenant heir of the property who has been in peaceable and exclusive possession of the property for a continuous, uninterrupted period during the 10 years preceding the filing of the affidavit;

(3) an attestation of cultivation, use, or enjoyment of the property by each affiant during the 10 years preceding the filing of the affidavit;

(4) evidence of payment by the affiant or affiants of all property taxes on the property as provided by Subsection (b) during the 10 years preceding the filing of the affidavit; and

(5) an attestation that there has been no action described by Subsection (b)(2) by another cotenant heir during the 10 years preceding the filing of the affidavit.

(e) A cotenant heir must file a controverting affidavit or bring suit to recover the cotenant heir's interest in real property adversely possessed by another cotenant heir under this section not later than the fifth anniversary of the date a right of adverse possession is asserted by the filing of the affidavits required by Subsection (c).

(f) If a controverting affidavit or judgment is not filed before the fifth anniversary of the date the affidavits required by Subsection (c) are filed and no notice described by Subsection (b)(2)(D) was filed in the 10-year period preceding the filing of the affidavits under Subsection (c), title vests in the adversely possessing cotenant heir or heirs in the manner provided by Section 16.030, precluding all claims by other cotenant heirs.

(g) A bona fide lender for value without notice accepting a voluntary lien against the real property to secure the adversely possessing cotenant heir's indebtedness or a bona fide purchaser for value without notice may conclusively rely on the affidavits required by Subsection (c) if:

(1) the affidavits have been filed of record for the period prescribed by Subsection (e); and

(2) a controverting affidavit or judgment has not been filed during that period.

(h) Without a title instrument, peaceable and adverse possession is limited in this section to 160 acres, including improvements, unless the number of acres actually enclosed exceeds 160 acres. If the number of enclosed acres exceeds 160 acres, peaceable and adverse possession extends to the real property actually enclosed.

(i) Peaceable possession of real property held under a duly registered deed or other memorandum of title that fixes the boundaries of the possessor's claim extends to the boundaries specified in the instrument.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 742 (S.B. 1249), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 16.027: Adverse Possession: 25-Year Limitations Period Notwithstanding Disability

A person, regardless of whether the person is or has been under a legal disability, must bring suit not later than 25 years after the day the cause of action accrues to recover real property held in peaceable and adverse possession by another who cultivates, uses, or enjoys the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.028: Adverse Possession with Recorded Instrument: 25-Year Limitations Period

(a) A person, regardless of whether the person is or has been under a legal disability, may not maintain an action for the recovery of real property held for 25 years before the commencement of the action in peaceable and adverse possession by another who holds the property in good faith and under a deed or other instrument purporting to convey the property that is recorded in the deed records of the county where any part of the real property is located.

(b) Adverse possession of any part of the real property held under a recorded deed or other recorded instrument that purports to convey the property extends to and includes all of the property described in the instrument, even though the instrument is void on its face or in fact.

(c) A person who holds real property and claims title under this section has a good and marketable title to the property regardless of a disability arising at any time in the adverse claimant or a person claiming under the adverse claimant.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.029: Evidence of Title to Land By Limitations

(a) In a suit involving title to real property that is not claimed by this state, it is prima facie evidence that the title to the property has passed from the person holding apparent record title to an opposing party if it is shown that:

(1) for one or more years during the 25 years preceding the filing of the suit the person holding apparent record title to the property did not exercise dominion over or pay taxes on the property; and

(2) during that period the opposing parties and those whose estate they own have openly exercised dominion over and have asserted a claim to the land and have paid taxes on it annually before becoming delinquent for as long as 25 years.

(b) This section does not affect a statute of limitations, a right to prove title by circumstantial evidence under the case law of this state, or a suit between a trustee and a beneficiary of the trust.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.030: Title Through Adverse Possession

(a) If an action for the recovery of real property is barred under this chapter, the person who holds the property in peaceable and adverse possession has full title, precluding all claims.

(b) A person may not acquire through adverse possession any right or title to real property dedicated to public use.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.031: Enclosed Land

(a) A tract of land that is owned by one person and that is entirely surrounded by land owned, claimed, or fenced by another is not considered enclosed by a fence that encloses any part of the surrounding land.

(b) Possession of the interior tract by the owner or claimant of the surrounding land is not peaceable and adverse possession as described by Section 16.026 unless:

(1) the interior tract is separated from the surrounding land by a fence; or

(2) at least one-tenth of the interior tract is cultivated and used for agricultural purposes or is used for manufacturing purposes.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.032: Adjacent Land

Possession of land that belongs to another by a person owning or claiming 5,000 or more fenced acres that adjoin the land is not peaceable and adverse as described by Section 16.026 unless:

(1) the land is separated from the adjacent enclosed tract by a substantial fence;

(2) at least one-tenth of the land is cultivated and used for agricultural purposes or used for manufacturing purposes; or

(3) there is actual possession of the land.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.033: Technical Defects in Instrument

(a) A person with a right of action for the recovery of real property or an interest in real property conveyed by an instrument with one of the following defects must bring suit not later than two years after the day the instrument was filed for record with the county clerk of the county where the real property is located:

(1) lack of the signature of a proper corporate officer, partner, or company officer, manager, or member;

(2) lack of a corporate seal;

(3) failure of the record to show the corporate seal used;

(4) failure of the record to show authority of the board of directors or stockholders of a corporation, partners of a partnership, or officers, managers, or members of a company;

(5) execution and delivery of the instrument by a corporation, partnership, or other company that had been dissolved, whose charter had expired, or whose franchise had been canceled, withdrawn, or forfeited;

(6) acknowledgment of the instrument in an individual, rather than a representative or official, capacity;

(7) execution of the instrument by a trustee without record of the authority of the trustee or proof of the facts recited in the instrument;

(8) failure of the record or instrument to show an acknowledgment or jurat that complies with applicable law; or

(9) wording of the stated consideration that may or might create an implied lien in favor of the grantor.

(b) This section does not apply to a forged instrument.

(c) For the purposes of this section, an instrument affecting real property containing a ministerial defect, omission, or informality in the certificate of acknowledgment that has been filed for record for longer than two years in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the property is located is considered to have been lawfully recorded and to be notice of the existence of the instrument on and after the date the instrument is filed.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 291, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 819 (S.B. 1781), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Sec. 16.034: Attorney's Fees

(a) In a suit for the possession of real property between a person claiming under record title to the property and one claiming by adverse possession, if the prevailing party recovers possession of the property from a person unlawfully in actual possession, the court:

(1) shall award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party if the court finds that the person unlawfully in actual possession made a claim of adverse possession that was groundless and made in bad faith; and

(2) may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party in the absence of a finding described by Subdivision (1).

(b) To recover attorney's fees, the person seeking possession must give the person unlawfully in possession a written demand for that person to vacate the premises. The demand must be given by registered or certified mail at least 10 days before filing the claim for recovery of possession.

(c) The demand must state that if the person unlawfully in possession does not vacate the premises within 10 days and a claim is filed by the person seeking possession, the court may enter a judgment against the person unlawfully in possession for costs and attorney's fees in an amount determined by the court to be reasonable.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 901 (H.B. 556), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 16.035: Lien on Real Property

(a) A person must bring suit for the recovery of real property under a real property lien or the foreclosure of a real property lien not later than four years after the day the cause of action accrues.

(b) A sale of real property under a power of sale in a mortgage or deed of trust that creates a real property lien must be made not later than four years after the day the cause of action accrues.

(c) The running of the statute of limitations is not suspended against a bona fide purchaser for value, a lienholder, or a lessee who has no notice or knowledge of the suspension of the limitations period and who acquires an interest in the property when a cause of action on an outstanding real property lien has accrued for more than four years, except as provided by:

(1) Section 16.062, providing for suspension in the event of death; or

(2) Section 16.036, providing for recorded extensions of real property liens.

(d) On the expiration of the four-year limitations period, the real property lien and a power of sale to enforce the real property lien become void.

(e) If a series of notes or obligations or a note or obligation payable in installments is secured by a real property lien, the four-year limitations period does not begin to run until the maturity date of the last note, obligation, or installment.

(f) The limitations period under this section is not affected by Section 3.118, Business & Commerce Code.

(g) In this section, "real property lien" means:

(1) a superior title retained by a vendor in a deed of conveyance or a purchase money note; or

(2) a vendor's lien, a mortgage, a deed of trust, a voluntary mechanic's lien, or a voluntary materialman's lien on real estate, securing a note or other written obligation.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 219, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 1997.

Sec. 16.036: Extension of Real Property Lien

(a) The party or parties primarily liable for a debt or obligation secured by a real property lien, as that term is defined in Section 16.035, may suspend the running of the four-year limitations period for real property liens through a written extension agreement as provided by this section.

(b) The limitations period is suspended and the lien remains in effect for four years after the extended maturity date of the debt or obligation if the extension agreement is:

(1) signed and acknowledged as provided by law for a deed conveying real property; and

(2) filed for record in the county clerk's office of the county where the real property is located.

(c) The parties may continue to extend the lien by entering, acknowledging, and recording additional extension agreements.

(d) The maturity date stated in the original instrument or in the date of the recorded renewal and extension is conclusive evidence of the maturity date of the debt or obligation.

(e) The limitations period under this section is not affected by Section 3.118, Business & Commerce Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 219, Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 1997.

Sec. 16.037: Effect of Extension of Real Property Lien on Third Parties

An extension agreement is void as to a bona fide purchaser for value, a lienholder, or a lessee who deals with real property affected by a real property lien without actual notice of the agreement and before the agreement is acknowledged, filed, and recorded.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 219, Sec. 3, eff. May 23, 1997.

Sec. 16.038: Rescission Or Waiver of Accelerated Maturity Date

(a) If the maturity date of a series of notes or obligations or a note or obligation payable in installments is accelerated, and the accelerated maturity date is rescinded or waived in accordance with this section before the limitations period expires, the acceleration is deemed rescinded and waived and the note, obligation, or series of notes or obligations shall be governed by Section 16.035 as if no acceleration had occurred.

(b) Rescission or waiver of acceleration is effective if made by a written notice of a rescission or waiver served as provided in Subsection (c) by the lienholder, the servicer of the debt, or an attorney representing the lienholder on each debtor who, according to the records of the lienholder or the servicer of the debt, is obligated to pay the debt.

(c) Service of a notice under Subsection (b) must be by first class or certified mail and is complete when the notice is deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the debtor at the debtor's last known address. The affidavit of a person knowledgeable of the facts to the effect that service was completed is prima facie evidence of service.

(d) A notice served under this section does not affect a lienholder's right to accelerate the maturity date of the debt in the future nor does it waive past defaults.

(e) This section does not create an exclusive method for waiver and rescission of acceleration or affect the accrual of a cause of action and the running of the related limitations period under Section 16.035(e) on any subsequent maturity date, accelerated or otherwise, of the note or obligation or series of notes or obligations.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 759 (H.B. 2067), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2015.

Subchapter C

Sec. 16.051: Residual Limitations Period

Every action for which there is no express limitations period, except an action for the recovery of real property, must be brought not later than four years after the day the cause of action accrues.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 16.061: Rights Not Barred

(a) A right of action of this state or a political subdivision of the state, including a county, an incorporated city or town, a navigation district, a municipal utility district, a port authority, an entity acting under Chapter 54, Transportation Code, a school district, or an entity created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, is not barred by any of the following sections: 16.001-16.004, 16.006, 16.007, 16.021-16.028, 16.030-16.032, 16.035-16.037, 16.051, 16.062, 16.063, 16.065-16.067, 16.070, 16.071, 31.006, or 71.021.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Navigation district" means a navigation district organized under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.

(2) "Port authority" has the meaning assigned by Section 60.402, Water Code.

(3) "Municipal utility district" means a municipal utility district created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.02, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 782, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1070, Sec. 47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 8.204, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 16.062: Effect of Death

(a) The death of a person against whom or in whose favor there may be a cause of action suspends the running of an applicable statute of limitations for 12 months after the death.

(b) If an executor or administrator of a decedent's estate qualifies before the expiration of the period provided by this section, the statute of limitations begins to run at the time of the qualification.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.063: Temporary Absence from State

The absence from this state of a person against whom a cause of action may be maintained suspends the running of the applicable statute of limitations for the period of the person's absence.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.064: Effect of Lack of Jurisdiction

(a) The period between the date of filing an action in a trial court and the date of a second filing of the same action in a different court suspends the running of the applicable statute of limitations for the period if:

(1) because of lack of jurisdiction in the trial court where the action was first filed, the action is dismissed or the judgment is set aside or annulled in a direct proceeding; and

(2) not later than the 60th day after the date the dismissal or other disposition becomes final, the action is commenced in a court of proper jurisdiction.

(b) This section does not apply if the adverse party has shown in abatement that the first filing was made with intentional disregard of proper jurisdiction.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.065: Acknowledgment of Claim

An acknowledgment of the justness of a claim that appears to be barred by limitations is not admissible in evidence to defeat the law of limitations if made after the time that the claim is due unless the acknowledgment is in writing and is signed by the party to be charged.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.066: Action on Foreign Judgment

(a) An action on a foreign judgment is barred in this state if the action is barred under the laws of the jurisdiction where rendered.

(b) An action against a person who has resided in this state for 10 years prior to the action may not be brought on a foreign judgment rendered more than 10 years before the commencement of the action in this state.

(c) In this section "foreign judgment" means a judgment or decree rendered in another state or a foreign country.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.067: Claim Incurred Prior to Arrival in This State

(a) A person may not bring an action to recover a claim against a person who has moved to this state if the claim is barred by the law of limitations of the state or country from which the person came.

(b) A person may not bring an action to recover money from a person who has moved to this state and who was released from its payment by the bankruptcy or insolvency laws of the state or country from which the person came.

(c) A demand that is against a person who has moved to this state and was incurred prior to his arrival in this state is not barred by the law of limitations until the person has lived in this state for 12 months. This subsection does not affect the application of Subsections (a) and (b).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.068: Amended and Supplemental Pleadings

If a filed pleading relates to a cause of action, cross action, counterclaim, or defense that is not subject to a plea of limitation when the pleading is filed, a subsequent amendment or supplement to the pleading that changes the facts or grounds of liability or defense is not subject to a plea of limitation unless the amendment or supplement is wholly based on a new, distinct, or different transaction or occurrence.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.069: Counterclaim Or Cross Claim

(a) If a counterclaim or cross claim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the basis of an action, a party to the action may file the counterclaim or cross claim even though as a separate action it would be barred by limitation on the date the party's answer is required.

(b) The counterclaim or cross claim must be filed not later than the 30th day after the date on which the party's answer is required.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 16.070: Contractual Limitations Period

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not enter a stipulation, contract, or agreement that purports to limit the time in which to bring suit on the stipulation, contract, or agreement to a period shorter than two years. A stipulation, contract, or agreement that establishes a limitations period that is shorter than two years is void in this state.

(b) This section does not apply to a stipulation, contract, or agreement relating to the sale or purchase of a business entity if a party to the stipulation, contract, or agreement pays or receives or is obligated to pay or entitled to receive consideration under the stipulation, contract, or agreement having an aggregate value of not less than $500,000.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 840, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 16.071: Notice Requirements

(a) A contract stipulation that requires a claimant to give notice of a claim for damages as a condition precedent to the right to sue on the contract is not valid unless the stipulation is reasonable. A stipulation that requires notification within less than 90 days is void.

(b) If notice is required, the claimant may notify any convenient agent of the company that requires the notice.

(c) A contract stipulation between the operator of a railroad, street railway, or interurban railroad and an employee or servant of the operator is void if it requires as a condition precedent to liability:

(1) the employee or servant to notify the system of a claim for damages for personal injury caused by negligence; or

(2) the spouse, parent, or child of a deceased employee or servant to notify the system of a claim of death caused by negligence.

(d) This section applies to a contract between a federal prime contractor and a subcontractor, except that the notice period stipulated in the subcontract may be for a period not less than the period stipulated in the prime contract, minus seven days.

(e) In a suit covered by this section or Section 16.070, it is presumed that any required notice has been given unless lack of notice is specifically pleaded under oath.

(f) This section does not apply to a contract relating to the sale or purchase of a business entity if a party to the contract pays or receives or is obligated to pay or receive consideration under the contract having an aggregate value of not less than $500,000.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 840, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 16.072: Saturday, Sunday, Or Holiday

If the last day of a limitations period under any statute of limitations falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the period for filing suit is extended to include the next day that the county offices are open for business.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 17

Subchapter A

Sec. 17.001: Suit on Contract with Several Obligors Or Parties Conditionally Liable

(a) Except as provided by this section, the acceptor of a bill of exchange or a principal obligor on a contract may be sued alone or jointly with another liable party, but a judgment may not be rendered against a party not primarily liable unless judgment is also rendered against the principal obligor.

(b) The assignor, endorser, guarantor, or surety on a contract or the drawer of an accepted bill may be sued without suing the maker, acceptor, or other principal obligor, or a suit against the principal obligor may be discontinued, if the principal obligor:

(1) is a nonresident or resides in a place where he cannot be reached by the ordinary process of law;

(2) resides in a place that is unknown and cannot be ascertained by the use of reasonable diligence;

(3) is dead; or

(4) is actually or notoriously insolvent.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.002: Suit Against Estate for Land Title

In a suit against the estate of a decedent involving the title to real property, the executor or administrator, if any, and the heirs must be made parties defendant.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.003: Suit Against Nonresident Or Transient Property Owner

For the purpose of establishing title to property, settling a lien or encumbrance on property, or determining an estate, interest, lien, or encumbrance, a person who claims an interest in the property may sue another person who claims an adverse interest or a lien or encumbrance but resides outside this state, resides in an unknown place, or is a transient. The plaintiff is not required to have actual possession of the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.004: Suit Against Unknown Heirs Or Unknown Stockholders of Defunct Corporation

A person with a claim against property that has accrued to or been granted to the unknown heirs of a deceased individual or the unknown stockholders of a defunct corporation may sue the heirs or stockholders or their heirs or representatives. The action must describe the defendants as the heirs of the named deceased individual or the unknown stockholders of the named corporation.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.005: Suit Against Unknown Landowner

(a) A person may sue the unknown owner or claimant of an interest in land if:

(1) the person bringing suit claims ownership of an interest in the land or has a claim or cause of action related to the land against the unknown owner or claimant; and

(2) the unknown owner or claimant:

(A) takes or holds the beneficial interest under a conveyance, lease, or written contract that conveyed an interest in the land to a trustee without disclosing the name of the owner of the beneficial interest; or

(B) takes or holds the interest of a dissolved association, joint-stock company, partnership, or other organization under an instrument that did not disclose his name, and the organization had acquired the interest under a conveyance, lease, or written contract that conveyed the interest to the organization in its name without disclosing the names of the members, shareholders, partners, or other persons owning an interest in the organization.

(b) A person may not sue the unknown stockholders of a corporation under this section, but if the plaintiff did not know that the organization was incorporated and the corporate character of the organization was not disclosed in the instrument under which title was acquired, the court retains jurisdiction over the unknown owners even if the organization was in fact incorporated.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 17.021: Service on Certain Noncorporate Business Agents

(a) In an action against an individual, partnership, or unincorporated association that arises in a county in which the individual, partnership, or association has an office, place of business, or agency for transacting business in this state, citation or other civil process may be served on an agent or clerk employed in the office, place of business, or agency if:

(1) the action grows out of or is connected with the business transacted in this state; and

(2) the individual, partnership, or association:

(A) is not a resident of the county;

(B) is not a resident of this state; or

(C) is a resident of the county but has not been found for service of process.

(b) To serve process on an agent or clerk under Subsection (a)(2)(C), the officer making the return of unexecuted process must certify that after diligent search and inquiry the individual, partnership, or association cannot be found and served. The process in the suit may be served on the agent or clerk in any succeeding term of court.

(c) Service of process on an agent or clerk under this section has the effect of personal service on the principal individual, partnership, or unincorporated association and subjects the principal's nonexempt property to the jurisdiction and judgment of the court.

(d) If service is made under this section, a default judgment may not be rendered in the action before the 21st day after the date of service.

(e) Service of process under this section is in addition to other methods of service.

(f) This section does not affect venue.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.022: Service on Partnership

Citation served on one member of a partnership authorizes a judgment against the partnership and the partner actually served.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.023: Service on Joint-Stock Association

(a) In an action against a joint-stock association, citation may be served by:

(1) serving the president, vice-president, secretary, cashier, assistant cashier, or treasurer of the association;

(2) serving the local agent of the association in the county in which the suit is brought; or

(3) leaving a copy of the citation at the principal office of the association during office hours.

(b) If no officer on whom citation may be served resides in the county in which suit is brought and the association has no agent in that county, citation may be served on any agent representing the association in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 288, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.

Sec. 17.024: Service on Political Subdivision

(a) In a suit against a county, citation must be served on the county judge.

(b) In a suit against an incorporated city, town, or village, citation may be served on the mayor, clerk, secretary, or treasurer.

(c) In a suit against a school district, citation may be served on the president of the school board or on the superintendent.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.025: Assessment of Postage Cost for Mail Service

(a) If a public official is required or permitted by law to serve legal process by mail, including process in a suit for delinquent taxes, the official may:

(1) collect advance payment for the actual cost of the postage required to serve or deliver the process; or

(2) assess the expense of postage as costs.

(b) Charges under this section are in addition to other charges allowed by law for services performed by the official serving the process.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.026: Service on Secretary of State

(a) In an action in which citation may be served on the secretary of state, service may be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the clerk of the court in which the case is pending or by the party or the representative of the party.

(b) The method of service of citation provided by this section is in addition to any other method authorized by statute or the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure for service on the secretary of state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 954, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 17.027: Preparation and Service

(a) The plaintiff or his attorney may prepare the appropriate citation for the defendant.

(b) The citation must be in the form prescribed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) The citation shall be served in the manner prescribed by law.

(d) The plaintiff or his attorney shall comply with the applicable Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governing preparation and issuance of citation.

(e) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 976, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 663, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 976, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 17.028: Service on Financial Institutions

(a) In this section, "financial institution" has the meaning assigned by Section 201.101, Finance Code.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), citation may be served on a financial institution by:

(1) serving the registered agent of the financial institution; or

(2) if the financial institution does not have a registered agent, serving the president or a branch manager at any office located in this state.

(c) Citation may be served on a credit union by:

(1) serving the registered agent of the credit union; or

(2) if the credit union does not have a registered agent, serving the president or vice president.

(d) If citation has not been properly served as provided by this section, a financial institution may maintain an action to set aside the default judgment or any sanctions entered against the financial institution.

(e) A citation served on a credit union that is located in a place of worship may not be served during a worship service.

(f) Service on and delivery to a financial institution of claims against a customer of the financial institution are governed by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 2219), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 5 (S.B. 422), Sec. 1, eff. May 2, 2013.

Sec. 17.029: Service on Inmate of Texas Department of Criminal Justice

(a) In this section, "inmate" means a person confined in a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

(b) In a civil action against an inmate, citation or other civil process may be served on the inmate by serving a person designated under Subsection (c) as an agent for service of civil process.

(c) The warden of each facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shall designate an employee at the facility to serve as an agent for service of civil process on inmates confined in the facility.

(d) An employee designated under Subsection (c) as an agent for service of civil process shall promptly deliver any civil process served on the employee to the appropriate inmate.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 267 (H.B. 1381), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 17.030: Return of Service

(a) The supreme court shall adopt rules of civil procedure requiring a person who serves process to complete a return of service.

(b) The rules:

(1) must provide that the return of service:

(A) is not required to be endorsed or attached to the original process issued; and

(B) may be electronically filed; and

(2) may require that the following information be included in the return of service:

(A) the cause number and case name;

(B) the court in which the case has been filed;

(C) the date and time process was received for service;

(D) the person or entity served;

(E) the address served;

(F) the date of service;

(G) the manner of delivery of service;

(H) a description of process served;

(I) the name of the person serving process; and

(J) if the process server is certified as a process server by the supreme court, the process server's identification number.

(c) A person certified by the supreme court as a process server or a person authorized outside of Texas to serve process shall sign the return of service under penalty of perjury. The return of service is not required to be verified.

(d) A person who knowingly or intentionally falsifies a return of service may be prosecuted for tampering with a governmental record as provided by Chapter 37, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 245 (H.B. 962), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 17.031: Expedited Foreclosure Proceedings

For a power of sale exercised by the filing of an application for an expedited court order allowing the foreclosure of a contract lien under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 736, service of citation shall be completed in accordance with Rule 736 or 106, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or in any other manner provided for petitions under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1044 (H.B. 2978), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 17.032: Citation By Publication

(a) Notwithstanding any statute or rule requiring a person to publish citation or notice on the public information Internet website maintained as required by Section 72.034, Government Code, and in a newspaper of general circulation, the person may publish the citation or notice only on the public information Internet website if:

(1) the person files a statement of inability to afford payment of court costs under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(2) the total cost of the required publication exceeds the greater of $200 each week or the amount set by the supreme court under Subsection (b); or

(3) the county in which the publication of the citation or notice is required does not have any newspaper published, printed, or generally circulated in the county.

(b) The supreme court shall adjust for inflation the maximum amount of publication costs established in Subsection (a)(2).

Comments

Text of section effective on June 01, 2020

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 10.03, eff. June 1, 2020.

Sec. 17.033: Substituted Service Through Social Media Presence

(a) If substituted service of citation is authorized under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the court, in accordance with the rules adopted by the supreme court under Subsection (b), may prescribe as a method of service an electronic communication sent to the defendant through a social media presence.

(b) The supreme court shall adopt rules to provide for the substituted service of citation by an electronic communication sent to a defendant through a social media presence.

Comments

Text of section effective on June 01, 2020

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 10.04(a), eff. June 1, 2020.

Subchapter C

Sec. 17.041: Definition

In this subchapter, "nonresident" includes:

(1) an individual who is not a resident of this state; and

(2) a foreign corporation, joint-stock company, association, or partnership.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.042: Acts Constituting Business in This State

In addition to other acts that may constitute doing business, a nonresident does business in this state if the nonresident:

(1) contracts by mail or otherwise with a Texas resident and either party is to perform the contract in whole or in part in this state;

(2) commits a tort in whole or in part in this state; or

(3) recruits Texas residents, directly or through an intermediary located in this state, for employment inside or outside this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.043: Service on Person in Charge of Business

In an action arising from a nonresident's business in this state, process may be served on the person in charge, at the time of service, of any business in which the nonresident is engaged in this state if the nonresident is not required by statute to designate or maintain a resident agent for service of process.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.044: Substituted Service on Secretary of State

(a) The secretary of state is an agent for service of process or complaint on a nonresident who:

(1) is required by statute to designate or maintain a resident agent or engages in business in this state, but has not designated or maintained a resident agent for service of process;

(2) has one or more resident agents for service of process, but two unsuccessful attempts have been made on different business days to serve each agent; or

(3) is not required to designate an agent for service in this state, but becomes a nonresident after a cause of action arises in this state but before the cause is matured by suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) The secretary of state is an agent for service of process on a nonresident who engages in business in this state, but does not maintain a regular place of business in this state or a designated agent for service of process, in any proceeding that arises out of the business done in this state and to which the nonresident is a party.

(c) After the death of a nonresident for whom the secretary of state is an agent for service of process under this section, the secretary of state is an agent for service of process on a nonresident administrator, executor, or personal representative of the nonresident. If an administrator, executor, or personal representative for the estate of the deceased nonresident is not appointed, the secretary of state is an agent for service of process on an heir, as determined by the law of the foreign jurisdiction, of the deceased nonresident.

(d) If a nonresident for whom the secretary of state is an agent for service of process under this section is judged incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, the secretary of state is an agent for service of process on a guardian or personal representative of the nonresident.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 158, Sec. 1, eff. May 25, 1987.

Sec. 17.045: Notice to Nonresident

(a) If the secretary of state is served with duplicate copies of process for a nonresident, the documents shall contain a statement of the name and address of the nonresident's home or home office and the secretary of state shall immediately mail a copy of the process to the nonresident at the address provided.

(b) If the secretary of state is served with process under Section 17.044(a)(3), he shall immediately mail a copy of the process to the nonresident (if an individual), to the person in charge of the nonresident's business, or to a corporate officer (if the nonresident is a corporation).

(c) If the person in charge of a nonresident's business is served with process under Section 17.043, a copy of the process and notice of the service must be immediately mailed to the nonresident or the nonresident's principal place of business.

(d) The process or notice must be sent by registered mail or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(e) If the secretary of state is served with duplicate copies of process as an agent for a person who is a nonresident administrator, executor, heir, guardian, or personal representative of a nonresident, the secretary shall require a statement of the person's name and address and shall immediately mail a copy of the process to the person.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 158, Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 1987; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 275, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter D

Sec. 17.061: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Agent" includes a servant, employee, heir, legal representative, executor, administrator, or guardian.

(2) "Chairman" means the chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission.

(3) "Motor vehicle" includes a motorcycle.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 22(23), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 17.062: Substituted Service on Chairman of Texas Transportation Commission

(a) The chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission is an agent for service of process on a person who is a nonresident or an agent of a nonresident in any suit against the person or agent that grows out of a collision or accident in which the person or his agent is involved while operating a motor vehicle in this state.

(b) Process may be served on the chairman in accordance with this section for a nonresident who was a resident at the time the cause of action accrued but has subsequently moved from the state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 22(24), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 17.063: Method of Service; Notice to Nonresident

(a) A certified copy of the process must be served on the chairman not later than the 20th day prior to the date of return stated in the process.

(b) Immediately after being served, the chairman by properly addressed letter shall mail to the nonresident or agent:

(1) a copy of the process; and

(2) notice that the process has been served on the chairman.

(c) The notice and copy of the process must be sent to the nonresident or agent by registered mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, with the postage prepaid.

(d) After the chairman deposits the copy of the process in the mail, it is presumed that the process was transmitted by the chairman and received by the nonresident or agent. The presumption may be rebutted.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.064: Same Effect As Personal Service

Service on the chairman has the same effect as personal service on the nonresident.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.065: Failed Substituted Service

(a) If the notice of service on the chairman cannot be effected by registered or certified mail or if the nonresident or agent refuses to accept delivery of the notice, the plaintiff may have the defendant personally served with a certified copy of the process and a notice stating that the chairman has been served and the date on which he was served.

(b) The return of service under this section must:

(1) state when it was served;

(2) state on whom it was served; and

(3) be signed under penalty of perjury by the party making the service.

(c) The process and notice may be served by any disinterested person competent to make an oath that the process and notice were served.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 245 (H.B. 962), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 17.066: Return

An officer who serves process on the chairman under this subchapter shall state on his return the day and hour of service and any other facts required generally for returns of service of citation.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.067: Default Judgment

If process is served on the chairman under this subchapter, a court may not grant default judgment against the defendant before the 21st day after the day on which the chairman was served.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.068: Continuance Or Postponement

A court may continue or postpone an action in which process is served under this subchapter as necessary to afford the defendant reasonable opportunity to defend.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.069: Chairman's Certificate

(a) On request of any party and payment of a $25 fee, the chairman shall certify the occurrence or performance of any duty, act, omission, transaction, or happening contemplated or required by this subchapter, including the wording of any registered letter received.

(b) The chairman may make the certification to the court that issued the process or to another court in which an action is pending against the nonresident or agent.

(c) The chairman's certificate and the certified wording of a registered letter are prima facie evidence of the statements contained in the certificate or letter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter E

Sec. 17.091: Substituted Service in Delinquent Tax Cases

(a) In a suit to collect delinquent property taxes by the state or a political subdivision of the state in which a defendant in the suit is a nonresident, the secretary of state is an agent for service of process on that defendant if the defendant owns, has, or claims an interest in or a lien against property in this state that is the subject of the suit. This section applies regardless of whether the defendant has resided in this state.

(b) Duplicate copies of the process issued by the clerk of the court in which the suit is pending must be served on the secretary of state not later than the 20th day before the date of return stated in the process. The process must include the name and address of the nonresident's home or home office. The address may be a post office box.

(c) Immediately after being served, the secretary of state shall mail a copy of the process to the nonresident at the address provided under Subsection (b) by certified mail, return receipt requested, with the postage prepaid. The secretary of state shall certify to the court that issued the process that the secretary of state has complied with this section.

(d) Service under this section is in addition to procedures provided by Rule 117a of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and has the same effect as personal service.

(e) Service of process on the secretary of state under this section must be accompanied by the fee provided by Section 405.031(a), Government Code, for the maintenance by the secretary of state of a record of the service of process.

(f) In this section, "nonresident" includes:

(1) an individual who is not a resident of this state; and

(2) a foreign corporation, foreign unincorporated association, foreign general partnership, foreign limited partnership, foreign limited liability company, foreign professional association, foreign business trust, foreign cooperative, or foreign real estate investment trust that is not required to appoint a registered agent for service of process in this state under the provisions of the Business Organizations Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 384, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 579, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 948, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1430, Sec. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1126 (H.B. 2491), Sec. 28, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 182 (H.B. 1804), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 7 (S.B. 582), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 17.092: Service on Nonresident Utility Supplier

A nonresident individual or partnership that supplies gas, water, electricity, or other public utility service to a city, town, or village in this state may be served citation by serving the local agent, representative, superintendent, or person in charge of the nonresident's business.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 17.093: Service on Foreign Railway

In addition to other methods of service provided by law, process may be served on a foreign railway by serving:

(1) a train conductor who:

(A) handles trains for two or more railway corporations, at least one of which is the foreign corporation and at least one of which is a domestic corporation; and

(B) handles trains for the railway corporations over tracks that cross the state's boundary and on tracks of a domestic corporation within this state; or

(2) an agent who:

(A) has an office in this state; and

(B) sells tickets or makes contracts for the transportation of passengers or property over all or part of the line of the foreign railway.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 18

Subchapter A

Sec. 18.001: Affidavit Concerning Cost and Necessity of Services

(a) This section applies to civil actions only, but not to an action on a sworn account.

(b) Unless a controverting affidavit is served as provided by this section, an affidavit that the amount a person charged for a service was reasonable at the time and place that the service was provided and that the service was necessary is sufficient evidence to support a finding of fact by judge or jury that the amount charged was reasonable or that the service was necessary. The affidavit is not evidence of and does not support a finding of the causation element of the cause of action that is the basis for the civil action.

(c) The affidavit must:

(1) be taken before an officer with authority to administer oaths;

(2) be made by:

(A) the person who provided the service; or

(B) the person in charge of records showing the service provided and charge made; and

(3) include an itemized statement of the service and charge.

(d) The party offering the affidavit in evidence or the party's attorney must serve a copy of the affidavit on each other party to the case by the earlier of:

(1) 90 days after the date the defendant files an answer;

(2) the date the offering party must designate any expert witness under a court order; or

(3) the date the offering party must designate any expert witness as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (d), if services are provided for the first time by a provider after the date the defendant files an answer, the party offering the affidavit in evidence or the party's attorney must serve a copy of the affidavit for services provided by that provider on each other party to the case by the earlier of:

(1) the date the offering party must designate any expert witness under a court order; or

(2) the date the offering party must designate any expert witness as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d-2) The party offering the affidavit in evidence or the party's attorney must file notice with the clerk of the court when serving the affidavit that the party or the attorney served a copy of the affidavit in accordance with this section. Except as provided by the Texas Rules of Evidence, the affidavit is not required to be filed with the clerk of the court before the trial commences.

(e) A party intending to controvert a claim reflected by the affidavit must serve a copy of the counteraffidavit on each other party or the party's attorney of record by the earlier of:

(1) 120 days after the date the defendant files its answer;

(2) the date the party offering the counteraffidavit must designate expert witnesses under a court order; or

(3) the date the party offering the counteraffidavit must designate any expert witness as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (e), if the party offering the affidavit in evidence serves a copy of the affidavit under Subsection (d-1), the party offering the counteraffidavit in evidence or the party's attorney must serve a copy of the counteraffidavit on each other party to the case by the later of:

(1) 30 days after service of the affidavit on the party offering the counteraffidavit in evidence;

(2) the date the party offering the counteraffidavit must designate any expert witness under a court order; or

(3) the date the party offering the counteraffidavit in evidence must designate any expert witness as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(f) The counteraffidavit must give reasonable notice of the basis on which the party serving it intends at trial to controvert the claim reflected by the initial affidavit and must be taken before a person authorized to administer oaths. The counteraffidavit must be made by a person who is qualified, by knowledge, skill, experience, training, education, or other expertise, to testify in contravention of all or part of any of the matters contained in the initial affidavit. The counteraffidavit may not be used to controvert the causation element of the cause of action that is the basis for the civil action.

(g) The party offering the counteraffidavit in evidence or the party's attorney must file written notice with the clerk of the court when serving the counteraffidavit that the party or attorney served a copy of the counteraffidavit in accordance with this section.

(h) If continuing services are provided after a relevant deadline under this section:

(1) a party may supplement an affidavit served by the party under Subsection (d) or (d-1) on or before the 60th day before the date the trial commences; and

(2) a party that served a counteraffidavit under Subsection (e) or (e-1) may supplement the counteraffidavit on or before the 30th day before the date the trial commences.

(i) Notwithstanding Subsections (d), (d-1), (d-2), (e), (e-1), (g), and (h), a deadline under this section may be altered by all parties to an action by agreement or with leave of the court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.04(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (S.B. 763), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 560 (S.B. 679), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 779 (H.B. 1693), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 18.002: Form of Affidavit

(a) An affidavit concerning cost and necessity of services by the person who provided the service is sufficient if it follows the following form:

No. ___________________

John Doe ) IN THE _______
(Name of Plaintiff) ) COURT IN AND FOR
v. ) _________ COUNTY,
John Roe ) TEXAS
(Name of Defendant) )

AFFIDAVIT

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared __________(NAME OF AFFIANT)__________, who, being by me duly sworn, deposed as follows:

My name is __________(NAME OF AFFIANT)__________. I am of sound mind and capable of making this affidavit.

On __________(DATE)__________, I provided a service to __________(NAME OF PERSON WHO RECEIVED SERVICE)__________. An itemized statement of the service and the charge for the service is attached to this affidavit and is a part of this affidavit.

The service I provided was necessary and the amount that I charged for the service was reasonable at the time and place that the service was provided.

________________________________

Affiant

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me on the __________ day of __________, 19___.

My commission expires:

______________________

________________________________

Notary Public, State of Texas

Notary's printed name:

________________________________

(b) An affidavit concerning cost and necessity of services by the person who is in charge of records showing the service provided and the charge made is sufficient if it follows the following form:

No. ___________________

John Doe ) IN THE _______
(Name of Plaintiff) ) COURT IN AND FOR
v. ) _________ COUNTY,
John Roe ) TEXAS
(Name of Defendant) )

AFFIDAVIT

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared ______(NAME OF AFFIANT)______, who, being by me duly sworn, deposed as follows:

My name is __________(NAME OF AFFIANT)__________. I am of sound mind and capable of making this affidavit.

I am the person in charge of records of __________(PERSON WHO PROVIDED THE SERVICE)__________. Attached to this affidavit are records that provide an itemized statement of the service and the charge for the service that __________(PERSON WHO PROVIDED THE SERVICE)__________ provided to __________ (PERSON WHO RECEIVED THE SERVICE)__________ on __________(DATE)__________. The attached records are a part of this affidavit.

The attached records are kept by me in the regular course of business. The information contained in the records was transmitted to me in the regular course of business by __________(PERSON WHO PROVIDED THE SERVICE)__________ or an employee or representative of __________(PERSON WHO PROVIDED THE SERVICE)__________ who had personal knowledge of the information. The records were made at or near the time or reasonably soon after the time that the service was provided. The records are the original or an exact duplicate of the original.

The service provided was necessary and the amount charged for the service was reasonable at the time and place that the service was provided.

________________________________

Affiant

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me on the __________ day of __________, 19___.

My commission expires:

______________________

________________________________

Notary Public, State of Texas

Notary's printed name:

________________________________

(b-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), an affidavit concerning proof of medical expenses is sufficient if it substantially complies with the following form:

Affidavit of Records Custodian of

____________________________________________

STATE OF TEXAS §

§

COUNTY OF _____________________§

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared __________, who, being by me duly sworn, deposed as follows:

My name is ___________________________________. I am of sound mind and capable of making this affidavit, and personally acquainted with the facts herein stated.

I am a custodian of records for __________. Attached to this affidavit are records that provide an itemized statement of the service and the charge for the service that __________ provided to __________ on _____. The attached records are a part of this affidavit.

The attached records are kept by __________ in the regular course of business, and it was the regular course of business of __________ for an employee or representative of __________, with knowledge of the service provided, to make the record or to transmit information to be included in the record. The records were made in the regular course of business at or near the time or reasonably soon after the time the service was provided. The records are the original or a duplicate of the original.

The services provided were necessary and the amount charged for the services was reasonable at the time and place that the services were provided.

The total amount paid for the services was $_____ and the amount currently unpaid but which __________ has a right to be paid after any adjustments or credits is $_____.

________________________________

Affiant

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me on the __________ day of _____, _____.

________________________________

Notary Public, State of Texas

Notary's printed name:___________

My commission expires:___________

(b-2) If a medical bill or other itemized statement attached to an affidavit under Subsection (b-1) reflects a charge that is not recoverable, the reference to that charge is not admissible.

(c) The form of an affidavit provided by this section is not exclusive and an affidavit that substantially complies with Section 18.001 is sufficient.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 560 (S.B. 679), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Subchapter B

Sec. 18.031: Foreign Interest Rate

Unless the interest rate of another state or country is alleged and proved, the rate is presumed to be the same as that established by law in this state and interest at that rate may be recovered without allegation or proof.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 18.032: Traffic Control Device Presumed to Be Lawful

(a) In a civil case, proof of the existence of a traffic control device on or alongside a public thoroughfare by a party is prima facie proof of all facts necessary to prove the proper and lawful installation of the device at that place, including proof of competent authority and an ordinance by a municipality or order by the commissioners court of a county.

(b) Proof of the existence of a one-way street sign is prima facie proof that the public thoroughfare on or alongside which the sign is placed was designated by proper and competent authority to be a one-way thoroughfare allowing traffic to go only in the direction indicated by the sign.

(c) In this section, "traffic control device" includes a control light, stop sign, and one-way street sign.

(d) Any party may rebut the prima facie proof established under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 18.033: State Land Records

(a) In a dispute between the State of Texas and an upland owner of property fronting on the Gulf of Mexico and the arms of the Gulf of Mexico within the boundaries of the State of Texas, the maps, surveys, and property descriptions filed in the General Land Office in connection with any conveyance by the state or any predecessor government by patent, deed, lease, or other authorized forms of grant shall be presumed to accurately depict the boundary between adjacent upland owners and the state-owned submerged lands.

(b) This presumption applies only to those surveys conducted by a surveyor duly appointed, elected, or licensed, and qualified.

(c) This presumption may be overcome only on a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the boundary as described and depicted in the archives of the General Land Office is erroneous.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2003.

Subchapter C

Sec. 18.061: Communications of Sympathy

(a) A court in a civil action may not admit a communication that:

(1) expresses sympathy or a general sense of benevolence relating to the pain, suffering, or death of an individual involved in an accident;

(2) is made to the individual or a person related to the individual within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Subchapter B, Chapter 573, Government Code; and

(3) is offered to prove liability of the communicator in relation to the individual.

(b) In this section, "communication" means:

(1) a statement;

(2) a writing; or

(3) a gesture that conveys a sense of compassion or commiseration emanating from humane impulses.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections (a) and (b), a communication, including an excited utterance as defined by Rule 803(2) of the Texas Rules of Evidence, which also includes a statement or statements concerning negligence or culpable conduct pertaining to an accident or event, is admissible to prove liability of the communicator.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 673, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 18.062: Certain Information Relating to Identity Theft

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a business record is not admissible in a civil action if the business record is provided to law enforcement personnel in connection with an investigation of an alleged violation of Section 32.51, Penal Code (fraudulent use or possession of identifying information).

(b) A business record described by Subsection (a) is admissible if the party offering the record has obtained the record from a source other than law enforcement personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1059 (H.B. 1379), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Subchapter D

Sec. 18.091: Proof of Certain Losses; Jury Instruction

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, if any claimant seeks recovery for loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of contributions of a pecuniary value, or loss of inheritance, evidence to prove the loss must be presented in the form of a net loss after reduction for income tax payments or unpaid tax liability pursuant to any federal income tax law.

(b) If any claimant seeks recovery for loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of contributions of a pecuniary value, or loss of inheritance, the court shall instruct the jury as to whether any recovery for compensatory damages sought by the claimant is subject to federal or state income taxes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.09, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 19

Sec. 19.001: Application of Chapter

This chapter applies to:

(1) a deed, bond, bill of sale, mortgage, deed of trust, power of attorney, or conveyance that is required or permitted by law to be acknowledged or recorded and that has been acknowledged or recorded; or

(2) a judgment, order, or decree of a court of record of this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.002: Parol Proof

A person may supply a lost, destroyed, or removed record by parol proof of the record's contents as provided by this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.003: Application for Relief

(a) To supply a record that has been lost, destroyed, or removed:

(1) a person interested in an instrument or in a judgment, order, or decree of the district court may file an application with the district clerk of the county in which the record was lost or destroyed or from which the record was removed; or

(2) a person interested in a judgment, order, or decree of a county court may file an application with the clerk of the court to which the record belonged.

(b) The application must be in writing and must set forth the facts that entitle the applicant to relief.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.004: Citation

(a) If an application is filed to supply a record, the clerk shall issue a citation to the following, as applicable, or to the person's heirs or legal representatives:

(1) each grantor of property, in the case of a record of a deed;

(2) an interested party, in the case of an instrument other than a deed; or

(3) a party adversely interested to the applicant at the time of the rendition, in the case of a judgment, order, or decree.

(b) The citation must direct the person to whom it is issued to appear at a designated term of the court to contest the applicant's right to record a substitute.

(c) Process must be served in the manner provided by law for civil cases.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.005: Order

(a) On hearing an application to supply a record, if the court is satisfied from the evidence of the previous existence and content of the record and of its loss, destruction, or removal, the court shall enter on its minutes an order containing its findings and a description of the record and its contents.

(b) A certified copy of the order may be recorded in the proper county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.006: Effect of Order

The order supplying the record:

(1) stands in the place of the original record;

(2) has the same effect as the original record;

(3) if recorded, may be used as evidence in a court of the state as though it were the original record; and

(4) carries the same rights as the original record, including:

(A) preserving liens from the date of the original record; and

(B) giving parties the right to issue execution under the order as under the original record.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.007: Method Not Exclusive

The method provided by this chapter for supplying a record is in addition to other methods provided by law.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.008: Rerecordation of Original Document

Rerecordation of the original document within four years after the date a record of an instrument, judgment, order, or decree was lost, destroyed, or removed is effective from the time of the original recordation.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 19.009: Certified Copy

If the loss, destruction, or removal of an original county record is established, a certified copy of the record from the records of that county or from the records of the county from which that county was created may be recorded in the county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 20

Sec. 20.001: Persons Who May Take a Deposition

(a) A deposition on written questions of a witness who is alleged to reside or to be in this state may be taken by:

(1) a clerk of a district court;

(2) a judge or clerk of a county court; or

(3) a notary public of this state.

(b) A deposition of a witness who is alleged to reside or to be outside this state, but inside the United States, may be taken in another state by:

(1) a clerk of a court of record having a seal;

(2) a commissioner of deeds appointed under the laws of this state; or

(3) any notary public.

(c) A deposition of a witness who is alleged to reside or to be outside the United States may be taken by:

(1) a minister, commissioner, or charge d'affaires of the United States who is a resident of and is accredited in the country where the deposition is taken;

(2) a consul general, consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, vice-commercial agent, deputy consul, or consular agent of the United States who is a resident of the country where the deposition is taken; or

(3) any notary public.

(d) A deposition of a witness who is alleged to be a member of the United States Armed Forces or of a United States Armed Forces Auxiliary or who is alleged to be a civilian employed by or accompanying the armed forces or an auxiliary outside the United States may be taken by a commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces or United States Armed Forces Auxiliary or by a commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces Reserve or an auxiliary of it. If a deposition appears on its face to have been taken as provided by this subsection and the deposition or any part of it is offered in evidence, it is presumed, absent pleading and proof to the contrary, that the person taking the deposition as a commissioned officer was a commissioned officer on the date that the deposition was taken, and that the deponent was a member of the authorized group of military personnel or civilians.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 20.002: Testimony Required By Foreign Jurisdiction

If a court of record in any other state or foreign jurisdiction issues a mandate, writ, or commission that requires a witness's testimony in this state, either to written questions or by oral deposition, the witness may be compelled to appear and testify in the same manner and by the same process used for taking testimony in a proceeding pending in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 21

Subchapter A

Sec. 21.001: Definition

In this subchapter, "deaf person" means an individual who has a hearing impairment, regardless of whether the person also has a speech impairment, that inhibits the person's comprehension of proceedings or communication with others.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.002: Interpreters for Deaf Persons

(a) In a civil case or in a deposition, a deaf person who is a party or witness is entitled to have the proceedings interpreted by a court-appointed interpreter. A deaf person who is a juror in any case is entitled to have the proceedings interpreted by a court-appointed interpreter.

(b) The proceedings must be interpreted in a language, including sign language, that the deaf person can understand.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 550, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 21.003: Qualifications

The interpreter must hold a current legal certificate issued by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or a current court interpreter certificate issued by the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters in the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 434, Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 1987.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 614 (H.B. 2200), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2006.

Sec. 21.004: Interpreter's Position in Court

If a court is required to appoint an interpreter under this subchapter, the court may not start proceedings until the appointed interpreter is in court in a position not more than 10 feet from and in full view of the deaf person.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.005: Oath

(a) The interpreter shall take an oath that the interpreter will:

(1) make a true interpretation to the deaf person of all the case proceedings in a language that the deaf person understands; and

(2) repeat the deaf person's answers to questions to counsel, court, or jury in the English language, using the interpreter's best skill and judgment.

(b) An interpreter appointed for a juror shall also take an oath that the interpreter will not:

(1) participate in any manner in the deliberations of the jury;

(2) communicate with any member of the jury regarding the deliberation of the jury except a literal translation of a juror's remarks made during deliberations; or

(3) disclose any of the deliberations with any person following a verdict.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 550, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 21.006: Fees and Travel Expenses

(a) The interpreter shall be paid a reasonable fee determined by the court after considering the recommended fees of the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

(b) If the interpreter is required to travel, the interpreter's actual expenses of travel, lodging, and meals relating to the case shall be paid at the same rate provided for state employees.

(c) The interpreter's fee and expenses shall be paid from the general fund of the county in which the case was brought.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 353, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 21.007: Recording of Testimony

(a) On the court's motion or a party's motion, the court may order a video recording of a deaf witness's testimony and the interpreter's interpretation of that testimony to use in verifying the transcription of the reporter's notes.

(b) If a party requests, the clerk of the court shall include the recording in the appellate record.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.008: Privilege of Interpreter for the Deaf

If a deaf person communicates through an interpreter to a person under circumstances in which the communication would be privileged and the deaf person could not be required to testify about the communication, the privilege applies to the interpreter as well.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.009: Jury Deliberations; Verdict

(a) The interpreter appointed for a juror may be present and assist the juror during the jury deliberation.

(b) The presence of the interpreter during jury deliberations does not affect the validity of a verdict.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 550, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Subchapter B

Sec. 21.021: Application

This subchapter applies to a county that:

(1) is part of two or more judicial districts, that has two or more district courts with regular terms, and that is part of a district in which a county borders on the international boundary of the United States and the Republic of Mexico;

(2) borders on the international boundary of the United States and the Republic of Mexico and that is in a judicial district composed of four counties;

(3) borders on the international boundary of the United States and the Republic of Mexico and that has three or more district courts or judicial districts wholly within the county; or

(4) borders on the Gulf of Mexico and that has four or more district courts or judicial districts of which two or more courts or districts are wholly within the county.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.022: Appointment

(a) On the request of a district judge who has made a determination of need, the commissioners court of the county shall appoint court interpreters on a full-time or part-time basis as necessary to carry out court functions.

(b) The commissioners court shall appoint the court interpreter designated by the district judge requesting the appointment.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.023: Interpreter's Qualifications

The court interpreter must be well versed in and competent to speak the Spanish and English languages.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 21.031: Appointment; Termination of Employment; Duties

(a) The judge of a county court at law may appoint an official interpreter for that court and may terminate that interpreter's employment at any time.

(b) The commissioners court shall prescribe the duties of the official interpreter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 21.032: Oath

The official interpreter appointed under this subchapter must take the constitutional oath of office and an oath that the interpreter will faithfully interpret all testimony given in court. An oath covers the interpreter's service in all court cases during the interpreter's term of office.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 21.051: Interpreter Fee

The clerk of the court shall collect an interpreter fee of $3 as a court cost in each civil case in which an interpreter is used. The clerk shall collect the fee in the manner provided for other court costs and shall deposit the fee to the credit of the general fund of the county.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.05(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Chapter 22

Subchapter A

Sec. 22.001: Witness Fees

(a) Except as provided by Section 22.002, a witness is entitled to 10 dollars for each day the witness attends court. This fee includes the entitlement for travel and the witness is not entitled to any reimbursement for mileage traveled.

(b) The party who summons the witness shall pay that witness's fee for one day, as provided by this section, at the time the subpoena is served on the witness.

(c) The witness fee must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 103, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 449, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 22.002: Distance for Subpoenas

A witness who is represented to reside 150 miles or less from a county in which a suit is pending or who may be found within that distance at the time of trial on the suit may be subpoenaed in the suit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 103, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 22.003: Fees for Witnesses Summoned By a State Agency

(a) In this section:

(1) "Commercial lodging establishment" means a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, or similar entity that offers lodging to the public in exchange for compensation.

(2) "Commercial transportation company" means an entity that offers transportation of people or goods to the public in exchange for compensation.

(b) A witness summoned by a state agency is entitled to receive from the agency:

(1) one dollar for each day the witness attends court;

(2) mileage at the rate provided by law for state employees if the witness uses the witness's personally owned or leased motor vehicle to attend court;

(3) reimbursement of the witness's transportation expenses if the witness does not use the witness's personally owned or leased motor vehicle to attend court; and

(4) reimbursement of the witness's meal and lodging expenses while attending court if the court is at least 25 miles from the witness's place of residence.

(c) A state agency may directly pay a commercial transportation company for the transportation expenses and a commercial lodging establishment for the lodging expenses of a witness if this section otherwise requires the agency to reimburse the witness for those expenses.

(d) A state agency may not pay a commercial transportation company or a commercial lodging establishment or reimburse a witness for transportation, meal, or lodging expenses under this section at a rate that exceeds the maximum rates provided by law for state employees.

(e) After receiving the witness's affidavit, the court clerk shall issue a certificate showing the fees incurred under this section.

(f) The witness fees must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 449, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 22.002 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(2), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 22.004: Fee for Production Or Certification of Documents

(a) A custodian of a record who receives a request for production or certification of a record under a subpoena, a request for production, or other instrument issued under the authority of a tribunal that compels production or certification of a record is entitled to $1 for production or certification of the record. If more than one record is produced or certified, the custodian of the records is entitled to only one fee under this section.

(b) A custodian of a record who produces or certifies a record under Subsection (a), but who is not required to appear in court, is not entitled to a witness fee under Section 22.001.

(c) The party who requests production or certification of a record shall pay the fee required for the record, as provided by this section, at the time the subpoena, request, or other instrument is served.

(d) The fee required by this section must be taxed in the bill of costs as other costs.

(e) The fee required by this section is in addition to any other fee imposed by law for the production or certification of a record.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 452, Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 1995.

Subchapter B

Sec. 22.011: Privilege from Arrest

(a) A witness is privileged from arrest while attending, going to, and returning from court.

(b) The privilege provided by this section extends for a period computed by allowing one day of travel for each 150 miles of the distance from the courthouse to the witness's residence.

(c) This section does not apply to an arrest for a felony, treason, or breach of the peace.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 103, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Subchapter C

Sec. 22.021: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Communication service provider" means a person or the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a person who transmits information chosen by a customer by electronic means, including:

(A) a telecommunications carrier, as defined by Section 3, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 153);

(B) a provider of information service, as defined by Section 3, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 153);

(C) a provider of interactive computer service, as defined by Section 230, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 230); and

(D) an information content provider, as defined by Section 230, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 230).

(2) "Journalist" means a person, including a parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a person, who for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information that is disseminated by a news medium or communication service provider and includes:

(A) a person who supervises or assists in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information; or

(B) notwithstanding the foregoing, a person who is or was a journalist, scholar, or researcher employed by an institution of higher education at the time the person obtained or prepared the requested information, or a person who at the time the person obtained or prepared the requested information:

(i) is earning a significant portion of the person's livelihood by obtaining or preparing information for dissemination by a news medium or communication service provider; or

(ii) was serving as an agent, assistant, employee, or supervisor of a news medium or communication service provider.

(3) "News medium" means a newspaper, magazine or periodical, book publisher, news agency, wire service, radio or television station or network, cable, satellite, or other transmission system or carrier or channel, or a channel or programming service for a station, network, system, or carrier, or an audio or audiovisual production company or Internet company or provider, or the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of that entity, that disseminates news or information to the public by any means, including:

(A) print;

(B) television;

(C) radio;

(D) photographic;

(E) mechanical;

(F) electronic; and

(G) other means, known or unknown, that are accessible to the public.

(4) "Official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, legislative, or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant, including a proceeding under Rule 202, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(5) "Public servant" means a person elected, selected, appointed, employed, or otherwise designated as one of the following, even if the person has not yet qualified for office or assumed the person's duties:

(A) an officer, employee, or agent of government;

(B) a juror;

(C) an arbitrator, referee, or other person who is authorized by law or private written agreement to hear or determine a cause or controversy;

(D) an attorney or notary public when participating in the performance of a governmental function; or

(E) a person who is performing a governmental function under a claim of right, although the person is not legally qualified to do so.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.022: Purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to increase the free flow of information and preserve a free and active press and, at the same time, protect the right of the public to effective law enforcement and the fair administration of justice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.023: Privilege

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, a judicial, legislative, administrative, or other body with the authority to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process may not compel a journalist to testify regarding or to produce or disclose in an official proceeding:

(1) any confidential or nonconfidential information, document, or item obtained or prepared while acting as a journalist; or

(2) the source of any information, document, or item described by Subdivision (1).

(b) A subpoena or other compulsory process may not compel the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a communication service provider or news medium to disclose the information, documents, or items or the source of any information, documents, or items that are privileged from disclosure under Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.024: Limited Disclosure Generally

After notice and an opportunity to be heard, a court may compel a journalist, a journalist's employer, or a person with an independent contract with a journalist to testify regarding or to produce or disclose any information, document, or item or the source of any information, document, or item obtained while acting as a journalist, if the person seeking the information, document, or item or the source of any information, document, or item makes a clear and specific showing that:

(1) all reasonable efforts have been exhausted to obtain the information from alternative sources;

(2) the subpoena is not overbroad, unreasonable, or oppressive and, when appropriate, will be limited to the verification of published information and the surrounding circumstances relating to the accuracy of the published information;

(3) reasonable and timely notice was given of the demand for the information, document, or item;

(4) in this instance, the interest of the party subpoenaing the information outweighs the public interest in gathering and dissemination of news, including the concerns of the journalist;

(5) the subpoena or compulsory process is not being used to obtain peripheral, nonessential, or speculative information; and

(6) the information, document, or item is relevant and material to the proper administration of the official proceeding for which the testimony, production, or disclosure is sought and is essential to the maintenance of a claim or defense of the person seeking the testimony, production, or disclosure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.025: Notice

An order to compel testimony, production, or disclosure to which a journalist has asserted a privilege under this subchapter may be issued only after timely notice to the journalist, the journalist's employer, or a person who has an independent contract with the journalist and a hearing. The order must include clear and specific findings as to the showing made by the person seeking the testimony, production, or disclosure and the clear and specific evidence on which the court relied in issuing the court's order.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.026: Publication of Privileged Information

Publication or dissemination by a news medium or communication service provider of information, documents, or items privileged under this subchapter is not a waiver of the journalist's privilege.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Sec. 22.027: News Media Recordings

Extrinsic evidence of the authenticity of evidence as a condition precedent to the admissibility of the evidence in a civil proceeding is not required with respect to a recording that purports to be a broadcast by a radio or television station that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission at the time of the recording. The court may take judicial notice of the recording license as provided by Rule 201, Texas Rules of Evidence.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 29 (H.B. 670), Sec. 1, eff. May 13, 2009.

Chapter 23

Sec. 23.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Religious organization" means an organization that meets the standards for qualification as a religious organization under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

(2) "Religious holy day" means a day on which the tenets of a religious organization prohibit its members from participating in secular activities, such as court proceedings.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 589, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 825, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 23.002: Recess

(a) If a juror in a civil action is required to appear at a court proceeding on a religious holy day observed by the juror, the court or the court's designee shall recess the civil action until the next day the court is in session after the conclusion of the holy day.

(b) A juror seeking a recess must file with the court before the final selection of the jury an affidavit stating:

(1) the grounds for the recess; and

(2) that the juror holds religious beliefs that prohibit him from taking part in a court proceeding on the day for which the recess is sought.

(c) An affidavit filed under Subsection (b) is proof of the facts stated and need not be corroborated.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 589, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 825, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Chapter 24

Sec. 24.001: Recording Prohibited

A person may not use any device to produce or make an audio, visual, or audio-visual broadcast, recording, or photograph of a jury while the jury is deliberating.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 26

Subchapter A

Sec. 26.001: Adoption of Rules By Supreme Court

(a) The supreme court shall adopt rules to provide for the fair and efficient resolution of class actions.

(b) The supreme court shall adopt rules under this chapter on or before December 31, 2003.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 26.002: Mandatory Guidelines

Rules adopted under Section 26.001 must comply with the mandatory guidelines established by this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 26.003: Attorney's Fees

(a) If an award of attorney's fees is available under applicable substantive law, the rules adopted under this chapter must provide that the trial court shall use the Lodestar method to calculate the amount of attorney's fees to be awarded class counsel. The rules may give the trial court discretion to increase or decrease the fee award calculated by using the Lodestar method by no more than four times based on specified factors.

(b) Rules adopted under this chapter must provide that in a class action, if any portion of the benefits recovered for the class are in the form of coupons or other noncash common benefits, the attorney's fees awarded in the action must be in cash and noncash amounts in the same proportion as the recovery for the class.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter B

Sec. 26.051: State Agency with Exclusive Or Primary Jurisdiction

(a) Before hearing or deciding a motion to certify a class action, a trial court must hear and rule on all pending pleas to the jurisdiction asserting that an agency of this state has exclusive or primary jurisdiction of the action or a part of the action, or asserting that a party has failed to exhaust administrative remedies. The court's ruling must be reflected in a written order.

(b) If a plea to the jurisdiction described by Subsection (a) is denied and a class is subsequently certified, a person may, as part of an appeal of the order certifying the class action, obtain appellate review of the order denying the plea to the jurisdiction.

(c) This section does not alter or abrogate a person's right to appeal or pursue an original proceeding in an appellate court in regard to a trial court's order granting or denying a plea to the jurisdiction if the right exists under statutory or common law in effect at the time review is sought.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 27

Sec. 27.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Communication" includes the making or submitting of a statement or document in any form or medium, including oral, visual, written, audiovisual, or electronic.

(2) "Exercise of the right of association" means to join together to collectively express, promote, pursue, or defend common interests relating to a governmental proceeding or a matter of public concern.

(3) "Exercise of the right of free speech" means a communication made in connection with a matter of public concern.

(4) "Exercise of the right to petition" means any of the following:

(A) a communication in or pertaining to:

(i) a judicial proceeding;

(ii) an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to administer the law;

(iii) an executive or other proceeding before a department of the state or federal government or a subdivision of the state or federal government;

(iv) a legislative proceeding, including a proceeding of a legislative committee;

(v) a proceeding before an entity that requires by rule that public notice be given before proceedings of that entity;

(vi) a proceeding in or before a managing board of an educational or eleemosynary institution supported directly or indirectly from public revenue;

(vii) a proceeding of the governing body of any political subdivision of this state;

(viii) a report of or debate and statements made in a proceeding described by Subparagraph (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii); or

(ix) a public meeting dealing with a public purpose, including statements and discussions at the meeting or other matters of public concern occurring at the meeting;

(B) a communication in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(C) a communication that is reasonably likely to encourage consideration or review of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(D) a communication reasonably likely to enlist public participation in an effort to effect consideration of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding; and

(E) any other communication that falls within the protection of the right to petition government under the Constitution of the United States or the constitution of this state.

(5) "Governmental proceeding" means a proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, by an officer, official, or body of this state or a political subdivision of this state, including a board or commission, or by an officer, official, or body of the federal government.

(6) "Legal action" means a lawsuit, cause of action, petition, complaint, cross-claim, or counterclaim or any other judicial pleading or filing that requests legal, declaratory, or equitable relief. The term does not include:

(A) a procedural action taken or motion made in an action that does not amend or add a claim for legal, equitable, or declaratory relief;

(B) alternative dispute resolution proceedings; or

(C) post-judgment enforcement actions.

(7) "Matter of public concern" means a statement or activity regarding:

(A) a public official, public figure, or other person who has drawn substantial public attention due to the person's official acts, fame, notoriety, or celebrity;

(B) a matter of political, social, or other interest to the community; or

(C) a subject of concern to the public.

(8) "Official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, legislative, or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant.

(9) "Public servant" means a person elected, selected, appointed, employed, or otherwise designated as one of the following, even if the person has not yet qualified for office or assumed the person's duties:

(A) an officer, employee, or agent of government;

(B) a juror;

(C) an arbitrator, referee, or other person who is authorized by law or private written agreement to hear or determine a cause or controversy;

(D) an attorney or notary public when participating in the performance of a governmental function; or

(E) a person who is performing a governmental function under a claim of right but is not legally qualified to do so.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.002: Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to encourage and safeguard the constitutional rights of persons to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in government to the maximum extent permitted by law and, at the same time, protect the rights of a person to file meritorious lawsuits for demonstrable injury.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 27.003: Motion to Dismiss

(a) If a legal action is based on or is in response to a party's exercise of the right of free speech, right to petition, or right of association or arises from any act of that party in furtherance of the party's communication or conduct described by Section 27.010(b), that party may file a motion to dismiss the legal action. A party under this section does not include a government entity, agency, or an official or employee acting in an official capacity.

(b) A motion to dismiss a legal action under this section must be filed not later than the 60th day after the date of service of the legal action. The parties, upon mutual agreement, may extend the time to file a motion under this section or the court may extend the time to file a motion under this section on a showing of good cause.

(c) Except as provided by Section 27.006(b), on the filing of a motion under this section, all discovery in the legal action is suspended until the court has ruled on the motion to dismiss.

(d) The moving party shall provide written notice of the date and time of the hearing under Section 27.004 not later than 21 days before the date of the hearing unless otherwise provided by agreement of the parties or an order of the court.

(e) A party responding to the motion to dismiss shall file the response, if any, not later than seven days before the date of the hearing on the motion to dismiss unless otherwise provided by an agreement of the parties or an order of the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.004: Hearing

(a) A hearing on a motion under Section 27.003 must be set not later than the 60th day after the date of service of the motion unless the docket conditions of the court require a later hearing, upon a showing of good cause, or by agreement of the parties, but in no event shall the hearing occur more than 90 days after service of the motion under Section 27.003, except as provided by Subsection (c).

(b) In the event that the court cannot hold a hearing in the time required by Subsection (a), the court may take judicial notice that the court's docket conditions required a hearing at a later date, but in no event shall the hearing occur more than 90 days after service of the motion under Section 27.003, except as provided by Subsection (c).

(c) If the court allows discovery under Section 27.006(b), the court may extend the hearing date to allow discovery under that subsection, but in no event shall the hearing occur more than 120 days after the service of the motion under Section 27.003.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042 (H.B. 2935), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 27.005: Ruling

(a) The court must rule on a motion under Section 27.003 not later than the 30th day following the date the hearing on the motion concludes.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), on the motion of a party under Section 27.003, a court shall dismiss a legal action against the moving party if the moving party demonstrates that the legal action is based on or is in response to:

(1) the party's exercise of:

(A) the right of free speech;

(B) the right to petition; or

(C) the right of association; or

(2) the act of a party described by Section 27.010(b).

(c) The court may not dismiss a legal action under this section if the party bringing the legal action establishes by clear and specific evidence a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim in question.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (c), the court shall dismiss a legal action against the moving party if the moving party establishes an affirmative defense or other grounds on which the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042 (H.B. 2935), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.006: Proof

(a) In determining whether a legal action is subject to or should be dismissed under this chapter, the court shall consider the pleadings, evidence a court could consider under Rule 166a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts on which the liability or defense is based.

(b) On a motion by a party or on the court's own motion and on a showing of good cause, the court may allow specified and limited discovery relevant to the motion.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.007: Additional Findings

(a) If the court awards sanctions under Section 27.009(b), the court shall issue findings regarding whether the legal action was brought to deter or prevent the moving party from exercising constitutional rights and is brought for an improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or to increase the cost of litigation.

(b) The court must issue findings under Subsection (a) not later than the 30th day after the date a request under that subsection is made.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.0075: Effect of Ruling

Neither the court's ruling on the motion nor the fact that it made such a ruling shall be admissible in evidence at any later stage of the case, and no burden of proof or degree of proof otherwise applicable shall be affected by the ruling.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.008: Appeal

(a) If a court does not rule on a motion to dismiss under Section 27.003 in the time prescribed by Section 27.005, the motion is considered to have been denied by operation of law and the moving party may appeal.

(b) An appellate court shall expedite an appeal or other writ, whether interlocutory or not, from a trial court order on a motion to dismiss a legal action under Section 27.003 or from a trial court's failure to rule on that motion in the time prescribed by Section 27.005.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042, Sec. 5, eff. June 14, 2013.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042 (H.B. 2935), Sec. 5, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 27.009: Damages and Costs

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), if the court orders dismissal of a legal action under this chapter, the court:

(1) shall award to the moving party court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in defending against the legal action; and

(2) may award to the moving party sanctions against the party who brought the legal action as the court determines sufficient to deter the party who brought the legal action from bringing similar actions described in this chapter.

(b) If the court finds that a motion to dismiss filed under this chapter is frivolous or solely intended to delay, the court may award court costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the responding party.

(c) If the court orders dismissal of a compulsory counterclaim under this chapter, the court may award to the moving party reasonable attorney's fees incurred in defending against the counterclaim if the court finds that the counterclaim is frivolous or solely intended for delay.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.010: Exemptions

(a) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) an enforcement action that is brought in the name of this state or a political subdivision of this state by the attorney general, a district attorney, a criminal district attorney, or a county attorney;

(2) a legal action brought against a person primarily engaged in the business of selling or leasing goods or services, if the statement or conduct arises out of the sale or lease of goods, services, or an insurance product, insurance services, or a commercial transaction in which the intended audience is an actual or potential buyer or customer;

(3) a legal action seeking recovery for bodily injury, wrongful death, or survival or to statements made regarding that legal action;

(4) a legal action brought under the Insurance Code or arising out of an insurance contract;

(5) a legal action arising from an officer-director, employee-employer, or independent contractor relationship that:

(A) seeks recovery for misappropriation of trade secrets or corporate opportunities; or

(B) seeks to enforce a non-disparagement agreement or a covenant not to compete;

(6) a legal action filed under Title 1, 2, 4, or 5, Family Code, or an application for a protective order under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(7) a legal action brought under Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code, other than an action governed by Section 17.49(a) of that chapter;

(8) a legal action in which a moving party raises a defense pursuant to Section 160.010, Occupations Code, Section 161.033, Health and Safety Code, or the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11101 et seq.);

(9) an eviction suit brought under Chapter 24, Property Code;

(10) a disciplinary action or disciplinary proceeding brought under Chapter 81, Government Code, or the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure;

(11) a legal action brought under Chapter 554, Government Code; or

(12) a legal action based on a common law fraud claim.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsections (a)(2), (7), and (12), this chapter applies to:

(1) a legal action against a person arising from any act of that person, whether public or private, related to the gathering, receiving, posting, or processing of information for communication to the public, whether or not the information is actually communicated to the public, for the creation, dissemination, exhibition, or advertisement or other similar promotion of a dramatic, literary, musical, political, journalistic, or otherwise artistic work, including audio-visual work regardless of the means of distribution, a motion picture, a television or radio program, or an article published in a newspaper, website, magazine, or other platform, no matter the method or extent of distribution; and

(2) a legal action against a person related to the communication, gathering, receiving, posting, or processing of consumer opinions or commentary, evaluations of consumer complaints, or reviews or ratings of businesses.

(c) This chapter applies to a legal action against a victim or alleged victim of family violence or dating violence as defined in Chapter 71, Family Code, or an offense under Chapter 20, 20A, 21, or 22, Penal Code, based on or in response to a public or private communication.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042 (H.B. 2935), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 378 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 27.011: Construction

(a) This chapter does not abrogate or lessen any other defense, remedy, immunity, or privilege available under other constitutional, statutory, case, or common law or rule provisions.

(b) This chapter shall be construed liberally to effectuate its purpose and intent fully.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 341 (H.B. 2973), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Chapter 30

Sec. 30.001: Instrument to Waive Service Or Confess Judgment

In an instrument executed before suit is brought, a person may not accept service and waive process, enter an appearance in open court, or confess a judgment.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 30.002: Expiration of Judge's Term; Death of Judge

(a) If a district or county judge's term of office expires before the adjournment of the court term at which a case may be tried or during the period prescribed for filing a statement of facts and a bill of exceptions or findings of fact and conclusions of law, the judge may approve the statement of facts and bill of exceptions or file findings of fact and conclusions of law in the case.

(b) If a district or county judge dies before he approves the statement of facts and bill of exceptions or files findings of fact and conclusions of law in a case pending at his death, they may be approved or filed by the judge's successor as provided by Rule 18, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 30.003: Legislative Continuance

(a) This section applies to any criminal or civil suit, including matters of probate, and to any matters ancillary to the suit that require action by or the attendance of an attorney, including appeals but excluding temporary restraining orders.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (c-1), at any time within 30 days of a date when the legislature is to be in session, at any time during a legislative session, or when the legislature sits as a constitutional convention, the court on application shall continue a case in which a party applying for the continuance or the attorney for that party is a member or member-elect of the legislature and will be or is attending a legislative session. The court shall continue the case until 30 days after the date on which the legislature adjourns.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (c-1), if the attorney for a party to the case is a member or member-elect of the legislature who was employed on or after the 30th day before the date on which the suit is set for trial, the continuance is discretionary with the court.

(c-1) If the attorney for a party to any criminal case is a member or member-elect of the legislature who was employed on or after the 15th day before the date on which the suit is set for trial, the continuance is discretionary with the court.

(d) The party seeking the continuance must file with the court an affidavit stating the grounds for the continuance. The affidavit is proof of the necessity for a continuance. The affidavit need not be corroborated.

(e) If the member of the legislature is an attorney for a party, the affidavit must contain a declaration that it is the attorney's intention to participate actively in the preparation or presentation of the case and that the attorney has not taken the case for the purpose of obtaining a continuance under this section.

(f) The continuance provided by Subsection (b) is one of right and may not be charged against the party receiving it on any subsequent application for continuance.

(g) If the attorney for a party seeking a continuance under this section is a member or member-elect of the legislature, the attorney shall file a copy of the application for a continuance with the Texas Ethics Commission. The copy must be sent to the commission not later than the third business day after the date on which the attorney files the application with the court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 3.13, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 9, Sec. 1, eff. April 24, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 5.09, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 30.004: Notice to Attorney General for Certain Suits

(a) This section applies to a civil case in which:

(1) the state is named as a party;

(2) an agency in the executive or legislative department is named as a party; or

(3) a party may be represented by the attorney general as authorized by Chapter 104.

(b) On the filing of any petition in a case subject to this section, a copy of the petition shall be mailed to the attorney general at the attorney general's office in Austin, Texas, by United States Postal Service certified mail, return receipt requested.

(c) Mailing notice as required by Subsection (b) does not satisfy any other jurisdictional requirement relating to service of process on a state officer, board, commission, agency, or institution that is a named party in a court proceeding.

(d) Failure to give notice in a case in which notice is required by Subsection (b) results in any default judgment in the case being set aside without costs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.06(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 30.005: Religious Holy Day

(a) In this section:

(1) "Religious organization" means an organization that meets the standards for qualifying as a religious organization under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

(2) "Religious holy day" means a day on which the tenets of a religious organization prohibit its members from participating in secular activities, such as court proceedings.

(b) If a party or an attorney representing a party in a civil action is required to appear at a court proceeding on a religious holy day observed by the party or attorney, the court shall continue the civil action.

(c) A party or an attorney representing a party seeking a continuance must file with the court an affidavit stating:

(1) the grounds for the continuance; and

(2) that the party or attorney holds religious beliefs that prohibit him from taking part in a court proceeding on the day for which the continuance is sought.

(d) An affidavit filed under Subsection (c) of this section is proof of the facts stated and need not be corroborated.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 825, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 30.004 by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 16.01(1), eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 815, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 30.006: Certain Law Enforcement Agency Records Not Subject to Discovery

(a) In this section, "law enforcement agency" means a governmental agency that employs a peace officer as defined under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b) This section does not apply to an action in which a law enforcement agency is a party.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a court in a civil action may not order discovery from a nonparty law enforcement agency of information, records, documents, evidentiary materials, and tangible things if:

(1) the information, records, documents, evidentiary materials, or tangible things deal with:

(A) the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime; or

(B) an investigation by the nonparty law enforcement agency that does not result in conviction or deferred adjudication; and

(2) the release of the information, records, documents, evidentiary materials, or tangible things would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of criminal acts.

(d) On motion of a party, the court may order discovery from a nonparty law enforcement agency of information, records, documents, evidentiary materials, and tangible things described by Subsection (c) if the court determines, after in camera inspection, that:

(1) the discovery sought is relevant; and

(2) there is a specific need for the discovery.

(e) This section does not apply to:

(1) a report of an accident under Chapter 550, Transportation Code; and

(2) photographs, field measurements, scene drawings, and accident reconstruction done in conjunction with the investigation of the underlying accident.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 679 (H.B. 1572), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 30.007: Production of Financial Institution Records

Civil discovery of a customer record maintained by a financial institution is governed by Section 59.006, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 914, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.001, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 30.008: Demand for Jury Trial in Justice Court; Failure to Appear

(a) A justice court may order a party who demands a jury trial in a justice court and who fails to appear for the trial to pay the costs incurred for impaneling the jury.

(b) The justice court may release a party from the obligation to pay costs under this section for good cause.

(c) An order issued by a justice court under this section may be enforced by contempt as prescribed by Section 21.002(c), Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 122, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 30.007 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(4), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 30.009: Mistrial in Justice Court Or Municipal Court

If a jury in a trial in a justice court or a municipal court is discharged without having rendered a verdict, the cause may be tried again as soon as practicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1005, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 30.007 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 30.010: Personal Identifying Information Privileged from Discovery By Inmate Or Committed Person

(a) Personal identifying information pertaining to an individual, including the individual's home address, home telephone number, and social security account number, is privileged from discovery by an individual who is imprisoned or confined in any correctional facility or civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, if the individual to whom the information pertains is:

(1) an employee of any correctional facility;

(2) an officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Office or a person who contracts with the office to perform a service or an employee of that person; or

(3) related within the first degree by consanguinity or affinity to an individual described by Subdivision (1) or (2).

(b) Personal identifying information that is privileged under this section may be discovered by an individual who is imprisoned or confined in a correctional facility or civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, only if:

(1) the incarcerated individual or committed person shows good cause to the court for the discovery of the information; and

(2) the court renders an order that authorizes discovery of the information.

(c) In this section, "correctional facility" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07(a), Penal Code.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 302, Sec. 2, eff. June 5, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 30.07 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(6), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 34 (S.B. 1576), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 34 (S.B. 1576), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 30.011: Electronic Subpoena Application

In addition to any other procedure permitted under state law or by court rule, an application for issuance of a subpoena may be made by electronic means.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 614, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Sec. 30.012: Use of Communication Equipment in Certain Proceedings

(a) With the agreement of the parties, and subject to Subsection (b), a trial judge may order that a hearing of a preliminary matter or witness testimony at trial may be conducted by electronic means, including satellite transmission, closed-circuit television transmission, or any other method of two-way electronic communication that is available to the parties, approved by the court, and capable of visually and audibly recording the proceedings.

(b) Witness testimony at trial may be conducted by electronic means only if the witness is deposed before the commencement of the trial.

(c) A court that allows a transmission made under this section shall consider it accurate and include it in the record of the case, unless the court determines otherwise.

(d) A party to a transmission made under this section that is not in court:

(1) shall provide at the party's own expense any equipment that is compatible with the equipment used in court; and

(2) may record the proceedings at the party's own expense.

(e) A copy of a proceeding videotaped by a court under this section may be obtained from the clerk of the court on payment of a reasonable amount to cover the cost of producing the copy.

(f) Expenses incurred by a court in conducting a proceeding or recording a transmission under this section shall be assessed and collected as court costs.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 788, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 30.013: Confidential Identity in Actions Involving Sexual Abuse of a Minor

(a) In this section:

(1) "Confidential identity" means:

(A) the use of a pseudonym; and

(B) the absence of any other identifying information, including address, telephone number, and social security number.

(2) "Plaintiff" means:

(A) an individual younger than 18 years of age seeking recovery of damages or other relief; and

(B) the parents or legal guardian of the individual.

(b) This section applies only to a civil action against a defendant in which a plaintiff seeks recovery of damages or other relief based on conduct described as a felony in the following sections of the Penal Code:

(1) Section 22.011 (sexual assault); or

(2) Section 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault).

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, in an action to which this section applies, the court shall:

(1) make it known to the plaintiff as early as possible in the proceedings of the action that the plaintiff may use a confidential identity in relation to the action;

(2) allow a plaintiff to use a confidential identity in all petitions, filings, and other documents presented to the court;

(3) use the confidential identity in all of the court's proceedings and records relating to the action, including any appellate proceedings; and

(4) maintain the records relating to the action in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the plaintiff.

(d) In a suit to which this section applies, only the following persons are entitled to know the true identifying information about the plaintiff:

(1) the judge;

(2) a party to the action;

(3) the attorney representing a party to the action; and

(4) a person authorized by a written order of a court specific to that person.

(e) The court shall order that a person entitled to know the true identifying information under Subsection (d) may not divulge that information to anyone without a written order of the court. A court shall hold a person who violates the order in contempt.

(f) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this section.

(g) A plaintiff is not required to use a confidential identity as provided by this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 559 (S.B. 1930), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 30.014: Pleadings Must Contain Partial Identification Information

(a) In a civil action filed in a district court, county court, or statutory county court, each party or the party's attorney shall include in its initial pleading:

(1) the last three numbers of the party's driver's license number, if the party has been issued a driver's license; and

(2) the last three numbers of the party's social security number, if the party has been issued a social security number.

(b) A court may, on its own motion or the motion of a party, order that an initial pleading be amended to contain the information listed under Subsection (a) if the court determines that the pleading does not contain that information. A court may find a party in contempt if the party does not amend the pleading as ordered by the court under this subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 143 (S.B. 699), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 30.015: Provision of Current Address of Party in Civil Action

(a) In a civil action filed in a district court, county court, statutory county court, or statutory probate court, each party or the party's attorney must provide the clerk of the court with written notice of the party's name and current residence or business address.

(b) The notice required by Subsection (a) may not be required from any party or party's attorney if such party has not appeared or answered in the civil action.

(c) The notice required by Subsection (a) must be provided at the time the party files its initial pleading with the court or not later than the seventh day after the date the clerk of the court requests the information.

(d) If the party's address changes during the course of a civil action, the party or the party's attorney must provide the clerk of the court with written notice of the party's new address.

(e) If the party or the party's attorney fails to provide the notice required by Subsection (a), the trial court may assess a fine of not more than $50.

(f) It is a defense to a fine assessed under this section that the party or the party's attorney could not reasonably obtain and provide the information required by Subsection (a).

(g) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 887, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 30.016: Recusal Or Disqualification of Certain Judges

(a) In this section, "tertiary recusal motion" means a third or subsequent motion for recusal or disqualification filed against a district court or statutory county court judge by the same party in a case.

(b) A judge who declines recusal after a tertiary recusal motion is filed shall comply with applicable rules of procedure for recusal and disqualification except that the judge shall continue to:

(1) preside over the case;

(2) sign orders in the case; and

(3) move the case to final disposition as though a tertiary recusal motion had not been filed.

(c) A judge hearing a tertiary recusal motion against another judge who denies the motion shall award reasonable and necessary attorney's fees and costs to the party opposing the motion. The party making the motion and the attorney for the party are jointly and severally liable for the award of fees and costs. The fees and costs must be paid before the 31st day after the date the order denying the tertiary recusal motion is rendered, unless the order is properly superseded.

(d) The denial of a tertiary recusal motion is only reviewable on appeal from final judgment.

(e) If a tertiary recusal motion is finally sustained, the new judge for the case shall vacate all orders signed by the sitting judge during the pendency of the tertiary recusal motion.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 608, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1297 (S.B. 406), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 30.017: Claims Against Certain Judges

(a) A claim against a district court, statutory probate court, or statutory county court judge that is added to a case pending in the court to which the judge was elected or appointed:

(1) must be made under oath;

(2) may not be based solely on the rulings in the pending case but must plead specific facts supporting each element of the claim in addition to the rulings in the pending case; and

(3) is automatically severed from the case.

(b) The clerk of the court shall assign the claim a new cause number, and the party making the claim shall pay the filing fees.

(c) The presiding judge of the administrative region or the presiding judge of the statutory probate courts shall assign the severed claim to a different judge. The judge shall dismiss the claim if the claim does not satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a)(1) or (2).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 608, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 30.018: Court Clerk's Execution Docket

(a) The clerk of a court who is required to enter information into an execution docket under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or other law may enter and maintain the information in an electronic format that allows the information to be retrieved on the same basis as information would be retrieved manually using an index or cross-index to the docket that is otherwise required by law.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 886), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 30.021: Award of Attorney's Fees in Relation to Certain Motions to Dismiss

In a civil proceeding, on a trial court's granting or denial, in whole or in part, of a motion to dismiss filed under the rules adopted by the supreme court under Section 22.004(g), Government Code, the court may award costs and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees to the prevailing party. This section does not apply to actions by or against the state, other governmental entities, or public officials acting in their official capacity or under color of law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 1.02, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3300), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subtitle C

Chapter 31

Sec. 31.001: Passage of Title

A judgment for the conveyance of real property or the delivery of personal property may pass title to the property without additional action by the party against whom the judgment is rendered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 31.002: Collection of Judgment Through Court Proceeding

(a) A judgment creditor is entitled to aid from a court of appropriate jurisdiction, including a justice court, through injunction or other means in order to reach property to obtain satisfaction on the judgment if the judgment debtor owns property, including present or future rights to property, that is not exempt from attachment, execution, or seizure for the satisfaction of liabilities.

(b) The court may:

(1) order the judgment debtor to turn over nonexempt property that is in the debtor's possession or is subject to the debtor's control, together with all documents or records related to the property, to a designated sheriff or constable for execution;

(2) otherwise apply the property to the satisfaction of the judgment; or

(3) appoint a receiver with the authority to take possession of the nonexempt property, sell it, and pay the proceeds to the judgment creditor to the extent required to satisfy the judgment.

(c) The court may enforce the order by contempt proceedings or by other appropriate means in the event of refusal or disobedience.

(d) The judgment creditor may move for the court's assistance under this section in the same proceeding in which the judgment is rendered or in an independent proceeding.

(e) The judgment creditor is entitled to recover reasonable costs, including attorney's fees.

(f) A court may not enter or enforce an order under this section that requires the turnover of the proceeds of, or the disbursement of, property exempt under any statute, including Section 42.0021, Property Code. This subsection does not apply to the enforcement of a child support obligation or a judgment for past due child support.

(g) With respect to turnover of property held by a financial institution in the name of or on behalf of the judgment debtor as customer of the financial institution, the rights of a receiver appointed under Subsection (b)(3) do not attach until the financial institution receives service of a certified copy of the order of receivership in the manner specified by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

(h) A court may enter or enforce an order under this section that requires the turnover of nonexempt property without identifying in the order the specific property subject to turnover.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.002, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 52 (H.B. 729), Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 2005.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 996 (H.B. 1066), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1221 (S.B. 2364), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 31.0025: Authority of Court to Order Turnover of Wages

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a court may not, at any time before a judgment debtor is paid wages for personal services performed by the debtor, enter or enforce an order that requires the debtor or any other person to turn over the wages for the satisfaction of the judgment.

(b) This section applies to wages in any form, including paycheck, cash, or property.

(c) This section does not apply to the enforcement of a child support obligation or a judgment for past due child support.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 671, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 31.003: Judgment Against Partnership

If a suit is against several partners who are jointly indebted under a contract and citation has been served on at least one but not all of the partners, the court may render judgment against the partnership and against the partners who were actually served, but may not award a personal judgment or execution against any partner who was not served.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 31.004: Effect of Adjudication in Lower Trial Court

(a) A judgment or a determination of fact or law in a proceeding in a lower trial court is not res judicata and is not a basis for estoppel by judgment in a proceeding in a district court, except that a judgment rendered in a lower trial court is binding on the parties thereto as to recovery or denial of recovery.

(b) This section does not apply to a judgment in probate, guardianship, mental health , or other matter in which a lower trial court has exclusive subject matter jurisdiction on a basis other than the amount in controversy.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a "lower trial court" is a small claims court, a justice of the peace court, a county court, or a statutory county court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 31.005: Effect of Adjudication in Small Claims Or Justice of the Peace Court

A judgment or a determination of fact or law in a proceeding in small claims court or justice of the peace court is not res judicata and does not constitute a basis for estoppel by judgment in a proceeding in a county court or statutory county court, except that the judgment rendered is binding on the parties thereto as to recovery or denial of recovery.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 31.006: Revival of Judgment

A dormant judgment may be revived by scire facias or by an action of debt brought not later than the second anniversary of the date that the judgment becomes dormant.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 31.007: Parties Responsible for Accounting of Own Costs

(a) Each party to a suit shall be responsible for accurately recording all costs and fees incurred during the course of a lawsuit, if the judgment is to provide for the adjudication of such costs. If the judgment provides that costs are to be borne by the party by whom such costs were incurred, it shall not be necessary for any of the parties to present a record of court costs to the court in connection with the entry of a judgment.

(b) A judge of any court may include in any order or judgment all costs, including the following:

(1) fees of the clerk and service fees due the county;

(2) fees of the court reporter for the original of stenographic transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the suit;

(3) masters, interpreters, and guardians ad litem appointed pursuant to these rules and state statutes; and

(4) such other costs and fees as may be permitted by these rules and state statutes.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 663, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 31.008: Payment of Unclaimed Judgment

(a) A judgment debtor may pay to the court that rendered the judgment the amount under the judgment owed to a judgment creditor whose location is unknown to the judgment debtor if the judgment debtor complies with Subsections (b) and (c). The payment must be made without offset or reduction for any claims of the judgment debtor. The judgment debtor shall prepare a recordable release of the judgment. The judge or clerk of the court shall execute the release of the judgment on behalf of the creditor and issue the release to the debtor. The release shall recite the cause number, the court, the parties, the date of judgment, the amount of judgment, the amount paid into the court, and the date of the release.

(b) Before being entitled to pay a judgment to a court under Subsection (a), the judgment debtor shall send a letter notifying the judgment creditor of the judgment, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to:

(1) the judgment creditor's last known address;

(2) the address appearing in the judgment creditor's pleadings or other court record, if different from the creditor's last known address;

(3) the address of the judgment creditor's last attorney, as shown in the creditor's pleadings or other court record; and

(4) the address of the judgment creditor's last attorney, as shown in the records of the State Bar of Texas, if that address is different from the address shown in the creditor's pleadings or other court record.

(c) If the judgment creditor does not respond to a notice under Subsection (b) on or before the 15th day after the date on which the notice was sent, the judgment debtor may file an affidavit with the court stating that the judgment debtor has provided the required notice, that the judgment creditor has not responded to the notice, and that the location of the judgment creditor is not known to the judgment debtor.

(d) The court shall hold the amount paid to it by the judgment debtor under Subsection (a) and interest earned on that amount in trust for the judgment creditor.

(e) The clerk of the court shall deposit the trust funds and any interest earned by the funds in the clerk's trust fund account. The clerk shall pay the funds and any interest earned by the funds to the judgment creditor or to the successors to the rights of the judgment creditor. The clerk may presume that the funds are payable to the judgment creditor unless the clerk is furnished with a written assignment of the judgment.

(f) Funds held in the clerk's trust fund account in accordance with this section are subject to escheat under Chapter 72, Property Code.

(g) If the judgment debtor complies with Subsections (b) and (c) and the judgment creditor refuses to accept payment of the amount under the judgment or accepts payment under the judgment and refuses to execute a release of judgment, the court shall set the matter for hearing on a party's motion or on the court's own motion to determine whether or not a release should be filed. On notice and hearing the court may direct the judgment debtor to prepare and file a recordable release of the judgment with the clerk of the court if the court finds that:

(1) the amount under the judgment has been paid into the registry of the court; or

(2) the judgment creditor has accepted payment under the judgment and refused to execute a release of judgment.

(h) In this section:

(1) "Judgment creditor" means a party in whose favor a judgment has been rendered, whether a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, third party plaintiff, or other judgment creditor.

(2) "Judgment debtor" means a party against whom a judgment is rendered.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 730, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 656, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 31.010: Turnover By Financial Institution

(a) A financial institution that receives a request to turn over assets or financial information of a judgment debtor to a judgment creditor or a receiver under a turnover order or receivership under Section 31.002 shall be provided and may rely on:

(1) a certified copy of the order or injunction of the court; or

(2) a certified copy of the order of appointment of a receiver under Section 64.001, including a certified copy of:

(A) any document establishing the qualification of the receiver under Section 64.021;

(B) the sworn affidavit under Section 64.022; and

(C) the bond under Section 64.023.

(b) A financial institution that complies with this section is not liable for compliance with a court order, injunction, or receivership authorized by Section 31.002 to:

(1) the judgment debtor;

(2) a party claiming through the judgment debtor;

(3) a co-depositor with the judgment debtor; or

(4) a co-borrower with the judgment debtor.

(c) A financial institution that complies with this section is entitled to recover reasonable costs, including copying costs, research costs, and, if there is a contest, reasonable attorney's fees.

(d) In this section, "financial institution" means a state or national bank, state or federal savings and loan association, state or federal savings bank, state or federal credit union, foreign bank, foreign bank agency, or trust company.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 892, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 32

Sec. 32.001: Application

(a) This chapter applies only to tort actions.

(b) This chapter does not apply if a right of contribution, indemnity, or recovery between defendants is provided by other statute or by common law.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 32.002: Right of Action

A person against whom a judgment is rendered has, on payment of the judgment, a right of action to recover payment from each codefendant against whom judgment is also rendered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 32.003: Recovery

(a) The person may recover from each codefendant against whom judgment is rendered an amount determined by dividing the number of all liable defendants into the total amount of the judgment.

(b) If a codefendant is insolvent, the person may recover from each solvent codefendant an amount determined by dividing the number of solvent defendants into the total amount of the judgment.

(c) Each defendant in the judgment has a right to recover from the insolvent defendant the amount the defendant has had to pay because of the insolvency.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 33

Subchapter A

Sec. 33.001: Proportionate Responsibility

In an action to which this chapter applies, a claimant may not recover damages if his percentage of responsibility is greater than 50 percent.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.04, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 33.002: Applicability

(a) This chapter applies to:

(1) any cause of action based on tort in which a defendant, settling person, or responsible third party is found responsible for a percentage of the harm for which relief is sought; or

(2) any action brought under the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code) in which a defendant, settling person, or responsible third party is found responsible for a percentage of the harm for which relief is sought.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(1).

(c) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) an action to collect workers' compensation benefits under the workers' compensation laws of this state (Subtitle A, Title 5, Labor Code) or actions against an employer for exemplary damages arising out of the death of an employee;

(2) a claim for exemplary damages included in an action to which this chapter otherwise applies; or

(3) a cause of action for damages arising from the manufacture of methamphetamine as described by Chapter 99.

(d) to (h) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(1).

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.05, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 380, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 414, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 643, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.01, 4.10(1), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 33.003: Determination of Percentage of Responsibility

(a) The trier of fact, as to each cause of action asserted, shall determine the percentage of responsibility, stated in whole numbers, for the following persons with respect to each person's causing or contributing to cause in any way the harm for which recovery of damages is sought, whether by negligent act or omission, by any defective or unreasonably dangerous product, by other conduct or activity that violates an applicable legal standard, or by any combination of these:

(1) each claimant;

(2) each defendant;

(3) each settling person; and

(4) each responsible third party who has been designated under Section 33.004.

(b) This section does not allow a submission to the jury of a question regarding conduct by any person without sufficient evidence to support the submission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.06, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 33.004: Designation of Responsible Third Party

(a) A defendant may seek to designate a person as a responsible third party by filing a motion for leave to designate that person as a responsible third party. The motion must be filed on or before the 60th day before the trial date unless the court finds good cause to allow the motion to be filed at a later date.

(b) Nothing in this section affects the third-party practice as previously recognized in the rules and statutes of this state with regard to the assertion by a defendant of rights to contribution or indemnity. Nothing in this section affects the filing of cross-claims or counterclaims.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(2).

(d) A defendant may not designate a person as a responsible third party with respect to a claimant's cause of action after the applicable limitations period on the cause of action has expired with respect to the responsible third party if the defendant has failed to comply with its obligations, if any, to timely disclose that the person may be designated as a responsible third party under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203, Sec. 5.02, eff. September 1, 2011.

(f) A court shall grant leave to designate the named person as a responsible third party unless another party files an objection to the motion for leave on or before the 15th day after the date the motion is served.

(g) If an objection to the motion for leave is timely filed, the court shall grant leave to designate the person as a responsible third party unless the objecting party establishes:

(1) the defendant did not plead sufficient facts concerning the alleged responsibility of the person to satisfy the pleading requirement of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; and

(2) after having been granted leave to replead, the defendant failed to plead sufficient facts concerning the alleged responsibility of the person to satisfy the pleading requirements of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(h) By granting a motion for leave to designate a person as a responsible third party, the person named in the motion is designated as a responsible third party for purposes of this chapter without further action by the court or any party.

(i) The filing or granting of a motion for leave to designate a person as a responsible third party or a finding of fault against the person:

(1) does not by itself impose liability on the person; and

(2) may not be used in any other proceeding, on the basis of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or any other legal theory, to impose liability on the person.

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if, not later than 60 days after the filing of the defendant's original answer, the defendant alleges in an answer filed with the court that an unknown person committed a criminal act that was a cause of the loss or injury that is the subject of the lawsuit, the court shall grant a motion for leave to designate the unknown person as a responsible third party if:

(1) the court determines that the defendant has pleaded facts sufficient for the court to determine that there is a reasonable probability that the act of the unknown person was criminal;

(2) the defendant has stated in the answer all identifying characteristics of the unknown person, known at the time of the answer; and

(3) the allegation satisfies the pleading requirements of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(k) An unknown person designated as a responsible third party under Subsection (j) is denominated as "Jane Doe" or "John Doe" until the person's identity is known.

(l) After adequate time for discovery, a party may move to strike the designation of a responsible third party on the ground that there is no evidence that the designated person is responsible for any portion of the claimant's alleged injury or damage. The court shall grant the motion to strike unless a defendant produces sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of fact regarding the designated person's responsibility for the claimant's injury or damage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.03, 4.04, 4.10(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 5.01, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 5.02, eff. September 1, 2011.

Subchapter B

Sec. 33.011: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claimant" means a person seeking recovery of damages, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party plaintiff. In an action in which a party seeks recovery of damages for injury to another person, damage to the property of another person, death of another person, or other harm to another person, "claimant" includes:

(A) the person who was injured, was harmed, or died or whose property was damaged; and

(B) any person who is seeking, has sought, or could seek recovery of damages for the injury, harm, or death of that person or for the damage to the property of that person.

(2) "Defendant" includes any person from whom, at the time of the submission of the case to the trier of fact, a claimant seeks recovery of damages.

(3) "Liable defendant" means a defendant against whom a judgment can be entered for at least a portion of the damages awarded to the claimant.

(4) "Percentage of responsibility" means that percentage, stated in whole numbers, attributed by the trier of fact to each claimant, each defendant, each settling person, or each responsible third party with respect to causing or contributing to cause in any way, whether by negligent act or omission, by any defective or unreasonably dangerous product, by other conduct or activity violative of the applicable legal standard, or by any combination of the foregoing, the personal injury, property damage, death, or other harm for which recovery of damages is sought.

(5) "Settling person" means a person who has, at any time, paid or promised to pay money or anything of monetary value to a claimant in consideration of potential liability with respect to the personal injury, property damage, death, or other harm for which recovery of damages is sought.

(6) "Responsible third party" means any person who is alleged to have caused or contributed to causing in any way the harm for which recovery of damages is sought, whether by negligent act or omission, by any defective or unreasonably dangerous product, by other conduct or activity that violates an applicable legal standard, or by any combination of these. The term "responsible third party" does not include a seller eligible for indemnity under Section 82.002.

(7) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(3).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.07, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.05, 4.10(3), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 33.012: Amount of Recovery

(a) If the claimant is not barred from recovery under Section 33.001, the court shall reduce the amount of damages to be recovered by the claimant with respect to a cause of action by a percentage equal to the claimant's percentage of responsibility.

(b) If the claimant has settled with one or more persons, the court shall further reduce the amount of damages to be recovered by the claimant with respect to a cause of action by the sum of the dollar amounts of all settlements.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), if the claimant in a health care liability claim filed under Chapter 74 has settled with one or more persons, the court shall further reduce the amount of damages to be recovered by the claimant with respect to a cause of action by an amount equal to one of the following, as elected by the defendant:

(1) the sum of the dollar amounts of all settlements; or

(2) a percentage equal to each settling person's percentage of responsibility as found by the trier of fact.

(d) An election made under Subsection (c) shall be made by any defendant filing a written election before the issues of the action are submitted to the trier of fact and when made, shall be binding on all defendants. If no defendant makes this election or if conflicting elections are made, all defendants are considered to have elected Subsection (c)(1).

(e) This section shall not apply to benefits paid by or on behalf of an employer to an employee pursuant to workers' compensation insurance coverage, as defined in Section 401.011(44), Labor Code, in effect at the time of the act, event, or occurrence made the basis of claimant's suit.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.08, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.06, 4.10(4), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 277 (S.B. 890), Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 23.001(6), eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 33.013: Amount of Liability

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a liable defendant is liable to a claimant only for the percentage of the damages found by the trier of fact equal to that defendant's percentage of responsibility with respect to the personal injury, property damage, death, or other harm for which the damages are allowed.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), each liable defendant is, in addition to his liability under Subsection (a), jointly and severally liable for the damages recoverable by the claimant under Section 33.012 with respect to a cause of action if:

(1) the percentage of responsibility attributed to the defendant with respect to a cause of action is greater than 50 percent; or

(2) the defendant, with the specific intent to do harm to others, acted in concert with another person to engage in the conduct described in the following provisions of the Penal Code and in so doing proximately caused the damages legally recoverable by the claimant:

(A) Section 19.02 (murder);

(B) Section 19.03 (capital murder);

(C) Section 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping);

(D) Section 22.02 (aggravated assault);

(E) Section 22.011 (sexual assault);

(F) Section 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault);

(G) Section 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual);

(H) Section 32.21 (forgery);

(I) Section 32.43 (commercial bribery);

(J) Section 32.45 (misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution);

(K) Section 32.46 (securing execution of document by deception);

(L) Section 32.47 (fraudulent destruction, removal, or concealment of writing);

(M) conduct described in Chapter 31 the punishment level for which is a felony of the third degree or higher; or

(N) Section 21.02 (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children).

(c) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(5).

(d) This section does not create a cause of action.

(e) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in the provisions of the Penal Code listed in Subsection (b)(2), that subsection applies only if the claimant proves the defendant acted or failed to act with specific intent to do harm. A defendant acts with specific intent to do harm with respect to the nature of the defendant's conduct and the result of the person's conduct when it is the person's conscious effort or desire to engage in the conduct for the purpose of doing substantial harm to others.

(f) The jury may not be made aware through voir dire, introduction into evidence, instruction, or any other means that the conduct to which Subsection (b)(2) refers is defined by the Penal Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.09, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.07, 4.10(5), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (H.B. 8), Sec. 3.02, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 33.015: Contribution

(a) If a defendant who is jointly and severally liable under Section 33.013 pays a percentage of the damages for which the defendant is jointly and severally liable greater than his percentage of responsibility, that defendant has a right of contribution for the overpayment against each other liable defendant to the extent that the other liable defendant has not paid the percentage of the damages found by the trier of fact equal to that other defendant's percentage of responsibility.

(b) As among themselves, each of the defendants who is jointly and severally liable under Section 33.013 is liable for the damages recoverable by the claimant under Section 33.012 in proportion to his respective percentage of responsibility. If a defendant who is jointly and severally liable pays a larger proportion of those damages than is required by his percentage of responsibility, that defendant has a right of contribution for the overpayment against each other defendant with whom he is jointly and severally liable under Section 33.013 to the extent that the other defendant has not paid the proportion of those damages required by that other defendant's percentage of responsibility.

(c) If for any reason a liable defendant does not pay or contribute the portion of the damages required by his percentage of responsibility, the amount of the damages not paid or contributed by that defendant shall be paid or contributed by the remaining defendants who are jointly and severally liable for those damages. The additional amount to be paid or contributed by each of the defendants who is jointly and severally liable for those damages shall be in proportion to his respective percentage of responsibility.

(d) No defendant has a right of contribution against any settling person.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 33.016: Claim Against Contribution Defendant

(a) In this section, "contribution defendant" means any defendant, counterdefendant, or third-party defendant from whom any party seeks contribution with respect to any portion of damages for which that party may be liable, but from whom the claimant seeks no relief at the time of submission.

(b) Each liable defendant is entitled to contribution from each person who is not a settling person and who is liable to the claimant for a percentage of responsibility but from whom the claimant seeks no relief at the time of submission. A party may assert this contribution right against any such person as a contribution defendant in the claimant's action.

(c) The trier of fact shall determine as a separate issue or finding of fact the percentage of responsibility with respect to each contribution defendant and these findings shall be solely for purposes of this section and Section 33.015 and not as a part of the percentages of responsibility determined under Section 33.003. Only the percentage of responsibility of each defendant and contribution defendant shall be included in this determination.

(d) As among liable defendants, including each defendant who is jointly and severally liable under Section 33.013, each contribution defendant's percentage of responsibility is to be included for all purposes of Section 33.015. The amount to be contributed by each contribution defendant pursuant to Section 33.015 shall be in proportion to his respective percentage of responsibility relative to the sum of percentages of responsibility of all liable defendants and liable contribution defendants.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.11A, eff. Sept. 2, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 33.017: Preservation of Existing Rights of Indemnity

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any rights of indemnity granted by any statute, by contract, or by common law. To the extent of any conflict between this chapter and any right to indemnification granted by statute, contract, or common law, those rights of indemnification shall prevail over the provisions of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.08, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 34

Subchapter A

Sec. 34.001: No Execution on Dormant Judgment

(a) If a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years after the rendition of a judgment of a court of record or a justice court, the judgment is dormant and execution may not be issued on the judgment unless it is revived.

(b) If a writ of execution is issued within 10 years after rendition of a judgment but a second writ is not issued within 10 years after issuance of the first writ, the judgment becomes dormant. A second writ may be issued at any time within 10 years after issuance of the first writ.

(c) This section does not apply to a judgment for child support under the Family Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767 (S.B. 865), Sec. 31, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 34.002: Effect of Plaintiff's Death

(a) If a plaintiff dies after judgment, any writ of execution must be issued in the name of the plaintiff's legal representative, if any, and in the name of any other plaintiff. An affidavit of death and a certificate of appointment of the legal representative, given under the hand and seal of the clerk of the appointing court, must be filed with the clerk of the court issuing the writ of execution.

(b) If a plaintiff dies after judgment and his estate is not administered, the writ of execution must be issued in the name of all plaintiffs shown in the judgment. An affidavit showing that administration of the estate is unnecessary must be filed with the clerk of the court that rendered judgment. Money collected under the execution shall be paid into the registry of the court, and the court shall order the money partitioned and paid to the parties entitled to it.

(c) Death of a plaintiff after a writ of execution has been issued does not abate the execution, and the writ shall be levied and returned as if the plaintiff were living.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.003: Effect of Defendant's Death

The death of the defendant after a writ of execution is issued stays the execution proceedings, but any lien acquired by levy of the writ must be recognized and enforced by the county court in the payment of the debts of the deceased.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.004: Levy on Property Conveyed to Third Party

Property that the judgment debtor has sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust may not be seized in execution if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property of the debtor in the county that is sufficient to satisfy the execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.005: Levy on Property of Surety

(a) If the face of a writ of execution or the endorsement of the clerk shows that one of the persons against whom it is issued is surety for another, the officer must first levy on the principal's property that is subject to execution and is located in the county in which the judgment is rendered.

(b) If property of the principal cannot be found that, in the opinion of the officer, is sufficient to satisfy the execution, the officer shall levy first on the principal's property that can be found and then on as much of the property of the surety as is necessary to satisfy the execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 34.021: Recovery of Property Before Sale

A person is entitled to recover his property that has been seized through execution of a writ issued by a court if the judgment on which execution is issued is reversed or set aside and the property has not been sold at execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.022: Recovery of Property Value After Sale

(a) A person is entitled to recover from the judgment creditor the market value of the person's property that has been seized through execution of a writ issued by a court if the judgment on which execution is issued is reversed or set aside but the property has been sold at execution.

(b) The amount of recovery is determined by the market value at the time of sale of the property sold.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 34.041: Sale at Place Other Than Courthouse Door; Date and Time of Sale

(a) If the public sale of real property is required by court order or other law to be made at a place other than the courthouse door, sales under this chapter shall be made at the place designated by that court order or other law.

(b) The commissioners court of a county may designate an area other than an area at the county courthouse where public sales of real property under this chapter will take place that is in a public place within a reasonable proximity of the county courthouse as determined by the commissioners court and in a location as accessible to the public as the courthouse door. The commissioners court shall record that designation in the real property records of the county. A designation by a commissioners court under this section is not a ground for challenging or invalidating any sale. Except for a sale under Subsection (a), a sale must be held at an area designated under this subsection if the sale is held on or after the 90th day after the date the designation is recorded. The commissioners court may by order authorize a county official or employee to identify separate locations within the designated area for the conduct of sales under this section and for the conduct of sales by peace officers under other laws.

(c) A sale of real property under this subchapter must take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of a month or, if the first Tuesday of a month occurs on January 1 or July 4, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this subsection.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 642 (H.B. 699), Sec. 1, eff. October 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 133 (H.B. 1128), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 133 (H.B. 1128), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.042: Sale of City Lots

If real property taken in execution consists of several lots, tracts, or parcels in a city or town, each lot, tract, or parcel must be offered for sale separately unless not susceptible to separate sale because of the character of improvements.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.043: Sale of Rural Property

(a) If real property taken in execution is not located in a city or town, the defendant in the writ who holds legal or equitable title to the property may divide the property into lots of not less than 50 acres and designate the order in which those lots shall be sold.

(b) The defendant must present to the executing officer:

(1) a plat of the property as divided and as surveyed by the county surveyor of the county in which the property is located; and

(2) field notes of each numbered lot with a certificate of the county surveyor certifying that the notes are correct.

(c) The defendant must present the plat and field notes to the executing officer before the sale at a time that will not delay the sale as advertised.

(d) When a sufficient number of the lots are sold to satisfy the amount of the execution, the officer shall stop the sale.

(e) The defendant shall pay the expenses of the survey and the sale, and those expenses do not constitute an additional cost in the case.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.044: Stock Shares Subject to Sale

Shares of stock in a corporation or joint-stock company that are owned by a defendant in execution may be sold on execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.0445: Persons Eligible to Purchase Real Property

(a) An officer conducting a sale of real property under this subchapter may not execute or deliver a deed to the purchaser of the property unless the purchaser exhibits to the officer:

(1) an unexpired written statement issued to the person in the manner prescribed by Section 34.015, Tax Code, showing that the county assessor-collector of the county in which the sale is conducted has determined that:

(A) there are no delinquent ad valorem taxes owed by the person to that county; and

(B) for each school district or municipality having territory in the county there are no known or reported delinquent ad valorem taxes owed by the person to that school district or municipality; or

(2) the written registration statement issued to the person in the manner prescribed by Section 34.011, Tax Code, showing that the person is a registered bidder at the sale at which the property is sold.

(b) An individual may not bid on or purchase the property in the name of any other individual. An officer conducting a sale under this subchapter may not execute a deed in the name of or deliver a deed to any person other than the person who was the successful bidder.

(c) The deed executed by the officer conducting the sale must name the successful bidder as the grantee and recite that the successful bidder exhibited to that officer:

(1) an unexpired written statement issued to the person in the manner prescribed by Section 34.015, Tax Code, showing that the county assessor-collector of the county in which the sale was conducted determined that:

(A) there are no delinquent ad valorem taxes owed by the person to that county; and

(B) for each school district or municipality having territory in the county there are no known or reported delinquent ad valorem taxes owed by the person to that school district or municipality; or

(2) the written registration statement issued to the person in the manner prescribed by Section 34.011, Tax Code, showing that the person is a registered bidder at the sale at which the property is sold.

(d) If a deed contains the recital required by Subsection (c), it is conclusively presumed that this section was complied with.

(e) A person who knowingly violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

(f) To the extent of a conflict between this section and any other law, this section controls.

(g) This section applies only to a sale of real property under this subchapter that is conducted in:

(1) a county with a population of 250,000 or more; or

(2) a county with a population of less than 250,000 in which the commissioners court by order has adopted the provisions of this section.

Comments

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 86 (S.B. 644), Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1126 (H.B. 3951), Sec. 3, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 34.045: Conveyance of Title After Sale

(a) When the sale has been made and its terms complied with, the officer shall execute and deliver to the purchaser a conveyance of all the right, title, interest, and claim that the defendant in execution had in the property sold.

(b) If the purchaser complies with the terms of the sale but dies before the conveyance is executed, the officer shall execute the conveyance to the purchaser, and the conveyance has the same effect as if it had been executed in the purchaser's lifetime.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.046: Purchaser Considered Innocent Purchaser Without Notice

The purchaser of property sold under execution is considered to be an innocent purchaser without notice if the purchaser would have been considered an innocent purchaser without notice had the sale been made voluntarily and in person by the defendant.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.047: Distribution of Sale Proceeds

(a) An officer shall deliver money collected on execution to the entitled party at the earliest opportunity.

(b) The officer is entitled to retain from the proceeds of a sale of personal property an amount equal to the reasonable expenses incurred by him in making the levy and keeping the property.

(c) If more money is received from the sale of property than is sufficient to satisfy the executions held by the officer, the officer shall immediately pay the surplus to the defendant or the defendant's agent or attorney.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.048: Purchase By Officer Void

If an officer or his deputy conducting an execution sale directly or indirectly purchases the property, the sale is void.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 34.061: Duty Toward Seized Personalty; Liability

(a) The officer shall keep securely all personal property on which he has levied and for which no delivery bond is given.

(b) If an injury or loss to an interested party results from the negligence of the officer, the officer and his sureties are liable for the value of the property lost or damaged.

(c) The injured party has the burden to prove:

(1) that the officer took actual possession of the injured party's property; and

(2) the actual value of any property lost or damaged.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.062: Duty of Successor Officer

If the officer who receives a writ of execution dies or goes out of office before the writ is returned, his successor or the officer authorized to discharge the duties of the office shall proceed in the same manner as the receiving officer was required to proceed.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 34.063: Improper Endorsement of Writ

(a) If an officer receives more than one writ of execution on the same day against the same person and fails to number them as received or if an officer falsely endorses a writ of execution, the officer and the officer's sureties are liable to the plaintiff in execution only for actual damages suffered by the plaintiff because of the failure or false endorsement.

(b) The plaintiff in execution has the burden to prove:

(1) the officer failed to properly number or endorse the writ of execution;

(2) the officer's failure precluded the levy of executable property owned by the judgment debtor;

(3) the executable property owned by the judgment debtor was not exempt from execution or levy; and

(4) the plaintiff in execution suffered actual damages.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.064: Improper Return of Writ

(a) An officer may file an amended or corrected return after the officer has returned a writ to a court.

(b) Once an officer receives actual notice of an error on a return or of the officer's failure to file a return, the officer shall amend the return or file the return not later than the 30th day after the date of the receipt of notice.

(c) An officer who fails or refuses to amend or file the return may be subject to contempt under Section 7.001(b).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.065: Failure to Levy Or Sell

(a) If an officer fails or refuses to levy on or sell property subject to execution and the levy or sale could have taken place, the officer and the officer's sureties are liable to the party entitled to receive the money collected on execution only for actual damages suffered.

(b) The judgment creditor seeking relief under this section has the burden to prove:

(1) the judgment creditor has a valid judgment against the judgment debtor;

(2) the writ of execution was issued to the judgment creditor;

(3) the writ was delivered to the officer;

(4) the judgment creditor's judgment was unpaid and unsatisfied;

(5) the property to be levied on was subject to execution;

(6) the officer failed or refused to levy under the writ; and

(7) the amount of actual damages suffered.

(c) Property to be levied on is subject to execution for purposes of this section if the judgment creditor proves that the judgment debtor owned the property at issue, the property was accessible to the officer under the law, the property was situated in the officer's county, and the property was not exempt from execution.

(d) Before a court may find that an officer failed or refused to levy under the writ for purposes of this section, the court must find that the judgment creditor specifically informed the officer that the property was owned by the judgment debtor and was subject to execution and that the creditor directed the officer to levy on the property.

(e) In this section, "actual damages" is the amount of money the property would have sold for at a constable or sheriff's auction minus any costs of sale, commissions, and additional expenses of execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.066: Improper Sale

(a) If an officer sells property without giving notice as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or sells property in a manner other than that prescribed by this chapter and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the officer shall be liable only for actual damages sustained by the injured party.

(b) The injured party has the burden to prove that the sale was improper and any actual damages suffered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.067: Failure to Deliver Money Collected

If an officer fails or refuses to deliver money collected under an execution when demanded by the person entitled to receive the money, the officer and the officer's sureties are liable to the person for the amount collected and for damages at a rate of one percent a month on that amount if proven by the injured party.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.068: Rules Governing Actions Under This Chapter

(a) This section applies to any claim for damages brought under Section 7.001, 34.061, 34.063, 34.065, 34.066, or 34.067 or under Section 86.023, Local Government Code.

(b) Suit shall be brought in the form of a lawsuit filed against the officer in the county in which the officer holds office.

(c) All suits must be filed not later than the first anniversary of the date on which the injury accrues.

(d) An officer or a surety may defend the action by stating and proving any defenses provided by law, including any defense that would mitigate damages.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.069: Payment of Damages

A county, at the discretion of the commissioners court, may pay any judgment taken against an officer under Section 7.001, 34.061, 34.063, 34.064, 34.065, 34.066, or 34.067 or under Section 86.023, Local Government Code, provided that this section does not apply if the officer is finally convicted under Section 39.02 or 39.03, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.070: Right of Subrogation

An officer against whom a judgment has been taken under Section 7.001, 7.002, 34.061, 34.063, 34.064, 34.065, 34.066, or 34.067 or under Section 86.023, Local Government Code, or a county that has paid the judgment on behalf of the officer under Section 34.069, has a right of subrogation against the debtor or person against whom the writ was issued.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.071: Duties of Executing Officer

An officer receiving a writ of execution does not have a duty to:

(1) search for property belonging to the judgment debtor;

(2) determine whether property belongs to a judgment debtor;

(3) determine whether property belonging to the judgment debtor is exempt property that is not subject to levy;

(4) determine the priority of liens asserted against property subject to execution; or

(5) make multiple levies for cash or multiple levies at the same location.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.072: Timing of Execution and Return

(a) An officer receiving a writ of execution may return the writ after the first levy, or attempted levy, if the judgment creditor cannot designate any more executable property currently owned by the judgment debtor at the time of the first levy or first attempted levy.

(b) Notwithstanding Rule 637, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, an attempt to levy on property may begin any time during the life of the writ, provided that the officer shall allow enough time for completing the sale of the property.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.073: Transfer of Writ; No Duty to Levy Outside of County

(a) An officer receiving a writ may transfer the writ to another officer in another precinct, or to another law enforcement agency authorized to perform executions, within the county of the first officer who received the writ.

(b) An officer does not have a duty to levy on or sell property not within the officer's county, unless it is real property that is partially in the officer's county and partially within a contiguous county.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.074: Officer's Surety

(a) An officer's surety may only be liable for the penal sum of the surety bond minus any amounts already paid out under the bond. In no event may an officer's surety be liable for more than the penal sum of the officer's surety bond.

(b) If the officer and the officer's surety are both defendants in an action brought under this chapter, the surety may deposit in the court's registry the amount unpaid under the surety bond and the court shall determine the proper disposition of this sum or order the return of the deposit to the surety in the court's final judgment.

(c) A surety is not a necessary party to an action brought under this chapter or under Section 7.001. Instead, a prevailing party under these provisions may bring a separate action against a surety failing to pay the amount remaining under the bond on a final judgment. This action must be brought on or before 180 days after the date all appeals are exhausted in the underlying action.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.075: Wrongful Levy

Whenever a distress warrant, writ of execution, sequestration, attachment, or other like writ is levied upon personal property, and the property, or any part of the property, is claimed by any claimant who is not a party to the writ, the only remedy against a sheriff or constable for wrongful levy on the property is by trial of right of property under Part VI, Section 9, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 34.076: Exclusive Remedy

This subchapter is the exclusive remedy for violations of an officer's duties with regard to the execution and return of writs without regard to the source of the duty prescribed by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1269), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Chapter 35

Sec. 35.001: Definition

In this chapter, "foreign judgment" means a judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or of any other court that is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 35.002: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 35.003: Filing and Status of Foreign Judgments

(a) A copy of a foreign judgment authenticated in accordance with an act of congress or a statute of this state may be filed in the office of the clerk of any court of competent jurisdiction of this state.

(b) The clerk shall treat the foreign judgment in the same manner as a judgment of the court in which the foreign judgment is filed.

(c) A filed foreign judgment has the same effect and is subject to the same procedures, defenses, and proceedings for reopening, vacating, staying, enforcing, or satisfying a judgment as a judgment of the court in which it is filed.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 35.004: Affidavit; Notice of Filing

(a) At the time a foreign judgment is filed, the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor's attorney shall file with the clerk of the court an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor.

(b) The judgment creditor or the judgment creditor's attorney shall:

(1) promptly mail notice of the filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor at the address provided for the judgment debtor under Subsection (a); and

(2) file proof of mailing of the notice with the clerk of the court.

(c) The notice must include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and if the judgment creditor has an attorney in this state, the attorney's name and address.

(d) On receipt of proof of mailing under Subsection (b), the clerk of the court shall note the mailing in the docket.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 65 (S.B. 428), Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 2011.

Sec. 35.006: Stay

(a) If the judgment debtor shows the court that an appeal from the foreign judgment is pending or will be taken, that the time for taking an appeal has not expired, or that a stay of execution has been granted, has been requested, or will be requested, and proves that the judgment debtor has furnished or will furnish the security for the satisfaction of the judgment required by the state in which it was rendered, the court shall stay enforcement of the foreign judgment until the appeal is concluded, the time for appeal expires, or the stay of execution expires or is vacated.

(b) If the judgment debtor shows the court a ground on which enforcement of a judgment of the court of this state would be stayed, the court shall stay enforcement of the foreign judgment for an appropriate period and require the same security for suspending enforcement of the judgment that is required in this state in accordance with Section 52.006.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 7.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 35.007: Fees

(a) A person filing a foreign judgment shall pay to the clerk of the court the amount as otherwise provided by law for filing suit in the courts of this state.

(b) Filing fees are due and payable at the time of filing.

(c) Fees for other enforcement proceedings are as provided by law for judgments of the courts of this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 35.008: Optional Procedure

A judgment creditor retains the right to bring an action to enforce a judgment instead of proceeding under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 36A

Sec. 36A.001: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.002: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Foreign country" means a government other than:

(A) the United States;

(B) a state, district, commonwealth, territory, or insular possession of the United States; or

(C) any other government with respect to which the decision in this state as to whether to recognize a judgment of that government's court is initially subject to determination under Section 1, Article IV, United States Constitution (the full faith and credit clause).

(2) "Foreign-country judgment" means a judgment of a court of a foreign country.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.003: Applicability

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b), this chapter applies to a foreign-country judgment to the extent that the judgment:

(1) grants or denies recovery of a sum of money; and

(2) under the law of the foreign country in which the judgment is rendered, is final, conclusive, and enforceable.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a foreign-country judgment that grants or denies recovery of a sum of money to the extent that the judgment is:

(1) a judgment for taxes;

(2) a fine or other penalty; or

(3) a judgment for divorce, support, or maintenance, or other judgment rendered in connection with domestic relations.

(c) A party seeking recognition of a foreign-country judgment has the burden of establishing that this chapter applies to the foreign-country judgment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.004: Standards for Recognition of Foreign-Country Judgment

(a) Except as otherwise provided in Subsections (b) and (c), a court of this state shall recognize a foreign-country judgment to which this chapter applies.

(b) A court of this state may not recognize a foreign-country judgment if:

(1) the judgment was rendered under a judicial system that does not provide impartial tribunals or procedures compatible with the requirements of due process of law;

(2) the foreign court did not have personal jurisdiction over the defendant; or

(3) the foreign court did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter.

(c) A court of this state is not required to recognize a foreign-country judgment if:

(1) the defendant in the proceeding in the foreign court did not receive notice of the proceeding in sufficient time to enable the defendant to defend;

(2) the judgment was obtained by fraud that deprived the losing party of an adequate opportunity to present the party's case;

(3) the judgment or the cause of action on which the judgment is based is repugnant to the public policy of this state or the United States;

(4) the judgment conflicts with another final and conclusive judgment;

(5) the proceeding in the foreign court was contrary to an agreement between the parties under which the dispute in question was to be determined otherwise than by proceedings in the foreign court;

(6) jurisdiction was based only on personal service and the foreign court was a seriously inconvenient forum for the trial of the action;

(7) the judgment was rendered in circumstances that raise substantial doubt about the integrity of the rendering court with respect to the judgment;

(8) the specific proceeding in the foreign court leading to the judgment was not compatible with the requirements of due process of law; or

(9) it is established that the foreign country in which the judgment was rendered does not recognize judgments rendered in this state that, but for the fact that they are rendered in this state, would constitute foreign-country judgments to which this chapter would apply under Section 36A.003.

(d) A party resisting recognition of a foreign-country judgment has the burden of establishing that a ground for nonrecognition stated in Subsection (b) or (c) exists.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.005: Personal Jurisdiction

(a) A foreign-country judgment may not be refused recognition for lack of personal jurisdiction if:

(1) the defendant was served with process personally in the foreign country;

(2) the defendant voluntarily appeared in the proceeding, other than for the purpose of protecting property seized or threatened with seizure in the proceeding or of contesting the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant;

(3) the defendant, before commencement of the proceeding, agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the foreign court with respect to the subject matter involved;

(4) the defendant was domiciled in the foreign country when the proceeding was instituted or was a corporation or other form of business organization whose principal place of business was in, or that was organized under the laws of, the foreign country;

(5) the defendant had a business office in the foreign country and the proceeding in the foreign court involved a cause of action arising out of business done by the defendant through that office in the foreign country; or

(6) the defendant operated a motor vehicle or airplane in the foreign country and the proceeding involved a cause of action arising out of that operation.

(b) The list of bases for personal jurisdiction in Subsection (a) is not exclusive. A court of this state may recognize bases of personal jurisdiction other than those listed in Subsection (a) as sufficient to support a foreign-country judgment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.006: Procedure for Recognition of Foreign-Country Judgment

(a) If recognition of a foreign-country judgment is sought as an original matter, the issue of recognition may be raised by filing an action seeking recognition of the foreign-country judgment.

(b) If recognition of a foreign-country judgment is sought in a pending action, the issue of recognition may be raised by counterclaim, cross-claim, or affirmative defense.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.007: Effect of Recognition of Foreign-Country Judgment

If the court in a proceeding under Section 36A.006 finds that the foreign-country judgment is entitled to recognition under this chapter, then, to the extent that the foreign-country judgment grants or denies recovery of a sum of money, the foreign-country judgment is:

(1) conclusive between the parties to the same extent as the judgment of a sister state entitled to full faith and credit in this state would be conclusive; and

(2) enforceable in the same manner and to the same extent as a judgment rendered in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.008: Stay of Proceedings Pending Appeal of Foreign-Country Judgment

If a party establishes that an appeal from a foreign-country judgment is pending or will be taken, the court may stay any proceedings with regard to the foreign-country judgment until:

(1) the appeal is concluded;

(2) the time for appeal expires; or

(3) the appellant has had sufficient time to prosecute the appeal and has failed to do so.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.009: Statute of Limitations

An action to recognize a foreign-country judgment must be brought within the earlier of:

(1) the time during which the foreign-country judgment is effective in the foreign country; or

(2) 15 years from the date that the foreign-country judgment became effective in the foreign country.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.010: Uniformity of Interpretation

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to the subject matter of this chapter among states that enact a law based on the uniform act on which this chapter is based.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 36A.011: Saving Clause

This chapter does not prevent the recognition under principles of comity or otherwise of a foreign-country judgment not within the scope of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 390 (S.B. 944), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Chapter 37

Sec. 37.001: Definition

In this chapter, "person" means an individual, partnership, joint-stock company, unincorporated association or society, or municipal or other corporation of any character.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.002: Short Title, Construction, Interpretation

(a) This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act.

(b) This chapter is remedial; its purpose is to settle and to afford relief from uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, status, and other legal relations; and it is to be liberally construed and administered.

(c) This chapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it and to harmonize, as far as possible, with federal laws and regulations on the subject of declaratory judgments and decrees.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.003: Power of Courts to Render Judgment; Form and Effect

(a) A court of record within its jurisdiction has power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. An action or proceeding is not open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment or decree is prayed for.

(b) The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and effect, and the declaration has the force and effect of a final judgment or decree.

(c) The enumerations in Sections 37.004 and 37.005 do not limit or restrict the exercise of the general powers conferred in this section in any proceeding in which declaratory relief is sought and a judgment or decree will terminate the controversy or remove an uncertainty.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.004: Subject Matter of Relief

(a) A person interested under a deed, will, written contract, or other writings constituting a contract or whose rights, status, or other legal relations are affected by a statute, municipal ordinance, contract, or franchise may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument, statute, ordinance, contract, or franchise and obtain a declaration of rights, status, or other legal relations thereunder.

(b) A contract may be construed either before or after there has been a breach.

(c) Notwithstanding Section 22.001, Property Code, a person described by Subsection (a) may obtain a determination under this chapter when the sole issue concerning title to real property is the determination of the proper boundary line between adjoining properties.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 305 (H.B. 1787), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Sec. 37.005: Declarations Relating to Trust Or Estate

A person interested as or through an executor or administrator, including an independent executor or administrator, a trustee, guardian, other fiduciary, creditor, devisee, legatee, heir, next of kin, or cestui que trust in the administration of a trust or of the estate of a decedent, an infant, mentally incapacitated person, or insolvent may have a declaration of rights or legal relations in respect to the trust or estate:

(1) to ascertain any class of creditors, devisees, legatees, heirs, next of kin, or others;

(2) to direct the executors, administrators, or trustees to do or abstain from doing any particular act in their fiduciary capacity;

(3) to determine any question arising in the administration of the trust or estate, including questions of construction of wills and other writings; or

(4) to determine rights or legal relations of an independent executor or independent administrator regarding fiduciary fees and the settling of accounts.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.08(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 855, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 37.0055: Declarations Relating to Liability for Sales and Use Taxes of Another State

(a) In this section, "state" includes any political subdivision of that state.

(b) A district court has original jurisdiction of a proceeding seeking a declaratory judgment that involves:

(1) a party seeking declaratory relief that is a business that is:

(A) organized under the laws of this state or is otherwise owned by a resident of this state; or

(B) a retailer registered with the comptroller under Section 151.106, Tax Code; and

(2) a responding party that:

(A) is an official of another state; and

(B) asserts a claim that the party seeking declaratory relief is required to collect sales or use taxes for that state based on conduct of the business that occurs in whole or in part within this state.

(c) A business described by Subsection (b)(1) is entitled to declaratory relief on the issue of whether the requirement of another state that the business collect and remit sales or use taxes to that state constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce under Section 8, Article I, United States Constitution.

(d) In determining whether to grant declaratory relief to a business under this section, a court shall consider:

(1) the factual circumstances of the business's operations that give rise to the demand by the other state; and

(2) the decisions of other courts interpreting Section 8, Article I, United States Constitution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 699 (H.B. 2010), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 37.006: Parties

(a) When declaratory relief is sought, all persons who have or claim any interest that would be affected by the declaration must be made parties. A declaration does not prejudice the rights of a person not a party to the proceeding.

(b) In any proceeding that involves the validity of a municipal ordinance or franchise, the municipality must be made a party and is entitled to be heard, and if the statute, ordinance, or franchise is alleged to be unconstitutional, the attorney general of the state must also be served with a copy of the proceeding and is entitled to be heard.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.007: Jury Trial

If a proceeding under this chapter involves the determination of an issue of fact, the issue may be tried and determined in the same manner as issues of fact are tried and determined in other civil actions in the court in which the proceeding is pending.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.008: Court Refusal to Render

The court may refuse to render or enter a declaratory judgment or decree if the judgment or decree would not terminate the uncertainty or controversy giving rise to the proceeding.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.009: Costs

In any proceeding under this chapter, the court may award costs and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees as are equitable and just.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.010: Review

All orders, judgments, and decrees under this chapter may be reviewed as other orders, judgments, and decrees.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 37.011: Supplemental Relief

Further relief based on a declaratory judgment or decree may be granted whenever necessary or proper. The application must be by petition to a court having jurisdiction to grant the relief. If the application is deemed sufficient, the court shall, on reasonable notice, require any adverse party whose rights have been adjudicated by the declaratory judgment or decree to show cause why further relief should not be granted forthwith.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 38

Sec. 38.001: Recovery of Attorney's Fees

A person may recover reasonable attorney's fees from an individual or corporation, in addition to the amount of a valid claim and costs, if the claim is for:

(1) rendered services;

(2) performed labor;

(3) furnished material;

(4) freight or express overcharges;

(5) lost or damaged freight or express;

(6) killed or injured stock;

(7) a sworn account; or

(8) an oral or written contract.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 38.002: Procedure for Recovery of Attorney's Fees

To recover attorney's fees under this chapter:

(1) the claimant must be represented by an attorney;

(2) the claimant must present the claim to the opposing party or to a duly authorized agent of the opposing party; and

(3) payment for the just amount owed must not have been tendered before the expiration of the 30th day after the claim is presented.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 38.003: Presumption

It is presumed that the usual and customary attorney's fees for a claim of the type described in Section 38.001 are reasonable. The presumption may be rebutted.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 38.004: Judicial Notice

The court may take judicial notice of the usual and customary attorney's fees and of the contents of the case file without receiving further evidence in:

(1) a proceeding before the court; or

(2) a jury case in which the amount of attorney's fees is submitted to the court by agreement.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 38.005: Liberal Construction

This chapter shall be liberally construed to promote its underlying purposes.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 38.006: Exceptions

This chapter does not apply to a contract issued by an insurer that is subject to the provisions of:

(1) Title 11, Insurance Code;

(2) Chapter 541, Insurance Code;

(3) the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (Subchapter A, Chapter 542, Insurance Code); or

(4) Subchapter B, Chapter 542, Insurance Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 11.105, eff. September 1, 2005.

Chapter 39

Sec. 39.001: Notice of Intent to Take Default Judgment

Notice of intent to take a default judgment against the state, a state agency, or a party in a civil case for which Chapter 104 authorizes representation by the attorney general shall be mailed to the attorney general at the attorney general's office in Austin, Texas, by United States Postal Service certified mail, return receipt requested, not later than the 10th day before the entry of the default judgment.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.09(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 39.002: Failure to Give Notice

Failure to give notice in a case in which notice is required by Section 30.004(b) or Section 39.001 results in any default judgment in the case being set aside without costs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.09(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Chapter 40

Sec. 40.001: Endowment of Certain Nonprofit Institutions

(a) This section applies only to damages awarded against:

(1) a nonprofit institution or facility:

(A) licensed under Chapter 242, 246, or 247, Health and Safety Code, or Chapter 42, Human Resources Code; and

(B) that, before the date on which the action in which the damages are awarded is filed, is affiliated with:

(i) a nonprofit religious organization that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and that is a nonprofit religious organization described by 34 T.A.C. Section 3.322(b)(3), as that provision existed on January 1, 2003, or a convention or association of those organizations; or

(ii) a local Jewish Federation; or

(2) a program operated by an institution or facility described by Subdivision (1).

(b) A claimant may not collect damages awarded against an institution, facility, or program described by Subsection (a) from an endowment fund, restricted fund, or similar fund or account, or the income derived from the corpus of the fund or account, if:

(1) the fund or account is exempt from federal taxation;

(2) the corpus, income, or a distribution from the fund or account is used to assist in funding care provided by a nursing institution licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, and affiliated with an organization described by Subsection (a)(1)(B);

(3) the corpus of the fund or account is derived from donations or grants from third parties or public sources; and

(4) the use of the fund or account is temporarily or permanently restricted:

(A) by the donor or grantor at the time the donation or grant is made by:

(i) the express language, action, or agreement of the donor or grantor; or

(ii) the manner in which the donation or grant was solicited by the donee or grantee; or

(B) by the board governing the fund or account at the time the donation or grant is accepted.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 133, Sec. 1, eff. May 27, 2003.

Chapter 41

Sec. 41.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claimant" means a party, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party plaintiff, seeking recovery of damages. In a cause of action in which a party seeks recovery of damages related to injury to another person, damage to the property of another person, death of another person, or other harm to another person, "claimant" includes both that other person and the party seeking recovery of damages.

(2) "Clear and convincing" means the measure or degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.

(3) "Defendant" means a party, including a counterdefendant, cross-defendant, or third-party defendant, from whom a claimant seeks relief.

(4) "Economic damages" means compensatory damages intended to compensate a claimant for actual economic or pecuniary loss; the term does not include exemplary damages or noneconomic damages.

(5) "Exemplary damages" means any damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes. Exemplary damages are neither economic nor noneconomic damages. 'Exemplary damages' includes punitive damages.

(6) "Fraud" means fraud other than constructive fraud.

(7) "Malice" means a specific intent by the defendant to cause substantial injury or harm to the claimant.

(7-a) "Net worth" means the total assets of a person minus the total liabilities of the person on a date determined appropriate by the trial court.

(8) "Compensatory damages" means economic and noneconomic damages. The term does not include exemplary damages.

(9) "Future damages" means damages that are incurred after the date of the judgment. Future damages do not include exemplary damages.

(10) "Future loss of earnings" means a pecuniary loss incurred after the date of the judgment, including:

(A) loss of income, wages, or earning capacity; and

(B) loss of inheritance.

(11) "Gross negligence" means an act or omission:

(A) which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and

(B) of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.

(12) "Noneconomic damages" means damages awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.

(13) "Periodic payments" means the payment of money or its equivalent to the recipient of future damages at defined intervals.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1159 (S.B. 735), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 41.002: Applicability

(a) This chapter applies to any action in which a claimant seeks damages relating to a cause of action.

(b) This chapter establishes the maximum damages that may be awarded in an action subject to this chapter, including an action for which damages are awarded under another law of this state. This chapter does not apply to the extent another law establishes a lower maximum amount of damages for a particular claim.

(c) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (d), in an action to which this chapter applies, the provisions of this chapter prevail over all other law to the extent of any conflict.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, this chapter does not apply to:

(1) Section 15.21, Business & Commerce Code (Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act of 1983);

(2) an action brought under the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code) except as specifically provided in Section 17.50 of that Act;

(3) an action brought under Chapter 36, Human Resources Code; or

(4) an action brought under Chapter 21, Insurance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 380, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1129, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 9, eff. May 30, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 4.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 806 (S.B. 563), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 41.003: Standards for Recovery of Exemplary Damages

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), exemplary damages may be awarded only if the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the harm with respect to which the claimant seeks recovery of exemplary damages results from:

(1) fraud;

(2) malice; or

(3) gross negligence.

(b) The claimant must prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of exemplary damages as provided by this section. This burden of proof may not be shifted to the defendant or satisfied by evidence of ordinary negligence, bad faith, or a deceptive trade practice.

(c) If the claimant relies on a statute establishing a cause of action and authorizing exemplary damages in specified circumstances or in conjunction with a specified culpable mental state, exemplary damages may be awarded only if the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the damages result from the specified circumstances or culpable mental state.

(d) Exemplary damages may be awarded only if the jury was unanimous in regard to finding liability for and the amount of exemplary damages.

(e) In all cases where the issue of exemplary damages is submitted to the jury, the following instruction shall be included in the charge of the court:

"You are instructed that, in order for you to find exemplary damages, your answer to the question regarding the amount of such damages must be unanimous."

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 41.004: Factors Precluding Recovery

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), exemplary damages may be awarded only if damages other than nominal damages are awarded.

(b) Exemplary damages may not be awarded to a claimant who elects to have his recovery multiplied under another statute.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.05, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 41.005: Harm Resulting from Criminal Act

(a) In an action arising from harm resulting from an assault, theft, or other criminal act, a court may not award exemplary damages against a defendant because of the criminal act of another.

(b) The exemption provided by Subsection (a) does not apply if:

(1) the criminal act was committed by an employee of the defendant;

(2) the defendant is criminally responsible as a party to the criminal act under the provisions of Chapter 7, Penal Code;

(3) the criminal act occurred at a location where, at the time of the criminal act, the defendant was maintaining a common nuisance under the provisions of Chapter 125, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and had not made reasonable attempts to abate the nuisance; or

(4) the criminal act resulted from the defendant's intentional or knowing violation of a statutory duty under Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code, and the criminal act occurred after the statutory deadline for compliance with that duty.

(c) In an action arising out of a criminal act committed by an employee, the employer may be liable for punitive damages but only if:

(1) the principal authorized the doing and the manner of the act;

(2) the agent was unfit and the principal acted with malice in employing or retaining him;

(3) the agent was employed in a managerial capacity and was acting in the scope of employment; or

(4) the employer or a manager of the employer ratified or approved the act.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.006: Award Specific to Defendant

In any action in which there are two or more defendants, an award of exemplary damages must be specific as to a defendant, and each defendant is liable only for the amount of the award made against that defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 41.005 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.007: Prejudgment Interest

Prejudgment interest may not be assessed or recovered on an award of exemplary damages.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 41.006 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.008: Limitation on Amount of Recovery

(a) In an action in which a claimant seeks recovery of damages, the trier of fact shall determine the amount of economic damages separately from the amount of other compensatory damages.

(b) Exemplary damages awarded against a defendant may not exceed an amount equal to the greater of:

(1) (A) two times the amount of economic damages; plus

(B) an amount equal to any noneconomic damages found by the jury, not to exceed $750,000; or

(2) $200,000.

(c) This section does not apply to a cause of action against a defendant from whom a plaintiff seeks recovery of exemplary damages based on conduct described as a felony in the following sections of the Penal Code if, except for Sections 49.07 and 49.08, the conduct was committed knowingly or intentionally:

(1) Section 19.02 (murder);

(2) Section 19.03 (capital murder);

(3) Section 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping);

(4) Section 22.02 (aggravated assault);

(5) Section 22.011 (sexual assault);

(6) Section 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault);

(7) Section 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, but not if the conduct occurred while providing health care as defined by Section 74.001);

(8) Section 32.21 (forgery);

(9) Section 32.43 (commercial bribery);

(10) Section 32.45 (misapplication of fiduciary property or property of financial institution);

(11) Section 32.46 (securing execution of document by deception);

(12) Section 32.47 (fraudulent destruction, removal, or concealment of writing);

(13) Chapter 31 (theft) the punishment level for which is a felony of the third degree or higher;

(14) Section 49.07 (intoxication assault);

(15) Section 49.08 (intoxication manslaughter);

(16) Section 21.02 (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children); or

(17) Chapter 20A (trafficking of persons).

(d) In this section, "intentionally" and "knowingly" have the same meanings assigned those terms in Sections 6.03(a) and (b), Penal Code.

(e) The provisions of this section may not be made known to a jury by any means, including voir dire, introduction into evidence, argument, or instruction.

(f) This section does not apply to a cause of action for damages arising from the manufacture of methamphetamine as described by Chapter 99.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 2, 1987. Renumbered from Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 41.007 and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 643, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.06, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (H.B. 8), Sec. 3.03, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 309 (H.B. 533), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 41.009: Bifurcated Trial

(a) On motion by a defendant, the court shall provide for a bifurcated trial under this section. A motion under this subsection shall be made prior to voir dire examination of the jury or at a time specified by a pretrial court order issued under Rule 166, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) In an action with more than one defendant, the court shall provide for a bifurcated trial on motion of any defendant.

(c) In the first phase of a bifurcated trial, the trier of fact shall determine:

(1) liability for compensatory and exemplary damages; and

(2) the amount of compensatory damages.

(d) If liability for exemplary damages is established during the first phase of a bifurcated trial, the trier of fact shall, in the second phase of the trial, determine the amount of exemplary damages to be awarded, if any.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.010: Considerations in Making Award

(a) Before making an award of exemplary damages, the trier of fact shall consider the definition and purposes of exemplary damages as provided by Section 41.001.

(b) Subject to Section 41.008, the determination of whether to award exemplary damages and the amount of exemplary damages to be awarded is within the discretion of the trier of fact.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.07, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 41.0105: Evidence Relating to Amount of Economic Damages

In addition to any other limitation under law, recovery of medical or health care expenses incurred is limited to the amount actually paid or incurred by or on behalf of the claimant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 13.08, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 41.011: Evidence Relating to Amount of Exemplary Damages

(a) In determining the amount of exemplary damages, the trier of fact shall consider evidence, if any, relating to:

(1) the nature of the wrong;

(2) the character of the conduct involved;

(3) the degree of culpability of the wrongdoer;

(4) the situation and sensibilities of the parties concerned;

(5) the extent to which such conduct offends a public sense of justice and propriety; and

(6) the net worth of the defendant.

(b) Evidence that is relevant only to the amount of exemplary damages that may be awarded is not admissible during the first phase of a bifurcated trial.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.0115: Discovery of Evidence of Net Worth for Exemplary Damages Claim

(a) On the motion of a party and after notice and a hearing, a trial court may authorize discovery of evidence of a defendant's net worth if the court finds in a written order that the claimant has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of a claim for exemplary damages. Evidence submitted by a party to the court in support of or in opposition to a motion made under this subsection may be in the form of an affidavit or a response to discovery.

(b) If a trial court authorizes discovery under Subsection (a), the court's order may only authorize use of the least burdensome method available to obtain the net worth evidence.

(c) When reviewing an order authorizing or denying discovery of net worth evidence under this section, the reviewing court may consider only the evidence submitted by the parties to the trial court in support of or in opposition to the motion described by Subsection (a).

(d) If a party requests net worth discovery under this section, the court shall presume that the requesting party has had adequate time for the discovery of facts relating to exemplary damages for purposes of allowing the party from whom net worth discovery is sought to move for summary judgment on the requesting party's claim for exemplary damages under Rule 166a(i), Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1159 (S.B. 735), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 41.012: Jury Instructions

In a trial to a jury, the court shall instruct the jury with regard to Sections 41.001, 41.003, 41.010, and 41.011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.013: Judicial Review of Award

(a) Except as provided for in Subsection (b), an appellate court that reviews the evidence with respect to a finding by a trier of fact concerning liability for exemplary damages or with respect to the amount of exemplary damages awarded shall state, in a written opinion, the court's reasons for upholding or disturbing the finding or award. The written opinion shall address the evidence or lack of evidence with specificity, as it relates to the liability for or amount of exemplary damages, in light of the requirements of this chapter.

(b) This section does not apply to the supreme court with respect to its consideration of an application for writ of error.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 41.014: Interest on Damages Subject to Medicare Subrogation

(a) Subject to this section, postjudgment interest does not accrue on the unpaid balance of an award of damages to a plaintiff attributable to any portion of the award to which the United States has a subrogation right under 42 U.S.C. Section 1395y(b)(2)(B) before the defendant receives a recovery demand letter issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or a designated contractor under 42 C.F.R. Section 411.22.

(b) Postjudgment interest under this section does not accrue if the defendant pays the unpaid balance before the 31st day after the date the defendant receives the recovery demand letter.

(c) If the defendant appeals the award of damages, this section does not apply.

(d) This section does not prevent the accrual of postjudgment interest on any portion of an award to which the United States does not have a subrogation right under 42 U.S.C. Section 1395y(b)(2)(B).

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 870 (H.B. 658), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Chapter 42

Sec. 42.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claim" means a request, including a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, to recover monetary damages.

(2) "Claimant" means a person making a claim.

(3) "Defendant" means a person from whom a claimant seeks recovery on a claim, including a counterdefendant, cross-defendant, or third-party defendant.

(4) "Governmental unit" means the state, a unit of state government, or a political subdivision of this state.

(5) "Litigation costs" means money actually spent and obligations actually incurred that are directly related to the action in which a settlement offer is made. The term includes:

(A) court costs;

(B) reasonable deposition costs;

(C) reasonable fees for not more than two testifying expert witnesses; and

(D) reasonable attorney's fees.

(6) "Settlement offer" means an offer to settle or compromise a claim made in compliance with Section 42.003.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 4.01, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 42.002: Applicability and Effect

(a) The settlement procedures provided in this chapter apply only to claims for monetary relief.

(b) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) a class action;

(2) a shareholder's derivative action;

(3) an action by or against a governmental unit;

(4) an action brought under the Family Code;

(5) an action to collect workers' compensation benefits under Subtitle A, Title 5, Labor Code; or

(6) an action filed in a justice of the peace court or a small claims court.

(c) This chapter does not apply until a defendant files a declaration that the settlement procedure allowed by this chapter is available in the action. If there is more than one defendant, the settlement procedure allowed by this chapter is available only in relation to the defendant that filed the declaration and to the parties that make or receive offers of settlement in relation to that defendant.

(d) This chapter does not limit or affect the ability of any person to:

(1) make an offer to settle or compromise a claim that does not comply with Section 42.003; or

(2) offer to settle or compromise a claim in an action to which this chapter does not apply.

(e) An offer to settle or compromise that does not comply with Section 42.003 or an offer to settle or compromise made in an action to which this chapter does not apply does not entitle any party to recover litigation costs under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 4.02, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 42.003: Making Settlement Offer

(a) A settlement offer must:

(1) be in writing;

(2) state that it is made under this chapter;

(3) state the terms by which the claims may be settled;

(4) state a deadline by which the settlement offer must be accepted; and

(5) be served on all parties to whom the settlement offer is made.

(b) The parties are not required to file a settlement offer with the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 4.03, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 42.004: Awarding Litigation Costs

(a) If a settlement offer is made and rejected and the judgment to be rendered will be significantly less favorable to the rejecting party than was the settlement offer, the offering party shall recover litigation costs from the rejecting party.

(b) A judgment will be significantly less favorable to the rejecting party than is the settlement offer if:

(1) the rejecting party is a claimant and the award will be less than 80 percent of the rejected offer; or

(2) the rejecting party is a defendant and the award will be more than 120 percent of the rejected offer.

(c) The litigation costs that may be recovered by the offering party under this section are limited to those litigation costs incurred by the offering party after the date the rejecting party rejected the settlement offer.

(d) The litigation costs that may be awarded under this chapter to any party may not be greater than the total amount that the claimant recovers or would recover before adding an award of litigation costs under this chapter in favor of the claimant or subtracting as an offset an award of litigation costs under this chapter in favor of the defendant.

(e) If a claimant or defendant is entitled to recover fees and costs under another law, that claimant or defendant may not recover litigation costs in addition to the fees and costs recoverable under the other law.

(f) If a claimant or defendant is entitled to recover fees and costs under another law, the court must not include fees and costs incurred by that claimant or defendant after the date of rejection of the settlement offer when calculating the amount of the judgment to be rendered under Subsection (a).

(g) If litigation costs are to be awarded against a claimant, those litigation costs shall be awarded to the defendant in the judgment as an offset against the claimant's recovery from that defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 4.04, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 42.005: Supreme Court to Make Rules

(a) The supreme court shall promulgate rules implementing this chapter. The rules must be limited to settlement offers made under this chapter. The rules must be in effect on January 1, 2004.

(b) The rules promulgated by the supreme court must provide:

(1) the date by which a defendant or defendants must file the declaration required by Section 42.002(c);

(2) the date before which a party may not make a settlement offer;

(3) the date after which a party may not make a settlement offer; and

(4) procedures for:

(A) making an initial settlement offer;

(B) making successive settlement offers;

(C) withdrawing a settlement offer;

(D) accepting a settlement offer;

(E) rejecting a settlement offer; and

(F) modifying the deadline for making, withdrawing, accepting, or rejecting a settlement offer.

(c) The rules promulgated by the supreme court must address actions in which there are multiple parties and must provide that if the offering party joins another party or designates a responsible third party after making the settlement offer, the party to whom the settlement offer was made may declare the offer void.

(d) The rules promulgated by the supreme court may:

(1) designate other actions to which the settlement procedure of this chapter does not apply; and

(2) address other matters considered necessary by the supreme court to the implementation of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 43

Sec. 43.001: Definition

In this chapter, "surety" includes:

(1) an endorser, a guarantor, and a drawer of a draft that has been accepted; and

(2) every other form of suretyship, whether created by express contract or by operation of law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.11, eff. April 1, 2009.

Sec. 43.002: Suit on Accrued Right of Action

(a) When a right of action accrues on a contract for the payment of money or performance of an act, a surety on the contract may, by written notice, require the obligee to without delay bring a suit on the contract.

(b) A surety who provides notice to an obligee under Subsection (a) is discharged from all liability on the contract if the obligee:

(1) is not under a legal disability; and

(2) does not:

(A) bring a suit on the contract during:

(i) the first term of court after receipt of the notice; or

(ii) the second term of court if good cause is shown for the delay; or

(B) prosecute the suit to judgment and execution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.11, eff. April 1, 2009.

Sec. 43.003: Priority of Execution

(a) If a judgment granted against two or more defendants finds a suretyship relationship between or among the defendants, the court shall order the sheriff to levy the execution in the following order:

(1) against the principal's property located in the county where the judgment was granted;

(2) if the sheriff cannot find enough of the principal's property in that county to satisfy the execution, against as much of the principal's property as the sheriff finds; and

(3) against as much of the surety's property as is necessary to make up the balance of the amount shown in the writ of execution.

(b) The clerk shall note the order to the sheriff on the writ of execution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.11, eff. April 1, 2009.

Sec. 43.004: Subrogation Rights of Surety

(a) A judgment is not discharged by a surety's payment of the judgment in whole or part if the payment:

(1) is compelled; or

(2) if made voluntarily, is applied to the judgment because of the suretyship relationship.

(b) A surety who pays on a judgment as described by Subsection (a) is subrogated to all of the judgment creditor's rights under the judgment. A subrogated surety is entitled to execution on the judgment against:

(1) the principal's property for the amount of the surety's payment, plus interest and costs; and

(2) if there is more than one surety, both the principal's property and the property of the cosurety or cosureties for the amount by which the surety's payment exceeds the surety's proportionate share of the judgment, plus interest and costs.

(c) A subrogated surety seeking execution on the judgment under Subsection (b) shall apply for execution to the clerk or court. The execution shall be levied, collected, and returned as in other cases.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.11, eff. April 1, 2009.

Sec. 43.005: Officer Treated As Surety

(a) An officer has the rights of a surety provided by Section 43.004 if the officer is compelled to pay a judgment in whole or part because of the officer's default.

(b) An officer does not have the rights of a surety provided by Section 43.004 if the officer:

(1) does not pay over money collected; or

(2) wastes property that is levied on by the officer or is in the officer's possession.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.11, eff. April 1, 2009.

Subtitle D

Chapter 51

Subchapter A

Sec. 51.001: Appeal from Justice Court to County Or District Court

(a) In a case tried in justice court in which the judgment or amount in controversy exceeds $250, exclusive of costs, or in which the appeal is expressly provided by law, a party to a final judgment may appeal to the county court.

(b) In a county in which the civil jurisdiction of the county court has been transferred to the district court, a party to a final judgment in a case covered by this section may appeal to the district court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 553 (S.B. 1413), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 51.002: Certiorari from Justice Court

(a) After final judgment in a case tried in justice court in which the judgment or amount in controversy exceeds $250, exclusive of costs, a person may remove the case from the justice court to the county court by writ of certiorari.

(b) In a county in which the civil jurisdiction of the county court has been transferred from the county court to the district court, a person may remove a case covered by this section from the justice court to the district court by writ of certiorari.

(c) If a writ of certiorari to remove a case is served on a justice of the peace, the justice shall immediately make a certified copy of the entries made on his docket and of the bill of costs, as provided in cases of appeals, and shall immediately send them and the original papers in the case to the clerk of the county or district court, as appropriate.

(d) This section does not apply to a case of forcible entry and detainer.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 553 (S.B. 1413), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Subchapter B

Sec. 51.011: Appeal from County Or District Court After Certiorari from Justice Court

If a county or district court hears a case on certiorari from a justice court, a person may take an appeal or writ of error from the judgment of the county or district court. The appeal or writ of error is subject to the rules that apply in a case appealed from a justice court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 51.012: Appeal Or Writ of Error to Court of Appeals

In a civil case in which the judgment or amount in controversy exceeds $250, exclusive of interest and costs, a person may take an appeal or writ of error to the court of appeals from a final judgment of the district or county court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 51.013: Time for Taking Writ of Error to Court of Appeals

In a case in which a writ of error to the court of appeals is allowed, the writ of error may be taken at any time within six months after the date the final judgment is rendered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 51.014: Appeal from Interlocutory Order

(a) A person may appeal from an interlocutory order of a district court, county court at law, statutory probate court, or county court that:

(1) appoints a receiver or trustee;

(2) overrules a motion to vacate an order that appoints a receiver or trustee;

(3) certifies or refuses to certify a class in a suit brought under Rule 42 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(4) grants or refuses a temporary injunction or grants or overrules a motion to dissolve a temporary injunction as provided by Chapter 65;

(5) denies a motion for summary judgment that is based on an assertion of immunity by an individual who is an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state;

(6) denies a motion for summary judgment that is based in whole or in part upon a claim against or defense by a member of the electronic or print media, acting in such capacity, or a person whose communication appears in or is published by the electronic or print media, arising under the free speech or free press clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or Article I, Section 8, of the Texas Constitution, or Chapter 73;

(7) grants or denies the special appearance of a defendant under Rule 120a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, except in a suit brought under the Family Code;

(8) grants or denies a plea to the jurisdiction by a governmental unit as that term is defined in Section 101.001;

(9) denies all or part of the relief sought by a motion under Section 74.351(b), except that an appeal may not be taken from an order granting an extension under Section 74.351;

(10) grants relief sought by a motion under Section 74.351(l);

(11) denies a motion to dismiss filed under Section 90.007;

(12) denies a motion to dismiss filed under Section 27.003;

(13) denies a motion for summary judgment filed by an electric utility regarding liability in a suit subject to Section 75.0022; or

(14) denies a motion filed by a municipality with a population of 500,000 or more in an action filed under Section 54.012(6) or 214.0012, Local Government Code.

(b) An interlocutory appeal under Subsection (a), other than an appeal under Subsection (a)(4) or in a suit brought under the Family Code, stays the commencement of a trial in the trial court pending resolution of the appeal. An interlocutory appeal under Subsection (a)(3), (5), (8), or (12) also stays all other proceedings in the trial court pending resolution of that appeal.

(c) A denial of a motion for summary judgment, special appearance, or plea to the jurisdiction described by Subsection (a)(5), (7), or (8) is not subject to the automatic stay under Subsection (b) unless the motion, special appearance, or plea to the jurisdiction is filed and requested for submission or hearing before the trial court not later than the later of:

(1) a date set by the trial court in a scheduling order entered under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; or

(2) the 180th day after the date the defendant files:

(A) the original answer;

(B) the first other responsive pleading to the plaintiff's petition; or

(C) if the plaintiff files an amended pleading that alleges a new cause of action against the defendant and the defendant is able to raise a defense to the new cause of action under Subsection (a)(5), (7), or (8), the responsive pleading that raises that defense.

(d) On a party's motion or on its own initiative, a trial court in a civil action may, by written order, permit an appeal from an order that is not otherwise appealable if:

(1) the order to be appealed involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion; and

(2) an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.

(d-1) Subsection (d) does not apply to an action brought under the Family Code.

(e) An appeal under Subsection (d) does not stay proceedings in the trial court unless:

(1) the parties agree to a stay; or

(2) the trial or appellate court orders a stay of the proceedings pending appeal.

(f) An appellate court may accept an appeal permitted by Subsection (d) if the appealing party, not later than the 15th day after the date the trial court signs the order to be appealed, files in the court of appeals having appellate jurisdiction over the action an application for interlocutory appeal explaining why an appeal is warranted under Subsection (d). If the court of appeals accepts the appeal, the appeal is governed by the procedures in the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure for pursuing an accelerated appeal. The date the court of appeals enters the order accepting the appeal starts the time applicable to filing the notice of appeal.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 855, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1296, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1389, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 1294), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 1294), Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 203 (H.B. 274), Sec. 3.01, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 44 (H.B. 200), Sec. 1, eff. May 16, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 604 (S.B. 1083), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 916 (H.B. 1366), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 961 (H.B. 1874), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1042 (H.B. 2935), Sec. 4, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 3.001, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 3.002, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1273 (H.B. 36), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 51.015: Costs of Appeal

In the case of an appeal brought pursuant to Section 51.014(6), if the order appealed from is affirmed, the court of appeals shall order the appellant to pay all costs and reasonable attorney fees of the appeal; otherwise, each party shall be liable for and taxed its own costs of the appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 855, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 51.016: Appeal Arising Under Federal Arbitration Act

In a matter subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. Section 1 et seq.), a person may take an appeal or writ of error to the court of appeals from the judgment or interlocutory order of a district court, county court at law, or county court under the same circumstances that an appeal from a federal district court's order or decision would be permitted by 9 U.S.C. Section 16.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 820 (S.B. 1650), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 51.017: Service of Notice on Court Reporter

(a) In addition to requirements for service of notice of appeal imposed by Rule 25.1(e), Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, notice of appeal, including an interlocutory appeal, must be served on each court reporter responsible for preparing the reporter's record.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 7.02, eff. September 1, 2019.

Chapter 52

Sec. 52.001: Definition

In this chapter, "security" means a bond or deposit posted, as provided by the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, by a judgment debtor to suspend execution of the judgment during appeal of the judgment.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1178, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 52.005: Conflict with Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure

(a) To the extent that this chapter conflicts with the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, this chapter controls.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not adopt rules in conflict with this chapter.

(c) The Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure apply to any proceeding, cause of action, or claim to which Section 52.002 does not apply.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1178, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 52.006: Amount of Security for Money Judgment

(a) Subject to Subsection (b), when a judgment is for money, the amount of security must equal the sum of:

(1) the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the judgment;

(2) interest for the estimated duration of the appeal; and

(3) costs awarded in the judgment.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law or rule of court, when a judgment is for money, the amount of security must not exceed the lesser of:

(1) 50 percent of the judgment debtor's net worth; or

(2) $25 million.

(c) On a showing by the judgment debtor that the judgment debtor is likely to suffer substantial economic harm if required to post security in an amount required under Subsection (a) or (b), the trial court shall lower the amount of the security to an amount that will not cause the judgment debtor substantial economic harm.

(d) An appellate court may review the amount of security as allowed under Rule 24, Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, except that when a judgment is for money, the appellate court may not modify the amount of security to exceed the amount allowed under this section.

(e) Nothing in this section prevents a trial court from enjoining the judgment debtor from dissipating or transferring assets to avoid satisfaction of the judgment, but the trial court may not make any order that interferes with the judgment debtor's use, transfer, conveyance, or dissipation of assets in the normal course of business.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 7.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Title 3

Chapter 61

Subchapter A

Sec. 61.001: General Grounds

A writ of original attachment is available to a plaintiff in a suit if:

(1) the defendant is justly indebted to the plaintiff;

(2) the attachment is not sought for the purpose of injuring or harassing the defendant;

(3) the plaintiff will probably lose his debt unless the writ of attachment is issued; and

(4) specific grounds for the writ exist under Section 61.002.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.002: Specific Grounds

Attachment is available if:

(1) the defendant is not a resident of this state or is a foreign corporation or is acting as such;

(2) the defendant is about to move from this state permanently and has refused to pay or secure the debt due the plaintiff;

(3) the defendant is in hiding so that ordinary process of law cannot be served on him;

(4) the defendant has hidden or is about to hide his property for the purpose of defrauding his creditors;

(5) the defendant is about to remove his property from this state without leaving an amount sufficient to pay his debts;

(6) the defendant is about to remove all or part of his property from the county in which the suit is brought with the intent to defraud his creditors;

(7) the defendant has disposed of or is about to dispose of all or part of his property with the intent to defraud his creditors;

(8) the defendant is about to convert all or part of his property into money for the purpose of placing it beyond the reach of his creditors; or

(9) the defendant owes the plaintiff for property obtained by the defendant under false pretenses.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.0021: Grounds for Attachment in Suit for Sexual Assault

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, attachment is available to a plaintiff who:

(1) has general grounds for issuance under Sections 61.001(2) and (3); and

(2) institutes a suit for personal injury arising as a result of conduct that violates:

(A) Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code (sexual assault of a child);

(B) Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code (aggravated sexual assault of a child);

(C) Section 21.02, Penal Code (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children); or

(D) Section 21.11, Penal Code (indecency with a child).

(b) A court may issue a writ of attachment in a suit described by Subsection (a) in an amount the court determines to be appropriate to provide for the counseling and medical needs of the plaintiff.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 946 (H.B. 3246), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 61.003: Pending Suit Required

A writ of attachment may be issued in a proper case at the initiation of a suit or at any time during the progress of a suit, but may not be issued before a suit has been instituted.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.004: Available for Debt Not Due

A writ of attachment may be issued even though the plaintiff's debt or demand is not due. The proceedings relating to the writ shall be as in other cases, except that final judgment may not be rendered against the defendant until the debt or demand becomes due.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.005: Certain Torts and Unliquidated Demands

Nothing in this chapter prevents issuance of a writ of attachment in a suit founded in tort or on an unliquidated demand against an individual, partnership, association, or corporation on whom personal service cannot be obtained in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 61.021: Who May Issue

The judge or clerk of a district or county court or a justice of the peace may issue a writ of original attachment returnable to his court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.022: Affidavit

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (a-1), to apply for a writ of attachment, a plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent or attorney must file with the court an affidavit that states:

(1) general grounds for issuance under Sections 61.001(1), (2), and (3);

(2) the amount of the demand; and

(3) specific grounds for issuance under Section 61.002.

(a-1) To apply for a writ of attachment under Section 61.0021, a plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent or attorney must file with the court an affidavit that states:

(1) general grounds for issuance under Sections 61.001(2) and (3);

(2) specific grounds for issuance under Section 61.0021(a); and

(3) the amount of the demand based on the estimated cost of counseling and medical needs of the plaintiff.

(b) The affidavit shall be filed with the papers of the case.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 946 (H.B. 3246), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 61.023: Bond

(a) Before a writ of attachment may be issued, the plaintiff must execute a bond that:

(1) has two or more good and sufficient sureties;

(2) is payable to the defendant;

(3) is in an amount fixed by the judge or justice issuing the writ; and

(4) is conditioned on the plaintiff prosecuting his suit to effect and paying all damages and costs adjudged against him for wrongful attachment.

(b) The plaintiff shall deliver the bond to the officer issuing the writ for that officer's approval. The bond shall be filed with the papers of the case.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 61.041: Subject Property

A writ of attachment may be levied only on property that by law is subject to levy under a writ of execution.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.042: Attachment of Personalty

The officer attaching personal property shall retain possession until final judgment unless the property is:

(1) replevied;

(2) sold as provided by law; or

(3) claimed by a third party who posts bond and tries his right to the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.043: Attachment of Realty

(a) To attach real property, the officer levying the writ shall immediately file a copy of the writ and the applicable part of the return with the county clerk of each county in which the property is located.

(b) If the writ of attachment is quashed or vacated, the court that issued the writ shall send a certified copy of the order to the county clerk of each county in which the property is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.044: Claim on Attached Personalty By Third Party

A person other than the defendant may claim attached personal property by making an affidavit and giving bond in the manner provided by law for trial of right of property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.045: Attachment of Personalty Held By Financial Institution

Service of a writ of attachment on a financial institution relating to personal property held by the financial institution in the name of or on behalf of a customer of the financial institution is governed by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.003, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter D

Sec. 61.061: Attachment Lien

Unless quashed or vacated, an executed writ of attachment creates a lien from the date of levy on the real property attached, on the personal property held by the attaching officer, and on the proceeds of any attached personal property that may have been sold.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.062: Judgment and Foreclosure

(a) If the plaintiff recovers in the suit, the attachment lien is foreclosed as in the case of other liens. The court shall direct proceeds from personal property previously sold to be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment and the sale of personal property remaining in the hands of the officer and of the real property levied on to satisfy the judgment.

(b) If the writ of attachment on real property was issued from a county or justice court, the court is not required to enter an order or decree foreclosing the lien, but to preserve the lien the judgment must briefly recite the issuance and levy of the writ. The land may be sold under execution after judgment, and the sale vests in the purchaser all of the estate of the defendant in the land at the time of the levy.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 61.063: Judgment on Replevied Property

A judgment against a defendant who has replevied attached personal property shall be against the defendant and his sureties on the replevy bond for the amount of the judgment plus interest and costs or for an amount equal to the value of the replevied property plus interest, according to the terms of the replevy bond.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter E

Sec. 61.081: Exemption When En Route to Or in an Exhibition

(a) Subject to the limitations of this section, a court may not issue and a person may not serve any process of attachment, execution, sequestration, replevin, or distress or of any kind of seizure, levy, or sale on a work of fine art while it is:

(1) en route to an exhibition; or

(2) in the possession of the exhibitor or on display as part of the exhibition.

(b) The restriction on the issuance and service of process in Subsection (a) applies only for a period that:

(1) begins on the date that the work of fine art is en route to an exhibition; and

(2) ends on the earlier of the following dates:

(A) six months after the date that the work of fine art is en route to the exhibition; or

(B) the date that the exhibition ends.

(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to a work of fine art if, at any other time, issuance and service of process in relation to the work has been restricted as provided by Subsection (a).

(d) Subsection (a) does not apply if theft of the work of art from its owner is alleged and found proven by the court.

(e) A court shall, in issuing service of process described by Subsection (a), require that the person serving the process give notice to the exhibitor not less than seven days before the date the period under Subsection (b) ends of the person's intent to serve process.

(f) In this section, "exhibition" means an exhibition:

(1) held under the auspices or supervision of:

(A) an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) of the code; or

(B) a public or private institution of higher education;

(2) held for a cultural, educational, or charitable purpose; and

(3) not held for the profit of the exhibitor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1043, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 61.082: Handling and Transportation

A court may not issue any process of attachment, execution, sequestration, replevin, or distress or of any kind of seizure, levy, or sale on a work of fine art unless the court requires, as part of the order authorizing the process, that the work of fine art is handled and transported in a manner that complies with the accepted standards of the artistic community for works of fine art, including, if appropriate, measures relating to the maintenance of proper environmental conditions, proper maintenance, security, and insurance coverage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1043, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Chapter 62

Subchapter A

Sec. 62.001: Grounds

A writ of sequestration is available to a plaintiff in a suit if:

(1) the suit is for title or possession of personal property or fixtures or for foreclosure or enforcement of a mortgage, lien, or security interest on personal property or fixtures and a reasonable conclusion may be drawn that there is immediate danger that the defendant or the party in possession of the property will conceal, dispose of, ill-treat, waste, or destroy the property or remove it from the county during the suit;

(2) the suit is for title or possession of real property or for foreclosure or enforcement of a mortgage or lien on real property and a reasonable conclusion may be drawn that there is immediate danger that the defendant or the party in possession of the property will use his possession to injure or ill-treat the property or waste or convert to his own use the timber, rents, fruits, or revenue of the property;

(3) the suit is for the title or possession of property from which the plaintiff has been ejected by force or violence; or

(4) the suit is to try the title to real property, to remove a cloud from the title of real property, to foreclose a lien on real property, or to partition real property and the plaintiff makes an oath that one or more of the defendants is a nonresident of this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.002: Pending Suit Required

A writ of sequestration may be issued at the initiation of a suit or at any time before final judgment.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.003: Available for Claim Not Due

A writ of sequestration may be issued for personal property under a mortgage or a lien even though the right of action on the mortgage or lien has not accrued. The proceedings relating to the writ shall be as in other cases, except that final judgment may not be rendered against the defendant until the right of action has accrued.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 62.021: Who May Issue

A district or county court judge or a justice of the peace may issue writs of sequestration returnable to his court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.022: Application

The application for a writ of sequestration must be made under oath and must set forth:

(1) the specific facts stating the nature of the plaintiff's claim;

(2) the amount in controversy, if any; and

(3) the facts justifying issuance of the writ.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.023: Required Statement of Rights

(a) A writ of sequestration must prominently display the following statement on the face of the writ:

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY BY FILING A REPLEVY BOND. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SEEK TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY BY FILING WITH THE COURT A MOTION TO DISSOLVE THIS WRIT.

(b) The statement must be printed in 10-point type and in a manner intended to advise a reasonably attentive person of its contents.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 62.041: Motion for Dissolution; Stay

(a) The defendant may seek dissolution of an issued writ of sequestration by filing a written motion with the court.

(b) The right to seek dissolution is cumulative of the right of replevy.

(c) The filing of a motion to dissolve stays proceedings under the writ until the issue is determined.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.042: Hearing on Motion

Unless the parties agree to an extension, the court shall conduct a hearing on the motion and determine the issue not later than the 10th day after the motion is filed.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.043: Dissolution

(a) Following the hearing, the writ must be dissolved unless the party who secured its issuance proves the specific facts alleged and the grounds relied on for issuance.

(b) If the writ is dissolved, the action proceeds as if the writ had not been issued.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.044: Compulsory Counterclaim for Wrongful Sequestration

(a) If a writ is dissolved, any action for damages for wrongful sequestration must be brought as a compulsory counterclaim.

(b) In addition to damages, the party who sought dissolution of the writ may recover reasonable attorney's fees incurred in dissolution of the writ.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.045: Wrongful Sequestration of Consumer Goods

(a) If a writ that sought to sequester consumer goods is dissolved, the defendant or party in possession of the goods is entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and to damages equal to the greater of:

(1) $100;

(2) the finance charge contracted for; or

(3) actual damages.

(b) Damages may not be awarded for the failure of the plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the specific facts alleged if the failure is the result of a bona fide error. For a bona fide error to be available as a defense, the plaintiff must prove the use of reasonable procedures to avoid the error.

(c) In this section, "consumer goods" has the meaning assigned by the Business & Commerce Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 62.046: Liability for Fruit of Replevied Property

(a) In a suit for enforcement of a mortgage or lien on property, a defendant who replevies the property is not required to account for the fruits, hire, revenue, or rent of the property.

(b) This section does not apply to a plaintiff who replevies the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 62.061: Officer's Liability and Duty of Care

(a) An officer who executes a writ of sequestration shall care for and manage in a prudent manner the sequestered property he retains in custody.

(b) If the officer entrusts sequestered property to another person, the officer is responsible for the acts of that person relating to the property.

(c) The officer is liable for injuries to the sequestered property resulting from his neglect or mismanagement or from the neglect or mismanagement of a person to whom he entrusts the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.062: Compensation of Officer

(a) An officer who retains custody of sequestered property is entitled to just compensation and reasonable charges to be determined by the court that issued the writ.

(b) The officer's compensation and charges shall be taxed and collected as a cost of suit.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 62.063: Indemnification of Officer for Money Spent

If an officer is required to expend money in the security, management, or care of sequestered property, he may retain possession of the property until the money is repaid by the party seeking to replevy the property or by that party's agent or attorney.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 63

Sec. 63.001: Grounds

A writ of garnishment is available if:

(1) an original attachment has been issued;

(2) a plaintiff sues for a debt and makes an affidavit stating that:

(A) the debt is just, due, and unpaid;

(B) within the plaintiff's knowledge, the defendant does not possess property in Texas subject to execution sufficient to satisfy the debt; and

(C) the garnishment is not sought to injure the defendant or the garnishee; or

(3) a plaintiff has a valid, subsisting judgment and makes an affidavit stating that, within the plaintiff's knowledge, the defendant does not possess property in Texas subject to execution sufficient to satisfy the judgment.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 63.002: Who May Issue

The clerk of a district or county court or a justice of the peace may issue a writ of garnishment returnable to his court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 63.003: Effect of Service

(a) After service of a writ of garnishment, the garnishee may not deliver any effects or pay any debt to the defendant. If the garnishee is a corporation or joint-stock company, the garnishee may not permit or recognize a sale or transfer of shares or an interest alleged to be owned by the defendant.

(b) A payment, delivery, sale, or transfer made in violation of Subsection (a) is void as to the amount of the debt, effects, shares, or interest necessary to satisfy the plaintiff's demand.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 63.004: Current Wages Exempt

Except as otherwise provided by state or federal law, current wages for personal service are not subject to garnishment. The garnishee shall be discharged from the garnishment as to any debt to the defendant for current wages.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 466, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 63.005: Place for Trial

(a) If a garnishee other than a foreign corporation is not a resident of the county in which the original suit is pending or was tried and a party to the suit files an affidavit controverting the garnishee's answer, the issues raised by the answer and controverting affidavit shall be tried in the county in which the garnishee resides. The issues may be tried in a court of that county that has jurisdiction of the amount of the original judgment if the plaintiff files with the court a certified copy of the judgment in the original suit and a certified copy of the proceedings in garnishment, including the plaintiff's application for the writ, the garnishee's answer, and the controverting affidavit.

(b) If a garnishee whose answer is controverted is a foreign corporation, the issues raised by the answer and controverting affidavit shall be tried in the court in which the original suit is pending or was tried.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 63.006: Administrative Fee for Certain Costs Incurred By Employers

(a) An employer who is required by state or federal law to deduct from the current wages of an employee an amount garnished under a withholding order may deduct monthly an administrative fee as provided by Subsection (b) from the employee's disposable earnings in addition to the amount required to be withheld under the withholding order. This section does not apply to income withholding under Chapter 158, Family Code.

(b) The administrative fee deducted under Subsection (a) may not exceed the lesser of:

(1) the actual administrative cost incurred by the employer in complying with the withholding order; or

(2) $10.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "withholding order" means:

(1) a withholding order issued under Section 488A, Part F, Subchapter IV, Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 1095a); and

(2) any analogous order issued under a state or federal law that:

(A) requires the garnishment of an employee's current wages; and

(B) does not contain an express provision authorizing or prohibiting the payment of the administrative costs incurred by the employer in complying with the garnishment by the affected employee.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 466, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 63.007: Garnishment of Funds Held in Inmate Trust Fund

(a) A writ of garnishment may be issued against an inmate trust fund held under the authority of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice under Section 501.014, Government Code, to encumber money that is held for the benefit of an inmate in the fund.

(b) The state's sovereign immunity to suit is waived only to the extent necessary to authorize a garnishment action in accordance with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1409, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 63.006 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(4), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 63.008: Financial Institution As Garnishee

Service of a writ of garnishment on a financial institution named as the garnishee in the writ is governed by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.004, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 64

Subchapter A

Sec. 64.001: Availability of Remedy

(a) A court of competent jurisdiction may appoint a receiver:

(1) in an action by a vendor to vacate a fraudulent purchase of property;

(2) in an action by a creditor to subject any property or fund to his claim;

(3) in an action between partners or others jointly owning or interested in any property or fund;

(4) in an action by a mortgagee for the foreclosure of the mortgage and sale of the mortgaged property;

(5) for a corporation that is insolvent, is in imminent danger of insolvency, has been dissolved, or has forfeited its corporate rights; or

(6) in any other case in which a receiver may be appointed under the rules of equity.

(b) Under Subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3), the receiver may be appointed on the application of the plaintiff in the action or another party. The party must have a probable interest in or right to the property or fund, and the property or fund must be in danger of being lost, removed, or materially injured.

(c) Under Subsection (a)(4), the court may appoint a receiver only if:

(1) it appears that the mortgaged property is in danger of being lost, removed, or materially injured; or

(2) the condition of the mortgage has not been performed and the property is probably insufficient to discharge the mortgage debt.

(d) A court having family law jurisdiction or a probate court located in the county in which a missing person, as defined by Article 63.001, Code of Criminal Procedure, resides or, if the missing person is not a resident of this state, located in the county in which the majority of the property of a missing person's estate is located may, on the court's own motion or on the application of an interested party, appoint a receiver for the missing person if:

(1) it appears that the estate of the missing person is in danger of injury, loss, or waste; and

(2) the estate of the missing person is in need of a representative.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1376, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 1, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.002: Persons Not Entitled to Appointment

(a) A court may not appoint a receiver for a corporation, partnership, or individual on the petition of the same corporation, partnership, or individual.

(b) A court may appoint a receiver for a corporation on the petition of one or more stockholders of the corporation.

(c) This section does not prohibit:

(1) appointment of a receiver for a partnership in an action arising between partners; or

(2) appointment of a receiver over all or part of the marital estate in a suit filed under Title 1 or 5, Family Code.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.12(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 64.003: Foreign Appointment

A court outside this state may not appoint a receiver for:

(1) a person who resides in this state and for whom appointment of a receiver has been applied for in this state; or

(2) property located in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.004: Application of Equity Rules

Unless inconsistent with this chapter or other general law, the rules of equity govern all matters relating to the appointment, powers, duties, and liabilities of a receiver and to the powers of a court regarding a receiver.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 64.021: Qualifications; Residence Requirement

(a) To be appointed as a receiver for property that is located entirely or partly in this state, a person must:

(1) be a citizen and qualified voter of this state at the time of appointment; and

(2) not be a party, attorney, or other person interested in the action for appointment of a receiver.

(b) The appointment of a receiver who is disqualified under Subsection (a)(1) is void as to property in this state.

(c) A receiver must maintain actual residence in this state during the receivership.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.022: Oath

Before a person assumes the duties of a receiver, he must be sworn to perform the duties faithfully.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.023: Bond

Before a person assumes the duties of a receiver, he must execute a good and sufficient bond that is:

(1) approved by the appointing court;

(2) in an amount fixed by the court; and

(3) conditioned on faithful discharge of his duties as receiver in the named action and obedience to the orders of the court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter C

Sec. 64.031: General Powers and Duties

Subject to the control of the court, a receiver may:

(1) take charge and keep possession of the property;

(2) receive rents;

(3) collect and compromise demands;

(4) make transfers; and

(5) perform other acts in regard to the property as authorized by the court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.032: Inventory

As soon as possible after appointment, a receiver shall return to the appointing court an inventory of all property received.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.033: Suits By Receiver

A receiver may bring suits in his official capacity without permission of the appointing court.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.034: Investments, Loans, and Contributions of Funds

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), on an order of the court to which all parties consent, a receiver may invest for interest any funds that he holds.

(b) A receiver appointed for a missing person under Section 64.001(d) who has on hand an amount of money belonging to the missing person in excess of the amount needed for current necessities and expenses may, on order of the court, invest, lend, or contribute all or a part of the excess amount in the manner provided by Chapter 1161, Estates Code, for investments, loans, or contributions by guardians. The receiver shall report to the court all transactions involving the excess amount in the manner that reports are required of guardians.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.002, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 64.035: Deposit of Certain Railroad Funds

If a receiver operates a railroad that lies wholly within this state, the receiver shall deposit all money that comes into his hands, from operation of the railroad or otherwise, in a place in this state directed by the court. The money shall remain on deposit until properly disbursed. If any portion of the railroad lies in another state, the court shall require the receiver to deposit in this state a share of the funds that is at least proportionate to the value of the property of the company in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.036: Receivership Property Held By Financial Institution

Service or delivery of a notice of receivership, or a demand or instruction by or on behalf of a receiver, relating to receivership property held by a financial institution in the name of or on behalf of a customer of the financial institution is governed by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter D

Sec. 64.051: Application of Funds; Preferences

(a) A receiver shall apply the earnings of property held in receivership to the payment of the following claims in the order listed:

(1) court costs of suit;

(2) wages of employees due by the receiver;

(3) debts owed for materials and supplies purchased by the receiver for the improvement of the property held as receiver;

(4) debts due for improvements made during the receivership to the property held as receiver;

(5) claims and accounts against the receiver on contracts made by the receiver, personal injury claims and claims for stock against the receiver accruing during the receivership, and judgments rendered against the receiver for personal injuries and for stock killed; and

(6) judgments recovered in suits brought before the receiver was appointed.

(b) Claims listed in this section have a preference lien on the earnings of the property held by the receiver.

(c) The court shall ensure that the earnings are paid in the order of preference listed in this section.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.052: Suits Against Receiver

(a) A receiver who holds property in this state may be sued in his official capacity in a court of competent jurisdiction without permission of the appointing court.

(b) A suit against a receiver may be brought where the person whose property is in receivership resides.

(c) In a suit against a receiver, citation may be served on the receiver or on any agent of the receiver who resides in the county in which the suit is brought.

(d) The discharge of a receiver does not abate a suit against the receiver or affect the right of a party to sue the receiver.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.053: Payment of Judgment Against Receiver

The court that appointed a receiver shall order any judgment against the receiver to be paid from funds held by the receiver.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.054: Judgment Lien

A judgment rendered against a receiver in a cause of action arising during the receivership is a lien on all property held by the receiver. The lien is superior to the mortgage lien of a mortgagee who instituted the receivership.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.055: Execution on Judgment

(a) To obtain payment on a judgment against a receiver, the owner of the judgment may apply to the court that appointed the receiver for an order that the receiver pay the judgment. If the receiver possesses money that is subject to payment of the judgment, but the court refuses to order payment, the owner of the judgment may apply to the court that issued the judgment for execution on the judgment.

(b) The owner of the judgment must file with the court that issued the judgment an affidavit reciting that:

(1) he applied to the court that appointed the receiver for an order of payment;

(2) it was shown to the appointing court that the receiver had money subject to payment of the judgment at that time; and

(3) the appointing court refused to order the receiver to pay the judgment.

(c) The court that issued the judgment shall issue execution that may be levied on any property held by the receiver. The property shall be sold as under ordinary execution, and the sale of the property conveys title to the purchaser.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.056: Liability of Persons Receiving Receivership Property

(a) A person to whom a receiver delivers property held in receivership, including the owner of the property, a person who receives it for the owner, or an assignee of the owner is liable to the extent of the value of the property for the liabilities of the receiver arising during the receivership that are unpaid at the time of the receiver's discharge. The person receiving the property may be made a defendant to a suit against the receiver, and if judgment is rendered against the receiver, the court shall also render judgment against that defendant.

(b) A judgment against a receiver or an unpaid claim that arose during the receivership and has not been sued on at the date the receiver is discharged constitutes a preference lien on the property held by the receiver on the date of discharge. The lien is superior to the mortgage lien of a mortgagee who instituted the receivership. The person who received the property is liable on the judgment or claim to the extent of the value of the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter E

Sec. 64.071: Venue for Appointment

An action to have a receiver appointed for a corporation with property in this state shall be brought in the county in which the principal office of the corporation is located.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.072: Limited Duration

(a) Except as provided by this section, a court may not administer a corporation in receivership for more than three years after the date the receiver is appointed, and the court shall wind up the affairs of the corporation within that period.

(b) A court may, from time to time, extend the duration of a corporate receivership if:

(1) litigation prevents the court from winding up the affairs of the corporation within three years; or

(2) the receiver is operating the corporation as a going concern.

(c) To extend the duration of a corporate receivership, the court must have received an application for the extension and, following notice to all attorneys of record, must conduct a hearing on the extension. As required by the best interests of all concerned parties, the court may prescribe conditions for the extension and extend it for a term within the limits provided by Subsection (d). The court shall enter into its minutes the proper order extending the receivership.

(d) A court may not extend a corporate receivership for more than five years beyond the original three years, except that the court may extend for any additional period the receivership of a corporation organized under former Article 3.05(A)(2), Texas Miscellaneous Corporation Laws Act (Article 1302-3.05, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), Section 2.006, Business Organizations Code, before September 1, 2009, or a railroad corporation organized under the Business Organizations Code or former Title 112, Revised Statutes.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303), Sec. 5.001, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 64.0721: Termination of Railroad Receivership

(a) A receiver of a railroad company located wholly within this state that has been in receivership for more than 50 years may apply to the court that appointed the receiver requesting the court to:

(1) terminate the receivership; and

(2) disburse any assets of the railroad company remaining after the payment of the company's debts to one or more nonprofit charitable organizations chosen by the receiver for use in providing services within the county in which the receiver was appointed.

(b) After a receiver makes an application under Subsection (a), the receiver shall publish notice of the proposed termination of the receivership for seven consecutive days in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the receivership is located. The notice must state that a person with an interest in the assets of the railroad company may file a claim with the court that appointed the receiver not later than the 90th day after the final day of the publication of the notice.

(c) After the expiration of the period for filing claims provided by Subsection (b) and after the court resolves all claims filed with the court relating to the railroad company, the court shall disburse any remaining assets of the receivership to the nonprofit charitable organizations chosen by the receiver that are acceptable to the court in its discretion.

(d) Any noncash assets of a railroad company that exist when its receivership is terminated under this section escheat to the state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 1997.

Sec. 64.073: Earnings on Improved Property Liable for Debts

(a) A corporation in receivership shall contribute to the payment of any floating debts against it an amount equal to the full value of current earnings spent by the receiver for:

(1) improvements to the corporate property held by the receiver, the purchase of rolling stock or machinery, and other improvements that increase the value of the property; or

(2) the extension of a road or the acquisition of land in connection with a road.

(b) If property of a corporation in receivership is sold under court order in a lien foreclosure, the court shall order the clerk to retain from the sale proceeds an amount equal to the value of improvements made by the receiver to the property sold and shall order that money to be paid to persons with a claim, debt, or judgment against the corporation. The courts shall require an amount of cash sufficient for that purpose to be paid in at the date of sale.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.074: Claims Preference Against Current Earnings

A judgment or claim existing against a corporation at the time the receiver is appointed or a judgment in an action existing at that time shall be paid out of the earnings of the corporation earned during the receivership in preference to the mortgage of a mortgagee who instituted the receivership. The judgment or claim is a lien on those earnings.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.075: Forfeiture of Charter for Unqualified Receiver

If a person who is not a citizen and qualified voter of this state is appointed receiver for a domestic corporation that owns property in this state, the corporation forfeits its charter. The attorney general shall immediately bring suit in the nature of quo warranto for forfeiture of the charter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.076: Suits Against Railroad Receiver: Venue and Service

An action against the receiver of a railroad company may be brought in any county through or into which the railroad is constructed, and citation may be served on the receiver, the general or division superintendent, or an agent of the receiver who resides in the county in which the suit is brought. If no agent of the receiver resides in the county in which the suit is brought, citation may be served on any agent of the receiver in this state.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter F

Sec. 64.091: Receiver for Mineral Interests Owned By Nonresident Or Absentee

(a) The purpose of this section is to encourage the exploration and development of mineral resources.

(b) In the following actions, a district court may appoint a receiver for the mineral interest or leasehold interest under a mineral lease owned by a nonresident or absent defendant:

(1) an action that is brought by a person claiming or owning an undivided mineral interest in land in this state or an undivided leasehold interest under a mineral lease of land in this state and that has one or more defendants who have, claim, or own an undivided mineral interest in the same property; or

(2) an action that is brought by a person claiming or owning an undivided leasehold interest under a mineral lease of land in this state and that has one or more defendants who have, claim, or own an undivided leasehold interest under a mineral lease of the same property.

(b-1) The defendant for whom the receiver is sought must:

(1) be a person whose residence or identity is unknown or a nonresident; and

(2) have not paid taxes on the interest or rendered it for taxes during the five-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action.

(c) The plaintiff in the action must allege by verified petition and prove that he:

(1) has made a diligent but unsuccessful effort to locate the defendant; and

(2) will suffer substantial damage or injury unless the receiver is appointed.

(d) In an action under Subsection (b)(1):

(1) the plaintiff, in the verified petition, must name the last known owner or the last record owner of the interest as defendant;

(2) the plaintiff must serve notice on the defendant by publication as provided by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(3) the court may appoint as receiver the county judge and his successors or any other resident of the county in which the land is located;

(4) notwithstanding the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the applicant is not required to post bond; and

(5) the receiver is not required to post bond.

(e) A receivership created under this subchapter continues as long as the defendant or his heirs, assigns, or personal representatives fail to appear in court in person or by agent or attorney to claim the defendant's interest.

(f) As ordered by the court, the receiver shall immediately:

(1) execute and deliver to a lessee or successive lessees mineral leases on the outstanding undivided mineral interests;

(2) execute and deliver to a lessee or successive lessees an assignment of the outstanding undivided leasehold interest; and

(3) enter into a unitization agreement authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas.

(g) A lease executed by a receiver under this section may authorize the lessee to pool and unitize land subject to the lease with adjacent land into a unit not to exceed 160 acres for an oil well or 640 acres for a gas well plus 10 percent tolerance or into a unit that substantially conforms to a larger unit prescribed or permitted by governmental rule.

(h) Money consideration paid for the execution of a lease, assignment, or unitization agreement by the receiver must be paid to the clerk of the court in which the case is pending before the receiver executes the instrument. The court shall apply the money to the costs accruing in the case and retain any balance for the use and benefit of the nonresident or person of unknown residence who owns the mineral or leasehold interest. Payments made at a later time under the lease, assignment, or unitization agreement shall be paid into the registry of the court and impounded for the use and benefit of the owner of the mineral or leasehold interest.

(i) This section is cumulative of other laws relating to removal of a cloud from title or appointment of a receiver.

(j) In this section:

(1) "Mineral lease" includes any lease of oil, gas, or other minerals that contains provisions necessary or incident to the orderly exploration, development, and recovery of oil, gas, or other minerals.

(2) "Leasehold interest" includes ownership created under a mineral lease or carved out of a leasehold estate granted under a mineral lease, including production payments, overriding royalty interests, and working interests.

(3) "Lessee" includes an assignee under an assignment of a mineral lease.

(k) To the extent that Subsection (d)(2) conflicts with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Subsection (d)(2) controls. Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with Subsection (d)(2).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 492, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 998, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 16, Sec. 3.01, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 5.002, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 64.092: Receiver for Contingent Interests in Minerals

(a) On the application of a person who has a vested, contingent, or possible interest in land or an estate subject to a contingent future interest, a district court of the county in which all or part of the land is located may appoint a receiver for the land or estate, pending the occurrence of the contingency and the vesting of the future interest, if:

(1) the land or estate is susceptible to drainage of oil, gas, or other minerals;

(2) lease of the land for oil, gas, or mineral development and the safe and proper investment of the proceeds will inure to the benefit and advantage of the persons entitled to the proceeds; or

(3) lease of the land for the production of oil, gas, or other minerals is necessary for the conservation, preservation, or protection of the land or estate or of a present, contingent, or future interest in the land or estate.

(b) As authorized or directed by the court, a receiver appointed under Subsection (a) may:

(1) lease the land for the development of oil, gas, or other minerals at public or private sale and on terms and conditions directed by the court; and

(2) receive, hold, and invest the proceeds of the lease for the benefit of persons who are entitled or may become entitled to those proceeds according to their respective rights and interests.

(c) On the application of a person who has a vested, contingent, or possible interest in land or an estate that is under an oil, gas, or mineral lease and is subject to a contingent future interest, a district court of the county in which all or part of the land is located may appoint a receiver for the contingent future interests, pending the occurrence of the contingency and the vesting of the future interest, if:

(1) the lease fails to provide for pooling or contains pooling provisions that are ineffective as to the contingent future interest covered by the lease; and

(2) the pooling of the contingent future interest:

(A) is necessary to protect correlative rights;

(B) is necessary to prevent the physical or economic waste of oil, gas, or other minerals;

(C) will inure to the benefit and advantage of the persons entitled to the future interest; or

(D) is necessary for the conservation, preservation, or protection of the land or estate or of a present, contingent, or future interest in the land or estate.

(d) The lessee or an assignee of the lessee may apply for appointment of a receiver under Subsection (c). As authorized or directed by the court, the receiver appointed under that subsection may:

(1) amend the lease to authorize pooling for the contingent future interest on terms and conditions and for additional consideration directed by the court; and

(2) receive, hold, and invest the additional consideration for the benefit of the persons who are entitled or may become entitled to that consideration, according to their respective rights and interests.

(e) A court appointing a receiver under this section may confer on the receiver all powers necessary to the exercise of the receiver's authority.

(f) A lease executed or amended by a receiver under this section may authorize the lessee and his assigns to pool all or part of the land subject to the lease with adjacent land into a unit not to exceed 160 acres for an oil well or 640 acres for a gas well plus 10 percent tolerance or into a unit that substantially conforms to a larger unit prescribed or permitted by governmental rule.

(g) In an action for appointment of a receiver under this section, a person who has a vested, contingent, or possible interest in the land must be cited in the manner and for the time provided for in actions concerning title to land. A person not in being must be cited in the manner and for the time provided in actions against unknown owners or claimants of interest in land. In an action brought under Subsection (c), a person is not a necessary party if:

(1) the person's interest in the land subject to the lease is effectively subject to pooling authority under the lease; and

(2) enlargement of the pooling authority as to the person's interest is not sought.

(h) The court appointing a receiver under this section may order that, after payment of court costs, money paid to the receiver be deposited in the registry of the court for the use and benefit of the persons who are entitled or may become entitled to the money, according to their respective rights and interests. If the court then discharges the receiver, it may order that later payments under the lease accruing to the contingent future interest be deposited in the same manner and for the same purpose.

(i) This section does not apply to a mineral lease on land on which drilling began before October 5, 1949. This section does not authorize a lease of mineral interests on land subject to existing homestead rights without the written consent of the owner of the homestead rights given in the manner provided by law for the conveyance of homesteads.

(j) In this section, "contingent future interest" means a legal or equitable interest arising by way of remainder, reversion, possibility of reverter, executory devise, on the occurrence of a condition subsequent, or otherwise.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 64.093: Receiver for Royalty Interests Owned By Nonresident Or Absentee

(a) A district court may appoint a receiver for the royalty interest owned by a nonresident or absent defendant in an action that:

(1) is brought by a person claiming or owning an undivided mineral interest in land in this state or an undivided leasehold interest under a mineral lease of land in the state; and

(2) has one or more defendants who have, claim, or own an undivided royalty interest in that property.

(b) The defendant for whom the receiver is sought must:

(1) be a person whose residence or identity is unknown or a nonresident; and

(2) not have paid taxes on the interest or rendered it for taxes during the five-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action.

(c) The plaintiff in the action must allege by verified petition and prove that the plaintiff:

(1) has made a diligent but unsuccessful effort to locate the defendant; and

(2) will suffer substantial damage or injury unless the receiver is appointed.

(d) In an action under Subsection (a):

(1) the plaintiff, in the petition, must name the last known owner or the last record owner of the interest as defendant;

(2) the plaintiff must serve notice on the defendant by publication as provided by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(3) the court may appoint as receiver the county judge or any other resident of the county in which the land is located;

(4) notwithstanding the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the applicant is not required to post bond; and

(5) the receiver is not required to post bond.

(e) A receivership created under this section continues as long as the defendant or the defendant's heirs, assigns, or personal representatives fail to appear in court in person or by agent or attorney to claim the defendant's interest.

(f) As ordered by the court, the receiver shall immediately:

(1) ratify a mineral lease executed by a person owning an undivided mineral interest in the property;

(2) ratify a pooling agreement executed by a person owning an undivided mineral interest in the property or an undivided leasehold interest in the property; or

(3) enter into a unitization agreement authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas.

(g) A lease ratified by a receiver under this section may authorize the lessee to pool and unitize land subject to the lease with adjacent land into a unit not to exceed 160 acres for an oil well or 640 acres for a gas well plus 10 percent tolerance or into a unit that substantially conforms to a larger unit prescribed or permitted by governmental rule. A pooling agreement ratified by a receiver under this section may allow a pooled unit not to exceed 160 acres for an oil well or 640 acres for a gas well plus 10 percent tolerance or into a unit that substantially conforms to a larger unit prescribed or permitted by governmental rule.

(h) The monetary consideration, if any, due for the execution of a ratification, pooling agreement, or unitization agreement by the receiver must be paid to the clerk of the court in which the case is pending before the receiver executes the instrument. It is, however, recognized that, because ratifications, pooling agreements, and unitization agreements are typically entered into in consideration of the future benefits accruing to the grantor thereof, an initial monetary consideration is not typically paid for the execution of such instruments. The court shall apply the money to the costs accruing in the case and retain any balance for the owner of the royalty interest. Payments made at a later time under the lease, pooled unit, or unitization agreement shall be paid into the registry of the court and impounded for the owner of the royalty interest.

(i) This section is cumulative of other laws relating to removal of a cloud from title or appointment of a receiver.

(j) In this section:

(1) "Mineral lease" includes any lease of oil, gas, or other minerals that contains provisions necessary or incident to the orderly exploration, development, and recovery of oil, gas, or other minerals.

(2) "Leasehold interest" includes ownership created under a mineral lease or carved out of a leasehold estate granted under a mineral lease, including production payments, overriding royalty interests, and working interests.

(3) "Pooling agreement" includes any agreement that pools or unitizes land with adjacent land for production of oil, gas, or other minerals.

(4) "Royalty interest" includes any interest in the lands entitled to share in the production of oil, gas, or other minerals that is not required to execute a mineral lease or any other instrument in order to vest in the mineral interest owner or mineral leasehold interest owner the right and power, as to that interest, to develop oil, gas, or other minerals produced solely from those lands.

(k) To the extent that Subsection (d)(2) conflicts with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Subsection (d)(2) controls. Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with Subsection (d)(2).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1483, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 292 (H.B. 108), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.

Subchapter G

Sec. 64.101: Notice and Citation for Receivership for Certain Missing Persons

(a) On the filing of an application for the appointment of a receiver for a missing person under Section 64.001(d), the court clerk shall issue a citation that states that the application for receivership was filed and includes:

(1) the name of the missing person; and

(2) the name of the applicant.

(b) The citation must cite all persons interested in the welfare of the missing person to appear at the time and place stated in the notice for purposes of contesting the application. The citation shall be posted.

(c) The citation shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation:

(1) once in the county in which the missing person resides; and

(2) once in each county in which property of the missing person's estate is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.102: Proceeding to Appoint Receiver

(a) The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of a missing person at a proceeding to appoint a receiver for the missing person under Section 64.001(d). To be eligible for appointment as an attorney ad litem under this subsection, a person must be certified in the same manner and to the same extent as a person who is appointed as an attorney ad litem for a proposed ward under Section 1054.001, Estates Code.

(b) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for a missing person if the court determines that the appointment would be in the best interest of the missing person. A guardian ad litem appointed under this subsection is an officer of the court. The guardian ad litem shall protect the missing person in a manner that will enable the court to determine the appropriate action to take in relation to the best interest of the missing person.

(c) An attorney ad litem or a guardian ad litem appointed under this section is entitled to reasonable compensation for services in an amount set by the court to be charged as costs in the proceeding.

(d) The cost of a proceeding instituted for the appointment of a receiver for a missing person under Section 64.001(d) shall be paid from the receivership, if a receivership is created. If the court denies an application for appointment of a receiver, the applicant shall pay the costs of the proceeding.

(e) The term of a receivership for a missing person granted under Section 64.001(d) may not exceed six months unless, before the expiration of the term and for good cause shown, the court extends the receivership for another term not to exceed six months.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.003, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 64.103: Bond

The bond under Section 64.023 required to be executed by a receiver for a missing person appointed under Section 64.001(d) must be set in an amount the court considers necessary to protect the estate of the missing person.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.104: Expenditures By Receiver

If, during the receivership for a missing person under Section 64.001(d), the needs of the spouse or dependent children of the missing person require the use of the income or corpus of the estate for education, clothing, or subsistence, the court may, with or without application, by order entered in the minutes of the court, appropriate an amount of the income or corpus sufficient for that purpose. The income or corpus shall be used by the receiver to pay claims for education, clothing, or subsistence that are presented to the court and approved and ordered to be paid.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.105: Receiver's Expenses, Account, and Compensation

(a) All necessary expenses incurred by a receiver appointed under Section 64.001(d) for a missing person in administering the property shall be reported to the court at intervals not longer than six months in length, as required by the court, and shall be reported in an annual report filed not later than the 60th day after the end of each calendar year if the court extends the receivership in accordance with Section 64.102(e). The report shall be made to the court by a sworn statement of account, including a report of:

(1) the receiver's acts;

(2) the condition of the property;

(3) the status of the threatened danger to the property; and

(4) the progress made toward abatement of the threatened danger.

(b) If the court is satisfied that the statement is correct and reasonable in all respects, the court shall promptly by order approve the report and authorize the reimbursement of the receiver from the funds under the receiver's control.

(c) For official services rendered, the receiver is entitled to be compensated in the same manner and amount as is provided by Title 3, Estates Code, for similar services rendered by guardians of estates.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.004, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 64.106: Closing Receivership

When the threatened danger has abated and the estate of a missing person for whom a receiver was appointed under Section 64.001(d) is no longer liable to injury, loss, or waste for the lack of a representative or when the receivership terminates under Section 64.102(e), whichever occurs earlier, the receiver shall:

(1) report to the court; and

(2) file with the clerk a full and final sworn account of:

(A) all property received by the receiver;

(B) all sums paid out;

(C) all acts performed by the receiver with respect to the property; and

(D) all property remaining in the receiver's control.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.107: Action of Court

(a) If, on hearing the report and account required under Section 64.106, the court is satisfied that the danger of injury, loss, or waste has abated and that the report and account are correct, the court shall render an order finding that the danger has abated and that the report and account are correct and shall direct the receiver to deliver the property to the person from whom the receiver took possession as receiver, to the missing person, or to another person the court finds to be entitled to possession of the estate. The person to whom the property is delivered shall execute and file with the clerk an appropriate receipt for the property delivered.

(b) The order of the court shall discharge the receiver and the receiver's sureties.

(c) If the court is not satisfied that the danger has abated, or is not satisfied with the report and account, the court shall render an order continuing the receivership in effect until the court is satisfied that the danger has abated and that the report and account are correct, subject to the limitation prescribed by Section 64.102(e) for the extension of a receivership.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 64.108: Recordation of Proceedings

All orders, bonds, reports, accounts, and notices in the receivership proceedings under this subchapter shall be recorded in the minutes of the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 65

Subchapter A

Sec. 65.001: Application of Equity Principles

The principles governing courts of equity govern injunction proceedings if not in conflict with this chapter or other law.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.002: Restraining Order Or Injunction Affecting Customer of Financial Institution

Service or delivery of a restraining order or injunction affecting property held by a financial institution in the name of or on behalf of a customer of the financial institution is governed by Section 59.008, Finance Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 7.006, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter B

Sec. 65.011: Grounds Generally

A writ of injunction may be granted if:

(1) the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded and all or part of the relief requires the restraint of some act prejudicial to the applicant;

(2) a party performs or is about to perform or is procuring or allowing the performance of an act relating to the subject of pending litigation, in violation of the rights of the applicant, and the act would tend to render the judgment in that litigation ineffectual;

(3) the applicant is entitled to a writ of injunction under the principles of equity and the statutes of this state relating to injunctions;

(4) a cloud would be placed on the title of real property being sold under an execution against a party having no interest in the real property subject to execution at the time of sale, irrespective of any remedy at law; or

(5) irreparable injury to real or personal property is threatened, irrespective of any remedy at law.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3.17, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 65.012: Operation of Well Or Mine

(a) A court may issue an injunction or temporary restraining order prohibiting subsurface drilling or mining operations only if an adjacent landowner filing an application claims that a wrongful act caused injury to his surface or improvements or loss of or injury to his minerals and if the party against whom the injunction is sought is unable to respond in damages for the resulting injuries.

(b) To secure the payment of any injuries that may be sustained by the complainant as a result of subsurface drilling or mining operations, the party against whom an injunction is sought under this section shall enter into a good and sufficient bond in an amount fixed by the court hearing the application.

(c) The court may appoint a trustee or receiver instead of requiring a bond if the court considers it necessary to protect the interests involved in litigation concerning an injunction under this section. The trustee or receiver has the powers prescribed by the court and shall take charge of and hold the minerals produced from the drilling or mining operation or the proceeds from the disposition of those minerals, subject to the final disposition of the litigation.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.013: Stay of Judgment Or Proceeding

An injunction may not be granted to stay a judgment or proceeding at law except to stay as much of the recovery or cause of action as the complainant in his petition shows himself equitably entitled to be relieved against and as much as will cover the costs.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.014: Limitations on Stay of Execution of Judgment

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an injunction to stay execution of a valid judgment may not be granted more than one year after the date on which the judgment was rendered unless:

(1) the application for the injunction has been delayed because of fraud or false promises of the plaintiff in the judgment practiced or made at the time of or after rendition of the judgment; or

(2) an equitable matter or defense arises after the rendition of the judgment.

(b) If the applicant for an injunction to stay execution of a judgment was absent from the state when the judgment was rendered and was unable to apply for the writ within one year after the date of rendition, the injunction may be granted at any time within two years after that date.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.015: Closing of Streets

An injunction may not be granted to stay or prevent the governing body of an incorporated city from vacating, abandoning, or closing a street or alley except on the suit of a person:

(1) who is the owner or lessee of real property abutting the part of the street or alley vacated, abandoned, or closed; and

(2) whose damages have neither been ascertained and paid in a condemnation suit by the city nor released.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.016: Violation of Revenue Law

At the instance of the county or district attorney or the attorney general, a court by injunction may prevent, prohibit, or restrain the violation of any revenue law of this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.03(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 65.017: Cigarette Seller, Distributor, Or Manufacturer

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, a person may bring an action in good faith for appropriate injunctive relief if the person sells, distributes, or manufactures cigarettes and sustains a direct economic or commercial injury as a result of a violation of:

(1) Section 48.015, Penal Code; or

(2) Section 154.0415, Tax Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.12, eff. April 1, 2009.

Subchapter C

Sec. 65.021: Jurisdiction of Proceeding

(a) The judge of a district or county court in term or vacation shall hear and determine applications for writs of injunction.

(b) This section does not limit injunction jurisdiction granted by law to other courts.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.022: Return of Writ; Hearing By Nonresident Judge

(a) Except as provided by this section, a writ of injunction is returnable only to the court granting the writ.

(b) A district judge may grant a writ returnable to a court other than his own if the resident judge refuses to act or cannot hear and act on the application because of his absence, sickness, inability, inaccessibility, or disqualification. Those facts must be fully set out in the application or in an affidavit accompanying the application. A judge who refuses to act shall note that refusal and the reasons for refusal on the writ. A district judge may not grant the writ if the application has been acted on by another district judge.

(c) A district judge may grant a writ returnable to a court other than his own to stay execution or restrain foreclosure, sale under a deed of trust, trespass, removal of property, or an act injurious to or impairing riparian or easement rights if satisfactory proof is made to the nonresident judge that it is impracticable for the applicant to reach the resident judge and procure the action of the resident judge in time to put into effect the purposes of the application.

(d) A district judge may grant a writ returnable to a court other than his own if the resident judge cannot be reached by the ordinary and available means of travel and communication in sufficient time to put into effect the purpose of the writ sought. In seeking a writ under this subsection, the applicant or attorney for the applicant shall attach to the application an affidavit that fully states the facts of the inaccessibility and the efforts made to reach and communicate with the resident judge. The judge to whom application is made shall refuse to hear the application unless he determines that the applicant made fair and reasonable efforts to reach and communicate with the resident judge. The injunction may be dissolved on a showing that the applicant did not first make reasonable efforts to procure a hearing on the application before the resident judge.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 65.023: Place for Trial

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a writ of injunction against a party who is a resident of this state shall be tried in a district or county court in the county in which the party is domiciled. If the writ is granted against more than one party, it may be tried in the proper court of the county in which either party is domiciled.

(b) A writ of injunction granted to stay proceedings in a suit or execution on a judgment must be tried in the court in which the suit is pending or the judgment was rendered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter D

Sec. 65.031: Dissolution; Award of Damages

If on final hearing a court dissolves in whole or in part an injunction enjoining the collection of money and the injunction was obtained only for delay, the court may assess damages in an amount equal to 10 percent of the amount released by dissolution of the injunction, exclusive of costs.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter E

Sec. 65.041: Bond Not Required for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order for Certain Indigent Applicants

A court may not require an applicant for a temporary restraining order to execute a bond to the adverse party before the order may issue if:

(1) the applicant submits an affidavit that meets the requirements of Section 65.043 to the court; and

(2) the court finds that the order is intended to restrain the adverse party from foreclosing on the applicant's residential homestead.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 65.042: Bond Not Required for Issuance of Temporary Injunction for Certain Indigent Applicants

(a) A court may not require an applicant for a temporary injunction to execute a bond to the adverse party before the injunction may issue if:

(1) the applicant submits an affidavit that meets the requirements of Section 65.043 to the court; and

(2) the court finds that the injunction is intended to enjoin the adverse party from foreclosing on the applicant's residential homestead.

(b) If the affidavit submitted under Subsection (a)(1) is contested under Section 65.044, the court may not issue a temporary injunction unless the court finds that the applicant is financially unable to execute the bond.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 65.043: Affidavit

(a) The affidavit must contain complete information relating to each and every person liable for the indebtedness secured by or with an ownership interest in the residential homestead concerning the following matters:

(1) identity;

(2) income, including income from employment, dividends, interest, and any other source other than from a government entitlement;

(3) spouse's income, if known to the applicant;

(4) description and estimated value of real and personal property, other than the applicant's homestead;

(5) cash and checking account;

(6) debts and monthly expenses;

(7) dependents; and

(8) any transfer to any person of money or other property with a value in excess of $1,000 made within one year of the affidavit without fair consideration.

(b) The affidavit must state: "I am not financially able to post a bond to cover any judgment against me in this case. All financial information that I provided to the lender was true and complete and contained no false statements or material omissions at the time it was provided to the lender. Upon oath and under penalty of perjury, the statements made in this affidavit are true."

(c) In the event the applicant is married, both spouses must execute the affidavit.

(d) The affidavit must be verified.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 65.044: Contest of Affidavit

(a) A party may not contest an affidavit filed by an applicant for a temporary restraining order as provided by Section 65.041.

(b) A party may contest an affidavit filed by an applicant for a temporary injunction as provided by Section 65.042:

(1) after service of a temporary restraining order in the case; or

(2) if a temporary restraining order was not applied for or issued, after service of notice of the hearing on the application for the temporary injunction.

(c) A party contests an affidavit by filing a written motion and giving notice to all parties of the motion in accordance with Rule 21a of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) The court shall hear the contest at the hearing on the application for a temporary injunction and determine whether the applicant is financially able to execute a bond against the adverse party as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. In making its determination, the court may not consider:

(1) any income from a government entitlement that the applicant receives; or

(2) the value of the applicant's residential homestead.

(e) The court may order the applicant to post and file with the clerk a bond as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure only if the court determines that the applicant is financially able to execute the bond.

(f) An attorney who represents an applicant and who provides legal services without charge to the applicant and without a contractual agreement for payment contingent on any event may file an affidavit with the court describing the financial nature of the representation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 65.045: Conflict with Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

(a) To the extent that this subchapter conflicts with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, this subchapter controls.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, the supreme court may not amend or adopt rules in conflict with this subchapter.

(c) The district courts and statutory county courts in a county may not adopt local rules in conflict with this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 391, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Chapter 66

Sec. 66.001: Grounds

An action in the nature of quo warranto is available if:

(1) a person usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or executes a franchise or an office, including an office in a corporation created by the authority of this state;

(2) a public officer does an act or allows an act that by law causes a forfeiture of his office;

(3) an association of persons acts as a corporation without being legally incorporated;

(4) a corporation does or omits an act that requires a surrender or causes a forfeiture of its rights and privileges as a corporation;

(5) a corporation exercises power not granted by law;

(6) a railroad company charges an extortionate rate for transportation of freight or passengers; or

(7) a railroad company unlawfully refuses to move over its lines the cars of another railroad company.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 66.002: Initiation of Suit

(a) If grounds for the remedy exist, the attorney general or the county or district attorney of the proper county may petition the district court of the proper county or a district judge if the court is in vacation for leave to file an information in the nature of quo warranto.

(b) The petition must state that the information is sought in the name of the State of Texas.

(c) The attorney general or county or district attorney may file the petition on his own motion or at the request of an individual relator.

(d) If there is probable ground for the proceeding, the judge shall grant leave to file the information, order the information to be filed, and order process to be issued.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 66.003: Judgment

If the person against whom the information is filed is found guilty as charged, the court:

(1) shall enter judgment removing the person from the office or franchise;

(2) shall enter judgment for the costs of prosecution in favor of the relator; and

(3) may fine the person for usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding and executing the office or franchise.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Title 4

Chapter 71

Subchapter A

Sec. 71.001: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Corporation" means a municipal, private, public, or quasi-public corporation other than a county or a common or independent school district.

(2) "Person" means an individual, association of individuals, joint-stock company, or corporation or a trustee or receiver of an individual, association of individuals, joint-stock company, or corporation.

(3) "Death" includes, for an individual who is an unborn child, the failure to be born alive.

(4) "Individual" includes an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 71.002: Cause of Action

(a) An action for actual damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death may be brought if liability exists under this section.

(b) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death if the injury was caused by the person's or his agent's or servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.

(c) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a proprietor, owner, charterer, or hirer of an industrial or public utility plant or of a railroad, street railway, steamboat, stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or passengers; and

(2) the injury was caused by the person's or his agent's or servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.

(d) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a receiver, trustee, or other person in charge of or in control of a railroad, street railway, steamboat, stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or passengers, of an industrial or public utility plant, or of other machinery; and

(2) the injury was caused by:

(A) the person's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default;

(B) the person's servant's or agent's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unfitness, unskillfulness, or default; or

(C) a bad or unsafe condition of the railroad, street railway, or other machinery under the person's control or operation.

(e) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death if:

(1) the person is a receiver, trustee, or other person in charge of or in control of a railroad, street railway, steamboat, stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or passengers, of an industrial or public utility plant, or of other machinery; and

(2) the action could have been brought against the owner of the railroad, street railway, or other machinery if he had been acting as operator.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.003: Application; Certain Conduct Excepted

(a) This subchapter applies only if the individual injured would have been entitled to bring an action for the injury if the individual had lived or had been born alive.

(b) This subchapter applies whether the injury occurs inside or outside this state.

(c) This subchapter does not apply to a claim for the death of an individual who is an unborn child that is brought against:

(1) the mother of the unborn child;

(2) a physician or other licensed health care provider, if the death is the intended result of a lawful medical procedure performed by the physician or health care provider with the requisite consent;

(3) a person who dispenses or administers a drug in accordance with law, if the death is the result of the dispensation or administration of the drug; or

(4) a physician or other health care provider licensed in this state, if the death directly or indirectly is caused by, associated with, arises out of, or relates to a lawful medical or health care practice or procedure of the physician or the health care provider.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 1.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 71.004: Benefitting from and Bringing Action

(a) An action to recover damages as provided by this subchapter is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.

(b) The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased may bring the action or one or more of those individuals may bring the action for the benefit of all.

(c) If none of the individuals entitled to bring an action have begun the action within three calendar months after the death of the injured individual, his executor or administrator shall bring and prosecute the action unless requested not to by all those individuals.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.005: Evidence Relating to Marital Status

In an action under this subchapter, evidence of the actual ceremonial remarriage of the surviving spouse is admissible, if it is true, but the defense is prohibited from directly or indirectly mentioning or alluding to a common-law marriage, an extramarital relationship, or the marital prospects of the surviving spouse.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.0055: Evidence of Pregnancy

In an action under this subchapter for the death of an individual who is an unborn child, the plaintiff shall provide medical or other evidence that the mother of the individual was pregnant at the time of the individual's death.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 71.006: Effect of Felonious Act

An action under this subchapter is not precluded because the death is caused by a felonious act or because there may be a criminal proceeding in relation to the felony.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.007: Ineffective Agreement

An agreement between the owner of a railroad, street railway, steamboat, stagecoach, or other vehicle for the transportation of goods or passengers, of an industrial or public utility plant, or of other machinery and an individual, corporation, trustee, receiver, lessee, joint-stock association, or other entity in control of or operating the vehicle, plant, or other machinery does not release the owner or the entity controlling or operating the vehicle, plant, or other machinery from liability provided by this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.008: Death of Defendant

(a) If a defendant dies while an action under this subchapter is pending or if the individual against whom the action may have been instituted dies before the action is begun, the executor or administrator of the estate may be made a defendant, and the action may be prosecuted as though the defendant or individual were alive.

(b) A judgment in favor of the plaintiff shall be paid in due course of administration.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.009: Exemplary Damages

When the death is caused by the wilful act or omission or gross negligence of the defendant, exemplary as well as actual damages may be recovered.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.010: Award and Apportionment of Damages

(a) The jury may award damages in an amount proportionate to the injury resulting from the death.

(b) The damages awarded shall be divided, in shares as found by the jury in its verdict, among the individuals who are entitled to recover and who are alive at that time.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.011: Damages Not Subject to Debts

Damages recovered in an action under this subchapter are not subject to the debts of the deceased.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.012: Qualification of Foreign Personal Representative

If the executor or administrator of the estate of a nonresident individual is the plaintiff in an action under this subchapter, the foreign personal representative of the estate who has complied with the requirements of Chapter 503, Estates Code, for the probate of a foreign will is not required to apply for ancillary letters testamentary under Section 501.006, Estates Code, to bring and prosecute the action.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 382, Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.005, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 846 (H.B. 2780), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subchapter B

Sec. 71.021: Survival of Cause of Action

(a) A cause of action for personal injury to the health, reputation, or person of an injured person does not abate because of the death of the injured person or because of the death of a person liable for the injury.

(b) A personal injury action survives to and in favor of the heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the injured person. The action survives against the liable person and the person's legal representatives.

(c) The suit may be instituted and prosecuted as if the liable person were alive.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 71.022: Qualification of Foreign Personal Representative

If the executor or administrator of the estate of a nonresident individual is the plaintiff in an action under this subchapter, the foreign personal representative of the estate who has complied with the requirements of Chapter 503, Estates Code, for the probate of a foreign will is not required to apply for ancillary letters testamentary under Section 501.006, Estates Code, to bring and prosecute the action.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 382, Sec. 2, eff. May 29, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.006, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 846 (H.B. 2780), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subchapter C

Sec. 71.031: Act Or Omission Out of State

(a) An action for damages for the death or personal injury of a citizen of this state, of the United States, or of a foreign country may be enforced in the courts of this state, although the wrongful act, neglect, or default causing the death or injury takes place in a foreign state or country, if:

(1) a law of the foreign state or country or of this state gives a right to maintain an action for damages for the death or injury;

(2) the action is begun in this state within the time provided by the laws of this state for beginning the action;

(3) for a resident of a foreign state or country, the action is begun in this state within the time provided by the laws of the foreign state or country in which the wrongful act, neglect, or default took place; and

(4) in the case of a citizen of a foreign country, the country has equal treaty rights with the United States on behalf of its citizens.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (a), all matters pertaining to procedure in the prosecution or maintenance of the action in the courts of this state are governed by the law of this state.

(c) The court shall apply the rules of substantive law that are appropriate under the facts of the case.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 424, Sec. 3, eff. May 29, 1997.

Subchapter D

Sec. 71.051: Forum Non Conveniens

(a) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.09.

(b) If a court of this state, on written motion of a party, finds that in the interest of justice and for the convenience of the parties a claim or action to which this section applies would be more properly heard in a forum outside this state, the court shall decline to exercise jurisdiction under the doctrine of forum non conveniens and shall stay or dismiss the claim or action. In determining whether to grant a motion to stay or dismiss an action under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the court shall consider whether:

(1) an alternate forum exists in which the claim or action may be tried;

(2) the alternate forum provides an adequate remedy;

(3) maintenance of the claim or action in the courts of this state would work a substantial injustice to the moving party;

(4) the alternate forum, as a result of the submission of the parties or otherwise, can exercise jurisdiction over all the defendants properly joined to the plaintiff's claim;

(5) the balance of the private interests of the parties and the public interest of the state predominate in favor of the claim or action being brought in an alternate forum, which shall include consideration of the extent to which an injury or death resulted from acts or omissions that occurred in this state; and

(6) the stay or dismissal would not result in unreasonable duplication or proliferation of litigation.

(c) The court may set terms and conditions for staying or dismissing a claim or action under this section as the interests of justice may require, giving due regard to the rights of the parties to the claim or action. If a moving party violates a term or condition of a stay or dismissal, the court shall withdraw the order staying or dismissing the claim or action and proceed as if the order had never been issued. Notwithstanding any other law, the court shall have continuing jurisdiction for purposes of this subsection.

(d) A request for stay or dismissal under this section is timely if it is filed not later than 180 days after the time required for filing a motion to transfer venue of the claim or action. The court may rule on a motion filed under this section only after a hearing with notice to all parties not less than 21 days before the date specified for the hearing. The court shall afford all of the parties ample opportunity to obtain discovery of information relevant to the motion prior to a hearing on a motion under this section. The moving party shall have the responsibility to request and obtain a hearing on such motion at a reasonable time prior to commencement of the trial, and in no case shall the hearing be held less than 30 days prior to trial.

(e) The court may not stay or dismiss a plaintiff's claim under Subsection (b) if the plaintiff is a legal resident of this state or a derivative claimant of a legal resident of this state. The determination of whether a claim may be stayed or dismissed under Subsection (b) shall be made with respect to each plaintiff without regard to whether the claim of any other plaintiff may be stayed or dismissed under Subsection (b) and without regard to a plaintiff's country of citizenship or national origin. If an action involves both plaintiffs who are legal residents of this state and plaintiffs who are not, the court shall consider the factors provided by Subsection (b) and determine whether to deny the motion or to stay or dismiss the claim of any plaintiff who is not a legal resident of this state.

(f) A court that grants a motion to stay or dismiss an action under the doctrine of forum non conveniens shall set forth specific findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(g) Any time limit established by this section may be extended by the court at the request of any party for good cause shown.

(h) For purposes of Subsection (e):

(1) "Derivative claimant" means a person whose damages were caused by personal injury to or the wrongful death of another.

(2) "Plaintiff" means a party seeking recovery of damages for personal injury or wrongful death. The term does not include:

(A) a counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party plaintiff or a person who is assigned a cause of action for personal injury; or

(B) a representative, administrator, guardian, or next friend who is not otherwise a derivative claimant of a legal resident of this state.

(i) This section applies to actions for personal injury or wrongful death. This section shall govern the courts of this state in determining issues under the doctrine of forum non conveniens in the actions to which it applies, notwithstanding Section 71.031(a) or any other law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 4, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 424, Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 3.04, 3.09, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 248 (H.B. 755), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 537 (H.B. 1692), Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2015.

Chapter 72

Sec. 72.001: Limited Liability

A person who is related to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, and who is being transported in the motor vehicle over a public highway of this state as a guest without payment for the transportation has a cause of action against the owner or operator of the motor vehicle for injury, death, or loss in an accident only if the accident was intentional on the part of the owner or operator or was caused by his heedlessness or reckless disregard of the rights of others.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 72.002: Limitation Not Applicable

There is no limitation under this chapter on the liability of an owner or operator who is not related to the guest within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 72.003: Effect on Other Liability

(a) This chapter does not affect judicially developed or developing rules under which a person is or is not totally or partially immune from tort liability by virtue of family relationship.

(b) This chapter does not relieve the owner or operator of a motor vehicle being demonstrated to a prospective purchaser or relieve a public carrier of responsibility for injuries sustained by a passenger being transported.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 72.004: Offset for Medical Expenses Paid

(a) The owner or operator or his liability insurance carrier is entitled to an offset against any award made to the guest on a liability claim in an amount equal to the amount paid by the owner, operator, or insurance carrier for medical expenses of the guest.

(b) This section does not authorize a direct action against a liability insurance carrier.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 73

Subchapter A

Sec. 73.001: Elements of Libel

A libel is a defamation expressed in written or other graphic form that tends to blacken the memory of the dead or that tends to injure a living person's reputation and thereby expose the person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or financial injury or to impeach any person's honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or to publish the natural defects of anyone and thereby expose the person to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 73.002: Privileged Matters

(a) The publication by a newspaper or other periodical of a matter covered by this section is privileged and is not a ground for a libel action. This privilege does not extend to the republication of a matter if it is proved that the matter was republished with actual malice after it had ceased to be of public concern.

(b) This section applies to:

(1) a fair, true, and impartial account of:

(A) a judicial proceeding, unless the court has prohibited publication of a matter because in its judgment the interests of justice demand that the matter not be published;

(B) an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to administer the law;

(C) an executive or legislative proceeding (including a proceeding of a legislative committee), a proceeding in or before a managing board of an educational or eleemosynary institution supported from the public revenue, of the governing body of a city or town, of a county commissioners court, and of a public school board or a report of or debate and statements made in any of those proceedings; or

(D) the proceedings of a public meeting dealing with a public purpose, including statements and discussion at the meeting or other matters of public concern occurring at the meeting; and

(2) reasonable and fair comment on or criticism of an official act of a public official or other matter of public concern published for general information.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 73.003: Mitigating Factors

(a) To determine the extent and source of actual damages and to mitigate exemplary damages, the defendant in a libel action may give evidence of the following matters if they have been specially pleaded:

(1) all material facts and circumstances surrounding the claim for damages and defenses to the claim;

(2) all facts and circumstances under which the libelous publication was made; and

(3) any public apology, correction, or retraction of the libelous matter made and published by the defendant.

(b) To mitigate exemplary damages, the defendant in a libel action may give evidence of the intention with which the libelous publication was made if the matter has been specially pleaded.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 73.004: Liability of Broadcaster

(a) A broadcaster is not liable in damages for a defamatory statement published or uttered in or as a part of a radio or television broadcast by one other than the broadcaster unless the complaining party proves that the broadcaster failed to exercise due care to prevent the publication or utterance of the statement in the broadcast.

(b) In this section, "broadcaster" means an owner, licensee, or operator of a radio or television station or network of stations and the agents and employees of the owner, licensee, or operator.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 73.005: Truth a Defense

(a) The truth of the statement in the publication on which an action for libel is based is a defense to the action.

(b) In an action brought against a newspaper or other periodical or broadcaster, the defense described by Subsection (a) applies to an accurate reporting of allegations made by a third party regarding a matter of public concern.

(c) This section does not abrogate or lessen any other remedy, right, cause of action, defense, immunity, or privilege available under the Constitution of the United States or this state or as provided by any statute, case, or common law or rule.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 191 (S.B. 627), Sec. 1, eff. May 28, 2015.

Sec. 73.006: Other Defenses

This chapter does not affect the existence of common law, statutory law, or other defenses to libel.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Subchapter B

Sec. 73.051: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Defamation Mitigation Act. This subchapter shall be liberally construed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.052: Purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to provide a method for a person who has been defamed by a publication or broadcast to mitigate any perceived damage or injury.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.053: Definition

In this subchapter, "person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, or other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.054: Applicability

(a) This subchapter applies to a claim for relief, however characterized, from damages arising out of harm to personal reputation caused by the false content of a publication.

(b) This subchapter applies to all publications, including writings, broadcasts, oral communications, electronic transmissions, or other forms of transmitting information.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.055: Request for Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction

(a) A person may maintain an action for defamation only if:

(1) the person has made a timely and sufficient request for a correction, clarification, or retraction from the defendant; or

(2) the defendant has made a correction, clarification, or retraction.

(b) A request for a correction, clarification, or retraction is timely if made during the period of limitation for commencement of an action for defamation.

(c) If not later than the 90th day after receiving knowledge of the publication, the person does not request a correction, clarification, or retraction, the person may not recover exemplary damages.

(d) A request for a correction, clarification, or retraction is sufficient if it:

(1) is served on the publisher;

(2) is made in writing, reasonably identifies the person making the request, and is signed by the individual claiming to have been defamed or by the person's authorized attorney or agent;

(3) states with particularity the statement alleged to be false and defamatory and, to the extent known, the time and place of publication;

(4) alleges the defamatory meaning of the statement; and

(5) specifies the circumstances causing a defamatory meaning of the statement if it arises from something other than the express language of the publication.

(e) A period of limitation for commencement of an action under this section is tolled during the period allowed by Sections 73.056 and 73.057.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.056: Disclosure of Evidence of Falsity

(a) A person who has been requested to make a correction, clarification, or retraction may ask the person making the request to provide reasonably available information regarding the falsity of the allegedly defamatory statement not later than the 30th day after the date the person receives the request. Any information requested under this section must be provided by the person seeking the correction, clarification, or retraction not later than the 30th day after the date the person receives the request.

(b) If a correction, clarification, or retraction is not made, a person who, without good cause, fails to disclose the information requested under Subsection (a) may not recover exemplary damages, unless the publication was made with actual malice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.057: Timely and Sufficient Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction

(a) A correction, clarification, or retraction is timely if it is made not later than the 30th day after receipt of:

(1) the request for the correction, clarification, or retraction; or

(2) the information requested under Section 73.056(a).

(b) A correction, clarification, or retraction is sufficient if it is published in the same manner and medium as the original publication or, if that is not possible, with a prominence and in a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach substantially the same audience as the publication complained of and:

(1) is publication of an acknowledgment that the statement specified as false and defamatory is erroneous;

(2) is an allegation that the defamatory meaning arises from other than the express language of the publication and the publisher disclaims an intent to communicate that meaning or to assert its truth;

(3) is a statement attributed to another person whom the publisher identifies and the publisher disclaims an intent to assert the truth of the statement; or

(4) is publication of the requestor's statement of the facts, as set forth in a request for correction, clarification, or retraction, or a fair summary of the statement, exclusive of any portion that is defamatory of another, obscene, or otherwise improper for publication.

(c) If a request for correction, clarification, or retraction has specified two or more statements as false and defamatory, the correction, clarification, or retraction may deal with the statements individually in any manner provided by Subsection (b).

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a correction, clarification, or retraction is published with a prominence and in a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach substantially the same audience as the publication complained of if:

(1) it is published in a later issue, edition, or broadcast of the original publication;

(2) publication is in the next practicable issue, edition, or broadcast of the original publication because the publication will not be published within the time limits established for a timely correction, clarification, or retraction; or

(3) the original publication no longer exists and if the correction, clarification, or retraction is published in the newspaper with the largest general circulation in the region in which the original publication was distributed.

(e) If the original publication was on the Internet, a correction, clarification, or retraction is published with a prominence and in a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach substantially the same audience as the publication complained of if the publisher appends to the original publication the correction, clarification, or retraction.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.058: Challenges to Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction Or to Request for Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction

(a) If a defendant in an action under this subchapter intends to rely on a timely and sufficient correction, clarification, or retraction, the defendant's intention to do so, and the correction, clarification, or retraction relied on, must be stated in a notice served on the plaintiff on the later of:

(1) the 60th day after service of the citation; or

(2) the 10th day after the date the correction, clarification, or retraction is made.

(b) A correction, clarification, or retraction is timely and sufficient unless the plaintiff challenges the timeliness or sufficiency not later than the 20th day after the date notice under Subsection (a) is served. If a plaintiff challenges the timeliness or sufficiency, the plaintiff must state the challenge in a motion to declare the correction, clarification, or retraction untimely or insufficient served not later than the 30th day after the date notice under Subsection (a) is served on the plaintiff or the 30th day after the date the correction, clarification, or retraction is made, whichever is later.

(c) If a defendant intends to challenge the sufficiency or timeliness of a request for a correction, clarification, or retraction, the defendant must state the challenge in a motion to declare the request insufficient or untimely served not later than the 60th day after the date of service of the citation.

(d) Unless there is a reasonable dispute regarding the actual contents of the request for correction, clarification, or retraction, the sufficiency and timeliness of a request for correction, clarification, or retraction is a question of law. At the earliest appropriate time before trial, the court shall rule, as a matter of law, whether the request for correction, clarification, or retraction meets the requirements of this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.059: Effect of Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction

If a correction, clarification, or retraction is made in accordance with this subchapter, regardless of whether the person claiming harm made a request, a person may not recover exemplary damages unless the publication was made with actual malice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.060: Scope of Protection

A timely and sufficient correction, clarification, or retraction made by a person responsible for a publication constitutes a correction, clarification, or retraction made by all persons responsible for that publication but does not extend to an entity that republished the information.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.061: Admissibility of Evidence of Correction, Clarification, Or Retraction

(a) A request for a correction, clarification, or retraction, the contents of the request, and the acceptance or refusal of the request are not admissible evidence at a trial.

(b) The fact that a correction, clarification, or retraction was made and the contents of the correction, clarification, or retraction are not admissible in evidence at trial except in mitigation of damages under Section 73.003(a)(3). If a correction, clarification, or retraction is received into evidence, the request for the correction, clarification, or retraction may also be received into evidence.

(c) The fact that an offer of a correction, clarification, or retraction was made and the contents of the offer, and the fact that the correction, clarification, or retraction was refused, are not admissible in evidence at trial.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 73.062: Abatement

(a) A person against whom a suit is pending who does not receive a written request for a correction, clarification, or retraction, as required by Section 73.055, may file a plea in abatement not later than the 30th day after the date the person files an original answer in the court in which the suit is pending.

(b) A suit is automatically abated, in its entirety, without the order of the court, beginning on the 11th day after the date a plea in abatement is filed under Subsection (a) if the plea in abatement:

(1) is verified and alleges that the person against whom the suit is pending did not receive the written request as required by Section 73.055; and

(2) is not controverted in an affidavit filed by the person bringing the claim before the 11th day after the date on which the plea in abatement is filed.

(c) An abatement under Subsection (b) continues until the 60th day after the date that the written request is served or a later date agreed to by the parties. If a controverting affidavit is filed under Subsection (b)(2), a hearing on the plea in abatement will take place as soon as practical considering the court's docket.

(d) All statutory and judicial deadlines under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure relating to a suit abated under Subsection (b), other than those provided in this section, will be stayed during the pendency of the abatement period under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (H.B. 1759), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Chapter 74

Subchapter A

Sec. 74.001: Definitions

(a) In this chapter:

(1) "Affiliate" means a person who, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a specified person, including any direct or indirect parent or subsidiary.

(2) "Claimant" means a person, including a decedent's estate, seeking or who has sought recovery of damages in a health care liability claim. All persons claiming to have sustained damages as the result of the bodily injury or death of a single person are considered a single claimant.

(3) "Control" means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the person, whether through ownership of equity or securities, by contract, or otherwise.

(4) "Court" means any federal or state court.

(5) "Disclosure panel" means the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel.

(6) "Economic damages" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(7) "Emergency medical care" means bona fide emergency services provided after the sudden onset of a medical or traumatic condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. The term does not include medical care or treatment that occurs after the patient is stabilized and is capable of receiving medical treatment as a nonemergency patient or that is unrelated to the original medical emergency.

(8) "Emergency medical services provider" means a licensed public or private provider to which Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, applies.

(9) "Gross negligence" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(10) "Health care" means any act or treatment performed or furnished, or that should have been performed or furnished, by any health care provider for, to, or on behalf of a patient during the patient's medical care, treatment, or confinement.

(11) "Health care institution" includes:

(A) an ambulatory surgical center;

(B) an assisted living facility licensed under Chapter 247, Health and Safety Code;

(C) an emergency medical services provider;

(D) a health services district created under Chapter 287, Health and Safety Code;

(E) a home and community support services agency;

(F) a hospice;

(G) a hospital;

(H) a hospital system;

(I) an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded or a home and community-based services waiver program for persons with mental retardation adopted in accordance with Section 1915(c) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 1396n), as amended;

(J) a nursing home; or

(K) an end stage renal disease facility licensed under Section 251.011, Health and Safety Code.

(12) (A) "Health care provider" means any person, partnership, professional association, corporation, facility, or institution duly licensed, certified, registered, or chartered by the State of Texas to provide health care, including:

(i) a registered nurse;

(ii) a dentist;

(iii) a podiatrist;

(iv) a pharmacist;

(v) a chiropractor;

(vi) an optometrist;

(vii) a health care institution; or

(viii) a health care collaborative certified under Chapter 848, Insurance Code.

(B) The term includes:

(i) an officer, director, shareholder, member, partner, manager, owner, or affiliate of a health care provider or physician; and

(ii) an employee, independent contractor, or agent of a health care provider or physician acting in the course and scope of the employment or contractual relationship.

(13) "Health care liability claim" means a cause of action against a health care provider or physician for treatment, lack of treatment, or other claimed departure from accepted standards of medical care, or health care, or safety or professional or administrative services directly related to health care, which proximately results in injury to or death of a claimant, whether the claimant's claim or cause of action sounds in tort or contract. The term does not include a cause of action described by Section 406.033(a) or 408.001(b), Labor Code, against an employer by an employee or the employee's surviving spouse or heir.

(14) "Home and community support services agency" means a licensed public or provider agency to which Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code, applies.

(15) "Hospice" means a hospice facility or activity to which Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code, applies.

(16) "Hospital" means a licensed public or private institution as defined in Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or licensed under Chapter 577, Health and Safety Code.

(17) "Hospital system" means a system of hospitals located in this state that are under the common governance or control of a corporate parent.

(18) "Intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded" means a licensed public or private institution to which Chapter 252, Health and Safety Code, applies.

(19) "Medical care" means any act defined as practicing medicine under Section 151.002, Occupations Code, performed or furnished, or which should have been performed, by one licensed to practice medicine in this state for, to, or on behalf of a patient during the patient's care, treatment, or confinement.

(20) "Noneconomic damages" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(21) "Nursing home" means a licensed public or private institution to which Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, applies.

(22) "Pharmacist" means one licensed under Chapter 551, Occupations Code, who, for the purposes of this chapter, performs those activities limited to the dispensing of prescription medicines which result in health care liability claims and does not include any other cause of action that may exist at common law against them, including but not limited to causes of action for the sale of mishandled or defective products.

(23) "Physician" means:

(A) an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state;

(B) a professional association organized under the Texas Professional Association Act (Article 1528f, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) by an individual physician or group of physicians;

(C) a partnership or limited liability partnership formed by a group of physicians;

(D) a nonprofit health corporation certified under Section 162.001, Occupations Code; or

(E) a company formed by a group of physicians under the Texas Limited Liability Company Act (Article 1528n, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

(24) "Professional or administrative services" means those duties or services that a physician or health care provider is required to provide as a condition of maintaining the physician's or health care provider's license, accreditation status, or certification to participate in state or federal health care programs.

(25) "Representative" means the spouse, parent, guardian, trustee, authorized attorney, or other authorized legal agent of the patient or claimant.

(b) Any legal term or word of art used in this chapter, not otherwise defined in this chapter, shall have such meaning as is consistent with the common law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 7 (S.B. 7), Sec. 4.02, eff. September 1, 2011

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 728 (H.B. 1403), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 74.002: Conflict with Other Law and Rules of Civil Procedure

(a) In the event of a conflict between this chapter and another law, including a rule of procedure or evidence or court rule, this chapter controls to the extent of the conflict.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), in the event of a conflict between this chapter and Section 101.023, 102.003, or 108.002, those sections of this code control to the extent of the conflict.

(c) The district courts and statutory county courts in a county may not adopt local rules in conflict with this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.003: Sovereign Immunity Not Waived

This chapter does not waive sovereign immunity from suit or from liability.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.004: Exception from Certain Laws

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, Sections 17.41-17.63, Business & Commerce Code, do not apply to physicians or health care providers with respect to claims for damages for personal injury or death resulting, or alleged to have resulted, from negligence on the part of any physician or health care provider.

(b) This section does not apply to pharmacists.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter B

Sec. 74.051: Notice

(a) Any person or his authorized agent asserting a health care liability claim shall give written notice of such claim by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each physician or health care provider against whom such claim is being made at least 60 days before the filing of a suit in any court of this state based upon a health care liability claim. The notice must be accompanied by the authorization form for release of protected health information as required under Section 74.052.

(b) In such pleadings as are subsequently filed in any court, each party shall state that it has fully complied with the provisions of this section and Section 74.052 and shall provide such evidence thereof as the judge of the court may require to determine if the provisions of this chapter have been met.

(c) Notice given as provided in this chapter shall toll the applicable statute of limitations to and including a period of 75 days following the giving of the notice, and this tolling shall apply to all parties and potential parties.

(d) All parties shall be entitled to obtain complete and unaltered copies of the patient's medical records from any other party within 45 days from the date of receipt of a written request for such records; provided, however, that the receipt of a medical authorization in the form required by Section 74.052 executed by the claimant herein shall be considered compliance by the claimant with this subsection.

(e) For the purposes of this section, and notwithstanding Chapter 159, Occupations Code, or any other law, a request for the medical records of a deceased person or a person who is incompetent shall be deemed to be valid if accompanied by an authorization in the form required by Section 74.052 signed by a parent, spouse, or adult child of the deceased or incompetent person.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.052: Authorization Form for Release of Protected Health Information

(a) Notice of a health care claim under Section 74.051 must be accompanied by a medical authorization in the form specified by this section. Failure to provide this authorization along with the notice of health care claim shall abate all further proceedings against the physician or health care provider receiving the notice until 60 days following receipt by the physician or health care provider of the required authorization.

(b) If the authorization required by this section is modified or revoked, the physician or health care provider to whom the authorization has been given shall have the option to abate all further proceedings until 60 days following receipt of a replacement authorization that must comply with the form specified by this section.

(c) The medical authorization required by this section shall be in the following form and shall be construed in accordance with the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information" (45 C.F.R. Parts 160 and 164).

AUTHORIZATION FORM FOR RELEASE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Patient Name:______ Patient Date of Birth:________

Patient Address:_________________________________________

____________ Street_________________ City, State, ZIP

Patient Telephone:__________ Patient E-mail:_________

NOTICE TO PHYSICIAN OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER: THIS AUTHORIZATION FORM HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE PURSUANT TO SECTION 74.052, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE MEDICAL AND BILLING RECORDS AS REQUESTED IN THIS AUTHORIZATION.

A. I, __________ (name of patient or authorized representative), hereby authorize __________ (name of physician or other health care provider to whom the notice of health care claim is directed) to obtain and disclose (within the parameters set out below) the protected health information and associated billing records described below for the following specific purposes (check all that apply):

[ ] To facilitate the investigation and evaluation of the health care claim described in the accompanying Notice of Health Care Claim.

[ ] Defense of any litigation arising out of the claim made the basis of the accompanying Notice of Health Care Claim.

[ ] Other - Specify:_________________

B. The health information to be obtained, used, or disclosed extends to and includes the verbal as well as written and electronic and is specifically described as follows:

1. The health information and billing records in the custody of the physicians or health care providers who have examined, evaluated, or treated __________ (patient) in connection with the injuries alleged to have been sustained in connection with the claim asserted in the accompanying Notice of Health Care Claim.

Names and current addresses of treating physicians or health care providers:

1.__________________________

2.__________________________

3.__________________________

4.__________________________

5.__________________________

6.__________________________

7.__________________________

8.__________________________

This authorization extends to an additional physician or health care provider that may in the future evaluate, examine, or treat __________ (patient) for injuries alleged in connection with the claim made the basis of the attached Notice of Health Care Claim only if the claimant gives notice to the recipient of the attached Notice of Health Care Claim of that additional physician or health care provider;

2. The health information and billing records in the custody of the following physicians or health care providers who have examined, evaluated, or treated __________ (patient) during a period commencing five years prior to the incident made the basis of the accompanying Notice of Health Care Claim.

Names and current addresses of treating physicians or health care providers, if applicable:

1.__________________________

2.__________________________

3.__________________________

4.__________________________

5.__________________________

6.__________________________

7.__________________________

8.__________________________

C. Exclusions

1. Providers excluded from authorization.

The following constitutes a list of physicians or health care providers possessing health care information concerning __________ (patient) to whom this authorization does not apply because I contend that such health care information is not relevant to the damages being claimed or to the physical, mental, or emotional condition of __________ (patient) arising out of the claim made the basis of the accompanying Notice of Health Care Claim. List the names of each physician or health care provider to whom this authorization does not extend and the inclusive dates of examination, evaluation, or treatment to be withheld from disclosure, or state "none":

1.__________________________

2.__________________________

3.__________________________

4.__________________________

5.__________________________

6.__________________________

7.__________________________

8.__________________________

2. By initialing below, the patient or patient's personal or legal representative excludes the following information from this authorization:

________ HIV/AIDS test results and/or treatment

________ Drug/alcohol/substance abuse treatment

________ Mental health records (mental health records do not include psychotherapy notes)

________ Genetic information (including genetic test results)

D. The persons or class of persons to whom the patient's health information and billing records will be disclosed or who will make use of said information are:

1. Any and all physicians or health care providers providing care or treatment to __________ (patient);

2. Any liability insurance entity providing liability insurance coverage or defense to any physician or health care provider to whom Notice of Health Care Claim has been given with regard to the care and treatment of __________ (patient);

3. Any consulting or testifying experts employed by or on behalf of __________ (name of physician or health care provider to whom Notice of Health Care Claim has been given) with regard to the matter set out in the Notice of Health Care Claim accompanying this authorization;

4. Any attorneys (including secretarial, clerical, experts, or paralegal staff) employed by or on behalf of __________ (name of physician or health care provider to whom Notice of Health Care Claim has been given) with regard to the matter set out in the Notice of Health Care Claim accompanying this authorization;

5. Any trier of the law or facts relating to any suit filed seeking damages arising out of the medical care or treatment of __________ (patient).

E. This authorization shall expire upon resolution of the claim asserted or at the conclusion of any litigation instituted in connection with the subject matter of the Notice of Health Care Claim accompanying this authorization, whichever occurs sooner.

F. I understand that, without exception, I have the right to revoke this authorization at any time by giving notice in writing to the person or persons named in Section B above of my intent to revoke this authorization. I understand that prior actions taken in reliance on this authorization by a person that had permission to access my protected health information will not be affected. I further understand the consequence of any such revocation as set out in Section 74.052, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

G. I understand that the signing of this authorization is not a condition for continued treatment, payment, enrollment, or eligibility for health plan benefits.

H. I understand that information used or disclosed pursuant to this authorization may be subject to redisclosure by the recipient and may no longer be protected by federal HIPAA privacy regulations.

Name of Patient

____________________

Signature of Patient/Personal or Legal Representative

__________

Description of Personal or Legal Representative's Authority

__________

Date

_______________

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (H.B. 2891), Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 115 (S.B. 1565), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 74.053: Pleadings Not to State Damage Amount; Special Exception; Exclusion from Section

Pleadings in a suit based on a health care liability claim shall not specify an amount of money claimed as damages. The defendant may file a special exception to the pleadings on the ground the suit is not within the court's jurisdiction, in which event the plaintiff shall inform the court and defendant in writing of the total dollar amount claimed. This section does not prevent a party from mentioning the total dollar amount claimed in examining prospective jurors on voir dire or in argument to the court or jury.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter C

Sec. 74.101: Theory of Recovery

In a suit against a physician or health care provider involving a health care liability claim that is based on the failure of the physician or health care provider to disclose or adequately disclose the risks and hazards involved in the medical care or surgical procedure rendered by the physician or health care provider, the only theory on which recovery may be obtained is that of negligence in failing to disclose the risks or hazards that could have influenced a reasonable person in making a decision to give or withhold consent.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.102: Texas Medical Disclosure Panel

(a) The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel is created to determine which risks and hazards related to medical care and surgical procedures must be disclosed by health care providers or physicians to their patients or persons authorized to consent for their patients and to establish the general form and substance of such disclosure.

(b) The disclosure panel established herein is administratively attached to the Texas Department of Health. The Texas Department of Health, at the request of the disclosure panel, shall provide administrative assistance to the panel; and the Texas Department of Health and the disclosure panel shall coordinate administrative responsibilities in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of facilities and services. The Texas Department of Health, at the request of the panel, shall submit the panel's budget request to the legislature. The panel shall be subject, except where inconsistent, to the rules and procedures of the Texas Department of Health; however, the duties and responsibilities of the panel as set forth in this chapter shall be exercised solely by the disclosure panel, and the board or Texas Department of Health shall have no authority or responsibility with respect to same.

(c) The disclosure panel is composed of nine members, with three members licensed to practice law in this state and six members licensed to practice medicine in this state. Members of the disclosure panel shall be selected by the commissioner of health.

(d) At the expiration of the term of each member of the disclosure panel so appointed, the commissioner shall select a successor, and such successor shall serve for a term of six years, or until his successor is selected. Any member who is absent for three consecutive meetings without the consent of a majority of the disclosure panel present at each such meeting may be removed by the commissioner at the request of the disclosure panel submitted in writing and signed by the chairman. Upon the death, resignation, or removal of any member, the commissioner shall fill the vacancy by selection for the unexpired portion of the term.

(e) Members of the disclosure panel are not entitled to compensation for their services, but each panelist is entitled to reimbursement of any necessary expense incurred in the performance of his duties on the panel, including necessary travel expenses.

(f) Meetings of the panel shall be held at the call of the chairman or on petition of at least three members of the panel. Notwithstanding Chapter 551, Government Code, or any other law, if any member of the panel is physically present at a meeting, any number of the other members of the panel may attend the meeting by use of telephone conference call, videoconferencing, or other similar telecommunication method for purposes of establishing a quorum or voting or for any other meeting purpose allowing a panel member to fully participate in any panel meeting. This subsection applies without regard to the subject matter discussed or considered by the panel at the meeting. A meeting held by telephone conference call, videoconferencing, or other similar telecommunication method:

(1) is subject to the notice requirements applicable to other meetings of the panel;

(2) may not be held unless the notice of the meeting specifies the location of the meeting at which a member of the panel will be physically present;

(3) must be open to the public and audible to the public at the location specified in the notice under Subdivision (2); and

(4) must provide two-way audio communication between all panel members attending the meeting during the entire meeting, and, if the two-way audio communication link with any member attending the meeting is disrupted at any time, the meeting may not continue until the two-way audio communication link is reestablished.

(g) At the first meeting of the panel each year after its members assume their positions, the panelists shall select one of the panel members to serve as chairman and one of the panel members to serve as vice chairman, and each such officer shall serve for a term of one year. The chairman shall preside at meetings of the panel, and in his absence, the vice chairman shall preside.

(h) Employees of the Texas Department of Health shall serve as the staff for the panel.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1287 (H.B. 2476), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Sec. 74.103: Duties of Disclosure Panel

(a) To the extent feasible, the panel shall identify and make a thorough examination of all medical treatments and surgical procedures in which physicians and health care providers may be involved in order to determine which of those treatments and procedures do and do not require disclosure of the risks and hazards to the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient.

(b) The panel shall prepare separate lists of those medical treatments and surgical procedures that do and do not require disclosure and, for those treatments and procedures that do require disclosure, shall establish the degree of disclosure required and the form in which the disclosure will be made. Each provision of a disclosure form prepared under this subsection must be made available in English and Spanish.

(c) Lists prepared under Subsection (b) together with written explanations of the degree and form of disclosure shall be published in the Texas Register.

(d) At least annually, or at such other period the panel may determine from time to time, the panel will identify and examine any new medical treatments and surgical procedures that have been developed since its last determinations, shall assign them to the proper list, and shall establish the degree of disclosure required and the form in which the disclosure will be made. The panel will also examine such treatments and procedures for the purpose of revising lists previously published. These determinations shall be published in the Texas Register.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 307 (S.B. 555), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 74.104: Duty of Physician Or Health Care Provider

Before a patient or a person authorized to consent for a patient gives consent to any medical care or surgical procedure that appears on the disclosure panel's list requiring disclosure, the physician or health care provider shall disclose to the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient the risks and hazards involved in that kind of care or procedure. A physician or health care provider shall be considered to have complied with the requirements of this section if disclosure is made as provided in Section 74.105.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.105: Manner of Disclosure

Consent to medical care that appears on the disclosure panel's list requiring disclosure shall be considered effective under this chapter if it is given in writing, signed by the patient or a person authorized to give the consent and by a competent witness, and if the written consent specifically states the risks and hazards that are involved in the medical care or surgical procedure in the form and to the degree required by the disclosure panel under Section 74.103.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.106: Effect of Disclosure

(a) In a suit against a physician or health care provider involving a health care liability claim that is based on the negligent failure of the physician or health care provider to disclose or adequately disclose the risks and hazards involved in the medical care or surgical procedure rendered by the physician or health care provider:

(1) both disclosure made as provided in Section 74.104 and failure to disclose based on inclusion of any medical care or surgical procedure on the panel's list for which disclosure is not required shall be admissible in evidence and shall create a rebuttable presumption that the requirements of Sections 74.104 and 74.105 have been complied with and this presumption shall be included in the charge to the jury; and

(2) failure to disclose the risks and hazards involved in any medical care or surgical procedure required to be disclosed under Sections 74.104 and 74.105 shall be admissible in evidence and shall create a rebuttable presumption of a negligent failure to conform to the duty of disclosure set forth in Sections 74.104 and 74.105, and this presumption shall be included in the charge to the jury; but failure to disclose may be found not to be negligent if there was an emergency or if for some other reason it was not medically feasible to make a disclosure of the kind that would otherwise have been negligence.

(b) If medical care or surgical procedure is rendered with respect to which the disclosure panel has made no determination either way regarding a duty of disclosure, the physician or health care provider is under the duty otherwise imposed by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.107: Informed Consent for Hysterectomies

(a) The disclosure panel shall develop and prepare written materials to inform a patient or person authorized to consent for a patient of the risks and hazards of a hysterectomy.

(b) The materials shall be available in English, Spanish, and any other language the panel considers appropriate. The information must be presented in a manner understandable to a layperson.

(c) The materials must include:

(1) a notice that a decision made at any time to refuse to undergo a hysterectomy will not result in the withdrawal or withholding of any benefits provided by programs or projects receiving federal funds or otherwise affect the patient's right to future care or treatment;

(2) the name of the person providing and explaining the materials;

(3) a statement that the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient understands that the hysterectomy is permanent and nonreversible and that the patient will not be able to become pregnant or bear children if she undergoes a hysterectomy;

(4) a statement that the patient has the right to seek a consultation from a second physician;

(5) a statement that the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient has been informed that a hysterectomy is a removal of the uterus through an incision in the lower abdomen or vagina and that additional surgery may be necessary to remove or repair other organs, including an ovary, tube, appendix, bladder, rectum, or vagina;

(6) a description of the risks and hazards involved in the performance of the procedure; and

(7) a written statement to be signed by the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient indicating that the materials have been provided and explained to the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient and that the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient understands the nature and consequences of a hysterectomy.

(d) The physician or health care provider shall obtain informed consent under this section and Section 74.104 from the patient or person authorized to consent for the patient before performing a hysterectomy unless the hysterectomy is performed in a life-threatening situation in which the physician determines obtaining informed consent is not reasonably possible. If obtaining informed consent is not reasonably possible, the physician or health care provider shall include in the patient's medical records a written statement signed by the physician certifying the nature of the emergency.

(e) The disclosure panel may not prescribe materials under this section without first consulting with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter D

Sec. 74.151: Liability for Emergency Care

(a) A person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is wilfully or wantonly negligent, including a person who:

(1) administers emergency care using an automated external defibrillator; or

(2) administers emergency care as a volunteer who is a first responder as the term is defined under Section 421.095, Government Code.

(b) This section does not apply to care administered:

(1) for or in expectation of remuneration, provided that being legally entitled to receive remuneration for the emergency care rendered shall not determine whether or not the care was administered for or in anticipation of remuneration; or

(2) by a person who was at the scene of the emergency because he or a person he represents as an agent was soliciting business or seeking to perform a service for remuneration.

(c) , (d) Deleted by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01.

Text of subsection effective until December 01, 2019

(e) Except as provided by this subsection, this section does not apply to a person whose negligent act or omission was a producing cause of the emergency for which care is being administered. This subsection does not apply to liability of a school district or district school officer or employee arising from an act or omission under a program or policy or procedure adopted under Subchapter O-1, Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code, other than liability arising from wilful or intentional misconduct.

Text of subsection effective on December 01, 2019

(e) Except as provided by this subsection, this section does not apply to a person whose negligent act or omission was a producing cause of the emergency for which care is being administered. This subsection does not apply to liability of a school district or district school officer or employee arising from an act or omission under a program or practice or procedure developed under Subchapter G, Chapter 38, Education Code, other than liability arising from wilful or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 960, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 679, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 74.001 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 705 (H.B. 2117), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1321 (S.B. 460), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 352 (H.B. 18), Sec. 3.01, eff. December 1, 2019.

Sec. 74.152: Unlicensed Medical Personnel

Persons not licensed or certified in the healing arts who in good faith administer emergency care as emergency medical service personnel are not liable in civil damages for an act performed in administering the care unless the act is wilfully or wantonly negligent. This section applies without regard to whether the care is provided for or in expectation of remuneration.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 74.002 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.153: Standard of Proof in Cases Involving Emergency Medical Care

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), in a suit involving a health care liability claim against a physician or health care provider for injury to or death of a patient arising out of the provision of emergency medical care in a hospital emergency department, in an obstetrical unit, or in a surgical suite immediately following the evaluation or treatment of a patient in a hospital emergency department, the claimant bringing the suit may prove that the treatment or lack of treatment by the physician or health care provider departed from accepted standards of medical care or health care only if the claimant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the physician or health care provider, with willful and wanton negligence, deviated from the degree of care and skill that is reasonably expected of an ordinarily prudent physician or health care provider in the same or similar circumstances.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to:

(1) medical care or treatment:

(A) provided after the patient is:

(i) stabilized; and

(ii) receiving medical care or treatment as a nonemergency patient; or

(B) that is unrelated to a medical emergency; or

(2) a physician or health care provider whose negligent act or omission proximately causes a stable patient to require emergency medical care.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1364 (H.B. 2362), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 74.154: Jury Instructions in Cases Involving Emergency Medical Care

(a) In an action for damages that involves a claim of negligence arising from the provision of emergency medical care in a hospital emergency department or obstetrical unit or in a surgical suite immediately following the evaluation or treatment of a patient in a hospital emergency department, the court shall instruct the jury to consider, together with all other relevant matters:

(1) whether the person providing care did or did not have the patient's medical history or was able or unable to obtain a full medical history, including the knowledge of preexisting medical conditions, allergies, and medications;

(2) the presence or lack of a preexisting physician-patient relationship or health care provider-patient relationship;

(3) the circumstances constituting the emergency; and

(4) the circumstances surrounding the delivery of the emergency medical care.

(b) The provisions of Subsection (a) do not apply to medical care or treatment:

(1) that occurs after the patient is stabilized and is capable of receiving medical treatment as a nonemergency patient;

(2) that is unrelated to the original medical emergency; or

(3) that is related to an emergency caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter E

Sec. 74.201: Application of Res Ipsa Loquitur

The common law doctrine of res ipsa loquitur shall only apply to health care liability claims against health care providers or physicians in those cases to which it has been applied by the appellate courts of this state as of August 29, 1977.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter F

Sec. 74.251: Statute of Limitations on Health Care Liability Claims

(a) Notwithstanding any other law and subject to Subsection (b), no health care liability claim may be commenced unless the action is filed within two years from the occurrence of the breach or tort or from the date the medical or health care treatment that is the subject of the claim or the hospitalization for which the claim is made is completed; provided that, minors under the age of 12 years shall have until their 14th birthday in which to file, or have filed on their behalf, the claim. Except as herein provided this section applies to all persons regardless of minority or other legal disability.

(b) A claimant must bring a health care liability claim not later than 10 years after the date of the act or omission that gives rise to the claim. This subsection is intended as a statute of repose so that all claims must be brought within 10 years or they are time barred.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter G

Sec. 74.301: Limitation on Noneconomic Damages

(a) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against a physician or health care provider other than a health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages of the physician or health care provider other than a health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant, regardless of the number of defendant physicians or health care providers other than a health care institution against whom the claim is asserted or the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(b) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against a single health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant.

(c) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against more than one health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.302: Alternative Limitation on Noneconomic Damages

(a) In the event that Section 74.301 is stricken from this subchapter or is otherwise to any extent invalidated by a method other than through legislative means, the following, subject to the provisions of this section, shall become effective:

(1) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against a physician or health care provider other than a health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages of the physician or health care provider other than a health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant, regardless of the number of defendant physicians or health care providers other than a health care institution against whom the claim is asserted or the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(2) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against a single health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant.

(3) In an action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against more than one health care institution, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant.

(b) Effective before September 1, 2005, Subsection (a) of this section applies to any physician or health care provider that provides evidence of financial responsibility in the following amounts in effect for any act or omission to which this subchapter applies:

(1) at least $100,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $300,000 in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician participating in an approved residency program;

(2) at least $200,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $600,000 in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician or health care provider, other than a hospital; and

(3) at least $500,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $1.5 million in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a hospital.

(c) Effective September 1, 2005, Subsection (a) of this section applies to any physician or health care provider that provides evidence of financial responsibility in the following amounts in effect for any act or omission to which this subchapter applies:

(1) at least $100,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $300,000 in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician participating in an approved residency program;

(2) at least $300,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $900,000 in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician or health care provider, other than a hospital; and

(3) at least $750,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $2.25 million in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a hospital.

(d) Effective September 1, 2007, Subsection (a) of this section applies to any physician or health care provider that provides evidence of financial responsibility in the following amounts in effect for any act or omission to which this subchapter applies:

(1) at least $100,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $300,000 in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician participating in an approved residency program;

(2) at least $500,000 for each health care liability claim and at least $1 million in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a physician or health care provider, other than a hospital; and

(3) at least $1 million for each health care liability claim and at least $3 million in aggregate for all health care liability claims occurring in an insurance policy year, calendar year, or fiscal year for a hospital.

(e) Evidence of financial responsibility may be established at the time of judgment by providing proof of:

(1) the purchase of a contract of insurance or other plan of insurance authorized by this state or federal law or regulation;

(2) the purchase of coverage from a trust organized and operating under Article 21.49-4, Insurance Code;

(3) the purchase of coverage or another plan of insurance provided by or through a risk retention group or purchasing group authorized under applicable laws of this state or under the Product Liability Risk Retention Act of 1981 (15 U.S.C. Section 3901 et seq.), as amended, or the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. Section 3901 et seq.), as amended, or any other contract or arrangement for transferring and distributing risk relating to legal liability for damages, including cost or defense, legal costs, fees, and other claims expenses; or

(4) the maintenance of financial reserves in or an irrevocable letter of credit from a federally insured financial institution that has its main office or a branch office in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.303: Limitation on Damages

(a) In a wrongful death or survival action on a health care liability claim where final judgment is rendered against a physician or health care provider, the limit of civil liability for all damages, including exemplary damages, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant, regardless of the number of defendant physicians or health care providers against whom the claim is asserted or the number of separate causes of action on which the claim is based.

(b) When there is an increase or decrease in the consumer price index with respect to the amount of that index on August 29, 1977, the liability limit prescribed in Subsection (a) shall be increased or decreased, as applicable, by a sum equal to the amount of such limit multiplied by the percentage increase or decrease in the consumer price index, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor, that measures the average changes in prices of goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers' families and single workers living alone (CPI-W: Seasonally Adjusted U.S. City Average--All Items), between August 29, 1977, and the time at which damages subject to such limits are awarded by final judgment or settlement.

(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to the amount of damages awarded on a health care liability claim for the expenses of necessary medical, hospital, and custodial care received before judgment or required in the future for treatment of the injury.

(d) The liability of any insurer under the common law theory of recovery commonly known in Texas as the "Stowers Doctrine" shall not exceed the liability of the insured.

(e) In any action on a health care liability claim that is tried by a jury in any court in this state, the following shall be included in the court's written instructions to the jurors:

(1) "Do not consider, discuss, nor speculate whether or not liability, if any, on the part of any party is or is not subject to any limit under applicable law."

(2) "A finding of negligence may not be based solely on evidence of a bad result to the claimant in question, but a bad result may be considered by you, along with other evidence, in determining the issue of negligence. You are the sole judges of the weight, if any, to be given to this kind of evidence."

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter H

Sec. 74.351: Expert Report

(a) In a health care liability claim, a claimant shall, not later than the 120th day after the date each defendant's original answer is filed, serve on that party or the party's attorney one or more expert reports, with a curriculum vitae of each expert listed in the report for each physician or health care provider against whom a liability claim is asserted. The date for serving the report may be extended by written agreement of the affected parties. Each defendant physician or health care provider whose conduct is implicated in a report must file and serve any objection to the sufficiency of the report not later than the later of the 21st day after the date the report is served or the 21st day after the date the defendant's answer is filed, failing which all objections are waived.

(b) If, as to a defendant physician or health care provider, an expert report has not been served within the period specified by Subsection (a), the court, on the motion of the affected physician or health care provider, shall, subject to Subsection (c), enter an order that:

(1) awards to the affected physician or health care provider reasonable attorney's fees and costs of court incurred by the physician or health care provider; and

(2) dismisses the claim with respect to the physician or health care provider, with prejudice to the refiling of the claim.

(c) If an expert report has not been served within the period specified by Subsection (a) because elements of the report are found deficient, the court may grant one 30-day extension to the claimant in order to cure the deficiency. If the claimant does not receive notice of the court's ruling granting the extension until after the 120-day deadline has passed, then the 30-day extension shall run from the date the plaintiff first received the notice.

[Subsections (d)-(h) reserved]

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a claimant may satisfy any requirement of this section for serving an expert report by serving reports of separate experts regarding different physicians or health care providers or regarding different issues arising from the conduct of a physician or health care provider, such as issues of liability and causation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a single expert must address all liability and causation issues with respect to all physicians or health care providers or with respect to both liability and causation issues for a physician or health care provider.

(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the serving of an expert report regarding any issue other than an issue relating to liability or causation.

(k) Subject to Subsection (t), an expert report served under this section:

(1) is not admissible in evidence by any party;

(2) shall not be used in a deposition, trial, or other proceeding; and

(3) shall not be referred to by any party during the course of the action for any purpose.

(l) A court shall grant a motion challenging the adequacy of an expert report only if it appears to the court, after hearing, that the report does not represent an objective good faith effort to comply with the definition of an expert report in Subsection (r)(6).

[Subsections (m)-(q) reserved]

(r) In this section:

(1) "Affected parties" means the claimant and the physician or health care provider who are directly affected by an act or agreement required or permitted by this section and does not include other parties to an action who are not directly affected by that particular act or agreement.

(2) "Claim" means a health care liability claim.

[(3) reserved]

(4) "Defendant" means a physician or health care provider against whom a health care liability claim is asserted. The term includes a third-party defendant, cross-defendant, or counterdefendant.

(5) "Expert" means:

(A) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony regarding whether a physician departed from accepted standards of medical care, an expert qualified to testify under the requirements of Section 74.401;

(B) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony regarding whether a health care provider departed from accepted standards of health care, an expert qualified to testify under the requirements of Section 74.402;

(C) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care in any health care liability claim, a physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence;

(D) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care for a dentist, a dentist or physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence; or

(E) with respect to a person giving opinion testimony about the causal relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the alleged departure from the applicable standard of care for a podiatrist, a podiatrist or physician who is otherwise qualified to render opinions on such causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

(6) "Expert report" means a written report by an expert that provides a fair summary of the expert's opinions as of the date of the report regarding applicable standards of care, the manner in which the care rendered by the physician or health care provider failed to meet the standards, and the causal relationship between that failure and the injury, harm, or damages claimed.

(s) Until a claimant has served the expert report and curriculum vitae as required by Subsection (a), all discovery in a health care liability claim is stayed except for the acquisition by the claimant of information, including medical or hospital records or other documents or tangible things, related to the patient's health care through:

(1) written discovery as defined in Rule 192.7, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(2) depositions on written questions under Rule 200, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; and

(3) discovery from nonparties under Rule 205, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(t) If an expert report is used by the claimant in the course of the action for any purpose other than to meet the service requirement of Subsection (a), the restrictions imposed by Subsection (k) on use of the expert report by any party are waived.

(u) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, after a claim is filed all claimants, collectively, may take not more than two depositions before the expert report is served as required by Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 635 (H.B. 2645), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 870 (H.B. 658), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 74.352: Discovery Procedures

(a) In every health care liability claim the plaintiff shall within 45 days after the date of filing of the original petition serve on the defendant's attorney or, if no attorney has appeared for the defendant, on the defendant full and complete answers to the appropriate standard set of interrogatories and full and complete responses to the appropriate standard set of requests for production of documents and things promulgated by the Health Care Liability Discovery Panel.

(b) Every physician or health care provider who is a defendant in a health care liability claim shall within 45 days after the date on which an answer to the petition was due serve on the plaintiff's attorney or, if the plaintiff is not represented by an attorney, on the plaintiff full and complete answers to the appropriate standard set of interrogatories and complete responses to the standard set of requests for production of documents and things promulgated by the Health Care Liability Discovery Panel.

(c) Except on motion and for good cause shown, no objection may be asserted regarding any standard interrogatory or request for production of documents and things, but no response shall be required where a particular interrogatory or request is clearly inapplicable under the circumstances of the case.

(d) Failure to file full and complete answers and responses to standard interrogatories and requests for production of documents and things in accordance with Subsections (a) and (b) or the making of a groundless objection under Subsection (c) shall be grounds for sanctions by the court in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure on motion of any party.

(e) The time limits imposed under Subsections (a) and (b) may be extended by the court on the motion of a responding party for good cause shown and shall be extended if agreed in writing between the responding party and all opposing parties. In no event shall an extension be for a period of more than an additional 30 days.

(f) If a party is added by an amended pleading, intervention, or otherwise, the new party shall file full and complete answers to the appropriate standard set of interrogatories and full and complete responses to the standard set of requests for production of documents and things no later than 45 days after the date of filing of the pleading by which the party first appeared in the action.

(g) If information or documents required to provide full and complete answers and responses as required by this section are not in the possession of the responding party or attorney when the answers or responses are filed, the party shall supplement the answers and responses in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(h) Nothing in this section shall preclude any party from taking additional non-duplicative discovery of any other party. The standard sets of interrogatories provided for in this section shall not constitute, as to each plaintiff and each physician or health care provider who is a defendant, the first of the two sets of interrogatories permitted under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter I

Sec. 74.401: Qualifications of Expert Witness in Suit Against Physician

(a) In a suit involving a health care liability claim against a physician for injury to or death of a patient, a person may qualify as an expert witness on the issue of whether the physician departed from accepted standards of medical care only if the person is a physician who:

(1) is practicing medicine at the time such testimony is given or was practicing medicine at the time the claim arose;

(2) has knowledge of accepted standards of medical care for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of the illness, injury, or condition involved in the claim; and

(3) is qualified on the basis of training or experience to offer an expert opinion regarding those accepted standards of medical care.

(b) For the purpose of this section, "practicing medicine" or "medical practice" includes, but is not limited to, training residents or students at an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy or serving as a consulting physician to other physicians who provide direct patient care, upon the request of such other physicians.

(c) In determining whether a witness is qualified on the basis of training or experience, the court shall consider whether, at the time the claim arose or at the time the testimony is given, the witness:

(1) is board certified or has other substantial training or experience in an area of medical practice relevant to the claim; and

(2) is actively practicing medicine in rendering medical care services relevant to the claim.

(d) The court shall apply the criteria specified in Subsections (a), (b), and (c) in determining whether an expert is qualified to offer expert testimony on the issue of whether the physician departed from accepted standards of medical care, but may depart from those criteria if, under the circumstances, the court determines that there is a good reason to admit the expert's testimony. The court shall state on the record the reason for admitting the testimony if the court departs from the criteria.

(e) A pretrial objection to the qualifications of a witness under this section must be made not later than the later of the 21st day after the date the objecting party receives a copy of the witness's curriculum vitae or the 21st day after the date of the witness's deposition. If circumstances arise after the date on which the objection must be made that could not have been reasonably anticipated by a party before that date and that the party believes in good faith provide a basis for an objection to a witness's qualifications, and if an objection was not made previously, this subsection does not prevent the party from making an objection as soon as practicable under the circumstances. The court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the witness is qualified as soon as practicable after the filing of an objection and, if possible, before trial. If the objecting party is unable to object in time for the hearing to be conducted before the trial, the hearing shall be conducted outside the presence of the jury. This subsection does not prevent a party from examining or cross-examining a witness at trial about the witness's qualifications.

(f) This section does not prevent a physician who is a defendant from qualifying as an expert.

(g) In this subchapter, "physician" means a person who is:

(1) licensed to practice medicine in one or more states in the United States; or

(2) a graduate of a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association only if testifying as a defendant and that testimony relates to that defendant's standard of care, the alleged departure from that standard of care, or the causal relationship between the alleged departure from that standard of care and the injury, harm, or damages claimed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.402: Qualifications of Expert Witness in Suit Against Health Care Provider

(a) For purposes of this section, "practicing health care" includes:

(1) training health care providers in the same field as the defendant health care provider at an accredited educational institution; or

(2) serving as a consulting health care provider and being licensed, certified, or registered in the same field as the defendant health care provider.

(b) In a suit involving a health care liability claim against a health care provider, a person may qualify as an expert witness on the issue of whether the health care provider departed from accepted standards of care only if the person:

(1) is practicing health care in a field of practice that involves the same type of care or treatment as that delivered by the defendant health care provider, if the defendant health care provider is an individual, at the time the testimony is given or was practicing that type of health care at the time the claim arose;

(2) has knowledge of accepted standards of care for health care providers for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of the illness, injury, or condition involved in the claim; and

(3) is qualified on the basis of training or experience to offer an expert opinion regarding those accepted standards of health care.

(c) In determining whether a witness is qualified on the basis of training or experience, the court shall consider whether, at the time the claim arose or at the time the testimony is given, the witness:

(1) is certified by a licensing agency of one or more states of the United States or a national professional certifying agency, or has other substantial training or experience, in the area of health care relevant to the claim; and

(2) is actively practicing health care in rendering health care services relevant to the claim.

(d) The court shall apply the criteria specified in Subsections (a), (b), and (c) in determining whether an expert is qualified to offer expert testimony on the issue of whether the defendant health care provider departed from accepted standards of health care but may depart from those criteria if, under the circumstances, the court determines that there is good reason to admit the expert's testimony. The court shall state on the record the reason for admitting the testimony if the court departs from the criteria.

(e) This section does not prevent a health care provider who is a defendant, or an employee of the defendant health care provider, from qualifying as an expert.

(f) A pretrial objection to the qualifications of a witness under this section must be made not later than the later of the 21st day after the date the objecting party receives a copy of the witness's curriculum vitae or the 21st day after the date of the witness's deposition. If circumstances arise after the date on which the objection must be made that could not have been reasonably anticipated by a party before that date and that the party believes in good faith provide a basis for an objection to a witness's qualifications, and if an objection was not made previously, this subsection does not prevent the party from making an objection as soon as practicable under the circumstances. The court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the witness is qualified as soon as practicable after the filing of an objection and, if possible, before trial. If the objecting party is unable to object in time for the hearing to be conducted before the trial, the hearing shall be conducted outside the presence of the jury. This subsection does not prevent a party from examining or cross-examining a witness at trial about the witness's qualifications.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.403: Qualifications of Expert Witness on Causation in Health Care Liability Claim

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), in a suit involving a health care liability claim against a physician or health care provider, a person may qualify as an expert witness on the issue of the causal relationship between the alleged departure from accepted standards of care and the injury, harm, or damages claimed only if the person is a physician and is otherwise qualified to render opinions on that causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

(b) In a suit involving a health care liability claim against a dentist, a person may qualify as an expert witness on the issue of the causal relationship between the alleged departure from accepted standards of care and the injury, harm, or damages claimed if the person is a dentist or physician and is otherwise qualified to render opinions on that causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

(c) In a suit involving a health care liability claim against a podiatrist, a person may qualify as an expert witness on the issue of the causal relationship between the alleged departure from accepted standards of care and the injury, harm, or damages claimed if the person is a podiatrist or physician and is otherwise qualified to render opinions on that causal relationship under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

(d) A pretrial objection to the qualifications of a witness under this section must be made not later than the later of the 21st day after the date the objecting party receives a copy of the witness's curriculum vitae or the 21st day after the date of the witness's deposition. If circumstances arise after the date on which the objection must be made that could not have been reasonably anticipated by a party before that date and that the party believes in good faith provide a basis for an objection to a witness's qualifications, and if an objection was not made previously, this subsection does not prevent the party from making an objection as soon as practicable under the circumstances. The court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the witness is qualified as soon as practicable after the filing of an objection and, if possible, before trial. If the objecting party is unable to object in time for the hearing to be conducted before the trial, the hearing shall be conducted outside the presence of the jury. This subsection does not prevent a party from examining or cross-examining a witness at trial about the witness's qualifications.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter J

Sec. 74.451: Arbitration Agreements

(a) No physician, professional association of physicians, or other health care provider shall request or require a patient or prospective patient to execute an agreement to arbitrate a health care liability claim unless the form of agreement delivered to the patient contains a written notice in 10-point boldface type clearly and conspicuously stating:

UNDER TEXAS LAW, THIS AGREEMENT IS INVALID AND OF NO LEGAL EFFECT UNLESS IT IS ALSO SIGNED BY AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING. THIS AGREEMENT CONTAINS A WAIVER OF IMPORTANT LEGAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING YOUR RIGHT TO A JURY. YOU SHOULD NOT SIGN THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY.

(b) A violation of this section by a physician or professional association of physicians constitutes a violation of Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions and sanctions contained in that subtitle.

(c) A violation of this section by a health care provider other than a physician shall constitute a false, misleading, or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce within the meaning of Section 17.46 of the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code), and shall be subject to an enforcement action by the consumer protection division under that act and subject to the penalties and remedies contained in Section 17.47, Business & Commerce Code, notwithstanding Section 74.004 or any other law.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a person who is found to be in violation of this section for the first time shall be subject only to injunctive relief or other appropriate order requiring the person to cease and desist from such violation, and not to any other penalty or sanction.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter K

Sec. 74.501: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Future damages" means damages that are incurred after the date of judgment for:

(A) medical, health care, or custodial care services;

(B) physical pain and mental anguish, disfigurement, or physical impairment;

(C) loss of consortium, companionship, or society; or

(D) loss of earnings.

(2) "Future loss of earnings" means the following losses incurred after the date of the judgment:

(A) loss of income, wages, or earning capacity and other pecuniary losses; and

(B) loss of inheritance.

(3) "Periodic payments" means the payment of money or its equivalent to the recipient of future damages at defined intervals.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.502: Scope of Subchapter

This subchapter applies only to an action on a health care liability claim against a physician or health care provider in which the present value of the award of future damages, as determined by the court, equals or exceeds $100,000.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.503: Court Order for Periodic Payments

(a) At the request of a defendant physician or health care provider or claimant, the court shall order that medical, health care, or custodial services awarded in a health care liability claim be paid in whole or in part in periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment.

(b) At the request of a defendant physician or health care provider or claimant, the court may order that future damages other than medical, health care, or custodial services awarded in a health care liability claim be paid in whole or in part in periodic payments rather than by a lump sum payment.

(c) The court shall make a specific finding of the dollar amount of periodic payments that will compensate the claimant for the future damages.

(d) The court shall specify in its judgment ordering the payment of future damages by periodic payments the:

(1) recipient of the payments;

(2) dollar amount of the payments;

(3) interval between payments; and

(4) number of payments or the period of time over which payments must be made.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.504: Release

The entry of an order for the payment of future damages by periodic payments constitutes a release of the health care liability claim filed by the claimant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.505: Financial Responsibility

(a) As a condition to authorizing periodic payments of future damages, the court shall require a defendant who is not adequately insured to provide evidence of financial responsibility in an amount adequate to assure full payment of damages awarded by the judgment.

(b) The judgment must provide for payments to be funded by:

(1) an annuity contract issued by a company licensed to do business as an insurance company, including an assignment within the meaning of Section 130, Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;

(2) an obligation of the United States;

(3) applicable and collectible liability insurance from one or more qualified insurers; or

(4) any other satisfactory form of funding approved by the court.

(c) On termination of periodic payments of future damages, the court shall order the return of the security, or as much as remains, to the defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.506: Death of Recipient

(a) On the death of the recipient, money damages awarded for loss of future earnings continue to be paid to the estate of the recipient of the award without reduction.

(b) Periodic payments, other than future loss of earnings, terminate on the death of the recipient.

(c) If the recipient of periodic payments dies before all payments required by the judgment are paid, the court may modify the judgment to award and apportion the unpaid damages for future loss of earnings in an appropriate manner.

(d) Following the satisfaction or termination of any obligations specified in the judgment for periodic payments, any obligation of the defendant physician or health care provider to make further payments ends and any security given reverts to the defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 74.507: Award of Attorney's Fees

For purposes of computing the award of attorney's fees when the claimant is awarded a recovery that will be paid in periodic payments, the court shall:

(1) place a total value on the payments based on the claimant's projected life expectancy; and

(2) reduce the amount in Subdivision (1) to present value.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 74A

Sec. 74A.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Gross negligence" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(2) "Health care provider" means any individual, partnership, professional association, corporation, facility, or institution duly licensed, certified, registered, or chartered by this state to provide health care or medical care, including a physician. The term includes:

(A) an officer, director, shareholder, member, partner, manager, owner, or affiliate of a physician or other health care provider; and

(B) an employee, independent contractor, or agent of a physician or other health care provider acting in the course and scope of the employment or contractual relationship.

(3) "Health information exchange" has the meaning assigned by Section 182.151, Health and Safety Code. The term includes:

(A) an officer, director, shareholder, member, partner, manager, owner, or affiliate of the health information exchange; and

(B) an employee, independent contractor, or agent of the health information exchange acting in the course and scope of the employment or contractual relationship.

(4) "Malice" has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001.

(5) "Physician" means:

(A) an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;

(B) a professional association organized by an individual physician or a group of physicians;

(C) a partnership or limited liability partnership formed by a group of physicians;

(D) a limited liability company formed by a group of physicians;

(E) a nonprofit health corporation certified by the Texas Medical Board under Chapter 162, Occupations Code; or

(F) a single legal entity authorized to practice medicine in this state owned by a group of physicians.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1085 (H.B. 2641), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 74A.002: Limitation on Liability of Health Care Providers Relating to Health Information Exchanges

(a) Unless the health care provider acts with malice or gross negligence, a health care provider who provides patient information to a health information exchange is not liable for any damages, penalties, or other relief related to the obtainment, use, or disclosure of that information in violation of federal or state privacy laws by a health information exchange, another health care provider, or any other person.

(b) Nothing in this section may be construed to create a cause of action or to create a standard of care, obligation, or duty that forms the basis for a cause of action.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1085 (H.B. 2641), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 74A.003: Applicability of Other Law

The protections, immunities, and limitations of liability provided by this chapter are in addition to any other protections, immunities, and limitations of liability provided by other law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1085 (H.B. 2641), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 75

Sec. 75.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Agricultural land" means land that is located in this state and that is suitable for:

(A) use in production of plants and fruits grown for human or animal consumption, or plants grown for the production of fibers, floriculture, viticulture, horticulture, or planting seed;

(B) forestry and the growing of trees for the purpose of rendering those trees into lumber, fiber, or other items used for industrial, commercial, or personal consumption; or

(C) domestic or native farm or ranch animals kept for use or profit.

(2) "Premises" includes land, roads, water, watercourse, private ways, and buildings, structures, machinery, and equipment attached to or located on the land, road, water, watercourse, or private way.

(3) "Recreation" means an activity such as:

(A) hunting;

(B) fishing;

(C) swimming;

(D) boating;

(E) camping;

(F) picnicking;

(G) hiking;

(H) pleasure driving, including off-road motorcycling and off-road automobile driving and the use of off-highway vehicles;

(I) nature study, including bird-watching;

(J) cave exploration;

(K) waterskiing and other water sports;

(L) any other activity associated with enjoying nature or the outdoors;

(M) bicycling and mountain biking;

(N) disc golf;

(O) on-leash and off-leash walking of dogs;

(P) radio control flying and related activities; or

(Q) rock climbing.

(4) "Governmental unit" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.001.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 736, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 520, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 56, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 116 (S.B. 1224), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 932 (H.B. 616), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 659 (H.B. 1183), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1071 (H.B. 2303), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 740 (H.B. 687), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 959 (S.B. 230), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1233 (H.B. 1548), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 75.002: Liability Limited

(a) An owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land:

(1) does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser on the land; and

(2) is not liable for any injury to a trespasser on the land, except for wilful or wanton acts or gross negligence by the owner, lessee, or other occupant of agricultural land.

(b) If an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land gives permission to another or invites another to enter the premises for recreation, the owner, lessee, or occupant, by giving the permission, does not:

(1) assure that the premises are safe for that purpose;

(2) owe to the person to whom permission is granted or to whom the invitation is extended a greater degree of care than is owed to a trespasser on the premises; or

(3) assume responsibility or incur liability for any injury to any individual or property caused by any act of the person to whom permission is granted or to whom the invitation is extended.

(c) If an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property other than agricultural land gives permission to another to enter the premises for recreation, the owner, lessee, or occupant, by giving the permission, does not:

(1) assure that the premises are safe for that purpose;

(2) owe to the person to whom permission is granted a greater degree of care than is owed to a trespasser on the premises; or

(3) assume responsibility or incur liability for any injury to any individual or property caused by any act of the person to whom permission is granted.

(d) Subsections (a), (b), and (c) shall not limit the liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property who has been grossly negligent or has acted with malicious intent or in bad faith.

(e) In this section, "recreation" means, in addition to its meaning under Section 75.001, the following activities only if the activities take place on premises owned, operated, or maintained by a governmental unit for the purposes of those activities:

(1) hockey and in-line hockey;

(2) skating, in-line skating, roller-skating, skateboarding, and roller-blading;

(3) soap box derby use; and

(4) paintball use.

(f) Notwithstanding Subsections (b) and (c), if a person enters premises owned, operated, or maintained by a governmental unit and engages in recreation on those premises, the governmental unit does not owe to the person a greater degree of care than is owed to a trespasser on the premises.

(g) Any premises a governmental unit owns, operates, or maintains and on which the recreational activities described in Subsections (e)(1)-(4) are conducted shall post and maintain a clearly readable sign in a clearly visible location on or near the premises. The sign shall contain the following warning language:

WARNING

TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 75, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE) LIMITS THE LIABILITY OF A GOVERNMENTAL UNIT FOR DAMAGES ARISING DIRECTLY FROM HOCKEY, IN-LINE HOCKEY, SKATING, IN-LINE SKATING, ROLLER-SKATING, SKATEBOARDING, ROLLER-BLADING, PAINTBALL USE, OR SOAP BOX DERBY USE ON PREMISES THAT THE GOVERNMENTAL UNIT OWNS, OPERATES, OR MAINTAINS FOR THAT PURPOSE.

(h) An owner, lessee, or occupant of real property in this state is liable for trespass as a result of migration or transport of any air contaminant, as defined in Section 382.003(2), Health and Safety Code, other than odor, only upon a showing of actual and substantial damages by a plaintiff in a civil action.

(i) Subsections (b) and (c) do not affect any liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property for an injury occurring outside the boundaries of the real property caused by an activity described by Section 75.001(3)(P) that originates within the boundaries of the real property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 56, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 734, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 21.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 739, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 116 (S.B. 1224), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 932 (H.B. 616), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 227 (H.B. 1560), Sec. 1, eff. May 25, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 659 (H.B. 1183), Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Sec. 75.0022: Limited Liability of Certain Electric Utilities

(a) In this section:

(1) "Electric utility" has the meaning assigned by Section 31.002, Utilities Code.

(2) "Person" includes an individual, as defined by Section 71.001.

(3) "Premises" includes the land owned, occupied, or leased by an electric utility, or covered by an easement owned by an electric utility, with respect to which public access and use is allowed in a written agreement with a political subdivision under Subsection (c).

(4) "Serious bodily injury" means an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part or organ.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (H.B. 931), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

(c) An electric utility, as the owner, easement holder, occupant, or lessee of land, may enter into a written agreement with a political subdivision to allow public access to and use of the premises of the electric utility for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure.

(d) The electric utility, by entering into an agreement under this section or at any time during the term of the agreement, does not:

(1) assure that the premises are safe for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure;

(2) owe to a person entering the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure, or accompanying another person entering the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure, a greater degree of care than is owed to a trespasser on the premises; or

(3) except as provided by Subsection (e), assume responsibility or incur any liability for:

(A) damages arising from or related to bodily or other personal injury to or death of any person who enters the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure or accompanies another person entering the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure;

(B) property damage sustained by any person who enters the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure or accompanies another person entering the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure; or

(C) an act of a third party that occurs on the premises, regardless of whether the act is intentional.

(e) Subsection (d) does not limit the liability of an electric utility for serious bodily injury or death of a person proximately caused by the electric utility's wilful or wanton acts or gross negligence with respect to a dangerous condition existing on the premises.

(f) The limitation on liability provided by this section applies only to a cause of action brought by a person who enters the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure or accompanies another person entering the premises for recreation, exercise, relaxation, travel, or pleasure.

(g) The doctrine of attractive nuisance does not apply to a claim that is subject to this section.

(h) A written agreement entered into under this section may require the political subdivision to provide or pay for insurance coverage for any defense costs or other litigation costs incurred by the electric utility for damage claims under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 44 (H.B. 200), Sec. 3, eff. May 16, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (H.B. 931), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 75.0025: Limited Liability of Persons Allowing Certain Uses of Land

(a) In this section, "community garden" means the premises used for recreational gardening by a group of people residing in a neighborhood or community for the purpose of providing fresh produce for the benefit of the residents of the neighborhood or community.

(b) An owner, lessee, or occupant of land that gives permission to another person to enter and use the land as a community garden does not by giving that permission:

(1) ensure that the premises are safe; or

(2) assume responsibility or incur any liability for:

(A) damages arising from or related to any bodily or other personal injury to or death of any person who enters the premises for a purpose related to a community garden;

(B) property damage sustained by any person who enters the premises for a purpose related to a community garden; or

(C) an act of a third party that occurs on the premises.

(c) The doctrine of attractive nuisance does not apply to a claim that is subject to this section.

(d) This section does not limit the liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of land for an injury caused by wilful or wanton acts or gross negligence by the owner, lessee, or occupant.

(e) An owner, lessee, or occupant of land that allows the use of the premises as a community garden shall post and maintain a clearly readable sign in a clearly visible location on or near the premises. The sign must contain the following warning language:

WARNING

TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 75, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE) LIMITS THE LIABILITY OF THE LANDOWNER, LESSEE, OR OCCUPANT FOR DAMAGES ARISING FROM THE USE OF THIS PROPERTY AS A COMMUNITY GARDEN.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 679 (H.B. 262), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 75.003: Application and Effect of Chapter

(a) This chapter does not relieve any owner, lessee, or occupant of real property of any liability that would otherwise exist for deliberate, wilful, or malicious injury to a person or to property.

(b) This chapter does not affect the doctrine of attractive nuisance, except:

(1) as provided by Section 75.0022(g) or 75.0025(c); and

(2) the doctrine of attractive nuisance may not be the basis for liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land for any injury to a trespasser over the age of 16 years.

(c) Except for a governmental unit, this chapter applies only to an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property who:

(1) does not charge for entry to the premises;

(2) charges for entry to the premises, but whose total charges collected in the previous calendar year for all recreational use of the entire premises of the owner, lessee, or occupant are not more than 20 times the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on the premises for the previous calendar year; or

(3) has liability insurance coverage in effect on an act or omission described by Section 75.004(a) and in the amounts equal to or greater than those provided by that section.

(d) This chapter does not create any liability.

(e) Except as otherwise provided, this chapter applies to a governmental unit.

(f) This chapter does not waive sovereign immunity.

(g) To the extent that this chapter limits the liability of a governmental unit under circumstances in which the governmental unit would be liable under Chapter 101, this chapter controls.

(h) In the case of agricultural land, an owner, lessee, or occupant of real property who does not charge for entry to the premises because the individuals entering the premises for recreation are invited social guests satisfies the requirement of Subsection (c)(1).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 832, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 520, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 56, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 429, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 44 (H.B. 200), Sec. 4, eff. May 16, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 679 (H.B. 262), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 75.004: Limitation on Monetary Damages for Private Landowners

(a) Subject to Subsection (b), the liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land used for recreational purposes for an act or omission by the owner, lessee, or occupant relating to the premises that results in damages to a person who has entered the premises is limited to a maximum amount of $500,000 for each person and $1 million for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property. In the case of agricultural land, the total liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant for a single occurrence is limited to $1 million, and the liability also is subject to the limits for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death and each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property stated in this subsection.

(b) This section applies only to an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land used for recreational purposes who has liability insurance coverage in effect on an act or omission described by Subsection (a) and in the amounts equal to or greater than those provided by Subsection (a). The coverage may be provided under a contract of insurance or other plan of insurance authorized by statute. The limit of liability insurance coverage applicable with respect to agricultural land may be a combined single limit in the amount of $1 million for each single occurrence.

(c) This section does not affect the liability of an insurer or insurance plan in an action under Chapter 541, Insurance Code, or an action for bad faith conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligent failure to settle a claim.

(d) This section does not apply to a governmental unit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 520, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 56, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 11.106, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 75.006: Liability Limited for Actions of Firefighter, Federal Law Enforcement Officer, Or Peace Officer

(a) In this section:

(1) "Federal law enforcement officer" means a law enforcement officer as defined by 5 U.S.C. Section 8331(20).

(2) "Firefighter" means a member of a fire department who performs a function listed in Section 419.021(3)(C), Government Code.

(3) "Livestock" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.003, Agriculture Code.

(4) "Peace officer" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code, or other state or federal law.

(b) A landowner is not liable for damages arising from an incident or accident caused by livestock of the landowner due to an act or omission of a firefighter or a peace officer who has entered the landowner's property with or without the permission of the landowner, regardless of whether the damage occurs on the landowner's property.

(c) An owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land is not liable for any damage or injury to any person or property that arises from the actions of a peace officer or federal law enforcement officer when the officer enters or causes another person to enter the agricultural land with or without the permission of the owner, lessee, or occupant, regardless of whether the damage or injury occurs on the agricultural land.

(d) The owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land is not liable for any damage or injury to any person or property that arises from the actions of an individual who, because of the actions of a peace officer or federal law enforcement officer, enters or causes another person to enter the agricultural land without the permission of the owner, lessee, or occupant.

(e) This section does not limit the liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land for any damage or injury that arises from a wilful or wanton act or gross negligence by the owner, lessee, or occupant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 786 (S.B. 1153), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 101 (S.B. 1160), Sec. 1, eff. May 20, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 101 (S.B. 1160), Sec. 2, eff. May 20, 2011.

Sec. 75.007: Trespassers

(a) In this section, "trespasser" means a person who enters the land of another without any legal right, express or implied.

(b) An owner, lessee, or occupant of land does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser on the land and is not liable for any injury to a trespasser on the land, except that an owner, lessee, or occupant owes a duty to refrain from injuring a trespasser wilfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), an owner, lessee, or occupant of land may be liable for injury to a child caused by a highly dangerous artificial condition on the land if:

(1) the place where the artificial condition exists is one upon which the owner, lessee, or occupant knew or reasonably should have known that children were likely to trespass;

(2) the artificial condition is one that the owner, lessee, or occupant knew or reasonably should have known existed, and that the owner, lessee, or occupant realized or should have realized involved an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children;

(3) the injured child, because of the child's youth, did not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in intermeddling with the condition or coming within the area made dangerous by the condition;

(4) the utility to the owner, lessee, or occupant of maintaining the artificial condition and the burden of eliminating the danger were slight as compared with the risk to the child involved; and

(5) the owner, lessee, or occupant failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the child.

(d) An owner, lessee, or occupant of land whose actions are justified under Subchapter C or D, Chapter 9, Penal Code, is not liable to a trespasser for damages arising from those actions.

(e) This section does not affect Section 75.001, 75.002, 75.003, or 75.004 or create or increase the liability of any person.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 101 (S.B. 1160), Sec. 3, eff. May 20, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (H.B. 931), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Chapter 75A

Sec. 75A.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Agricultural land" means land that is located in this state and that is suitable for:

(A) use in production of plants and fruits grown for human or animal consumption, or plants grown for the production of fibers, floriculture, viticulture, horticulture, or planting seed; or

(B) domestic or native farm or ranch animals kept for use or profit.

(2) "Agritourism activity" means an activity on agricultural land for recreational or educational purposes of participants, without regard to compensation.

(3) "Agritourism entity" means a person engaged in the business of providing an agritourism activity, without regard to compensation, including a person who displays exotic animals to the public on agricultural land.

(4) "Agritourism participant" means an individual, other than an employee of an agritourism entity, who engages in an agritourism activity.

(5) "Agritourism participant injury" means an injury sustained by an agritourism participant, including bodily injury, emotional distress, death, property damage, or any other loss arising from the person's participation in an agritourism activity.

(6) "Premises" has the meaning assigned by Section 75.001.

(7) "Recreation" has the meaning assigned by Section 75.001.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1152 (S.B. 610), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 75A.002: Limited Liability

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an agritourism entity is not liable to any person for an agritourism participant injury or damages arising out of the agritourism participant injury if:

(1) at the time of the agritourism activity from which the injury arises, the warning prescribed by Section 75A.003 was posted in accordance with that section; or

(2) the agritourism entity obtained in accordance with Section 75A.004 a written agreement and warning statement from the agritourism participant with respect to the agritourism activity from which the injury arises.

(b) This section does not limit liability for an injury:

(1) proximately caused by:

(A) the agritourism entity's negligence evidencing a disregard for the safety of the agritourism participant;

(B) one of the following dangers, of which the agritourism entity had actual knowledge or reasonably should have known:

(i) a dangerous condition on the land, facilities, or equipment used in the activity; or

(ii) the dangerous propensity, that is not disclosed to the agritourism participant, of a particular animal used in the activity; or

(C) the agritourism entity's failure to train or improper training of an employee of the agritourism entity actively involved in an agritourism activity; or

(2) intentionally caused by the agritourism entity.

(c) A limitation on liability provided by this section to an agritourism entity is in addition to other limitations of liability.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1152 (S.B. 610), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 75A.003: Posted Warning

For the purposes of limitation of liability under Section 75A.002(a)(1), an agritourism entity must post and maintain a sign in a clearly visible location on or near any premises on which an agritourism activity is conducted. The sign must contain the following language:

WARNING

UNDER TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 75A, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE), AN AGRITOURISM ENTITY IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INJURY TO OR DEATH OF AN AGRITOURISM PARTICIPANT RESULTING FROM AN AGRITOURISM ACTIVITY.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1152 (S.B. 610), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 75A.004: Signed Agreement and Warning

For the purposes of limitation of liability under Section 75A.002(a)(2), a written agreement and warning statement is considered effective and enforceable if it:

(1) is signed before the agritourism participant participates in an agritourism activity;

(2) is signed by the agritourism participant or, if the agritourism participant is a minor, the agritourism participant's parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(3) is in a document separate from any other agreement between the agritourism participant and the agritourism entity other than a different warning, consent, or assumption of risk statement;

(4) is printed in not less than 10-point bold type; and

(5) contains the following language:

AGREEMENT AND WARNING

I UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT AN AGRITOURISM ENTITY IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INJURY TO OR DEATH OF AN AGRITOURISM PARTICIPANT RESULTING FROM AGRITOURISM ACTIVITIES. I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE ACCEPTED ALL RISK OF INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND OTHER LOSS THAT MAY RESULT FROM AGRITOURISM ACTIVITIES.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1152 (S.B. 610), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Chapter 76

Sec. 76.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Donate" means to give without requiring anything of monetary value from the recipient.

(2) "Intentional misconduct" means conduct that the actor knows is harmful to the health or well-being of another person.

(3) "Nonprofit organization" means an incorporated or unincorporated organization that has been established and is operating for religious, charitable, or educational purposes and that does not distribute any of its income to its members, directors, or officers.

(4) "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, organization, association, or governmental entity.

(5) "Gleaner" means a person who harvests for free distribution to the needy an agricultural crop that has been donated by the owner.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 301, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1093, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 1989.

Sec. 76.002: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Good Faith Donor Act.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 76.003: Apparently Wholesome Food

For the purposes of this chapter, food is apparently wholesome if the food meets all quality standards of local, county, state, and federal agricultural and health laws and rules, even though the food is not readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other condition. Canned goods that are leaking, swollen, dented on a seam, or no longer airtight are not apparently wholesome food.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 76.004: Liability for Damages from Donated Food

(a) A person or gleaner is not subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the condition of apparently wholesome food that the person or gleaner donates to a church, a not-for-profit organization or a nonprofit organization for distribution to the needy, if the food is apparently wholesome at the time of donation. This subsection does not apply to an injury or death that results from an act or omission of the donor constituting gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(b) A person who is allowing his or her fields to be gleaned by volunteers for distribution to the needy is not subject to civil or criminal liability that arises due to the injury of a gleaner, unless an injury or death results from an act or omission of the person constituting gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(c) A nonprofit organization is not subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the condition of apparently wholesome food that it distributes to the needy at no charge in substantial compliance with applicable local, county, state, and federal laws and rules regarding the storage and handling of food for distribution to the public, if the food is apparently wholesome at the time of distribution. This subsection does not apply to an injury or death that results from an act or omission of the organization constituting gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(d) This chapter does not create any liability.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1093, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 517 (H.B. 1050), Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2015.

Chapter 77

Sec. 77.001: Definition

In this chapter, "human body part" means any tissue, organ, blood, or components thereof from a human.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 77.002: Policy

It is important to the health and welfare of the people of this state that scientific knowledge, skills, and materials be available for the procedures of transplantation, injection, transfusion, or other transfer of human body parts. The imposition of strict liability on persons and organizations engaged in these scientific procedures inhibits the exercise of sound medical judgment and restricts the availability of the knowledge, skills, and materials. It is therefore the public policy of this state to promote the health and welfare of the people by limiting the legal liability arising from those scientific procedures to instances of negligence.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 77.003: Limitation of Liability

(a) A person who donates, obtains, prepares, transplants, injects, transfuses, or transfers a human body part from a living or dead human to another human or a person who assists or participates in that activity is not liable as a result of that activity except for negligence, gross negligence, or an intentional tort.

(b) The Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code) does not apply with respect to claims for damages for personal injury or death resulting or alleged to have resulted from negligence on the part of the person described in Subsection (a) of this section in connection with an activity designated in said subsection.

(c) The implied warranties of merchantability and fitness do not apply to the furnishing of human body parts by blood banks, tissue banks, or other similar organizations. For purposes of this chapter, those human body parts are not considered commodities subject to sale or barter.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1093, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.

Sec. 77.004: Blood Bank: Compensation of Seller

(a) This section applies only to a blood bank licensed either by the Division of Biological Standards of the National Institute of Health or by the American Association of Blood Banks.

(b) A blood bank may not pay cash for blood. A blood bank may not pay a blood seller by check unless the check is sent by United States mail to the seller after the 15th day following the day the blood is taken from the seller.

(c) If a blood bank violates Subsection (b) and the blood contains harmful substances, the blood bank is not entitled to the immunity established by this chapter. The blood bank has the burden of establishing that the blood was not purchased in violation of Subsection (b).

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Chapter 78

Subchapter A

Sec. 78.001: Liability

A volunteer fire fighter or a volunteer fire department is not liable for damage to property resulting from the fire fighter's or the department's reasonable and necessary action in fighting or extinguishing a fire on the property.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 899, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Subchapter B

Sec. 78.051: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Fire emergency" means an emergency response involving fire protection or prevention, rescue, emergency medical, or hazardous material response services.

(2) "Fire fighter" means an employee of a nonprofit fire department.

(3) "Governmental unit" has the meaning assigned by Chapter 101.

(4) "Nonprofit fire department" means a nonprofit organization that is:

(A) exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 501(a)) by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(4) of that code;

(B) composed of member owners; and

(C) organized to offer and provide:

(i) fire protection, prevention, and inspection services; and

(ii) emergency response services, including rescue, emergency medical, and hazardous material response services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 899, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 78.052: Applicability of Subchapter: Marine Fire Emergency

This subchapter applies only to damages for personal injury, death, or property damage arising from an error or omission of:

(1) a nonprofit fire department providing services to respond to marine fire emergencies under contract to a governmental unit, if the error or omission occurs in responding to a marine fire emergency:

(A) on the navigable waters of this state;

(B) in any place into which a vessel enters or from which a vessel departs the waterway leading to that place from the Gulf of Mexico or the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway;

(C) on property owned or under the control of the governmental unit; or

(D) at the request of the governmental unit in the interest of public safety; or

(2) a fire fighter providing services described by Subdivision (1).

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 899, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 78.053: Liability

(a) A nonprofit fire department is liable for damages described by Section 78.052 only to the extent that the governmental unit with which the nonprofit fire department is contracting would be liable under Chapter 101.

(b) Section 101.106 applies to a claimant in a suit against a fire fighter as if the fire fighter were an employee of a governmental unit and the nonprofit fire department were a governmental unit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 899, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 78.054: Individual Immunities

A fire fighter is liable for damages described by Section 78.052 only to the extent an analogous employee of the governmental unit with which the nonprofit fire department is contracting would be liable and is entitled to the common law immunities applicable to the employee of the governmental unit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 899, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Subchapter C

Sec. 78.101: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Emergency response" means a response involving fire protection or prevention, rescue, emergency medical, or hazardous material response services.

(2) "Volunteer fire department" means a nonprofit organization that is:

(A) operated by its members;

(B) exempt from the state sales tax under Section 151.310, Tax Code, or the state franchise tax under Section 171.083, Tax Code; and

(C) organized to provide an emergency response.

(3) "Volunteer fire fighter" means a member of a volunteer fire department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 19.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 78.102: Applicability of Subchapter: Emergency Response

This subchapter applies only to damages for personal injury, death, or property damage, other than property damage to which Subchapter A applies, arising from an error or omission of:

(1) a volunteer fire department while involved in or providing an emergency response; or

(2) a volunteer fire fighter while involved in or providing an emergency response as a member of a volunteer fire department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 19.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 78.103: Liability of Volunteer Fire Department

A volunteer fire department is:

(1) liable for damages described by Section 78.102 only to the extent that a county providing the same or similar services would be liable under Chapter 101; and

(2) entitled to the exclusions, exceptions, and defenses applicable to a county under Chapter 101 and other statutory or common law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 19.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 78.104: Liability of Volunteer Fire Fighter

A volunteer fire fighter is:

(1) liable for damages described by Section 78.102 only to the extent that an employee providing the same or similar services for a county would be liable; and

(2) entitled to the exclusions, exceptions, immunities, and defenses applicable to an employee of a county under Chapter 101 and other statutory or common law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 19.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter D

Sec. 78.151: Liability for Training Exercises

A person is not liable for damages resulting from the person's execution of a training exercise intended to prepare the person to respond to a fire or emergency to which this chapter applies to the same extent that the person would not be liable under this chapter for damages resulting from the person's actions in responding to a fire or emergency.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1039 (H.B. 1666), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 78A

Sec. 78A.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "First responder" means a law enforcement, fire protection, or emergency medical services employee or volunteer, including:

(A) a peace officer as defined by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(B) fire protection personnel as defined by Section 419.021, Government Code;

(C) a volunteer firefighter who is:

(i) certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection or by the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas; or

(ii) a member of an organized volunteer fire-fighting unit that renders fire-fighting services without remuneration and conducts a minimum of two drills each month, each two hours long; and

(D) an individual certified as emergency medical services personnel by the Department of State Health Services.

(2) "Roadside assistance" means assistance to the owner, operator, or passenger of a motor vehicle with an incident related to the operation of the motor vehicle, including jump-starting or replacing a motor vehicle battery, lockout assistance, replacing a flat tire, and roadside vehicle breakdown assistance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1150 (H.B. 590), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 78A.002: Liability of First Responder

A first responder who in good faith provides roadside assistance is not liable in civil damages for damage to the motor vehicle affected by the incident for which the roadside assistance is provided that is caused by an act or omission that occurs during the performance of the act of roadside assistance unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1150 (H.B. 590), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Chapter 79

Sec. 79.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Hazardous material" means:

(A) a substance classified as a hazardous material under state or federal law or under a rule adopted pursuant to state or federal law; or

(B) a chemical, petroleum product, gas, or other substance that, if discharged or released, is likely to create an imminent danger to individuals, property, or the environment.

(2) "Person" means an individual, association, corporation, or other private legal entity.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 79.002: Hazardous Materials

(a) Except in a case of reckless conduct or intentional, wilful, or wanton misconduct, a person is immune from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs in giving care, assistance, or advice with respect to the management of an incident that:

(1) has already occurred;

(2) is related to the storage or transportation of a hazardous material; and

(3) endangers or threatens to endanger individuals, property, or the environment as a result of the spillage, seepage, or other release of a hazardous material or as a result of fire or explosion involving a hazardous material.

(b) This section does not apply to a person giving care, assistance, or advice for or in expectation of compensation from or on behalf of the recipient of the care, assistance, or advice in excess of reimbursement for expenses incurred.

Comments

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 58, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 79.003: Disaster Assistance

(a) Except in a case of reckless conduct or intentional, wilful, or wanton misconduct, a person is immune from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs in giving care, assistance, or advice with respect to the management of an incident:

(1) that is a man-made or natural disaster that endangers or threatens to endanger individuals, property, or the environment, including a major disaster declared by the president of the United States or a disaster declared under Section 418.014, Government Code; and

(2) in which the care, assistance, or advice is provided at the request of:

(A) an authorized representative of a local, state, or federal agency, including a fire department, a police department, an emergency management agency, and a disaster response agency; or

(B) a charitable organization, as that term is defined by Section 84.003, that provides services to mitigate the effects of a disaster described by Subdivision (1).

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a person giving care, assistance, or advice for or in expectation of compensation from or on behalf of the recipient of the care, assistance, or advice in excess of reimbursement for expenses incurred.

(c) Notwithstanding Chapter 101 or any other law, an entity and the authorized representative of the entity are not liable under the laws of this state for the act or omission of a person providing care, assistance, or advice on request under Subsection (a)(2)(A).

(d) Notwithstanding Chapter 84 or any other law, a charitable organization is not liable under the laws of this state for the act or omission of a person providing care, assistance, or advice on request under Subsection (a)(2)(B).

(e) The immunities provided by this section are in addition to any other immunity or limitations of liability provided by law, including Subchapter D, Chapter 74, this chapter, or Chapter 78 or 78A of this code or Section 418.006, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 385 (H.B. 3365), Sec. 1, eff. June 2, 2019.

Sec. 79.0031: Liability of Volunteer Health Care Provider Or Health Care Institution

(a) In this section:

(1) "Health care institution" has the meaning assigned by Section 74.001.

(2) "Volunteer health care provider" has the meaning assigned by Section 84.003. The term includes an individual who is not affiliated with a charitable organization.

(b) Except in the case of reckless conduct or intentional, wilful, or wanton misconduct, a volunteer health care provider is immune from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs in giving care, assistance, or advice if the care, assistance, or advice is provided:

(1) in relation to an incident that is a man-made or natural disaster that endangers or threatens to endanger individuals, property, or the environment; and

(2) within the scope of the provider's practice under the laws of this state.

(c) A health care institution is immune from civil liability for an act or omission by a volunteer health care provider providing care, assistance, or advice at the institution's facility or under the institution's direction if:

(1) the provider is immune from civil liability under Subsection (b); and

(2) the institution does not have an expectation of compensation from or on behalf of the recipient of the care, assistance, or advice in excess of reimbursement for expenses incurred by the institution in connection with the provision of the care, assistance, or advice.

(d) The immunity provided by this section is in addition to any other immunity or limitations of liability provided by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 74 (S.B. 752), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 79.004: Liability for Training Exercises

Except in a case of reckless conduct or intentional, wilful, or wanton misconduct, a person who is immune from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs in giving care, assistance, or advice with respect to the management of an incident to which this chapter applies is immune from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs during the execution of a training exercise intended to prepare the person to give that care, assistance, or advice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1039 (H.B. 1666), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 80

Sec. 80.001: Definition

In this chapter, "sign" means an outdoor structure, sign, display, light device, figure, painting, drawing, message, plaque, poster, billboard, or any other thing that is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.04(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 80.002: Trespass

A trespass occurs when an individual:

(1) erects or places a sign on premises without the permission of the owner of the premises; or

(2) after the expiration or termination of an agreement with the owner of the premises for the erection, placement, or maintenance of a sign on the premises and before the expiration of the period described by Section 80.003(b)(2), fails to remove or abandons a sign or fails to obtain from the owner of the premises permission for the continued use or maintenance of the sign on the premises.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.04(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 440, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 80.003: Damages

(a) The owner of the premises is entitled to recover damages equal to the amount of payments received by or accruing to the owner of the sign from the rental, sale, lease, or other use of the sign during the period after the expiration of the 30th day after the date on which the written notice required by Subsection (b)(1) is received and before the date on which the sign is removed or permission for the continued use or maintenance of the sign is obtained.

(b) The owner of the premises may not recover damages for trespass under this section unless:

(1) the owner of the premises sends, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the sign written demand for removal of the sign, stating in detail the act constituting the trespass and the location where the sign has been erected, placed, or maintained; and

(2) the owner of the sign fails to remove the sign or obtain permission from the owner of the premises for the continued use or maintenance of the sign before the 30th day after the date on which the notice described by Subdivision (1) was received.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 4.04(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 440, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 81

Sec. 81.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Mental health services" means assessment, diagnosis, treatment, or counseling in a professional relationship to assist an individual or group in:

(A) alleviating mental or emotional illness, symptoms, conditions, or disorders, including alcohol or drug addiction;

(B) understanding conscious or subconscious motivations;

(C) resolving emotional, attitudinal, or relationship conflicts; or

(D) modifying feelings, attitudes, or behaviors that interfere with effective emotional, social, or intellectual functioning.

(2) "Mental health services provider" means an individual, licensed or unlicensed, who performs or purports to perform mental health services, including a:

(A) licensed social worker as defined by Section 505.002, Occupations Code;

(B) chemical dependency counselor as defined by Section 504.001, Occupations Code;

(C) licensed professional counselor as defined by Section 503.002, Occupations Code;

(D) licensed marriage and family therapist as defined by Section 502.002, Occupations Code;

(E) member of the clergy;

(F) physician who is practicing medicine as defined by Section 151.002, Occupations Code;

(G) psychologist offering psychological services as defined by Section 501.003, Occupations Code; or

(H) special officer for mental health assignment certified under Section 1701.404, Occupations Code.

(3) "Patient" means an individual who seeks or obtains mental health services. The term includes a person who has contact with a special officer for mental health assignment because of circumstances relating to the person's mental health.

(4) "Sexual contact" means:

(A) "deviate sexual intercourse" as defined by Section 21.01, Penal Code;

(B) "sexual contact" as defined by Section 21.01, Penal Code;

(C) "sexual intercourse" as defined by Section 21.01, Penal Code; or

(D) requests by the mental health services provider for conduct described by Paragraph (A), (B), or (C). "Sexual contact" does not include conduct described by Paragraph (A) or (B) that is a part of a professionally recognized medical treatment of a patient.

(5) "Sexual exploitation" means a pattern, practice, or scheme of conduct, which may include sexual contact, that can reasonably be construed as being for the purposes of sexual arousal or gratification or sexual abuse of any person. The term does not include obtaining information about a patient's sexual history within standard accepted practice while treating a sexual or marital dysfunction.

(6) "Therapeutic deception" means a representation by a mental health services provider that sexual contact with, or sexual exploitation by, the mental health services provider is consistent with, or a part of, a patient's or former patient's treatment.

(7) "Mental health services," as defined by this section, provided by a member of the clergy does not include religious, moral, and spiritual counseling, teaching, and instruction.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1102, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.731, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 81.002: Sexual Exploitation Cause of Action

A mental health services provider is liable to a patient or former patient of the mental health services provider for damages for sexual exploitation if the patient or former patient suffers, directly or indirectly, a physical, mental, or emotional injury caused by, resulting from, or arising out of:

(1) sexual contact between the patient or former patient and the mental health services provider;

(2) sexual exploitation of the patient or former patient by the mental health services provider; or

(3) therapeutic deception of the patient or former patient by the mental health services provider.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.003: Liability of Employer

(a) An employer of a mental health services provider is liable to a patient or former patient of the mental health services provider for damages if the patient or former patient is injured as described by Section 81.002 and the employer:

(1) fails to make inquiries of an employer or former employer, whose name and address have been disclosed to the employer and who employed the mental health services provider as a mental health services provider within the five years before the date of disclosure, concerning the possible occurrence of sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider of patients or former patients of the mental health services provider; or

(2) knows or has reason to know that the mental health services provider engaged in sexual exploitation of a patient or former patient and the employer failed to:

(A) report the suspected sexual exploitation as required by Section 81.006; or

(B) take necessary action to prevent or stop the sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider.

(b) An employer or former employer of a mental health services provider is liable to a patient or former patient of the mental health services provider for damages if the patient or former patient is injured as described by Section 81.002 and the employer or former employer:

(1) knows of the occurrence of sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider of a patient or former patient;

(2) receives a specific request by an employer or prospective employer of the mental health services provider, engaged in the business of providing mental health services, concerning the possible existence or nature of sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider; and

(3) fails to disclose the occurrence of the sexual exploitation.

(c) An employer or former employer is liable under this section only to the extent that the failure to take the action described by Subsection (a) or (b) was a proximate and actual cause of damages sustained.

(d) If a mental health professional who sexually exploits a patient or former patient is a member of the clergy and the sexual exploitation occurs when the professional is acting as a member of the clergy, liability if any under this section is limited to the church, congregation, or parish in which the member of the clergy carried out the clergy member's pastoral duties:

(1) at the time the sexual exploitation occurs, if the liability is based on a violation of Subsection (a); or

(2) at the time of the previous occurrence of sexual exploitation, if the liability is based on a violation of Subsection (b).

(e) Nothing in Subsection (d) shall prevent the extension of liability under this section beyond the local church, congregation, or parish where the current or previous sexual exploitation occurred, as appropriate under Subsection (d), if the patient proves that officers or employees of the religious denomination in question at the regional, state, or national level:

(1) knew or should have known of the occurrences of sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider;

(2) received reports of such occurrences and failed to take necessary action to prevent or stop such sexual exploitation by the mental health services provider and that such failure was a proximate and actual cause of the damages; or

(3) knew or should have known of the mental health professional's propensity to engage in sexual exploitation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1199 (S.B. 43), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 81.004: Damages

(a) A plaintiff who prevails in a suit under this section may recover actual damages, including damages for mental anguish even if an injury other than mental anguish is not shown.

(b) In addition to an award under Subsection (a), a plaintiff who prevails in a suit under this section may recover exemplary damages and reasonable attorney fees.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.005: Defenses

(a) It is not a defense to an action brought under Section 81.002 or 81.003 that the sexual exploitation of the patient or former patient occurred:

(1) with the consent of the patient or former patient;

(2) outside the therapy or treatment sessions of the patient or former patient; or

(3) off the premises regularly used by the mental health services provider for the therapy or treatment sessions of the patient or former patient.

(b) It is a defense to an action brought under Section 81.002 or 81.003 by a former patient that the person was not emotionally dependent on the mental health services provider when the sexual exploitation began and the mental health services provider terminated mental health services with the patient more than two years before the date the sexual exploitation began.

(c) A person is considered not emotionally dependent for purposes of this chapter if the nature of the patient's or former patient's emotional condition and the nature of the treatment provided by the mental health services provider are not such that the mental health services provider knows or has reason to believe that the patient or former patient is unable to withhold consent to the sexual exploitation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.006: Duty to Report

(a) If a mental health services provider or the employer of a mental health services provider has reasonable cause to suspect that a patient has been the victim of sexual exploitation by a mental health services provider during the course of treatment, or if a patient alleges sexual exploitation by a mental health services provider during the course of treatment, the mental health services provider or the employer shall report the alleged conduct not later than the 30th day after the date the person became aware of the conduct or the allegations to:

(1) the prosecuting attorney in the county in which the alleged sexual exploitation occurred; and

(2) any state licensing board that has responsibility for the mental health services provider's licensing.

(b) Before making a report under this section, the reporter shall inform the alleged victim of the reporter's duty to report and shall determine if the alleged victim wants to remain anonymous.

(c) A report under this section need contain only the information needed to:

(1) identify the reporter;

(2) identify the alleged victim, unless the alleged victim has requested anonymity; and

(3) express suspicion that sexual exploitation has occurred.

(d) Information in a report is privileged information and is for the exclusive use of the prosecuting attorney or state licensing board that receives the information. A person who receives privileged information may not disclose the information except to the extent that disclosure is consistent with the authorized purposes for which the person first obtained the information. The identity of an alleged victim of sexual exploitation by a mental health services provider may not be disclosed by the reporter, or by a person who has received or has access to a report or record, unless the alleged victim has consented to the disclosure in writing.

(e) A person who intentionally violates Subsection (a) or (d) is subject to disciplinary action by that person's appropriate licensing board and also commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.007: Limited Immunity from Liability

(a) A person who, in good faith, makes a report required by Section 81.006 is immune from civil or criminal liability resulting from the filing of that report.

(b) Reporting under this chapter is presumed to be done in good faith.

(c) The immunity provided by this section does not apply to liability resulting from sexual exploitation by a mental health services provider of a patient or former patient.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.008: Admission of Evidence

(a) In an action for sexual exploitation, evidence of the plaintiff's sexual history and reputation is not admissible unless:

(1) the plaintiff claims damage to sexual functioning; or

(2) (A) the defendant requests a hearing before trial and makes an offer of proof of the relevancy of the history or reputation; and

(B) the court finds that the history or reputation is relevant and that the probative value of the evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect.

(b) The court may allow the admission only of specific information or examples of the plaintiff's conduct that are determined by the court to be relevant. The court's order shall detail the information or conduct that is admissible and no other such evidence may be introduced.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 81.009: Limitations

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, an action under this chapter must be filed before the third anniversary of the date the patient or former patient understood or should have understood the conduct for which liability is established under Section 81.002 or 81.003.

(b) If a patient or former patient entitled to file an action under this chapter is unable to bring the action because of the effects of the sexual exploitation, continued emotional dependence on the mental health services provider, or threats, instructions, or statements by the mental health services provider, the deadline for filing an action under this chapter is tolled during that period, except that the deadline may not be tolled for more than 15 years.

(c) This section does not apply to a patient or former patient who is a "child" or a "minor" as defined by Section 101.003, Family Code, until that patient or former patient has reached the age of 18. If the action is brought by a parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the child or minor, it must be brought within the period set forth in this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 573, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 81.010: Injunctive Relief Against Governmental Units

(a) In this section, "governmental unit" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.001(3)(B).

(b) Subject to Subsection (c), a patient, a former patient, or another person acting on behalf of a patient or former patient may bring an action under this section against a governmental unit that is an employer of a mental health services provider, including a special officer for mental health assignment, who commits any conduct described by Section 81.002(1), (2), or (3) in relation to the patient or former patient. In an action brought under this subsection, the patient or former patient may obtain:

(1) an order requiring the governmental unit to discharge the mental health services provider who committed the conduct;

(2) court costs; and

(3) reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court.

(c) A patient, former patient, or person acting on behalf of a patient or former patient may not bring an action under Subsection (b) unless, 60 days before the date that action is to be filed, the person notifies the governmental unit in writing of its intention to bring an action under this section. The notice must reasonably describe the facts giving rise to the claim. If, before the 60th day after the date the notice is provided under this section, the governmental unit discharges the mental health services provider who committed the conduct with respect to which the claim is filed, the person may not bring suit under Subsection (b).

(d) Governmental immunity to suit is waived and abolished only to the extent of the liability created by Subsection (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1102, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 82

Sec. 82.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claimant" means a party seeking relief, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, or cross-claimant.

(2) "Products liability action" means any action against a manufacturer or seller for recovery of damages arising out of personal injury, death, or property damage allegedly caused by a defective product whether the action is based in strict tort liability, strict products liability, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of express or implied warranty, or any other theory or combination of theories.

(3) "Seller" means a person who is engaged in the business of distributing or otherwise placing, for any commercial purpose, in the stream of commerce for use or consumption a product or any component part thereof.

(4) "Manufacturer" means a person who is a designer, formulator, constructor, rebuilder, fabricator, producer, compounder, processor, or assembler of any product or any component part thereof and who places the product or any component part thereof in the stream of commerce.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 82.002: Manufacturer's Duty to Indemnify

(a) A manufacturer shall indemnify and hold harmless a seller against loss arising out of a products liability action, except for any loss caused by the seller's negligence, intentional misconduct, or other act or omission, such as negligently modifying or altering the product, for which the seller is independently liable.

(b) For purposes of this section, "loss" includes court costs and other reasonable expenses, reasonable attorney fees, and any reasonable damages.

(c) Damages awarded by the trier of fact shall, on final judgment, be deemed reasonable for purposes of this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, a wholesale distributor or retail seller who completely or partially assembles a product in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions shall be considered a seller.

(e) The duty to indemnify under this section:

(1) applies without regard to the manner in which the action is concluded; and

(2) is in addition to any duty to indemnify established by law, contract, or otherwise.

(f) A seller eligible for indemnification under this section shall give reasonable notice to the manufacturer of a product claimed in a petition or complaint to be defective, unless the manufacturer has been served as a party or otherwise has actual notice of the action.

(g) A seller is entitled to recover from the manufacturer court costs and other reasonable expenses, reasonable attorney fees, and any reasonable damages incurred by the seller to enforce the seller's right to indemnification under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 82.003: Liability of Nonmanufacturing Sellers

(a) A seller that did not manufacture a product is not liable for harm caused to the claimant by that product unless the claimant proves:

(1) that the seller participated in the design of the product;

(2) that the seller altered or modified the product and the claimant's harm resulted from that alteration or modification;

(3) that the seller installed the product, or had the product installed, on another product and the claimant's harm resulted from the product's installation onto the assembled product;

(4) that:

(A) the seller exercised substantial control over the content of a warning or instruction that accompanied the product;

(B) the warning or instruction was inadequate; and

(C) the claimant's harm resulted from the inadequacy of the warning or instruction;

(5) that:

(A) the seller made an express factual representation about an aspect of the product;

(B) the representation was incorrect;

(C) the claimant relied on the representation in obtaining or using the product; and

(D) if the aspect of the product had been as represented, the claimant would not have been harmed by the product or would not have suffered the same degree of harm;

(6) that:

(A) the seller actually knew of a defect to the product at the time the seller supplied the product; and

(B) the claimant's harm resulted from the defect; or

(7) that the manufacturer of the product is:

(A) insolvent; or

(B) not subject to the jurisdiction of the court.

(b) This section does not apply to a manufacturer or seller whose liability in a products liability action is governed by Chapter 2301, Occupations Code. In the event of a conflict, Chapter 2301, Occupations Code, prevails over this section.

(c) If after service on a nonresident manufacturer through the secretary of state in the manner prescribed by Subchapter C, Chapter 17, the manufacturer fails to answer or otherwise make an appearance in the time required by law, it is conclusively presumed for the purposes of Subsection (a)(7)(B) that the manufacturer is not subject to the jurisdiction of the court unless the seller is able to secure personal jurisdiction over the manufacturer in the action.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 5.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1351 (S.B. 408), Sec. 2(a), eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 82.004: Inherently Unsafe Products

(a) In a products liability action, a manufacturer or seller shall not be liable if:

(1) the product is inherently unsafe and the product is known to be unsafe by the ordinary consumer who consumes the product with the ordinary knowledge common to the community; and

(2) the product is a common consumer product intended for personal consumption, such as:

(A) sugar, castor oil, alcohol, tobacco, and butter, as identified in Comment i to Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts; or

(B) an oyster.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term "products liability action" does not include an action based on manufacturing defect or breach of an express warranty.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1146 (S.B. 791), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 82.005: Design Defects

(a) In a products liability action in which a claimant alleges a design defect, the burden is on the claimant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) there was a safer alternative design; and

(2) the defect was a producing cause of the personal injury, property damage, or death for which the claimant seeks recovery.

(b) In this section, "safer alternative design" means a product design other than the one actually used that in reasonable probability:

(1) would have prevented or significantly reduced the risk of the claimant's personal injury, property damage, or death without substantially impairing the product's utility; and

(2) was economically and technologically feasible at the time the product left the control of the manufacturer or seller by the application of existing or reasonably achievable scientific knowledge.

(c) This section does not supersede or modify any statute, regulation, or other law of this state or of the United States that relates to liability for, or to relief in the form of, abatement of nuisance, civil penalties, cleanup costs, cost recovery, an injunction, or restitution that arises from contamination or pollution of the environment.

(d) This section does not apply to:

(1) a cause of action based on a toxic or environmental tort as defined by Sections 33.013(c)(2) and (3); or

(2) a drug or device, as those terms are defined in the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Section 321).

(e) This section is not declarative, by implication or otherwise, of the common law with respect to any product and shall not be construed to restrict the courts of this state in developing the common law with respect to any product which is not subject to this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 82.006: Firearms and Ammunition

(a) In a products liability action brought against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition that alleges a design defect in the firearm or ammunition, the burden is on the claimant to prove, in addition to any other elements that the claimant must prove, that:

(1) the actual design of the firearm or ammunition was defective, causing the firearm or ammunition not to function in a manner reasonably expected by an ordinary consumer of firearms or ammunition; and

(2) the defective design was a producing cause of the personal injury, property damage, or death.

(b) The claimant may not prove the existence of the defective design by a comparison or weighing of the benefits of the firearm or ammunition against the risk of personal injury, property damage, or death posed by its potential to cause such injury, damage, or death when discharged.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 82.007: Medicines

(a) In a products liability action alleging that an injury was caused by a failure to provide adequate warnings or information with regard to a pharmaceutical product, there is a rebuttable presumption that the defendant or defendants, including a health care provider, manufacturer, distributor, and prescriber, are not liable with respect to the allegations involving failure to provide adequate warnings or information if:

(1) the warnings or information that accompanied the product in its distribution were those approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for a product approved under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Section 301 et seq.), as amended, or Section 351, Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Section 262), as amended; or

(2) the warnings provided were those stated in monographs developed by the United States Food and Drug Administration for pharmaceutical products that may be distributed without an approved new drug application.

(b) The claimant may rebut the presumption in Subsection (a) as to each defendant by establishing that:

(1) the defendant, before or after pre-market approval or licensing of the product, withheld from or misrepresented to the United States Food and Drug Administration required information that was material and relevant to the performance of the product and was causally related to the claimant's injury;

(2) the pharmaceutical product was sold or prescribed in the United States by the defendant after the effective date of an order of the United States Food and Drug Administration to remove the product from the market or to withdraw its approval of the product;

(3) (A) the defendant recommended, promoted, or advertised the pharmaceutical product for an indication not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;

(B) the product was used as recommended, promoted, or advertised; and

(C) the claimant's injury was causally related to the recommended, promoted, or advertised use of the product;

(4) (A) the defendant prescribed the pharmaceutical product for an indication not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;

(B) the product was used as prescribed; and

(C) the claimant's injury was causally related to the prescribed use of the product; or

(5) the defendant, before or after pre-market approval or licensing of the product, engaged in conduct that would constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 201 and that conduct caused the warnings or instructions approved for the product by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be inadequate.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 5.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 82.008: Compliance with Government Standards

(a) In a products liability action brought against a product manufacturer or seller, there is a rebuttable presumption that the product manufacturer or seller is not liable for any injury to a claimant caused by some aspect of the formulation, labeling, or design of a product if the product manufacturer or seller establishes that the product's formula, labeling, or design complied with mandatory safety standards or regulations adopted and promulgated by the federal government, or an agency of the federal government, that were applicable to the product at the time of manufacture and that governed the product risk that allegedly caused harm.

(b) The claimant may rebut the presumption in Subsection (a) by establishing that:

(1) the mandatory federal safety standards or regulations applicable to the product were inadequate to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury or damage; or

(2) the manufacturer, before or after marketing the product, withheld or misrepresented information or material relevant to the federal government's or agency's determination of adequacy of the safety standards or regulations at issue in the action.

(c) In a products liability action brought against a product manufacturer or seller, there is a rebuttable presumption that the product manufacturer or seller is not liable for any injury to a claimant allegedly caused by some aspect of the formulation, labeling, or design of a product if the product manufacturer or seller establishes that the product was subject to pre-market licensing or approval by the federal government, or an agency of the federal government, that the manufacturer complied with all of the government's or agency's procedures and requirements with respect to pre-market licensing or approval, and that after full consideration of the product's risks and benefits the product was approved or licensed for sale by the government or agency. The claimant may rebut this presumption by establishing that:

(1) the standards or procedures used in the particular pre-market approval or licensing process were inadequate to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury or damage; or

(2) the manufacturer, before or after pre-market approval or licensing of the product, withheld from or misrepresented to the government or agency information that was material and relevant to the performance of the product and was causally related to the claimant's injury.

(d) This section does not extend to manufacturing flaws or defects even though the product manufacturer has complied with all quality control and manufacturing practices mandated by the federal government or an agency of the federal government.

(e) This section does not extend to products covered by Section 82.007.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 5.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 83

Sec. 83.001: Civil Immunity

A defendant who uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9, Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force, as applicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 378), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Chapter 84

Sec. 84.001: Name of Act

This Act may be cited as the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act of 1987.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 84.002: Findings and Purposes

The Legislature of the State of Texas finds that:

(1) robust, active, bona fide, and well-supported charitable organizations are needed within Texas to perform essential and needed services;

(2) the willingness of volunteers to offer their services to these organizations is deterred by the perception of personal liability arising out of the services rendered to these organizations;

(3) because of these concerns over personal liability, volunteers are withdrawing from services in all capacities;

(4) these same organizations have a further problem in obtaining and affording liability insurance for the organization and its employees and volunteers;

(5) these problems combine to diminish the services being provided to Texas and local communities because of higher costs and fewer programs;

(6) the citizens of this state have an overriding interest in the continued and increased delivery of these services that must be balanced with other policy considerations; and

(7) because of the above conditions and policy considerations, it is the purpose of this Act to reduce the liability exposure and insurance costs of these organizations and their employees and volunteers in order to encourage volunteer services and maximize the resources devoted to delivering these services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 84.003: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Charitable organization" means:

(A) any organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the code, if it is a corporation, foundation, community chest, church, or fund organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty to children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational, neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, fire protection or prevention, emergency medical or hazardous material response services, or educational purposes, including private primary or secondary schools if accredited by a member association of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission but excluding fraternities, sororities, and secret societies, or is organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare by being primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the people in a community;

(B) any bona fide charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty to children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational, neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, or educational organization, excluding fraternities, sororities, and secret societies, or other organization organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare by being primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the people in a community, and that:

(i) is organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the above purposes;

(ii) does not engage in activities which in themselves are not in furtherance of the purpose or purposes;

(iii) does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office;

(iv) dedicates its assets to achieving the stated purpose or purposes of the organization;

(v) does not allow any part of its net assets on dissolution of the organization to inure to the benefit of any group, shareholder, or individual; and

(vi) normally receives more than one-third of its support in any year from private or public gifts, grants, contributions, or membership fees;

(C) a homeowners association as defined by Section 528(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or which is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(4) of the code;

(D) a volunteer center, as that term is defined by Section 411.126, Government Code;

(E) a local chamber of commerce that:

(i) is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(6) of the code;

(ii) does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; and

(iii) does not directly or indirectly contribute to a political action committee that makes expenditures to any candidates for public office; or

(F) any organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(5) of the code, if it is an organization or corporation organized and operated exclusively for wildfire mitigation, range management, or prescribed burning purposes.

(2) "Volunteer" means a person rendering services for or on behalf of a charitable organization who does not receive compensation in excess of reimbursement for expenses incurred. The term includes a person serving as a director, officer, trustee, or direct service volunteer, including a volunteer health care provider.

(3) "Employee" means any person, including an officer or director, who is in the paid service of a charitable organization, but does not include an independent contractor.

(4) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.03(1).

(5) "Volunteer health care provider" means an individual who voluntarily provides health care services without compensation or expectation of compensation and who is:

(A) an individual who is licensed to practice medicine under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;

(B) a retired physician who is eligible to provide health care services, including a retired physician who is licensed but exempt from paying the required annual registration fee under Section 156.002, Occupations Code;

(C) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code, or a retired physician assistant who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(D) a registered nurse, including an advanced nurse practitioner, or vocational nurse, licensed under Chapter 301, Occupations Code, or a retired vocational nurse or registered nurse, including a retired advanced nurse practitioner, who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(E) a pharmacist licensed under Subtitle J, Title 3, Occupations Code, or a retired pharmacist who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(F) a podiatrist licensed under Chapter 202, Occupations Code, or a retired podiatrist who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(G) a dentist licensed under Subtitle D, Title 3, Occupations Code, or a retired dentist who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(H) a dental hygienist licensed under Subtitle D, Title 3, Occupations Code, or a retired dental hygienist who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(I) an optometrist or therapeutic optometrist licensed under Chapter 351, Occupations Code, or a retired optometrist or therapeutic optometrist who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(J) a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed under Chapter 453, Occupations Code, or a retired physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(K) an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant licensed under Chapter 454, Occupations Code, or a retired occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who is eligible to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(L) an audiologist, assistant in audiology, speech-language pathologist, or assistant in speech-language pathology licensed under Chapter 401, Occupations Code, or a retired audiologist, assistant in audiology, speech-language pathologist, or assistant in speech-language pathology who is eligible to provide health care services under the laws of this state; or

(M) a social worker licensed under Chapter 505, Occupations Code, or a retired social worker who is eligible to engage in the practice of social work under the law of this state.

(6) "Hospital system" means a system of hospitals and other health care providers located in this state that are under the common governance or control of a corporate parent.

(7) "Person responsible for the patient" means:

(A) the patient's parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(B) the patient's grandparent;

(C) the patient's adult brother or sister;

(D) another adult who has actual care, control, and possession of the patient and has written authorization to consent for the patient from the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the patient;

(E) an educational institution in which the patient is enrolled that has written authorization to consent for the patient from the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the patient; or

(F) any other person with legal responsibility for the care of the patient.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 634, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 403, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 77, Sec. 1, eff. May 14, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 538, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.732, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.02, 10.03, 10.04, 18.03(1) eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2.001, eff. Feb. 1, 2004; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 895, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 239 (H.B. 2005), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 791 (S.B. 1211), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 39 (S.B. 1846), Sec. 1, eff. May 9, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 14 (S.B. 378), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 84.004: Volunteer Liability

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d) and Section 84.007, a volunteer of a charitable organization is immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in death, damage, or injury if the volunteer was acting in the course and scope of the volunteer's duties or functions, including as an officer, director, or trustee within the organization.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.03(2).

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d) and Section 84.007, a volunteer health care provider who is serving as a direct service volunteer of a charitable organization is immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in death, damage, or injury to a patient if:

(1) the volunteer commits the act or omission in the course of providing health care services to the patient;

(2) the services provided are within the scope of the license of the volunteer; and

(3) before the volunteer provides health care services, the patient or, if the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent, the person responsible for the patient signs a written statement that acknowledges:

(A) that the volunteer is providing care that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation; and

(B) the limitations on the recovery of damages from the volunteer in exchange for receiving the health care services.

(d) A volunteer of a charitable organization is liable to a person for death, damage, or injury to the person or his property proximately caused by any act or omission arising from the operation or use of any motor-driven equipment, including an airplane, to the extent insurance coverage is required by Chapter 601, Transportation Code, and to the extent of any existing insurance coverage applicable to the act or omission.

(e) The provisions of this section apply only to the liability of volunteers and do not apply to the liability of the organization for acts or omissions of volunteers.

(f) Subsection (c) applies even if:

(1) the patient is incapacitated due to illness or injury and cannot sign the acknowledgment statement required by that subsection; or

(2) the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent and the person responsible for the patient is not reasonably available to sign the acknowledgment statement required by that subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.179, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.05, 18.01, 18.03(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 84.005: Employee Liability

Except as provided in Section 84.007 of this Act, in any civil action brought against an employee of a nonhospital charitable organization for damages based on an act or omission by the person in the course and scope of the person's employment, the liability of the employee is limited to money damages in a maximum amount of $500,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 84.006: Organization Liability

Except as provided in Section 84.007 of this Act, in any civil action brought against a nonhospital charitable organization for damages based on an act or omission by the organization or its employees or volunteers, the liability of the organization is limited to money damages in a maximum amount of $500,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 84.0061: Organizational Liability for Transportation Services Provided to Certain Welfare Recipients

(a) In this section, "religious charitable organization" means a charitable organization that is also a "religious organization" as the term is defined by Section 464.051, Health and Safety Code.

(b) Subject to Subsection (e), a religious charitable organization that owns or leases a motor vehicle is not liable for damages arising from the negligent use of the vehicle by a person to whom the organization has entrusted the vehicle to provide transportation services during the provision of those services described by Subsection (c) to a person who:

(1) is a recipient of:

(A) financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code; or

(B) nutritional assistance under Chapter 33, Human Resources Code; and

(2) is participating in or applying to participate in:

(A) a work or employment activity under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code; or

(B) the food stamp employment and training program.

(c) Transportation services include transportation to and from the location of the:

(1) work, employment, or any training activity or program; or

(2) provider of any child-care services necessary for a person described by Subsection (b)(1) to participate in the work, employment, or training activity or program.

(d) Except as expressly provided in Subsection (b), this section does not limit, or in any way affect or diminish, other legal duties or causes of action arising from the use of a motor vehicle, including the condition of the vehicle itself and causes of action arising under Chapter 41.

(e) This section does not apply to any claim arising from injury, death, or property damage in which the operator of the vehicle was intoxicated, as the term is defined in Section 49.01, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 991, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2001.

Sec. 84.0065: Organization Liability of Hospitals

(a) Except as provided by Section 84.007, in any civil action brought against a hospital or hospital system, or its employees, officers, directors, or volunteers, for damages based on an act or omission by the hospital or hospital system, or its employees, officers, directors, or volunteers, the liability of the hospital or hospital system is limited to money damages in a maximum amount of $500,000 for any act or omission resulting in death, damage, or injury to a patient if the patient or, if the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent, the person responsible for the patient signs a written statement that acknowledges:

(1) that the hospital is providing care that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation; and

(2) the limitations on the recovery of damages from the hospital in exchange for receiving the health care services.

(b) Subsection (a) applies even if:

(1) the patient is incapacitated due to illness or injury and cannot sign the acknowledgment statement required by that subsection; or

(2) the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent and the person responsible for the patient is not reasonably available to sign the acknowledgment statement required by that subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.06, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 84.0066: Liability for Disclosing Sexual Misconduct

(a) A charitable organization, or an employee, volunteer, or independent contractor of a charitable organization, acting in good faith, is immune from civil liability for any act to disclose to an individual's current or prospective employer information reasonably believed to be true about an allegation that an individual who was employed by or served as a volunteer or independent contractor for the charitable organization or its associated charitable organizations:

(1) engaged in sexual misconduct;

(2) sexually abused another individual;

(3) sexually harassed another individual; or

(4) committed an offense under any of the following provisions of the Penal Code:

(A) Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) (sex trafficking of persons);

(B) Section 20A.03 (continuous trafficking of persons), if based partly or wholly on conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8);

(C) Section 22.011 (sexual assault) or 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault); or

(D) Chapter 21 (sexual offenses) or 43 (public indecency).

(b) Immunity from civil liability under Subsection (a) applies in relation to an allegation described by that subsection that was required to have been reported as abuse under Chapter 261, Family Code, only if the allegation has been, at the time of the act to disclose, previously reported to an appropriate agency under Section 261.103, Family Code.

(c) An individual is not immune under this section from civil or criminal liability for:

(1) disclosing the individual's own conduct that constitutes:

(A) sexual misconduct;

(B) sexual abuse of another individual;

(C) sexual harassment of another individual; or

(D) an offense under any of the following provisions of the Penal Code:

(i) Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) (sex trafficking of persons);

(ii) Section 20A.03 (continuous trafficking of persons), if based partly or wholly on conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8);

(iii) Section 22.011 (sexual assault) or 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault); or

(iv) Chapter 21 (sexual offenses) or 43 (public indecency); or

(2) acting in bad faith or with a malicious purpose in making a disclosure described by Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 925 (H.B. 4345), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2019.

Sec. 84.007: Applicability

(a) This chapter does not apply to an act or omission that is intentional, wilfully negligent, or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

(b) This chapter does not limit or modify the duties or liabilities of a member of the board of directors or an officer to the organization or its members and shareholders.

(c) This chapter does not limit the liability of an organization or its employees or volunteers if the organization was formed substantially to limit its liability under this chapter.

(d) This chapter does not apply to organizations formed to dispose, remove, or store hazardous waste, industrial solid waste, radioactive waste, municipal solid waste, garbage, or sludge as those terms are defined under applicable state and federal law. This subsection shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purpose.

(e) Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this chapter do not apply to a health care provider as defined in Section 74.001, unless the provider is a federally funded migrant or community health center under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.A. Sections 254b and 254c) or is a nonprofit health maintenance organization created and operated by a community center under Section 534.101, Health and Safety Code, or unless the provider usually provides discounted services at or below costs based on the ability of the beneficiary to pay. Acceptance of Medicare or Medicaid payments will not disqualify a health care provider under this section. In no event shall Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this chapter apply to a general hospital or special hospital as defined in Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or a facility or institution licensed under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, or Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, or to any health maintenance organization created and operating under Chapter 843, Insurance Code, except for a nonprofit health maintenance organization created under Section 534.101, Health and Safety Code.

(f) This chapter does not apply to a governmental unit or employee of a governmental unit as defined in the Texas Tort Claims Act (Subchapter A, Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code).

(g) Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this Act do not apply to any charitable organization that does not have liability insurance coverage in effect on any act or omission to which this chapter applies. The coverage shall apply to the acts or omissions of the organization and its employees and volunteers and be in the amount of at least $500,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for each single occurrence for death or bodily injury and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property. The coverage may be provided under a contract for insurance, a plan providing for self-insured retention that the charitable organization has fully paid or establishes to a court that it is capable of fully and immediately paying, a Lloyd's plan, an indemnity policy to which all requirements for payment have been or will be met, or other plan of insurance authorized by statute and may be satisfied by the purchase of a $1,000,000 bodily injury and property damage combined single limit policy. For the purposes of this chapter, coverage amounts are inclusive of a self-insured retention, a Lloyd's plan, or an indemnity policy to which all requirements for payment have been or will be met. Nothing in this chapter shall limit liability of any insurer or insurance plan in an action under Chapter 541, Insurance Code, or in an action for bad faith conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligent failure to settle a claim.

(h) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) a statewide trade association that represents local chambers of commerce; or

(2) a cosponsor of an event or activity with a local chamber of commerce unless the cosponsor is a charitable organization under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(14), (20), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.507, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 133 (H.B. 736), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 39 (S.B. 1846), Sec. 2, eff. May 9, 2011.

Sec. 84.008: Severability

If any clause or provision of this chapter or its application to any person or organization is held unconstitutional, such invalidity does not affect other clauses, provisions, or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid clause or provision and shall not affect or nullify the remainder of the Act or any other clause or provision, but the effect shall be confined to the clause or provision held to be invalid or unconstitutional and to this end the Act is declared to be severable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Chapter 85

Sec. 85.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Claimant" means a party seeking to recover damages under this chapter, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party plaintiff. In an action in which a party seeks recovery of damages under this chapter on behalf of another person, 'claimant' includes both that other person and the party seeking recovery of damages.

(2) "Defendant" includes any party from whom a claimant seeks recovery of damages under this chapter.

(3) "Family" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003, Family Code.

(4) "Harassing behavior" means conduct by the defendant directed specifically toward the claimant, including following the claimant, that is reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the claimant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.001 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 7.002(b), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 85.002: Liability

A defendant is liable, as provided by this chapter, to a claimant for damages arising from stalking of the claimant by the defendant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.002 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 85.003: Proof

(a) A claimant proves stalking against a defendant by showing:

(1) on more than one occasion the defendant engaged in harassing behavior;

(2) as a result of the harassing behavior, the claimant reasonably feared for the claimant's safety or the safety of a member of the claimant's family; and

(3) the defendant violated a restraining order prohibiting harassing behavior or:

(A) the defendant, while engaged in harassing behavior, by acts or words threatened to inflict bodily injury on the claimant or to commit an offense against the claimant, a member of the claimant's family, or the claimant's property;

(B) the defendant had the apparent ability to carry out the threat;

(C) the defendant's apparent ability to carry out the threat caused the claimant to reasonably fear for the claimant's safety or the safety of a family member;

(D) the claimant at least once clearly demanded that the defendant stop the defendant's harassing behavior;

(E) after the demand to stop by the claimant, the defendant continued the harassing behavior; and

(F) the harassing behavior has been reported to the police as a stalking offense.

(b) The claimant must, as part of the proof of the behavior described by Subsection (a)(1), submit evidence other than evidence based on the claimant's own perceptions and beliefs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.003 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 85.004: Damages

A claimant who prevails in a suit under this chapter may recover actual damages and, subject to Chapter 41, exemplary damages.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.004 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 85.005: Defense

It is a defense to an action brought under this chapter that the defendant was engaged in conduct that consisted of activity in support of constitutionally or statutorily protected rights.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.005 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 85.006: Cause of Action Cumulative

The cause of action created by this chapter is cumulative of any other remedy provided by common law or statute.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 83.006 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 86

Sec. 86.001: Definition

In this chapter, "claimant" means a party, including a plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or third-party claimant, seeking recovery of damages.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.001 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.002: Recovery of Damages for Injury to Convicted Person Prohibited

(a) A claimant who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may not recover damages for an injury sustained during the commission of the felony or misdemeanor if the injury would not have been sustained but for the commission of the felony or misdemeanor.

(b) Subsection (a) does not bar the claimant from recovering damages if the claimant shows that:

(1) the damages arose from an act entirely separate from any act intended to result in the:

(A) prevention of the commission of a felony or misdemeanor by the claimant; or

(B) apprehension of the claimant during or immediately after the commission of the felony or misdemeanor; and

(2) the damages did not arise from a premises defect or other circumstance that the claimant was exposed to as a result of the commission of the felony or misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.002 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.003: Derivative Claims

Section 86.002 applies to a claim for damages made by a claimant other than a convicted person if:

(1) the claimant's right to recovery results from an injury to a convicted person, including a claim for the wrongful death of the convicted person or a claim for loss of consortium with or loss of the companionship of the convicted person; and

(2) the convicted person's right to recovery would be barred under Section 86.002.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.003 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.004: Claimant Liable for Court Costs and Fees and Attorney's Fees

A claimant who is barred from recovery under this chapter is liable to the person against whom the claim is brought for court costs and fees and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in defending against the claim.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.004 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.005: Certain Traffic Law Violations Excluded

This chapter does not apply to a claim arising from an offense defined by Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.005 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.180, 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.006: Convicted Person

For purposes of this chapter, a person is considered convicted in a case if:

(1) sentence is imposed; or

(2) the person receives a fine, probation, or deferred adjudication.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.006 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 86.007: Applicability

This chapter does not apply to:

(1) a claim for an injury sustained during the commission of an offense under Section 30.05, Penal Code, other than a trespass in a habitation or shelter, brought by a person who has not been convicted of another crime that occurred in conjunction with the trespass; or

(2) a claim in which the conduct of the owner of the premises is grossly negligent or intentional, other than conduct justified under Subchapter C, Chapter 9, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 87.007 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(8), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 87

Sec. 87.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Engages in a farm animal activity" means riding, handling, training, driving, loading, unloading, assisting in the medical treatment of, being a passenger on, or assisting a participant or sponsor with a farm animal. The term includes management of a show involving farm animals. The term does not include being a spectator at a farm animal activity unless the spectator is in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the farm animal activity.

(2) "Equine animal" means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.

(2-a) "Farm animal" means:

(A) an equine animal;

(B) a bovine animal;

(C) a sheep or goat;

(D) a pig or hog;

(E) a ratite, including an ostrich, rhea, or emu; or

(F) a chicken or other fowl.

(3) "Farm animal activity" means:

(A) a farm animal show, fair, competition, performance, rodeo, event, or parade that involves any farm animal;

(B) training or teaching activities involving a farm animal;

(C) boarding a farm animal, including daily care;

(D) riding, inspecting, evaluating, handling, loading, or unloading a farm animal belonging to another, without regard to whether the owner receives monetary consideration or other thing of value for the use of the farm animal or permits a prospective purchaser of the farm animal to ride, inspect, evaluate, handle, load, or unload the farm animal;

(E) informal farm animal activity, including a ride, trip, or hunt that is sponsored by a farm animal activity sponsor;

(F) placing or replacing horseshoes on an equine animal;

(G) examining or administering medical treatment to a farm animal by a veterinarian; or

(H) without regard to whether the participants are compensated, rodeos and single event competitions, including team roping, calf roping, and single steer roping.

(4) "Farm animal activity sponsor" means:

(A) a person or group who sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for a farm animal activity, including facilities for a pony club, 4-H club, hunt club, riding club, therapeutic riding program, or high school or college class, program, or activity, without regard to whether the person operates for profit; or

(B) an operator of, instructor at, or promoter for facilities, including a stable, clubhouse, pony ride string, fair, or arena at which a farm animal activity is held.

(5) "Farm animal professional" means a person engaged for compensation:

(A) to instruct a participant or rent to a participant a farm animal for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger on the farm animal;

(B) to rent equipment or tack to a participant;

(C) to examine or administer medical treatment to a farm animal as a veterinarian; or

(D) to provide veterinarian or farrier services.

(6) "Livestock animal" means:

(A) an animal raised for human consumption; or

(B) a farm animal.

(6-a) "Livestock producer" means a person who owns, breeds, raises, or feeds livestock animals.

(7) "Livestock show" means a nonprofit event at which more than two species or breeds of livestock animals are gathered for exhibition or competition.

(8) "Livestock show sponsor" means a recognized group or association that organizes and sanctions a livestock show, including a political subdivision or nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) of that code.

(9) "Participant" means:

(A) with respect to a farm animal activity, a person who engages in the activity, without regard to whether the person is an amateur or professional or whether the person pays for the activity or participates in the activity for free; and

(B) with respect to a livestock show, a person who registers for and is allowed by a livestock show sponsor to compete in a livestock show by showing an animal on a competitive basis, or a person who assists that person.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1108, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 896 (S.B. 479), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 87.002: Applicability of Chapter

This chapter does not apply to an activity regulated by the Texas Racing Commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 87.003: Limitation on Liability

Except as provided by Section 87.004, any person, including a farm animal activity sponsor, farm animal professional, livestock producer, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in a farm animal activity or livestock show if the property damage, injury, or death results from the dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of a farm animal activity or the showing of an animal on a competitive basis in a livestock show, including:

(1) the propensity of a farm animal or livestock animal to behave in ways that may result in personal injury or death to a person on or around it;

(2) the unpredictability of a farm animal's or livestock animal's reaction to sound, a sudden movement, or an unfamiliar object, person, or other animal;

(3) with respect to farm animal activities involving equine animals, certain land conditions and hazards, including surface and subsurface conditions;

(4) a collision with another animal or an object; or

(5) the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or another, including failing to maintain control over a farm animal or livestock animal or not acting within the participant's ability.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1108, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 896 (S.B. 479), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 87.004: Exceptions to Limitation on Liability

A person, including a farm animal activity sponsor, farm animal professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death caused by a participant in a farm animal activity or livestock show if:

(1) the injury or death was caused by faulty equipment or tack used in the farm animal activity or livestock show, the person provided the equipment or tack, and the person knew or should have known that the equipment or tack was faulty;

(2) the person provided the farm animal or livestock animal and the person did not make a reasonable and prudent effort to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the farm animal activity or livestock show and determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the farm animal or livestock animal, taking into account the participant's representations of ability;

(3) the injury or death was caused by a dangerous latent condition of land for which warning signs, written notices, or verbal warnings were not conspicuously posted or provided to the participant, and the land was owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the person at the time of the injury or death and the person knew of the dangerous latent condition;

(4) the person committed an act or omission with wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission caused the injury;

(5) the person intentionally caused the property damage, injury, or death; or

(6) with respect to a livestock show, the injury or death occurred as a result of an activity connected with the livestock show and the person invited or otherwise allowed the injured or deceased person to participate in the activity and the injured or deceased person was not a participant as defined by Section 87.001(9)(B).

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1108, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 896 (S.B. 479), Sec. 4, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 87.005: Warning Notice

(a) A farm animal professional shall post and maintain a sign that contains the warning contained in Subsection (c) if the professional manages or controls a stable, corral, or arena where the professional conducts a farm animal activity. The professional must post the sign in a clearly visible location on or near the stable, corral, or arena.

(b) A farm animal professional shall include the warning contained in Subsection (c) in every written contract that the professional enters into with a participant for professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment or tack or a farm animal. The warning must be included without regard to whether the contract involves farm animal activities on or off the location or site of the business of the farm animal professional. The warning must be clearly readable.

(c) The warning posted by a farm animal professional under this section must be as follows:

WARNING

UNDER TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 87, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE), A FARM ANIMAL PROFESSIONAL IS NOT LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT IN FARM ANIMAL ACTIVITIES RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF FARM ANIMAL ACTIVITIES.

(d) A livestock show sponsor shall post and maintain a sign that contains the warning prescribed by Subsection (f) if the livestock show sponsor manages or controls a stable, barn, corral, or arena at which the livestock show sponsor conducts a livestock show. The livestock show sponsor must post the sign in a clearly visible location near the stable, barn, corral, or arena.

(e) A livestock show sponsor shall include the warning prescribed by Subsection (f) in every written contract that the sponsor enters into with a livestock show participant. The warning must be clearly readable.

(f) The warning posted by a livestock show sponsor under this section must be as follows:

WARNING

UNDER TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 87, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE), A LIVESTOCK SHOW SPONSOR IS NOT LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT IN A LIVESTOCK SHOW RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF LIVESTOCK SHOW ACTIVITIES.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1108, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 896 (S.B. 479), Sec. 5, eff. June 17, 2011.

Chapter 88

Sec. 88.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Appropriate and medically necessary" means the standard for health care services as determined by physicians and health care providers in accordance with the prevailing practices and standards of the medical profession and community.

(2) "Enrollee" means an individual who is enrolled in a health care plan, including covered dependents.

(3) "Health care plan" means any plan whereby any person undertakes to provide, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any part of the cost of any health care services.

(4) "Health care provider" means a person or entity as defined in Section 74.001.

(5) "Health care treatment decision" means a determination made when medical services are actually provided by the health care plan and a decision which affects the quality of the diagnosis, care, or treatment provided to the plan's insureds or enrollees.

(6) "Health insurance carrier" means an authorized insurance company that issues policies of accident and health insurance under Chapter 1201, Insurance Code.

(7) "Health maintenance organization" means an organization licensed under Chapter 843, Insurance Code.

(8) "Managed care entity" means any entity which delivers, administers, or assumes risk for health care services with systems or techniques to control or influence the quality, accessibility, utilization, or costs and prices of such services to a defined enrollee population, but does not include an employer purchasing coverage or acting on behalf of its employees or the employees of one or more subsidiaries or affiliated corporations of the employer or a pharmacy licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy.

(9) "Physician" means:

(A) an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state;

(B) a professional association organized under the Texas Professional Association Act (Article 1528f, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) or a nonprofit health corporation certified under Section 5.01, Medical Practice Act (Article 4495b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes); or

(C) another person wholly owned by physicians.

(10) "Ordinary care" means, in the case of a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, that degree of care that a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity of ordinary prudence would use under the same or similar circumstances. In the case of a person who is an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, "ordinary care" means that degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence in the same profession, specialty, or area of practice as such person would use in the same or similar circumstances.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.508, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 134 (H.B. 737), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 11.107, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 88.0015: Inapplicability to Erisa-Regulated Employee Benefit Plan

This chapter does not apply to an employee benefit plan regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Section 1001 et seq.).

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 306 (S.B. 554), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Sec. 88.002: Application

(a) A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan has the duty to exercise ordinary care when making health care treatment decisions and is liable for damages for harm to an insured or enrollee proximately caused by its failure to exercise such ordinary care.

(b) A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan is also liable for damages for harm to an insured or enrollee proximately caused by the health care treatment decisions made by its:

(1) employees;

(2) agents;

(3) ostensible agents; or

(4) representatives who are acting on its behalf and over whom it has the right to exercise influence or control or has actually exercised influence or control which result in the failure to exercise ordinary care.

(c) It shall be a defense to any action asserted against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity for a health care plan that:

(1) neither the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity, nor any employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative for whose conduct such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity is liable under Subsection (b), controlled, influenced, or participated in the health care treatment decision; and

(2) the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity did not deny or delay payment for any treatment prescribed or recommended by a provider to the insured or enrollee.

(d) The standards in Subsections (a) and (b) create no obligation on the part of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity to provide to an insured or enrollee treatment which is not covered by the health care plan of the entity.

(e) This chapter does not create any liability on the part of an employer, an employer group purchasing organization, or a pharmacy licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy that purchases coverage or assumes risk on behalf of its employees.

(f) A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity may not remove a physician or health care provider from its plan or refuse to renew the physician or health care provider with its plan for advocating on behalf of an enrollee for appropriate and medically necessary health care for the enrollee.

(g) A health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity may not enter into a contract with a physician, hospital, or other health care provider or pharmaceutical company which includes an indemnification or hold harmless clause for the acts or conduct of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity. Any such indemnification or hold harmless clause in an existing contract is hereby declared void.

(h) Nothing in any law of this state prohibiting a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity from practicing medicine or being licensed to practice medicine may be asserted as a defense by such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity in an action brought against it pursuant to this section or any other law.

(i) In an action against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity, a finding that a physician or other health care provider is an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of such health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity shall not be based solely on proof that such person's name appears in a listing of approved physicians or health care providers made available to insureds or enrollees under a health care plan.

(j) This chapter does not apply to workers' compensation insurance coverage as defined in Section 401.011, Labor Code.

(k) An enrollee who files an action under this chapter shall comply with the requirements of Section 74.351 as it relates to expert reports.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 134 (H.B. 737), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 88.003: Limitations on Cause of Action

(a) A person may not maintain a cause of action under this chapter against a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or other managed care entity that is required to comply with or otherwise complies with the utilization review requirements of Article 21.58A, Insurance Code, or Chapter 843, Insurance Code, unless the affected insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative:

(1) has exhausted the appeals and review applicable under the utilization review requirements; or

(2) before instituting the action:

(A) gives written notice of the claim as provided by Subsection (b); and

(B) agrees to submit the claim to a review by an independent review organization under Article 21.58A, Insurance Code, as required by Subsections (c) and (d).

(b) The notice required by Subsection (a)(2)(A) must be delivered or mailed to the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity against whom the action is made not later than the 30th day before the date the claim is filed.

(c) The insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative must submit the claim to a review by an independent review organization if the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity against whom the claim is made requests the review not later than the 14th day after the date notice under Subsection (a)(2)(A) is received by the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity. If the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity does not request the review within the period specified by this subsection, the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative is not required to submit the claim to independent review before maintaining the action.

(d) A review conducted under Subsection (c) as requested by a health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity must be performed in accordance with Article 21.58C, Insurance Code. The health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity requesting the review must agree to comply with Subdivisions (2), (3), and (4), Section 6A, Article 21.58A, Insurance Code.

(e) Subject to Subsection (f), if the enrollee has not complied with Subsection (a), an action under this section shall not be dismissed by the court, but the court may, in its discretion, order the parties to submit to an independent review or mediation or other nonbinding alternative dispute resolution and may abate the action for a period of not to exceed 30 days for such purposes. Such orders of the court shall be the sole remedy available to a party complaining of an enrollee's failure to comply with Subsection (a).

(f) The enrollee is not required to comply with Subsection (c) and no abatement or other order pursuant to Subsection (e) for failure to comply shall be imposed if the enrollee has filed a pleading alleging in substance that:

(1) harm to the enrollee has already occurred because of the conduct of the health insurance carrier, health maintenance organization, or managed care entity or because of an act or omission of an employee, agent, ostensible agent, or representative of such carrier, organization, or entity for whose conduct it is liable under Section 88.002(b); and

(2) the review would not be beneficial to the enrollee, unless the court, upon motion by a defendant carrier, organization, or entity finds after hearing that such pleading was not made in good faith, in which case the court may enter an order pursuant to Subsection (e).

(g) If the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative seeks to exhaust the appeals and review or provides notice, as required by Subsection (a), before the statute of limitations applicable to a claim against a managed care entity has expired, the limitations period is tolled until the later of:

(1) the 30th day after the date the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative has exhausted the process for appeals and review applicable under the utilization review requirements; or

(2) the 40th day after the date the insured or enrollee or the insured's or enrollee's representative gives notice under Subsection (a)(2)(A).

(h) This section does not prohibit an insured or enrollee from pursuing other appropriate remedies, including injunctive relief, a declaratory judgment, or relief available under law, if the requirement of exhausting the process for appeal and review places the insured's or enrollee's health in serious jeopardy.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1327, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.509, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 89

Sec. 89.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Device" means braces, artificial appliances, durable medical equipment, and other medical supplies. The term does not include a medical device that is injected, implanted, or otherwise placed in the human body.

(2) "Donate" means to give without requiring anything of monetary value from the recipient.

(3) "Nonprofit health care organization" means:

(A) an organization that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 501) by being listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of that code and that is organized and operated for the purpose of providing free or reduced cost health care; or

(B) a bona fide charitable organization that is organized and operated for the purpose of providing free or reduced cost health care, that dedicates its assets to charitable purposes, and that does not provide net earnings to, or operate in a manner that inures to the benefit of, an officer, employee, or shareholder of the organization.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 88.001 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 89.002: Liability for Damages from Donated Device

A person authorized to possess a device is not liable for personal injury, property damage, or death resulting from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of a device that the person donates in good faith to an entity that is authorized to possess the device and that is a nonprofit health care organization for use in providing free or reduced cost health care.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 88.002 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 89.003: Exceptions

(a) This chapter does not apply to a person who donates a device:

(1) knowing that use of the device would be harmful to the health or well-being of another person;

(2) with actual conscious indifference to the health or well-being of another person; or

(3) in violation of state or federal law.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a nonprofit health care organization unless the organization has liability insurance in effect that satisfies the requirements of Section 84.007(g).

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 662, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 88.003 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Chapter 90

Subchapter A

Sec. 90.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Asbestos" means chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, and any of these minerals that have been chemically treated or altered.

(2) "Asbestos-related injury" means personal injury or death allegedly caused, in whole or in part, by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos.

(3) "Asbestosis" means bilateral diffuse interstitial fibrosis of the lungs caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers.

(4) "Certified B-reader" means a person who has successfully completed the x-ray interpretation course sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and passed the B-reader certification examination for x-ray interpretation and whose NIOSH certification is current at the time of any readings required by this chapter.

(5) "Chest x-ray" means chest films that are taken in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulatory standards and in the posterior-anterior view.

(6) "Claimant" means an exposed person and any person who is seeking recovery of damages for or arising from the injury or death of an exposed person.

(7) "Defendant" means a person against whom a claim arising from an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury is made.

(8) "Exposed person" means a person who is alleged to have suffered an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury.

(9) "FEV1" means forced expiratory volume in the first second, which is the maximal volume of air expelled in one second during performance of simple spirometric tests.

(10) "FVC" means forced vital capacity, which is the maximal volume of air expired with maximum effort from a position of full inspiration.

(11) "ILO system of classification" means the radiological rating system of the International Labor Office in "Guidelines for the Use of ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses" (2000), as amended.

(12) "MDL pretrial court" means the district court to which related cases are transferred for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings under Rule 13, Texas Rules of Judicial Administration.

(13) "MDL rules" means the rules adopted by the supreme court under Subchapter H, Chapter 74, Government Code.

(14) "Mesothelioma" means a rare form of cancer allegedly caused in some instances by exposure to asbestos in which the cancer invades cells in the membrane lining:

(A) the lungs and chest cavity (the pleural region);

(B) the abdominal cavity (the peritoneal region); or

(C) the heart (the pericardial region).

(15) "Nonmalignant asbestos-related injury" means an asbestos-related injury other than mesothelioma or other cancer.

(16) "Nonmalignant silica-related injury" means a silica-related injury other than cancer.

(17) "Physician board certified in internal medicine" means a physician who is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine.

(18) "Physician board certified in occupational medicine" means a physician who is certified in the subspecialty of occupational medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine.

(19) "Physician board certified in oncology" means a physician who is certified in the subspecialty of medical oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine.

(20) "Physician board certified in pathology" means a physician who holds primary certification in anatomic pathology or clinical pathology from the American Board of Pathology or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine and whose professional practice:

(A) is principally in the field of pathology; and

(B) involves regular evaluation of pathology materials obtained from surgical or postmortem specimens.

(21) "Physician board certified in pulmonary medicine" means a physician who is certified in the subspecialty of pulmonary medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine.

(22) "Plethysmography" means the test for determining lung volume, also known as "body plethysmography," in which the subject of the test is enclosed in a chamber that is equipped to measure pressure, flow, or volume change.

(23) "Pulmonary function testing" means spirometry, lung volume, and diffusion capacity testing performed in accordance with Section 90.002 using equipment, methods of calibration, and techniques that meet:

(A) the criteria incorporated in the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and reported in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, Part (A), Sections 3.00(E) and (F)(2003); and

(B) the interpretative standards in the Official Statement of the American Thoracic Society entitled "Lung Function Testing: Selection of Reference Values and Interpretative Strategies," as published in 144 American Review of Respiratory Disease 1202-1218 (1991).

(24) "Report" means a report required by Section 90.003, 90.004, or 90.010(f)(1).

(25) "Respirable," with respect to silica, means particles that are less than 10 microns in diameter.

(26) "Serve" means to serve notice on a party in compliance with Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(27) "Silica" means a respirable form of crystalline silicon dioxide, including alpha quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite.

(28) "Silica-related injury" means personal injury or death allegedly caused, in whole or in part, by inhalation of silica.

(29) "Silicosis" means interstitial fibrosis of the lungs caused by inhalation of silica, including:

(A) acute silicosis, which may occur after exposure to very high levels of silica within a period of months to five years after the initial exposure;

(B) accelerated silicosis; and

(C) chronic silicosis.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.002: Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary function testing required by this chapter must be interpreted by a physician:

(1) who is licensed in this state or another state of the United States;

(2) who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, or occupational medicine; and

(3) whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the testing was interpreted.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.003: Reports Required for Claims Involving Asbestos-Related Injury

(a) A claimant asserting an asbestos-related injury must serve on each defendant the following information:

(1) a report by a physician who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, occupational medicine, internal medicine, oncology, or pathology and whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the report was made stating that:

(A) the exposed person has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or other malignant asbestos-related cancer; and

(B) to a reasonable degree of medical probability, exposure to asbestos was a cause of the diagnosed mesothelioma or other cancer in the exposed person; or

(2) a report by a physician who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, or occupational medicine and whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the report was made that:

(A) verifies that the physician or a medical professional employed by and under the direct supervision and control of the physician:

(i) performed a physical examination of the exposed person, or if the exposed person is deceased, reviewed available records relating to the exposed person's medical condition;

(ii) took a detailed occupational and exposure history from the exposed person or, if the exposed person is deceased, from a person knowledgeable about the alleged exposure or exposures that form the basis of the action; and

(iii) took a detailed medical and smoking history that includes a thorough review of the exposed person's past and present medical problems and their most probable cause;

(B) sets out the details of the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history and verifies that at least 10 years have elapsed between the exposed person's first exposure to asbestos and the date of diagnosis;

(C) verifies that the exposed person has:

(i) a quality 1 or 2 chest x-ray that has been read by a certified B-reader according to the ILO system of classification as showing:

(a) bilateral small irregular opacities (s, t, or u) with a profusion grading of 1/1 or higher, for an action filed on or after May 1, 2005;

(b) bilateral small irregular opacities (s, t, or u) with a profusion grading of 1/0 or higher, for an action filed before May 1, 2005; or

(c) bilateral diffuse pleural thickening graded b2 or higher including blunting of the costophrenic angle; or

(ii) pathological asbestosis graded 1(B) or higher under the criteria published in "Asbestos-Associated Diseases," 106 Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 11, Appendix 3 (October 8, 1982);

(D) verifies that the exposed person has asbestos-related pulmonary impairment as demonstrated by pulmonary function testing showing:

(i) forced vital capacity below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio (using actual values) at or above the lower limit of normal or at or above 65 percent; or

(ii) total lung capacity, by plethysmography or timed gas dilution, below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted;

(E) verifies that the physician has concluded that the exposed person's medical findings and impairment were not more probably the result of causes other than asbestos exposure revealed by the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history; and

(F) is accompanied by copies of all ILO classifications, pulmonary function tests, including printouts of all data, flow volume loops, and other information demonstrating compliance with the equipment, quality, interpretation, and reporting standards set out in this chapter, lung volume tests, diagnostic imaging of the chest, pathology reports, or other testing reviewed by the physician in reaching the physician's conclusions.

(b) The detailed occupational and exposure history required by Subsection (a)(2)(A)(ii) must describe:

(1) the exposed person's principal employments and state whether the exposed person was exposed to airborne contaminants, including asbestos fibers and other dusts that can cause pulmonary impairment; and

(2) the nature, duration, and frequency of the exposed person's exposure to airborne contaminants, including asbestos fibers and other dusts that can cause pulmonary impairment.

(c) If a claimant's pulmonary function test results do not meet the requirements of Subsection (a)(2)(D)(i) or (ii), the claimant may serve on each defendant a report by a physician who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, or occupational medicine and whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the report was made that:

(1) verifies that the physician has a physician-patient relationship with the exposed person;

(2) verifies that the exposed person has a quality 1 or 2 chest x-ray that has been read by a certified B-reader according to the ILO system of classification as showing bilateral small irregular opacities (s, t, or u) with a profusion grading of 2/1 or higher;

(3) verifies that the exposed person has restrictive impairment from asbestosis and includes the specific pulmonary function test findings on which the physician relies to establish that the exposed person has restrictive impairment;

(4) verifies that the physician has concluded that the exposed person's medical findings and impairment were not more probably the result of causes other than asbestos exposure revealed by the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history; and

(5) is accompanied by copies of all ILO classifications, pulmonary function tests, including printouts of all data, flow volume loops, and other information demonstrating compliance with the equipment, quality, interpretation, and reporting standards set out in this chapter, lung volume tests, diagnostic imaging of the chest, pathology reports, or other testing reviewed by the physician in reaching the physician's conclusions.

(d) If a claimant's radiologic findings do not meet the requirements of Subsection (a)(2)(C)(i), the claimant may serve on each defendant a report by a physician who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, or occupational medicine and whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the report was made that:

(1) verifies that the physician has a physician-patient relationship with the exposed person;

(2) verifies that the exposed person has asbestos-related pulmonary impairment as demonstrated by pulmonary function testing showing:

(A) either:

(i) forced vital capacity below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted and total lung capacity, by plethysmography, below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted; or

(ii) forced vital capacity below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio (using actual values) at or above the lower limit of normal or at or above 65 percent; and

(B) diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide below the lower limit of normal or below 80 percent of predicted;

(3) verifies that the exposed person has a computed tomography scan or high-resolution computed tomography scan showing either bilateral pleural disease or bilateral parenchymal disease consistent with asbestos exposure;

(4) verifies that the physician has concluded that the exposed person's medical findings and impairment were not more probably the result of causes other than asbestos exposure as revealed by the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history; and

(5) is accompanied by copies of all computed tomography scans, ILO classifications, pulmonary function tests, including printouts of all data, flow volume loops, and other information demonstrating compliance with the equipment, quality, interpretation, and reporting standards set out in this chapter, lung volume tests, diagnostic imaging of the chest, pathology reports, or other testing reviewed by the physician in reaching the physician's conclusions.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.004: Reports Required for Claims Involving Silica-Related Injury

(a) A claimant asserting a silica-related injury must serve on each defendant a report by a physician who is board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine, oncology, pathology, or, with respect to a claim for silicosis, occupational medicine and whose license and certification were not on inactive status at the time the report was made that:

(1) verifies that the physician or a medical professional employed by and under the direct supervision and control of the physician:

(A) performed a physical examination of the exposed person, or if the exposed person is deceased, reviewed available records relating to the exposed person's medical condition;

(B) took a detailed occupational and exposure history from the exposed person or, if the exposed person is deceased, from a person knowledgeable about the alleged exposure or exposures that form the basis of the action; and

(C) took a detailed medical and smoking history that includes a thorough review of the exposed person's past and present medical problems and their most probable cause;

(2) sets out the details of the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history;

(3) verifies that the exposed person has one or more of the following:

(A) a quality 1 or 2 chest x-ray that has been read by a certified B-reader according to the ILO system of classification as showing:

(i) bilateral predominantly nodular opacities (p, q, or r) occurring primarily in the upper lung fields, with a profusion grading of 1/1 or higher, for an action filed on or after May 1, 2005; or

(ii) bilateral predominantly nodular opacities (p, q, or r) occurring primarily in the upper lung fields, with a profusion grading of 1/0 or higher, for an action filed before May 1, 2005;

(B) pathological demonstration of classic silicotic nodules exceeding one centimeter in diameter as published in "Diseases Associated with Exposure to Silica and Nonfibrous Silicate Minerals," 112 Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 7 (July 1988);

(C) progressive massive fibrosis radiologically established by large opacities greater than one centimeter in diameter; or

(D) acute silicosis; and

(4) is accompanied by copies of all ILO classifications, pulmonary function tests, including printouts of all data, flow volume loops, and other information demonstrating compliance with the equipment, quality, interpretation, and reporting standards set out in this chapter, lung volume tests, diagnostic imaging of the chest, pathology reports, or other testing reviewed by the physician in reaching the physician's conclusions.

(b) If the claimant is asserting a claim for silicosis, the report required by Subsection (a) must also verify that:

(1) there has been a sufficient latency period for the applicable type of silicosis;

(2) the exposed person has at least Class 2 or higher impairment due to silicosis, according to the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and reported in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, Part (A), Sections 3.00(E) and (F)(2003); and

(3) the physician has concluded that the exposed person's medical findings and impairment were not more probably the result of causes other than silica exposure revealed by the exposed person's occupational, exposure, medical, and smoking history.

(c) If the claimant is asserting a claim for silica-related lung cancer, the report required by Subsection (a) must also:

(1) include a diagnosis that the exposed person has primary lung cancer and that inhalation of silica was a substantial contributing factor to that cancer; and

(2) verify that at least 15 years have elapsed from the date of the exposed person's first exposure to silica until the date of diagnosis of the exposed person's primary lung cancer.

(d) If the claimant is asserting a claim for any disease other than silicosis and lung cancer alleged to be related to exposure to silica, the report required by Subsection (a) must also verify that the physician has diagnosed the exposed person with a disease other than silicosis or silica-related lung cancer and has concluded that the exposed person's disease is not more probably the result of causes other than silica exposure.

(e) The detailed occupational and exposure history required by Subsection (a)(1)(B) must describe:

(1) the exposed person's principal employments and state whether the exposed person was exposed to airborne contaminants, including silica and other dusts that can cause pulmonary impairment; and

(2) the nature, duration, and frequency of the exposed person's exposure to airborne contaminants, including silica and other dusts that can cause pulmonary impairment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.005: Prohibited Basis for Diagnosis

(a) For purposes of this chapter, a physician may not, as the basis for a diagnosis, rely on the reports or opinions of any doctor, clinic, laboratory, or testing company that performed an examination, test, or screening of the exposed person's medical condition that was conducted in violation of any law, regulation, licensing requirement, or medical code of practice of the state in which the examination, test, or screening was conducted.

(b) If a physician relies on any information in violation of Subsection (a), the physician's opinion or report does not comply with the requirements of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.006: Serving Reports

(a) In an action filed on or after the date this chapter becomes law, a report prescribed by Section 90.003 or 90.004 must be served on each defendant not later than the 30th day after the date that defendant answers or otherwise enters an appearance in the action.

(b) In an action pending on the date this chapter becomes law and in which the trial, or any new trial or retrial following motion, appeal, or otherwise, commences on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law, a claimant is not required to serve a report on any defendant unless a mistrial, new trial, or retrial is subsequently granted or ordered.

(c) In an action pending on the date this chapter becomes law and in which the trial, or any new trial or retrial following motion, appeal, or otherwise, commences after the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law, a report must be served on each defendant on or before the earlier of the following dates:

(1) the 60th day before trial commences; or

(2) the 180th day after the date this chapter becomes law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.007: Motion to Dismiss in Action Filed on Or After September 1, 2005

(a) In an action filed on or after September 1, 2005, if a claimant fails to timely serve a report on a defendant, or serves on the defendant a report that does not comply with the requirements of Section 90.003 or 90.004, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the claimant's asbestos-related claims or silica-related claims. The motion must be filed on or before the 30th day after the date the report is served on the defendant. If a claimant fails to serve a report on the defendant, the motion must be filed on or before the 30th day after the date the report was required to be served on the defendant under Section 90.006. If the basis of the motion is that the claimant has served on the defendant a report that does not comply with Section 90.003 or 90.004, the motion must include the reasons why the report does not comply with that section.

(b) A claimant may file a response to a motion to dismiss on or before the 15th day after the date the motion to dismiss is served. A report required by Section 90.003 or 90.004 may be filed, amended, or supplemented within the time required for responding to a motion to dismiss. The service of an amended or supplemental report does not require the filing of an additional motion to dismiss if the reasons stated in the original motion to dismiss are sufficient to require dismissal under this chapter.

(c) Except as provided by Section 90.010(d) or (e), if the court is of the opinion that a motion to dismiss is meritorious, the court shall, by written order, grant the motion and dismiss all of the claimant's asbestos-related claims or silica-related claims, as appropriate, against the defendant. A dismissal under this section is without prejudice to the claimant's right, if any, to assert claims for an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury in a subsequent action.

(d) On the filing of a motion to dismiss under this section, all further proceedings in the action are stayed until the motion is heard and determined by the court.

(e) On the motion of a party showing good cause, the court may shorten or extend the time limits provided in this section for filing or serving motions, responses, or reports.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 146 (H.B. 1325), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 146 (H.B. 1325), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 90.008: Voluntary Dismissal

Before serving a report required by Section 90.003 or 90.004, a claimant seeking damages arising from an asbestos-related injury or silica-related injury may voluntarily dismiss the claimant's action. If a claimant files a voluntary dismissal under this section, the claimant's voluntary dismissal is without prejudice to the claimant's right to file a subsequent action seeking damages arising from an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.009: Joinder of Claimants

Unless all parties agree otherwise, claims relating to more than one exposed person may not be joined for a single trial.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.010: Multidistrict Litigation Proceedings

(a) The MDL rules apply to any action pending on the date this chapter becomes law in which the claimant alleges personal injury or death from exposure to asbestos or silica unless:

(1) the action was filed before September 1, 2003, and trial has commenced or is set to commence on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law, except that the MDL rules shall apply to the action if the trial does not commence on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law;

(2) the action was filed before September 1, 2003, and the claimant serves a report that complies with Section 90.003 or 90.004 on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law; or

(3) the action was filed before September 1, 2003, and the exposed person has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, other malignant asbestos-related cancer, or malignant silica-related cancer.

(b) If the claimant fails to serve a report complying with Section 90.003 or 90.004 on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law under Subsection (a)(2), the defendant may file a notice of transfer to the MDL pretrial court. If the MDL pretrial court determines that the claimant served a report that complies with Section 90.003 or 90.004 on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law, the MDL pretrial court shall remand the action to the court in which the action was filed. If the MDL pretrial court determines that the report was not served on or before the 90th day after the date this chapter becomes law or that the report served does not comply with Section 90.003 or 90.004, the MDL pretrial court shall retain jurisdiction over the action pursuant to the MDL rules.

(c) In an action transferred to an MDL pretrial court in which the exposed person is living and has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, other malignant asbestos-related cancer, malignant silica-related cancer, or acute silicosis, the MDL pretrial court shall expedite the action in a manner calculated to provide the exposed person with a trial or other disposition in the shortest period that is fair to all parties and consistent with the principles of due process. The MDL pretrial court should, as far as reasonably possible, ensure that such action is brought to trial or final disposition within six months from the date the action is transferred to the MDL pretrial court, provided that all discovery and case management requirements of the MDL pretrial court have been satisfied.

(d) In an action that was pending on August 31, 2005, that was transferred to and remains pending in an MDL pretrial court, the MDL pretrial court shall not remand such action for trial unless:

(1) the claimant serves a report complying with Section 90.003 or 90.004; or

(2) (A) the claimant does not serve a report that complies with Section 90.003 or 90.004;

(B) the claimant serves a report complying with Subsection (f)(1); and

(C) the court, on motion and hearing, makes the findings required by Subsection (f)(2).

(d-1) Beginning on September 1, 2014, the MDL pretrial court shall dismiss each action for an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury that was pending on August 31, 2005, unless a report was served on or after September 1, 2013, that complies with Section 90.003, Section 90.004, or Subsection (f). The MDL pretrial court shall provide for the dismissal of such actions in a case management order entered for that purpose. All actions for a silica-related injury shall be dismissed on or before August 31, 2015. All actions for an asbestos-related injury shall be dismissed on or before December 31, 2015.

(e) In an action filed on or after the date this chapter becomes law that is transferred to an MDL pretrial court and in which the claimant does not serve on a defendant a report that complies with Section 90.003 or 90.004, the MDL pretrial court shall, on motion by a defendant, dismiss the action under Section 90.007 unless:

(1) the claimant serves a report that complies with Subsection (f)(1); and

(2) the court, on motion and hearing, makes the findings required by Subsection (f)(2).

(f) In an action in which the claimant seeks remand for trial under Subsection (d)(2) or denial of a motion to dismiss under Subsection (e):

(1) the claimant shall serve on each defendant a report that:

(A) complies with the requirements of Sections 90.003(a)(2)(A), (B), (E), and (F) and 90.003(b) or Sections 90.004(a)(1), (2), and (4) and 90.004(e); and

(B) verifies that:

(i) the physician making the report has a physician-patient relationship with the exposed person;

(ii) pulmonary function testing has been performed on the exposed person and the physician making the report has interpreted the pulmonary function testing;

(iii) the physician making the report has concluded, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the exposed person has radiographic, pathologic, or computed tomography evidence establishing bilateral pleural disease or bilateral parenchymal disease caused by exposure to asbestos or silica; and

(iv) the physician has concluded that the exposed person has asbestos-related or silica-related physical impairment comparable to the impairment the exposed person would have had if the exposed person met the criteria set forth in Section 90.003 or 90.004; and

(2) the MDL pretrial court shall determine whether:

(A) the report and medical opinions offered by the claimant are reliable and credible;

(B) due to unique or extraordinary physical or medical characteristics of the exposed person, the medical criteria set forth in Sections 90.003 and 90.004 do not adequately assess the exposed person's physical impairment caused by exposure to asbestos or silica; and

(C) the claimant has produced sufficient credible evidence for a finder of fact to reasonably find that the exposed person is physically impaired as the result of exposure to asbestos or silica to a degree comparable to the impairment the exposed person would have had if the exposed person met the criteria set forth in Section 90.003 or 90.004.

(g) A court's determination under Subsection (f) shall be made after conducting an evidentiary hearing at which the claimant and any defendant to the action may offer supporting or controverting evidence. The parties shall be permitted a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery before the evidentiary hearing.

(h) The court shall state its findings under Subsection (f)(2) in writing and shall address in its findings:

(1) the unique or extraordinary physical or medical characteristics of the exposed person that justify the application of this section; and

(2) the reasons the criteria set forth in Sections 90.003 and 90.004 do not adequately assess the exposed person's physical impairment caused by exposure to asbestos or silica.

(i) Any findings made by a court under Subsection (f) are not admissible for any purpose at a trial on the merits.

(j) Subsections (d)(2) and (e)-(i) apply only in exceptional and limited circumstances in which the exposed person does not satisfy the medical criteria of Section 90.003 or 90.004 but can demonstrate meaningful asbestos-related or silica-related physical impairment that satisfies the requirements of Subsection (f). Subsections (d)(2) and (e)-(i) have limited application and shall not be used to negate the requirements of this chapter.

(k) On or before September 1, 2010, each MDL pretrial court having jurisdiction over cases to which this chapter applies shall deliver a report to the governor, lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of representatives stating:

(1) the number of cases on the court's multidistrict litigation docket as of August 1, 2010;

(2) the number of cases on the court's multidistrict litigation docket as of August 1, 2010, that do not meet the criteria of Section 90.003 or 90.004, to the extent known;

(3) the court's evaluation of the effectiveness of the medical criteria established by Sections 90.003 and 90.004;

(4) the court's recommendation, if any, as to how medical criteria should be applied to the cases on the court's multidistrict litigation docket as of August 1, 2010; and

(5) any other information regarding the administration of cases in the MDL pretrial courts that the court deems appropriate.

(l) A dismissal under Subsection (d-1) is without prejudice to the claimant's right to file a subsequent action seeking damages arising from an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury.

(m) This chapter and Section 16.0031 apply to a subsequent action for an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury filed by a claimant whose action was dismissed under Subsection (d-1) or by a claimant in an action described by Subsection (d) who voluntarily dismissed the action under Section 90.008.

(n) If a claimant subsequently refiles an action for an asbestos-related injury or a silica-related injury that was dismissed under Subsection (d-1), the refiled action is treated for purposes of determining the applicable law as if that claimant's action had never been dismissed but, instead, had remained pending until the claimant served a report that complied with Section 90.003, Section 90.004, or Subsection (f).

(o) A claimant whose action was dismissed under Subsection (d-1) may serve the petition and citation for any subsequently filed action for an asbestos-related or silica-related injury by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other method approved by the MDL pretrial court that is likely to accomplish service in a cost-effective manner, on a person who was a defendant in the dismissed action.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 146 (H.B. 1325), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.011: Bankruptcy

Nothing in this chapter is intended to affect the rights of any party in a bankruptcy proceeding or affect the ability of any person to satisfy the claim criteria for compensable claims or demands under a trust established pursuant to a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. Section 1101 et seq.).

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 90.012: Supreme Court Rulemaking

The supreme court may promulgate amendments to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the joinder of claimants in asbestos-related actions or silica-related actions if the rules are consistent with Section 90.009.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 97 (S.B. 15), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter B

Sec. 90.051: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Asbestos or silica trust" means a claims facility, a claims agent, a qualified settlement fund, or any other entity that:

(A) is created under 11 U.S.C. Section 524(g) or another applicable law for the benefit of creditors of a bankrupt person;

(B) is formed for the purpose of compensating claimants for asbestos- or silica-related injuries; and

(C) is in existence on the date trial in an action asserting an asbestos- or silica-related injury is set to commence.

(2) "Trust claim" means any filing with or claim against an asbestos or silica trust seeking recovery of compensation or damages for or arising from the asbestos- or silica-related injury of an exposed person.

(3) "Trust claim material" means documentation filed as part of or in connection with a trust claim, including:

(A) documentation that a claimant submits or provides to an asbestos or silica trust for the purpose of demonstrating asbestos or silica exposure, the existence of an asbestos- or silica-related injury, or the validity of a trust claim; and

(B) claim forms and other materials that an asbestos or silica trust requires a claimant to submit.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.052: Requirement to Make Trust Claims

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a claimant who has filed an action to recover damages for or arising from an asbestos- or silica-related injury shall make a trust claim against each asbestos or silica trust the claimant believes may owe compensation or damages to the claimant for the injury that is the basis of the claimant's action.

(b) A claimant must make each trust claim required under this section not later than:

(1) the 150th day before the date trial in the action is set to commence; or

(2) a date provided by court order if trial is set to commence on or before January 31, 2016.

(c) A claimant may file a motion seeking relief from the obligation to make a trust claim otherwise required by this section if the claimant believes that the fees and expenses, including attorney's fees, for filing the trust claim exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery from the trust.

(d) If a claimant files a motion under Subsection (c), the court shall determine whether the claimant's fees and expenses, including attorney's fees, for making the trust claim exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery from the trust. If the court determines that the claimant's fees and expenses exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery, the claimant is not required to make the trust claim but shall provide the court with a verified statement of the exposed person's exposure history to asbestos or silica that is covered by the trust.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.053: Notice of Trust Claim; Production of Trust Claim Material

(a) A claimant in an action to recover damages for or arising from an asbestos- or silica-related injury shall serve on each party notice of, and trust claim material relating to, each trust claim made by or on behalf of the exposed person. The notice must:

(1) identify each trust claim made by or on behalf of the exposed person;

(2) state the amount of any trust claim payment made to compensate for the exposed person's injury; and

(3) state the date each trust claim was made and whether a request for individual or enhanced review or for a deferral, delay, suspension, or tolling of the claim has been submitted to the trust.

(b) The claimant shall serve the notice and trust claim materials required by Subsection (a) not later than:

(1) the 120th day before the date trial in the action is set to commence; or

(2) a date provided by court order if the court entered an order under Section 90.052(b).

(c) The notice and trust claim materials required to be served under Subsection (a) are in addition to any notice or materials required to be served or produced under other law, rule, order, or applicable agreement.

(d) If a claimant makes a trust claim after the date provided by Section 90.052(b) but before the date that trial in the action commences, the claimant shall serve the notice of, and trust claim material relating to, the trust claim as required by Subsection (a) reasonably promptly after making the trust claim, but not later than the earlier of:

(1) the date that trial commences; or

(2) the 15th day after the date the additional trust claim is made.

(e) If a claimant discovers that the notice or trust claim materials provided by the claimant under this section were incomplete or incorrect at the time the notice or trust claim materials were served or that the notice or trust claim materials as served are no longer complete and correct, the claimant shall supplement the notice and the production of trust claim materials. The claimant shall serve the supplemental notice or trust claim materials reasonably promptly after the claimant discovers the necessity for the supplementation, but not later than the 15th day after the date the claimant discovers the necessity for the supplementation.

(f) A claimant shall serve notice of, and trust claim material relating to, a trust claim regardless of whether the claim is for an injury resulting in cancer or an injury not resulting in cancer.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.054: Failure to Make Trust Claim Or Provide Notice and Trust Claim Material

(a) An MDL pretrial court may not remand an action to a trial court and a trial court may not commence trial in the action unless the claimant has:

(1) made each trust claim as required by this subchapter; and

(2) served the notice of, and trust claim material relating to, those trust claims in accordance with Section 90.053.

(b) If a claimant received compensation from an asbestos or silica trust for an injury that also gave rise to a judgment against a defendant for the same injury and the claimant failed to serve the relevant notice and trust claim material as required by Section 90.053, the trial court, on a defendant's or judgment debtor's motion and after reasonable notice to the parties, may impose an appropriate sanction, including setting aside the judgment and ordering a new trial.

(c) This section may not be construed to require payment of a trust claim by an asbestos or silica trust before the MDL pretrial court remands the action for trial or before a judgment is rendered in the action.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.055: Motion to Stay

(a) A defendant may file a motion requesting a stay of the proceedings under Section 90.057 on or before the later of:

(1) the 60th day before the date trial in the action is set to commence;

(2) the 15th day after the date the defendant first obtains asbestos- or silica-exposure information that could support an additional asbestos or silica trust claim by the claimant; or

(3) a date provided by court order if the court entered an order under Section 90.052(b).

(b) The motion described by Subsection (a) must include:

(1) a list of asbestos or silica trusts not disclosed by the claimant against which the defendant in good faith believes the claimant may make a successful trust claim; and

(2) information supporting the additional trust claim described by Subdivision (1), including information that may be used to meet the trust claim requirements of an asbestos or silica trust described by Subdivision (1).

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.056: Response to Motion to Stay

(a) Not later than the 14th day after the date the defendant files a motion to stay under Section 90.055 or the date provided by court order under Section 90.052(b), the claimant may file a response:

(1) stating and providing proof that the claimant has made a trust claim identified in the defendant's motion and served the notice of, and trust claim material relating to, the claim as prescribed by Section 90.053; or

(2) requesting a determination by the court that the fees and expenses, including attorney's fees, for filing a trust claim identified in the motion exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery from the trust.

(b) If the claimant files a response making a request under Subsection (a)(2), the court shall determine whether the claimant's fees and expenses, including attorney's fees, for making the relevant trust claim exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery from the trust. If the court determines that the claimant's fees and expenses exceed the claimant's reasonably anticipated recovery, the claimant is not required to make the trust claim but shall provide the court with a verified statement of the exposed person's exposure history to asbestos or silica that is covered by the trust.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.057: Stay of Proceedings

(a) The court shall grant a motion to stay under Section 90.055 if the court determines the motion was timely filed and the claimant is likely to receive compensation from a trust identified by the motion. The stay shall continue until the claimant provides proof that the claimant has made the claim and served notice of, and trust claim material relating to, the claim as prescribed by Section 90.053.

(b) The court may not stay the proceedings if, with respect to each trust claim identified in the motion:

(1) the court determines that the claimant has satisfied the requirements of Section 90.053(a); or

(2) the court makes a determination described by Section 90.052(d) or 90.056(b).

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 90.058: Evidence of Trust Claims

(a) Trust claim material is presumed to be authentic, relevant, and discoverable in an action to which this subchapter applies.

(b) Notwithstanding an agreement, including a confidentiality agreement, trust claim material is presumed to not be privileged in an action to which this subchapter applies.

(c) This section may not be construed to affect the application of Section 33.003 to an action governed by this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 532 (H.B. 1492), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 91

Sec. 91.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Health care practitioner" means a person who is licensed:

(A) to practice medicine under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;

(B) as a physician assistant under Chapter 204, Occupations Code;

(C) as an advanced nurse practitioner under Chapter 301, Occupations Code; or

(D) as a chiropractor under Chapter 201, Occupations Code.

(2) "School" means any private or public school offering academic instruction in any grade level from kindergarten through grade 12.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 749, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 91.002: Health Care Practitioner Liability

Subject to Section 91.003, a health care practitioner who, without compensation or expectation of compensation, conducts a physical examination or medical screening of a patient for the purpose of determining the physical health and fitness of the patient to participate in a school-sponsored extracurricular or sporting activity is immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in the death of or injury to the patient if:

(1) the health care practitioner was acting in good faith and in the course and scope of the health care practitioner's duties;

(2) the health care practitioner commits the act or omission in the course of conducting the physical examination or medical screening of the patient;

(3) the services provided to the patient are within the scope of the license of the health care practitioner; and

(4) before the health care practitioner conducts the physical examination or medical screening, the patient or, if the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent, the patient's parent, managing conservator, legal guardian, or other person with legal responsibility for the care of the patient signs a written statement that acknowledges:

(A) that the health care practitioner is conducting a physical examination or medical screening that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation; and

(B) the limitations on the recovery of damages from the health care practitioner in connection with the physical examination or medical screening being performed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 749, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1099 (S.B. 1545), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 91.003: Insurance Required

(a) Section 91.002 applies only to a health care practitioner who has liability insurance coverage in effect to cover any act or omission to which this chapter applies. The health care practitioner's liability coverage must cover the acts or omissions of the health care practitioner and must be in the amount of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 for each single occurrence of death or bodily injury and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property.

(b) The coverage may be provided under a contract of insurance or other plan of insurance and may be satisfied by the purchase of a $300,000 bodily injury and property damage combined single-limit policy.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 749, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 91.004: Applicability

(a) This chapter does not apply to an act or omission that is intentional, wilfully or wantonly negligent, or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

(b) This chapter does not:

(1) limit the liability of a school district to its students, teachers, or staff; or

(2) affect a school district's liability limits or immunities under Chapter 101.

(c) This chapter does not apply to a governmental unit or employee of a governmental unit as defined by Section 101.001.

(d) This chapter does not limit the liability of an insurer or insurance plan in an action under Chapter 21, Insurance Code, or in an action for bad faith conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligent failure to settle a claim.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 749, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 91A

Sec. 91A.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Audiologist" means an individual licensed to practice audiology by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(2) "Speech-language pathologist" means an individual licensed to practice speech-language pathology by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 658 (H.B. 1995), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 4.001, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 91A.002: Immunity from Liability

An audiologist or speech-language pathologist who, without compensation or expectation of compensation, conducts a speech, language, or hearing evaluation or screening is immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in the death or injury to the patient if:

(1) the audiologist or speech-language pathologist was acting in good faith and in the course and scope of the audiologist's or speech-language pathologist's duties;

(2) the audiologist or speech-language pathologist commits the act or omission in the course of conducting the speech, language, or hearing examination or screening; and

(3) the services provided to the patient are within the scope of the license of the audiologist or speech-language pathologist.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 658 (H.B. 1995), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 91A.003: Applicability

This chapter does not apply to an act or omission that is intentional, wilfully or wantonly negligent, or done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 658 (H.B. 1995), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Chapter 92

Sec. 92.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Animal control agency" means a municipal or county animal control office, or a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, that collects, impounds, or keeps stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals.

(2) "Livestock animal" means an equine animal or an animal raised primarily for use as food for human consumption or to produce fiber for human use and includes horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry.

(3) "Nonlivestock animal" means a service animal or an animal maintained as a pet in the home or on the property of the animal's owner and includes captured wildlife or an exotic animal maintained as a pet. The term does not include a livestock animal.

(4) "Running at large" means not under the control of the owner or handler while:

(A) on the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or any other person authorized to give consent; or

(B) on a highway, a public road or street, or any other place open to the public generally.

(5) "Service animal" has the meaning assigned by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.).

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 530 (H.B. 2471), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 92.002: Limitation of Liability

(a) In this section, "emergency" includes:

(1) a natural disaster, including an earthquake, fire, flood, or storm;

(2) a hazardous chemical or substance incident; and

(3) a vehicular collision with an animal or other transportation accident in which an animal is injured or is otherwise in need of assistance to protect the animal's health or life.

(b) A person who in good faith and without compensation renders or obtains medical care or treatment for a nonlivestock animal that is injured or in distress because of an emergency, abandoned, running at large, or stray is not liable for civil damages for an injury to the animal resulting from an act or omission in rendering or obtaining the medical care or treatment, unless the person commits gross negligence, if:

(1) the person first takes reasonable steps to locate the animal's owner by:

(A) attempting to contact the animal's owner using the contact information located on the animal's identification tag, collar, or chip, if any, or taking other reasonable action to contact the owner; or

(B) notifying an animal control agency with authority over the area where the person resides, or an animal control agency with authority over the area where the person took custody of the animal if that area lies outside of the municipality or county where the person resides, that the animal is in the person's custody and providing the animal control agency with the person's contact information; or

(2) a veterinarian determines that the animal:

(A) needs immediate medical treatment to alleviate pain or save the animal's life; or

(B) exhibits visible signs of recent abuse as described by Section 42.092(b), Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 530 (H.B. 2471), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 92.003: Limitation of Liability for Animal Control Agencies and Certain Employees

An animal control agency or an employee of an animal control agency acting within the scope of the person's employment that in good faith takes into custody and cares for a nonlivestock animal that is abandoned, running at large, or stray is not liable for civil damages for an injury to the animal arising from an act or omission in caring for the animal, except in a case of gross negligence, if the animal control agency obtains custody of the animal from a person not affiliated with the animal control agency and that person certifies in writing that the person has taken reasonable steps to locate the owner as provided by Section 92.002.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 530 (H.B. 2471), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 92.004: Effect on Other Law

(a) This chapter does not limit the application of or supersede Section 822.013, Health and Safety Code, or Section 801.358, Occupations Code.

(b) This chapter does not create any civil liability or waive any defense, immunity, or jurisdictional bar available under state law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 530 (H.B. 2471), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Chapter 92A

Sec. 92A.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is self-propelled or a trailer or semitrailer designed for use with a self-propelled vehicle.

(2) "Vulnerable individual" means:

(A) a child younger than seven years of age; or

(B) an individual who by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect the individual's self from harm.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 694 (H.B. 478), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 92A.002: Limitation of Liability

A person who, by force or otherwise, enters a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a vulnerable individual from the vehicle is immune from civil liability for damages resulting from that entry or removal if the person:

(1) determines that:

(A) the motor vehicle is locked; or

(B) there is no reasonable method for the individual to exit the motor vehicle without assistance;

(2) has a good faith and reasonable belief, based on known circumstances, that entry into the motor vehicle is necessary to avoid imminent harm to the individual;

(3) before entering the motor vehicle, ensures that law enforcement is notified or 911 is called if the person is not a law enforcement officer or other first responder;

(4) uses no more force to enter the motor vehicle and remove the individual than is necessary; and

(5) remains with the individual in a safe location that is in reasonable proximity to the motor vehicle until a law enforcement officer or other first responder arrives.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 694 (H.B. 478), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 92A.003: Effect on Other Laws

This chapter does not affect limitation under Section 74.151 or 74.152 of a person's liability for good faith administration of emergency care.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 694 (H.B. 478), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Chapter 93

Sec. 93.001: Assumption of the Risk: Affirmative Defense

(a) It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the plaintiff, at the time the cause of action arose, was:

(1) committing a felony, for which the plaintiff has been finally convicted, that was the sole cause of the damages sustained by the plaintiff; or

(2) committing or attempting to commi