Texas Family Code

As effective September 1, 2019

Table of Contents

Title 1

Subtitle A

Chapter 1

Subchapter A

Sec. 1.001

Sec. 1.002

Sec. 1.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 1.101

Sec. 1.102

Sec. 1.103

Sec. 1.104

Sec. 1.105

Sec. 1.106

Sec. 1.107

Sec. 1.108

Sec. 1.109

Chapter 2

Subchapter A

Sec. 2.001

Sec. 2.002

Sec. 2.003

Sec. 2.004

Sec. 2.005

Sec. 2.006

Sec. 2.007

Sec. 2.0071

Sec. 2.008

Sec. 2.009

Sec. 2.010

Sec. 2.012

Sec. 2.013

Sec. 2.014

Subchapter B

Sec. 2.101

Subchapter C

Sec. 2.201

Sec. 2.202

Sec. 2.203

Sec. 2.204

Sec. 2.205

Sec. 2.206

Sec. 2.207

Sec. 2.208

Sec. 2.209

Subchapter D

Sec. 2.301

Sec. 2.302

Subchapter E

Sec. 2.401

Sec. 2.402

Sec. 2.403

Sec. 2.404

Sec. 2.405

Subchapter F

Sec. 2.501

Subchapter G

Sec. 2.601

Sec. 2.602

Subtitle B

Chapter 3

Subchapter A

Sec. 3.001

Sec. 3.002

Sec. 3.003

Sec. 3.004

Sec. 3.005

Sec. 3.006

Sec. 3.007

Sec. 3.008

Subchapter B

Sec. 3.101

Sec. 3.102

Sec. 3.103

Sec. 3.104

Subchapter C

Sec. 3.201

Sec. 3.202

Sec. 3.203

Subchapter D

Sec. 3.301

Sec. 3.302

Sec. 3.303

Sec. 3.304

Sec. 3.305

Sec. 3.305

Sec. 3.306

Sec. 3.307

Sec. 3.308

Sec. 3.309

Subchapter E

Sec. 3.401

Sec. 3.402

Sec. 3.404

Sec. 3.405

Sec. 3.406

Sec. 3.409

Sec. 3.410

Chapter 4

Subchapter A

Sec. 4.001

Sec. 4.002

Sec. 4.003

Sec. 4.004

Sec. 4.005

Sec. 4.006

Sec. 4.007

Sec. 4.008

Sec. 4.009

Sec. 4.010

Subchapter B

Sec. 4.101

Sec. 4.102

Sec. 4.103

Sec. 4.104

Sec. 4.105

Sec. 4.106

Subchapter C

Sec. 4.201

Sec. 4.202

Sec. 4.203

Sec. 4.204

Sec. 4.205

Sec. 4.206

Chapter 5

Subchapter A

Sec. 5.001

Sec. 5.002

Sec. 5.003

Subchapter B

Sec. 5.101

Sec. 5.102

Sec. 5.103

Sec. 5.104

Sec. 5.105

Sec. 5.106

Sec. 5.108

Subtitle C

Chapter 6

Subchapter A

Sec. 6.001

Sec. 6.002

Sec. 6.003

Sec. 6.004

Sec. 6.005

Sec. 6.006

Sec. 6.007

Sec. 6.008

Subchapter B

Sec. 6.102

Sec. 6.103

Sec. 6.104

Sec. 6.105

Sec. 6.106

Sec. 6.107

Sec. 6.108

Sec. 6.109

Sec. 6.110

Sec. 6.111

Subchapter C

Sec. 6.201

Sec. 6.202

Sec. 6.203

Sec. 6.204

Sec. 6.205

Sec. 6.206

Subchapter D

Sec. 6.301

Sec. 6.302

Sec. 6.303

Sec. 6.304

Sec. 6.305

Sec. 6.306

Sec. 6.307

Sec. 6.308

Subchapter E

Sec. 6.401

Sec. 6.402

Sec. 6.403

Sec. 6.4035

Sec. 6.404

Sec. 6.405

Sec. 6.406

Sec. 6.407

Sec. 6.408

Sec. 6.409

Sec. 6.410

Sec. 6.411

Subchapter F

Sec. 6.501

Sec. 6.502

Sec. 6.503

Sec. 6.504

Sec. 6.505

Sec. 6.506

Sec. 6.507

Subchapter G

Sec. 6.601

Sec. 6.6015

Sec. 6.602

Sec. 6.604

Subchapter H

Sec. 6.701

Sec. 6.702

Sec. 6.703

Sec. 6.704

Sec. 6.705

Sec. 6.706

Sec. 6.707

Sec. 6.708

Sec. 6.709

Sec. 6.710

Sec. 6.711

Subchapter I

Sec. 6.801

Sec. 6.802

Chapter 7

Sec. 7.001

Sec. 7.002

Sec. 7.003

Sec. 7.004

Sec. 7.005

Sec. 7.006

Sec. 7.007

Sec. 7.008

Sec. 7.009

Chapter 8

Subchapter A

Sec. 8.001

Subchapter B

Sec. 8.051

Sec. 8.052

Sec. 8.053

Sec. 8.054

Sec. 8.055

Sec. 8.056

Sec. 8.057

Sec. 8.058

Sec. 8.059

Sec. 8.0591

Sec. 8.060

Sec. 8.061

Subchapter C

Sec. 8.101

Sec. 8.102

Sec. 8.103

Sec. 8.104

Sec. 8.105

Sec. 8.106

Sec. 8.107

Sec. 8.108

Subchapter D

Sec. 8.151

Sec. 8.152

Sec. 8.153

Sec. 8.154

Subchapter E

Sec. 8.201

Sec. 8.202

Sec. 8.203

Sec. 8.204

Sec. 8.205

Sec. 8.206

Sec. 8.207

Sec. 8.208

Sec. 8.209

Sec. 8.210

Subchapter F

Sec. 8.251

Sec. 8.252

Sec. 8.253

Sec. 8.254

Sec. 8.255

Sec. 8.256

Sec. 8.257

Sec. 8.258

Sec. 8.259

Sec. 8.260

Sec. 8.261

Sec. 8.262

Sec. 8.263

Sec. 8.264

Sec. 8.265

Sec. 8.266

Sec. 8.267

Subchapter G

Sec. 8.301

Sec. 8.302

Sec. 8.303

Sec. 8.304

Sec. 8.305

Chapter 9

Subchapter A

Sec. 9.001

Sec. 9.002

Sec. 9.003

Sec. 9.004

Sec. 9.005

Sec. 9.006

Sec. 9.007

Sec. 9.008

Sec. 9.009

Sec. 9.010

Sec. 9.011

Sec. 9.012

Sec. 9.013

Sec. 9.014

Subchapter B

Sec. 9.101

Sec. 9.102

Sec. 9.103

Sec. 9.104

Sec. 9.1045

Sec. 9.105

Sec. 9.106

Subchapter C

Sec. 9.201

Sec. 9.202

Sec. 9.203

Sec. 9.204

Sec. 9.205

Subchapter D

Sec. 9.301

Sec. 9.302

Title 1-A

Chapter 15

Subchapter A

Sec. 15.001

Sec. 15.002

Sec. 15.003

Sec. 15.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 15.051

Sec. 15.052

Sec. 15.053

Subchapter C

Sec. 15.101

Sec. 15.102

Sec. 15.103

Sec. 15.104

Sec. 15.105

Sec. 15.106

Sec. 15.107

Sec. 15.108

Sec. 15.109

Sec. 15.110

Sec. 15.111

Sec. 15.112

Sec. 15.113

Sec. 15.114

Sec. 15.115

Sec. 15.116

Title 2

Subtitle A

Chapter 31

Sec. 31.001

Sec. 31.002

Sec. 31.003

Sec. 31.004

Sec. 31.005

Sec. 31.006

Sec. 31.007

Sec. 31.008

Chapter 32

Subchapter A

Sec. 32.001

Sec. 32.002

Sec. 32.003

Sec. 32.004

Sec. 32.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 32.101

Sec. 32.1011

Sec. 32.102

Sec. 32.103

Subchapter C

Sec. 32.201

Sec. 32.202

Sec. 32.203

Chapter 33

Sec. 33.001

Sec. 33.002

Sec. 33.0021

Sec. 33.0022

Sec. 33.003

Sec. 33.004

Sec. 33.005

Sec. 33.006

Sec. 33.0065

Sec. 33.007

Sec. 33.008

Sec. 33.0085

Sec. 33.009

Sec. 33.010

Sec. 33.011

Sec. 33.012

Sec. 33.013

Sec. 33.014

Chapter 34

Sec. 34.0015

Sec. 34.002

Sec. 34.0021

Sec. 34.0022

Sec. 34.003

Sec. 34.004

Sec. 34.005

Sec. 34.006

Sec. 34.007

Sec. 34.0075

Sec. 34.008

Sec. 34.009

Chapter 35

Sec. 35.001

Sec. 35.002

Sec. 35.003

Sec. 35.004

Sec. 35.005

Sec. 35.006

Sec. 35.007

Chapter 35A

Sec. 35A.001

Sec. 35A.002

Sec. 35A.003

Sec. 35A.004

Sec. 35A.005

Subtitle B

Chapter 41

Sec. 41.001

Sec. 41.002

Sec. 41.0025

Sec. 41.003

Chapter 42

Sec. 42.001

Sec. 42.002

Sec. 42.003

Sec. 42.005

Sec. 42.006

Sec. 42.007

Sec. 42.008

Sec. 42.009

Subtitle C

Chapter 45

Subchapter A

Sec. 45.001

Sec. 45.002

Sec. 45.003

Sec. 45.0031

Sec. 45.004

Sec. 45.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 45.101

Sec. 45.102

Sec. 45.103

Sec. 45.104

Sec. 45.105

Sec. 45.106

Sec. 45.107

Subtitle E

Chapter 47

Sec. 47.001

Sec. 47.002

Sec. 47.003

Title 3

Chapter 51

Sec. 51.01

Sec. 51.02

Sec. 51.03

Sec. 51.031

Sec. 51.04

Sec. 51.041

Sec. 51.0411

Sec. 51.0412

Sec. 51.0413

Sec. 51.0414

Sec. 51.042

Sec. 51.045

Sec. 51.05

Sec. 51.06

Sec. 51.07

Sec. 51.071

Sec. 51.072

Sec. 51.073

Sec. 51.074

Sec. 51.075

Sec. 51.08

Sec. 51.09

Sec. 51.095

Sec. 51.10

Sec. 51.101

Sec. 51.102

Sec. 51.11

Sec. 51.115

Sec. 51.116

Sec. 51.12

Sec. 51.125

Sec. 51.126

Sec. 51.13

Sec. 51.151

Sec. 51.17

Sec. 51.18

Sec. 51.19

Sec. 51.20

Sec. 51.21

Chapter 52

Sec. 52.01

Sec. 52.011

Sec. 52.015

Sec. 52.0151

Sec. 52.02

Sec. 52.025

Sec. 52.026

Sec. 52.03

Sec. 52.031

Sec. 52.032

Sec. 52.04

Sec. 52.041

Chapter 53

Sec. 53.01

Sec. 53.011

Sec. 53.012

Sec. 53.013

Sec. 53.02

Sec. 53.03

Sec. 53.035

Sec. 53.04

Sec. 53.045

Sec. 53.05

Sec. 53.06

Sec. 53.07

Sec. 53.08

Chapter 54

Sec. 54.01

Sec. 54.011

Sec. 54.012

Sec. 54.02

Sec. 54.03

Sec. 54.031

Sec. 54.032

Sec. 54.0325

Sec. 54.0326

Sec. 54.033

Sec. 54.034

Sec. 54.04

Sec. 54.0401

Sec. 54.04012

Sec. 54.04013

Sec. 54.0404

Sec. 54.0405

Sec. 54.0406

Sec. 54.0407

Sec. 54.0408

Sec. 54.0409

Sec. 54.041

Sec. 54.0411

Sec. 54.042

Sec. 54.043

Sec. 54.044

Sec. 54.045

Sec. 54.046

Sec. 54.0461

Sec. 54.0462

Sec. 54.047

Sec. 54.048

Sec. 54.0481

Sec. 54.0482

Sec. 54.049

Sec. 54.0491

Sec. 54.05

Sec. 54.051

Sec. 54.052

Sec. 54.06

Sec. 54.061

Sec. 54.07

Sec. 54.08

Sec. 54.09

Sec. 54.10

Sec. 54.11

Chapter 55

Subchapter A

Sec. 55.01

Sec. 55.02

Sec. 55.03

Subchapter B

Sec. 55.11

Sec. 55.12

Sec. 55.13

Sec. 55.14

Sec. 55.15

Sec. 55.16

Sec. 55.17

Sec. 55.18

Sec. 55.19

Subchapter C

Sec. 55.31

Sec. 55.32

Sec. 55.33

Sec. 55.34

Sec. 55.35

Sec. 55.36

Sec. 55.37

Sec. 55.38

Sec. 55.39

Sec. 55.40

Sec. 55.41

Sec. 55.42

Sec. 55.43

Sec. 55.44

Sec. 55.45

Subchapter D

Sec. 55.51

Sec. 55.52

Sec. 55.53

Sec. 55.54

Sec. 55.55

Sec. 55.56

Sec. 55.57

Sec. 55.58

Sec. 55.59

Sec. 55.60

Sec. 55.61

Chapter 56

Sec. 56.01

Sec. 56.02

Sec. 56.03

Chapter 57

Sec. 57.001

Sec. 57.002

Sec. 57.002

Sec. 57.003

Sec. 57.0031

Sec. 57.0031

Sec. 57.004

Sec. 57.005

Sec. 57.006

Sec. 57.007

Sec. 57.008

Chapter 58

Subchapter A

Sec. 58.001

Sec. 58.002

Sec. 58.0021

Sec. 58.0022

Sec. 58.003

Sec. 58.004

Sec. 58.005

Sec. 58.0051

Sec. 58.0052

Sec. 58.007

Sec. 58.008

Sec. 58.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 58.101

Sec. 58.102

Sec. 58.103

Sec. 58.104

Sec. 58.105

Sec. 58.106

Sec. 58.107

Sec. 58.108

Sec. 58.109

Sec. 58.110

Sec. 58.111

Sec. 58.113

Subchapter C-1

Sec. 58.251

Sec. 58.252

Sec. 58.253

Sec. 58.254

Sec. 58.255

Sec. 58.2551

Sec. 58.256

Sec. 58.257

Sec. 58.258

Sec. 58.259

Sec. 58.260

Sec. 58.261

Sec. 58.262

Sec. 58.263

Sec. 58.264

Sec. 58.265

Subchapter D

Sec. 58.301

Sec. 58.302

Sec. 58.303

Sec. 58.304

Sec. 58.305

Sec. 58.306

Sec. 58.307

Subchapter D-1

Sec. 58.351

Sec. 58.352

Sec. 58.353

Subchapter E

Sec. 58.401

Sec. 58.402

Sec. 58.403

Sec. 58.404

Sec. 58.405

Chapter 59

Sec. 59.001

Sec. 59.002

Sec. 59.003

Sec. 59.004

Sec. 59.005

Sec. 59.006

Sec. 59.007

Sec. 59.008

Sec. 59.009

Sec. 59.010

Sec. 59.011

Sec. 59.013

Sec. 59.014

Sec. 59.015

Chapter 60

Sec. 60.001

Sec. 60.005

Sec. 60.006

Sec. 60.007

Sec. 60.008

Sec. 60.009

Sec. 60.010

Sec. 60.011

Sec. 60.012

Chapter 61

Subchapter A

Sec. 61.001

Sec. 61.002

Sec. 61.003

Sec. 61.0031

Sec. 61.004

Subchapter B

Sec. 61.051

Sec. 61.052

Sec. 61.053

Sec. 61.054

Sec. 61.055

Sec. 61.056

Sec. 61.057

Subchapter C

Sec. 61.101

Sec. 61.102

Sec. 61.103

Sec. 61.104

Sec. 61.105

Sec. 61.106

Sec. 61.107

Title 3A

Chapter 65

Subchapter A

Sec. 65.001

Sec. 65.002

Sec. 65.003

Sec. 65.004

Sec. 65.005

Sec. 65.006

Sec. 65.007

Sec. 65.008

Sec. 65.009

Sec. 65.010

Sec. 65.011

Sec. 65.012

Sec. 65.013

Sec. 65.014

Sec. 65.015

Sec. 65.016

Sec. 65.017

Subchapter B

Sec. 65.051

Sec. 65.052

Sec. 65.053

Sec. 65.054

Sec. 65.055

Sec. 65.056

Sec. 65.057

Sec. 65.058

Sec. 65.059

Sec. 65.060

Sec. 65.061

Sec. 65.062

Sec. 65.063

Sec. 65.064

Sec. 65.065

Subchapter C

Sec. 65.101

Sec. 65.102

Sec. 65.103

Sec. 65.104

Sec. 65.105

Sec. 65.106

Sec. 65.107

Sec. 65.108

Sec. 65.109

Subchapter D

Sec. 65.151

Sec. 65.152

Sec. 65.153

Subchapter E

Sec. 65.201

Sec. 65.202

Sec. 65.203

Subchapter F

Sec. 65.251

Sec. 65.252

Sec. 65.253

Sec. 65.254

Sec. 65.255

Sec. 65.256

Sec. 65.257

Sec. 65.258

Sec. 65.259

Title 4

Subtitle A

Chapter 71

Sec. 71.001

Sec. 71.002

Sec. 71.0021

Sec. 71.003

Sec. 71.004

Sec. 71.005

Sec. 71.006

Sec. 71.007

Subtitle B

Chapter 81

Sec. 81.001

Sec. 81.0015

Sec. 81.002

Sec. 81.003

Sec. 81.004

Sec. 81.005

Sec. 81.006

Sec. 81.007

Sec. 81.0075

Sec. 81.008

Sec. 81.009

Sec. 81.010

Sec. 81.011

Chapter 82

Subchapter A

Sec. 82.001

Sec. 82.002

Sec. 82.003

Sec. 82.004

Sec. 82.005

Sec. 82.006

Sec. 82.007

Sec. 82.008

Sec. 82.0085

Sec. 82.009

Sec. 82.010

Sec. 82.011

Subchapter B

Sec. 82.021

Sec. 82.022

Subchapter C

Sec. 82.041

Sec. 82.042

Sec. 82.043

Chapter 83

Sec. 83.001

Sec. 83.002

Sec. 83.003

Sec. 83.004

Sec. 83.005

Sec. 83.006

Chapter 84

Sec. 84.001

Sec. 84.002

Sec. 84.003

Sec. 84.004

Sec. 84.005

Sec. 84.006

Chapter 85

Subchapter A

Sec. 85.001

Sec. 85.002

Sec. 85.003

Sec. 85.004

Sec. 85.005

Sec. 85.006

Sec. 85.007

Sec. 85.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 85.021

Sec. 85.022

Sec. 85.023

Sec. 85.024

Sec. 85.025

Sec. 85.026

Subchapter C

Sec. 85.041

Sec. 85.042

Subchapter D

Sec. 85.061

Sec. 85.062

Sec. 85.063

Sec. 85.064

Sec. 85.065

Chapter 86

Sec. 86.001

Sec. 86.0011

Sec. 86.002

Sec. 86.003

Sec. 86.004

Sec. 86.005

Chapter 87

Sec. 87.001

Sec. 87.002

Sec. 87.003

Sec. 87.004

Chapter 88

Sec. 88.001

Sec. 88.002

Sec. 88.003

Sec. 88.004

Sec. 88.005

Sec. 88.006

Sec. 88.007

Sec. 88.008

Subtitle C

Chapter 91

Sec. 91.001

Sec. 91.002

Sec. 91.003

Sec. 91.004

Chapter 92

Sec. 92.001

Chapter 93

Sec. 93.001

Sec. 93.002

Sec. 93.003

Sec. 93.004

Title 5

Subtitle A

Chapter 101

Sec. 101.001

Sec. 101.0010

Sec. 101.0011

Sec. 101.0015

Sec. 101.0017

Sec. 101.0018

Sec. 101.003

Sec. 101.004

Sec. 101.005

Sec. 101.006

Sec. 101.007

Sec. 101.008

Sec. 101.009

Sec. 101.0094

Sec. 101.0095

Sec. 101.0096

Sec. 101.010

Sec. 101.011

Sec. 101.012

Sec. 101.0125

Sec. 101.013

Sec. 101.0133

Sec. 101.0134

Sec. 101.014

Sec. 101.0145

Sec. 101.015

Sec. 101.016

Sec. 101.0161

Sec. 101.017

Sec. 101.018

Sec. 101.019

Sec. 101.020

Sec. 101.0201

Sec. 101.021

Sec. 101.022

Sec. 101.023

Sec. 101.024

Sec. 101.025

Sec. 101.0255

Sec. 101.026

Sec. 101.027

Sec. 101.028

Sec. 101.029

Sec. 101.030

Sec. 101.0301

Sec. 101.0302

Sec. 101.031

Sec. 101.032

Sec. 101.033

Sec. 101.034

Sec. 101.035

Sec. 101.036

Chapter 102

Sec. 102.001

Sec. 102.002

Sec. 102.003

Sec. 102.0035

Sec. 102.004

Sec. 102.0045

Sec. 102.005

Sec. 102.006

Sec. 102.007

Sec. 102.008

Sec. 102.0086

Sec. 102.009

Sec. 102.0091

Sec. 102.010

Sec. 102.011

Sec. 102.012

Sec. 102.013

Sec. 102.014

Chapter 103

Sec. 103.001

Sec. 103.002

Sec. 103.003

Chapter 104

Sec. 104.001

Sec. 104.002

Sec. 104.003

Sec. 104.004

Sec. 104.005

Sec. 104.006

Sec. 104.007

Sec. 104.008

Chapter 105

Sec. 105.001

Sec. 105.0011

Sec. 105.002

Sec. 105.003

Sec. 105.004

Sec. 105.005

Sec. 105.006

Sec. 105.007

Sec. 105.008

Sec. 105.009

Chapter 106

Sec. 106.001

Sec. 106.002

Chapter 107

Subchapter A

Sec. 107.001

Sec. 107.002

Sec. 107.003

Sec. 107.004

Sec. 107.0045

Sec. 107.005

Sec. 107.006

Sec. 107.007

Sec. 107.008

Sec. 107.009

Sec. 107.010

Subchapter B

Part 1

Sec. 107.011

Sec. 107.012

Sec. 107.0125

Sec. 107.013

Sec. 107.0131

Sec. 107.0132

Sec. 107.0133

Sec. 107.014

Sec. 107.0141

Sec. 107.015

Sec. 107.016

Sec. 107.0161

Sec. 107.017

Part 2

Sec. 107.021

Sec. 107.022

Sec. 107.023

Subchapter C

Sec. 107.031

Subchapter D

Sec. 107.101

Sec. 107.102

Sec. 107.1025

Sec. 107.103

Sec. 107.104

Sec. 107.105

Sec. 107.106

Sec. 107.107

Sec. 107.108

Sec. 107.109

Sec. 107.110

Sec. 107.1101

Sec. 107.111

Sec. 107.1111

Sec. 107.112

Sec. 107.113

Sec. 107.114

Sec. 107.115

Subchapter E

Sec. 107.151

Sec. 107.152

Sec. 107.153

Sec. 107.154

Sec. 107.155

Sec. 107.156

Sec. 107.157

Sec. 107.158

Sec. 107.159

Sec. 107.160

Sec. 107.161

Sec. 107.162

Sec. 107.163

Subchapter F

Sec. 107.201

Sec. 107.202

Subchapter G

Sec. 107.251

Sec. 107.252

Sec. 107.253

Sec. 107.254

Sec. 107.255

Sec. 107.256

Sec. 107.257

Sec. 107.258

Sec. 107.259

Sec. 107.260

Sec. 107.261

Sec. 107.262

Subchapter H

Sec. 107.301

Sec. 107.302

Sec. 107.303

Sec. 107.304

Sec. 107.305

Sec. 107.306

Sec. 107.307

Sec. 107.308

Chapter 108

Sec. 108.001

Sec. 108.002

Sec. 108.003

Sec. 108.004

Sec. 108.005

Sec. 108.006

Sec. 108.007

Sec. 108.008

Sec. 108.009

Sec. 108.110

Chapter 109

Sec. 109.001

Sec. 109.002

Sec. 109.003

Chapter 110

Sec. 110.001

Sec. 110.002

Sec. 110.003

Sec. 110.004

Sec. 110.005

Sec. 110.006

Chapter 111

Sec. 111.001

Sec. 111.002

Sec. 111.003

Subtitle B

Chapter 151

Sec. 151.001

Sec. 151.002

Sec. 151.003

Chapter 152

Subchapter A

Sec. 152.001

Sec. 152.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 152.101

Sec. 152.102

Sec. 152.103

Sec. 152.104

Sec. 152.105

Sec. 152.106

Sec. 152.107

Sec. 152.108

Sec. 152.109

Sec. 152.110

Sec. 152.111

Sec. 152.112

Subchapter C

Sec. 152.201

Sec. 152.202

Sec. 152.203

Sec. 152.204

Sec. 152.205

Sec. 152.206

Sec. 152.207

Sec. 152.208

Sec. 152.209

Sec. 152.210

Subchapter D

Sec. 152.301

Sec. 152.302

Sec. 152.303

Sec. 152.304

Sec. 152.305

Sec. 152.306

Sec. 152.307

Sec. 152.308

Sec. 152.309

Sec. 152.310

Sec. 152.311

Sec. 152.312

Sec. 152.313

Sec. 152.314

Sec. 152.315

Sec. 152.316

Sec. 152.317

Chapter 153

Subchapter A

Sec. 153.001

Sec. 153.002

Sec. 153.003

Sec. 153.004

Sec. 153.005

Sec. 153.006

Sec. 153.007

Sec. 153.0071

Sec. 153.00715

Sec. 153.009

Sec. 153.010

Sec. 153.011

Sec. 153.012

Sec. 153.013

Sec. 153.014

Sec. 153.015

Subchapter B

Sec. 153.071

Sec. 153.072

Sec. 153.073

Sec. 153.074

Sec. 153.075

Sec. 153.076

Subchapter C

Sec. 153.131

Sec. 153.132

Sec. 153.133

Sec. 153.134

Sec. 153.135

Sec. 153.138

Subchapter D

Sec. 153.191

Sec. 153.192

Sec. 153.193

Subchapter E

Sec. 153.251

Sec. 153.252

Sec. 153.253

Sec. 153.254

Sec. 153.255

Sec. 153.256

Sec. 153.257

Sec. 153.258

Subchapter F

Sec. 153.3101

Sec. 153.311

Sec. 153.312

Sec. 153.313

Sec. 153.314

Sec. 153.315

Sec. 153.316

Sec. 153.317

Subchapter G

Sec. 153.371

Sec. 153.372

Sec. 153.3721

Sec. 153.373

Sec. 153.374

Sec. 153.375

Sec. 153.376

Sec. 153.377

Subchapter H

Sec. 153.431

Sec. 153.432

Sec. 153.433

Sec. 153.434

Subchapter I

Sec. 153.501

Sec. 153.502

Sec. 153.503

Subchapter J

Sec. 153.551

Subchapter K

Sec. 153.601

Sec. 153.602

Sec. 153.603

Sec. 153.6031

Sec. 153.605

Sec. 153.6051

Sec. 153.606

Sec. 153.6061

Sec. 153.607

Sec. 153.6071

Sec. 153.608

Sec. 153.6081

Sec. 153.6082

Sec. 153.6083

Sec. 153.609

Sec. 153.6091

Sec. 153.610

Sec. 153.6101

Sec. 153.6102

Sec. 153.611

Subchapter L

Sec. 153.701

Sec. 153.702

Sec. 153.703

Sec. 153.704

Sec. 153.705

Sec. 153.707

Sec. 153.708

Sec. 153.709

Chapter 154

Subchapter A

Sec. 154.001

Sec. 154.002

Sec. 154.003

Sec. 154.004

Sec. 154.005

Sec. 154.006

Sec. 154.007

Sec. 154.008

Sec. 154.009

Sec. 154.010

Sec. 154.011

Sec. 154.012

Sec. 154.013

Sec. 154.014

Sec. 154.015

Sec. 154.016

Subchapter B

Sec. 154.061

Sec. 154.062

Sec. 154.063

Sec. 154.064

Sec. 154.065

Sec. 154.066

Sec. 154.067

Sec. 154.068

Sec. 154.069

Sec. 154.070

Subchapter C

Sec. 154.121

Sec. 154.122

Sec. 154.123

Sec. 154.124

Sec. 154.125

Sec. 154.126

Sec. 154.127

Sec. 154.128

Sec. 154.129

Sec. 154.130

Sec. 154.131

Sec. 154.132

Sec. 154.133

Subchapter D

Sec. 154.181

Sec. 154.1815

Sec. 154.182

Sec. 154.1825

Sec. 154.1826

Sec. 154.1827

Sec. 154.183

Sec. 154.184

Sec. 154.185

Sec. 154.186

Sec. 154.187

Sec. 154.188

Sec. 154.189

Sec. 154.190

Sec. 154.191

Sec. 154.192

Sec. 154.193

Subchapter E

Sec. 154.241

Sec. 154.242

Sec. 154.243

Subchapter F

Sec. 154.301

Sec. 154.302

Sec. 154.303

Sec. 154.304

Sec. 154.305

Sec. 154.306

Sec. 154.307

Sec. 154.308

Sec. 154.309

Chapter 155

Subchapter A

Sec. 155.001

Sec. 155.002

Sec. 155.003

Sec. 155.004

Sec. 155.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 155.101

Sec. 155.102

Sec. 155.103

Sec. 155.104

Subchapter C

Sec. 155.201

Sec. 155.202

Sec. 155.203

Sec. 155.204

Sec. 155.205

Sec. 155.206

Sec. 155.207

Subchapter D

Sec. 155.301

Chapter 156

Subchapter A

Sec. 156.001

Sec. 156.002

Sec. 156.003

Sec. 156.004

Sec. 156.005

Sec. 156.006

Subchapter B

Sec. 156.101

Sec. 156.102

Sec. 156.103

Sec. 156.104

Sec. 156.1045

Sec. 156.105

Subchapter E

Sec. 156.401

Sec. 156.402

Sec. 156.403

Sec. 156.404

Sec. 156.405

Sec. 156.406

Sec. 156.407

Sec. 156.408

Sec. 156.409

Chapter 157

Subchapter A

Sec. 157.001

Sec. 157.002

Sec. 157.003

Sec. 157.004

Sec. 157.005

Sec. 157.006

Sec. 157.007

Sec. 157.008

Sec. 157.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 157.061

Sec. 157.062

Sec. 157.063

Sec. 157.064

Sec. 157.065

Sec. 157.066

Subchapter C

Sec. 157.101

Sec. 157.102

Sec. 157.103

Sec. 157.104

Sec. 157.105

Sec. 157.106

Sec. 157.107

Sec. 157.108

Sec. 157.109

Sec. 157.110

Sec. 157.111

Sec. 157.112

Sec. 157.113

Sec. 157.114

Sec. 157.115

Subchapter D

Sec. 157.161

Sec. 157.162

Sec. 157.163

Sec. 157.164

Sec. 157.165

Sec. 157.166

Sec. 157.167

Sec. 157.168

Subchapter E

Sec. 157.211

Sec. 157.212

Sec. 157.213

Sec. 157.214

Sec. 157.215

Sec. 157.216

Sec. 157.217

Subchapter F

Sec. 157.261

Sec. 157.263

Sec. 157.264

Sec. 157.265

Sec. 157.266

Sec. 157.267

Sec. 157.268

Sec. 157.269

Subchapter G

Sec. 157.311

Sec. 157.312

Sec. 157.313

Sec. 157.314

Sec. 157.3145

Sec. 157.315

Sec. 157.316

Sec. 157.317

Sec. 157.3171

Sec. 157.318

Sec. 157.319

Sec. 157.320

Sec. 157.321

Sec. 157.322

Sec. 157.323

Sec. 157.324

Sec. 157.325

Sec. 157.326

Sec. 157.327

Sec. 157.3271

Sec. 157.328

Sec. 157.329

Sec. 157.330

Sec. 157.331

Subchapter H

Sec. 157.371

Sec. 157.372

Sec. 157.373

Sec. 157.374

Sec. 157.375

Sec. 157.376

Subchapter I

Sec. 157.421

Sec. 157.422

Sec. 157.423

Sec. 157.424

Sec. 157.425

Sec. 157.426

Chapter 158

Subchapter A

Sec. 158.001

Sec. 158.002

Sec. 158.003

Sec. 158.004

Sec. 158.005

Sec. 158.0051

Sec. 158.006

Sec. 158.007

Sec. 158.008

Sec. 158.009

Sec. 158.010

Sec. 158.011

Subchapter B

Sec. 158.101

Sec. 158.102

Sec. 158.103

Sec. 158.104

Sec. 158.105

Sec. 158.106

Subchapter C

Sec. 158.201

Sec. 158.202

Sec. 158.203

Sec. 158.204

Sec. 158.205

Sec. 158.206

Sec. 158.207

Sec. 158.208

Sec. 158.209

Sec. 158.210

Sec. 158.211

Sec. 158.212

Sec. 158.213

Sec. 158.214

Sec. 158.215

Subchapter D

Sec. 158.301

Sec. 158.302

Sec. 158.303

Sec. 158.304

Sec. 158.306

Sec. 158.307

Sec. 158.308

Sec. 158.309

Sec. 158.310

Sec. 158.311

Sec. 158.312

Sec. 158.313

Sec. 158.314

Sec. 158.315

Sec. 158.316

Sec. 158.317

Sec. 158.319

Subchapter E

Sec. 158.401

Sec. 158.402

Sec. 158.403

Sec. 158.404

Sec. 158.405

Subchapter F

Sec. 158.501

Sec. 158.502

Sec. 158.503

Sec. 158.504

Sec. 158.505

Sec. 158.506

Sec. 158.507

Chapter 159

Subchapter A

Sec. 159.001

Subchapter B

Sec. 159.101

Sec. 159.102

Sec. 159.103

Sec. 159.104

Sec. 159.105

Subchapter C

Sec. 159.201

Sec. 159.202

Sec. 159.203

Sec. 159.204

Sec. 159.205

Sec. 159.206

Sec. 159.207

Sec. 159.208

Sec. 159.209

Sec. 159.210

Sec. 159.211

Subchapter D

Sec. 159.301

Sec. 159.302

Sec. 159.303

Sec. 159.304

Sec. 159.305

Sec. 159.306

Sec. 159.307

Sec. 159.308

Sec. 159.309

Sec. 159.310

Sec. 159.311

Sec. 159.312

Sec. 159.313

Sec. 159.314

Sec. 159.315

Sec. 159.316

Sec. 159.317

Sec. 159.318

Sec. 159.319

Subchapter E

Sec. 159.401

Sec. 159.402

Subchapter F

Sec. 159.501

Sec. 159.502

Sec. 159.503

Sec. 159.504

Sec. 159.505

Sec. 159.506

Sec. 159.507

Subchapter G

Part 1

Sec. 159.601

Sec. 159.602

Sec. 159.603

Sec. 159.604

Part 2

Sec. 159.605

Sec. 159.606

Sec. 159.607

Sec. 159.608

Part 3

Sec. 159.609

Sec. 159.610

Sec. 159.611

Sec. 159.612

Sec. 159.613

Sec. 159.614

Part 4

Sec. 159.615

Sec. 159.616

Subchapter H

Sec. 159.701

Sec. 159.702

Sec. 159.703

Sec. 159.704

Sec. 159.705

Sec. 159.706

Sec. 159.707

Sec. 159.708

Sec. 159.709

Sec. 159.710

Sec. 159.711

Sec. 159.712

Sec. 159.713

Subchapter I

Sec. 159.801

Sec. 159.802

Subchapter J

Sec. 159.901

Chapter 160

Subchapter A

Sec. 160.001

Sec. 160.002

Subchapter B

Sec. 160.101

Sec. 160.102

Sec. 160.103

Sec. 160.104

Sec. 160.105

Sec. 160.106

Subchapter C

Sec. 160.201

Sec. 160.202

Sec. 160.203

Sec. 160.204

Subchapter D

Sec. 160.301

Sec. 160.302

Sec. 160.303

Sec. 160.304

Sec. 160.305

Sec. 160.306

Sec. 160.307

Sec. 160.308

Sec. 160.309

Sec. 160.310

Sec. 160.311

Sec. 160.312

Sec. 160.313

Sec. 160.314

Sec. 160.315

Subchapter E

Sec. 160.401

Sec. 160.402

Sec. 160.403

Sec. 160.404

Sec. 160.411

Sec. 160.412

Sec. 160.413

Sec. 160.414

Sec. 160.415

Sec. 160.416

Sec. 160.421

Sec. 160.422

Sec. 160.423

Subchapter F

Sec. 160.501

Sec. 160.502

Sec. 160.503

Sec. 160.504

Sec. 160.505

Sec. 160.506

Sec. 160.507

Sec. 160.508

Sec. 160.509

Sec. 160.510

Sec. 160.511

Sec. 160.512

Subchapter G

Sec. 160.601

Sec. 160.602

Sec. 160.603

Sec. 160.6035

Sec. 160.604

Sec. 160.605

Sec. 160.606

Sec. 160.607

Sec. 160.608

Sec. 160.609

Sec. 160.610

Sec. 160.611

Sec. 160.612

Sec. 160.621

Sec. 160.622

Sec. 160.623

Sec. 160.624

Sec. 160.631

Sec. 160.632

Sec. 160.633

Sec. 160.634

Sec. 160.635

Sec. 160.636

Sec. 160.637

Subchapter H

Sec. 160.701

Sec. 160.702

Sec. 160.703

Sec. 160.7031

Sec. 160.704

Sec. 160.705

Sec. 160.706

Sec. 160.707

Subchapter I

Sec. 160.751

Sec. 160.752

Sec. 160.753

Sec. 160.754

Sec. 160.755

Sec. 160.756

Sec. 160.757

Sec. 160.758

Sec. 160.759

Sec. 160.760

Sec. 160.761

Sec. 160.762

Sec. 160.763

Chapter 161

Subchapter A

Sec. 161.001

Sec. 161.002

Sec. 161.003

Sec. 161.004

Sec. 161.005

Sec. 161.006

Sec. 161.007

Subchapter B

Sec. 161.101

Sec. 161.102

Sec. 161.103

Sec. 161.1031

Sec. 161.1035

Sec. 161.104

Sec. 161.106

Sec. 161.107

Sec. 161.108

Sec. 161.109

Subchapter C

Sec. 161.2011

Sec. 161.202

Sec. 161.2021

Sec. 161.203

Sec. 161.204

Sec. 161.205

Sec. 161.206

Sec. 161.2061

Sec. 161.2062

Sec. 161.207

Sec. 161.208

Sec. 161.209

Sec. 161.210

Sec. 161.211

Chapter 162

Subchapter A

Sec. 162.001

Sec. 162.002

Sec. 162.0025

Sec. 162.003

Sec. 162.0045

Sec. 162.005

Sec. 162.006

Sec. 162.0062

Sec. 162.0065

Sec. 162.007

Sec. 162.008

Sec. 162.0085

Sec. 162.0086

Sec. 162.009

Sec. 162.010

Sec. 162.011

Sec. 162.012

Sec. 162.013

Sec. 162.014

Sec. 162.015

Sec. 162.016

Sec. 162.017

Sec. 162.019

Sec. 162.020

Sec. 162.021

Sec. 162.022

Sec. 162.023

Sec. 162.025

Sec. 162.026

Subchapter B

Sec. 162.101

Sec. 162.102

Sec. 162.103

Sec. 162.104

Sec. 162.105

Sec. 162.106

Sec. 162.107

Subchapter C

Sec. 162.201

Sec. 162.202

Sec. 162.203

Sec. 162.204

Sec. 162.205

Sec. 162.206

Subchapter D

Sec. 162.301

Sec. 162.304

Sec. 162.3041

Sec. 162.306

Sec. 162.3085

Subchapter E

Sec. 162.401

Sec. 162.402

Sec. 162.403

Sec. 162.404

Sec. 162.405

Sec. 162.406

Sec. 162.407

Sec. 162.408

Sec. 162.409

Sec. 162.411

Sec. 162.412

Sec. 162.413

Sec. 162.414

Sec. 162.416

Sec. 162.419

Sec. 162.420

Sec. 162.421

Sec. 162.422

Subchapter F

Sec. 162.501

Sec. 162.502

Sec. 162.503

Sec. 162.504

Sec. 162.505

Sec. 162.506

Sec. 162.507

Subchapter G

Sec. 162.601

Sec. 162.602

Sec. 162.603

Subchapter H

Sec. 162.701

Sec. 162.702

Subtitle C

Chapter 201

Subchapter A

Sec. 201.001

Sec. 201.002

Sec. 201.003

Sec. 201.004

Sec. 201.005

Sec. 201.006

Sec. 201.007

Sec. 201.008

Sec. 201.009

Sec. 201.010

Sec. 201.011

Sec. 201.012

Sec. 201.013

Sec. 201.014

Sec. 201.015

Sec. 201.016

Sec. 201.017

Sec. 201.018

Subchapter B

Sec. 201.101

Sec. 201.102

Sec. 201.1021

Sec. 201.103

Sec. 201.104

Sec. 201.1041

Sec. 201.1042

Sec. 201.105

Sec. 201.106

Sec. 201.1065

Sec. 201.1066

Sec. 201.107

Sec. 201.110

Sec. 201.111

Sec. 201.112

Sec. 201.113

Subchapter C

Sec. 201.201

Sec. 201.202

Sec. 201.2021

Sec. 201.203

Sec. 201.204

Sec. 201.2041

Sec. 201.2042

Sec. 201.205

Sec. 201.206

Sec. 201.2061

Sec. 201.207

Sec. 201.208

Sec. 201.209

Subchapter D

Sec. 201.301

Sec. 201.302

Sec. 201.303

Sec. 201.304

Sec. 201.305

Sec. 201.306

Sec. 201.307

Sec. 201.308

Sec. 201.309

Sec. 201.310

Sec. 201.311

Sec. 201.312

Sec. 201.313

Sec. 201.314

Sec. 201.315

Sec. 201.316

Sec. 201.317

Sec. 201.318

Sec. 201.319

Sec. 201.320

Chapter 202

Sec. 202.001

Sec. 202.002

Sec. 202.003

Sec. 202.004

Sec. 202.005

Chapter 203

Sec. 203.001

Sec. 203.002

Sec. 203.003

Sec. 203.004

Sec. 203.005

Sec. 203.006

Sec. 203.007

Chapter 204

Sec. 204.001

Sec. 204.002

Sec. 204.003

Sec. 204.004

Sec. 204.005

Subtitle D

Chapter 231

Subchapter A

Sec. 231.001

Sec. 231.0011

Sec. 231.0012

Sec. 231.0013

Sec. 231.002

Sec. 231.003

Sec. 231.005

Sec. 231.006

Sec. 231.007

Sec. 231.008

Sec. 231.009

Sec. 231.010

Sec. 231.012

Sec. 231.014

Sec. 231.015

Subchapter B

Sec. 231.101

Sec. 231.102

Sec. 231.103

Sec. 231.104

Sec. 231.105

Sec. 231.106

Sec. 231.107

Sec. 231.108

Sec. 231.109

Sec. 231.110

Sec. 231.111

Sec. 231.112

Sec. 231.113

Sec. 231.114

Sec. 231.115

Sec. 231.116

Sec. 231.1165

Sec. 231.117

Sec. 231.118

Sec. 231.119

Sec. 231.120

Sec. 231.121

Sec. 231.122

Sec. 231.123

Sec. 231.124

Subchapter C

Sec. 231.201

Sec. 231.202

Sec. 231.2025

Sec. 231.203

Sec. 231.204

Sec. 231.205

Sec. 231.206

Sec. 231.207

Sec. 231.208

Sec. 231.209

Sec. 231.210

Sec. 231.211

Subchapter D

Sec. 231.301

Sec. 231.302

Sec. 231.303

Sec. 231.305

Sec. 231.306

Sec. 231.307

Sec. 231.308

Sec. 231.309

Chapter 232

Sec. 232.001

Sec. 232.002

Sec. 232.0021

Sec. 232.0022

Sec. 232.003

Sec. 232.004

Sec. 232.005

Sec. 232.006

Sec. 232.007

Sec. 232.008

Sec. 232.009

Sec. 232.010

Sec. 232.011

Sec. 232.012

Sec. 232.013

Sec. 232.0135

Sec. 232.014

Sec. 232.015

Sec. 232.016

Chapter 233

Sec. 233.001

Sec. 233.002

Sec. 233.003

Sec. 233.004

Sec. 233.005

Sec. 233.006

Sec. 233.007

Sec. 233.008

Sec. 233.009

Sec. 233.0095

Sec. 233.010

Sec. 233.011

Sec. 233.012

Sec. 233.013

Sec. 233.014

Sec. 233.015

Sec. 233.016

Sec. 233.017

Sec. 233.018

Sec. 233.019

Sec. 233.020

Sec. 233.021

Sec. 233.022

Sec. 233.023

Sec. 233.024

Sec. 233.025

Sec. 233.026

Sec. 233.027

Sec. 233.0271

Sec. 233.028

Sec. 233.029

Chapter 234

Subchapter A

Sec. 234.001

Sec. 234.002

Sec. 234.004

Sec. 234.006

Sec. 234.007

Sec. 234.008

Sec. 234.009

Sec. 234.0091

Sec. 234.010

Sec. 234.012

Subchapter B

Sec. 234.101

Sec. 234.102

Sec. 234.103

Sec. 234.104

Sec. 234.105

Subtitle E

Chapter 261

Subchapter A

Sec. 261.001

Sec. 261.002

Sec. 261.003

Sec. 261.004

Sec. 261.005

Subchapter B

Sec. 261.101

Sec. 261.102

Sec. 261.103

Sec. 261.104

Sec. 261.105

Sec. 261.1055

Sec. 261.106

Sec. 261.107

Sec. 261.108

Sec. 261.109

Sec. 261.110

Sec. 261.111

Subchapter C

Sec. 261.201

Sec. 261.202

Sec. 261.203

Sec. 261.204

Subchapter D

Sec. 261.301

Sec. 261.3011

Sec. 261.3013

Sec. 261.3015

Sec. 261.3016

Sec. 261.3017

Sec. 261.3018

Sec. 261.302

Sec. 261.3021

Sec. 261.3022

Sec. 261.3023

Sec. 261.3024

Sec. 261.3025

Sec. 261.303

Sec. 261.3031

Sec. 261.3032

Sec. 261.304

Sec. 261.305

Sec. 261.306

Sec. 261.307

Sec. 261.3071

Sec. 261.308

Sec. 261.309

Sec. 261.310

Sec. 261.311

Sec. 261.312

Sec. 261.3125

Sec. 261.3126

Sec. 261.314

Sec. 261.315

Sec. 261.316

Subchapter E

Sec. 261.401

Sec. 261.402

Sec. 261.403

Sec. 261.404

Sec. 261.405

Sec. 261.406

Sec. 261.407

Sec. 261.408

Sec. 261.409

Sec. 261.410

Subchapter F

Sec. 261.501

Sec. 261.502

Sec. 261.503

Sec. 261.504

Sec. 261.505

Chapter 262

Subchapter A

Sec. 262.001

Sec. 262.002

Sec. 262.0022

Sec. 262.003

Sec. 262.004

Sec. 262.005

Sec. 262.006

Sec. 262.007

Sec. 262.008

Sec. 262.009

Sec. 262.010

Sec. 262.011

Sec. 262.012

Sec. 262.013

Sec. 262.014

Sec. 262.015

Subchapter B

Sec. 262.101

Sec. 262.1015

Sec. 262.102

Sec. 262.103

Sec. 262.104

Sec. 262.105

Sec. 262.106

Sec. 262.107

Sec. 262.108

Sec. 262.109

Sec. 262.1095

Sec. 262.110

Sec. 262.112

Sec. 262.113

Sec. 262.1131

Sec. 262.114

Sec. 262.115

Sec. 262.116

Subchapter C

Sec. 262.201

Sec. 262.2015

Sec. 262.202

Sec. 262.203

Sec. 262.204

Sec. 262.206

Subchapter D

Sec. 262.301

Sec. 262.302

Sec. 262.303

Sec. 262.304

Sec. 262.305

Sec. 262.306

Sec. 262.307

Sec. 262.308

Sec. 262.309

Subchapter E

Sec. 262.351

Sec. 262.352

Chapter 263

Subchapter A

Sec. 263.001

Sec. 263.002

Sec. 263.0021

Sec. 263.0025

Sec. 263.003

Sec. 263.004

Sec. 263.0045

Sec. 263.005

Sec. 263.006

Sec. 263.0061

Sec. 263.007

Sec. 263.008

Sec. 263.009

Subchapter B

Sec. 263.101

Sec. 263.102

Sec. 263.103

Sec. 263.104

Sec. 263.105

Sec. 263.106

Sec. 263.107

Sec. 263.108

Sec. 263.109

Subchapter C

Sec. 263.201

Sec. 263.202

Sec. 263.203

Subchapter D

Sec. 263.302

Sec. 263.3025

Sec. 263.3026

Sec. 263.303

Sec. 263.304

Sec. 263.305

Sec. 263.306

Sec. 263.307

Subchapter E

Sec. 263.401

Sec. 263.402

Sec. 263.403

Sec. 263.404

Sec. 263.4041

Sec. 263.405

Sec. 263.4055

Sec. 263.406

Sec. 263.407

Sec. 263.408

Subchapter F

Sec. 263.501

Sec. 263.502

Sec. 263.503

Sec. 263.5031

Subchapter G

Sec. 263.601

Sec. 263.6015

Sec. 263.602

Sec. 263.6021

Sec. 263.603

Sec. 263.604

Sec. 263.605

Sec. 263.606

Sec. 263.607

Sec. 263.608

Chapter 264

Subchapter A

Sec. 264.001

Sec. 264.0011

Sec. 264.002

Sec. 264.004

Sec. 264.005

Sec. 264.006

Sec. 264.008

Sec. 264.009

Sec. 264.0091

Sec. 264.010

Sec. 264.011

Sec. 264.0111

Sec. 264.0121

Sec. 264.013

Sec. 264.0145

Sec. 264.015

Sec. 264.017

Sec. 264.018

Sec. 264.019

Subchapter B

Sec. 264.101

Sec. 264.1015

Sec. 264.102

Sec. 264.103

Sec. 264.104

Sec. 264.1061

Sec. 264.107

Sec. 264.1072

Sec. 264.1075

Sec. 264.1076

Sec. 264.1085

Sec. 264.109

Sec. 264.110

Sec. 264.112

Sec. 264.113

Sec. 264.114

Sec. 264.115

Sec. 264.116

Sec. 264.118

Sec. 264.120

Sec. 264.121

Sec. 264.1211

Sec. 264.1212

Sec. 264.1213

Sec. 264.122

Sec. 264.123

Sec. 264.124

Sec. 264.125

Sec. 264.1251

Sec. 264.1261

Sec. 264.128

Sec. 264.130

Subchapter B-1

Sec. 264.151

Sec. 264.152

Sec. 264.153

Sec. 264.154

Sec. 264.155

Sec. 264.156

Sec. 264.157

Sec. 264.158

Sec. 264.159

Sec. 264.160

Sec. 264.161

Sec. 264.162

Sec. 264.163

Sec. 264.164

Sec. 264.165

Sec. 264.166

Sec. 264.167

Sec. 264.168

Sec. 264.169

Sec. 264.170

Subchapter C

Sec. 264.201

Sec. 264.2011

Sec. 264.2015

Sec. 264.202

Sec. 264.203

Sec. 264.204

Sec. 264.2041

Sec. 264.2042

Sec. 264.2043

Sec. 264.2044

Sec. 264.205

Sec. 264.207

Subchapter D

Sec. 264.301

Sec. 264.302

Subchapter E

Sec. 264.401

Sec. 264.402

Sec. 264.403

Sec. 264.4031

Sec. 264.404

Sec. 264.405

Sec. 264.406

Sec. 264.4061

Sec. 264.407

Sec. 264.408

Sec. 264.409

Sec. 264.410

Sec. 264.411

Subchapter F

Sec. 264.501

Sec. 264.502

Sec. 264.503

Sec. 264.5031

Sec. 264.5032

Sec. 264.504

Sec. 264.505

Sec. 264.506

Sec. 264.507

Sec. 264.508

Sec. 264.509

Sec. 264.510

Sec. 264.511

Sec. 264.512

Sec. 264.513

Sec. 264.514

Sec. 264.515

Subchapter G

Sec. 264.601

Sec. 264.602

Sec. 264.603

Sec. 264.604

Sec. 264.605

Sec. 264.606

Sec. 264.607

Sec. 264.608

Sec. 264.609

Sec. 264.610

Sec. 264.611

Sec. 264.612

Sec. 264.613

Sec. 264.614

Subchapter I

Sec. 264.751

Sec. 264.752

Sec. 264.753

Sec. 264.754

Sec. 264.7541

Sec. 264.755

Sec. 264.7551

Sec. 264.756

Sec. 264.757

Sec. 264.758

Sec. 264.760

Sec. 264.762

Subchapter K

Sec. 264.851

Sec. 264.852

Sec. 264.8521

Sec. 264.853

Sec. 264.854

Sec. 264.855

Sec. 264.856

Subchapter L

Sec. 264.901

Sec. 264.902

Sec. 264.903

Sec. 264.904

Sec. 264.905

Sec. 264.906

Chapter 265

Subchapter A

Sec. 265.001

Sec. 265.002

Sec. 265.003

Sec. 265.004

Sec. 265.0041

Sec. 265.005

Sec. 265.006

Sec. 265.007

Sec. 265.008

Subchapter B

Sec. 265.051

Sec. 265.052

Sec. 265.053

Sec. 265.054

Sec. 265.055

Sec. 265.056

Sec. 265.057

Subchapter C

Sec. 265.101

Sec. 265.102

Sec. 265.103

Sec. 265.104

Sec. 265.105

Sec. 265.106

Sec. 265.107

Sec. 265.108

Sec. 265.109

Sec. 265.110

Subchapter D

Sec. 265.151

Sec. 265.152

Sec. 265.153

Sec. 265.154

Sec. 265.155

Chapter 266

Sec. 266.001

Sec. 266.002

Sec. 266.003

Sec. 266.004

Sec. 266.0041

Sec. 266.0042

Sec. 266.005

Sec. 266.006

Sec. 266.007

Sec. 266.008

Sec. 266.009

Sec. 266.010

Sec. 266.011

Sec. 266.012

Sec. 266.013

Title 1

Subtitle A

Chapter 1

Subchapter A

Sec. 1.001: Applicability of Definitions

(a) The definitions in this subchapter apply to this title.

(b) Except as provided by this subchapter, the definitions in Chapter 101 apply to terms used in this title.

(c) If, in another part of this title, a term defined by this subchapter has a meaning different from the meaning provided by this subchapter, the meaning of that other provision prevails.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.002: Court

"Court" means the district court, juvenile court having the jurisdiction of a district court, or other court expressly given jurisdiction of a suit under this title.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.003: Suit for Dissolution of Marriage

"Suit for dissolution of a marriage" includes a suit for divorce or annulment or to declare a marriage void.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter B

Sec. 1.101: Every Marriage Presumed Valid

In order to promote the public health and welfare and to provide the necessary records, this code specifies detailed rules to be followed in establishing the marriage relationship. However, in order to provide stability for those entering into the marriage relationship in good faith and to provide for an orderly determination of parentage and security for the children of the relationship, it is the policy of this state to preserve and uphold each marriage against claims of invalidity unless a strong reason exists for holding the marriage void or voidable. Therefore, every marriage entered into in this state is presumed to be valid unless expressly made void by Chapter 6 or unless expressly made voidable by Chapter 6 and annulled as provided by that chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.102: Most Recent Marriage Presumed Valid

When two or more marriages of a person to different spouses are alleged, the most recent marriage is presumed to be valid as against each marriage that precedes the most recent marriage until one who asserts the validity of a prior marriage proves the validity of the prior marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.103: Persons Married Elsewhere

The law of this state applies to persons married elsewhere who are domiciled in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.104: Capacity of Spouse

Except as expressly provided by statute or by the constitution, a person, regardless of age, who has been married in accordance with the law of this state has the capacity and power of an adult, including the capacity to contract.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.105: Joinder in Civil Suits

(a) A spouse may sue and be sued without the joinder of the other spouse.

(b) When claims or liabilities are joint and several, the spouses may be joined under the rules relating to joinder of parties generally.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.106: Criminal Conversation Not Authorized

A right of action by one spouse against a third party for criminal conversation is not authorized in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.107: Alienation of Affection Not Authorized

A right of action by one spouse against a third party for alienation of affection is not authorized in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.108: Promise Or Agreement Must Be in Writing

A promise or agreement made on consideration of marriage or nonmarital conjugal cohabitation is not enforceable unless the promise or agreement or a memorandum of the promise or agreement is in writing and signed by the person obligated by the promise or agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 1.109: Use of Digitized Signature

(a) A digitized signature on an original petition under this title or any other pleading or order in a proceeding under this title satisfies the requirements for and imposes the duties of signatories to pleadings, motions, and other papers identified under Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) A digitized signature under this section may be applied only by, and must remain under the sole control of, the person whose signature is represented.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1165 (S.B. 813), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 2

Subchapter A

Sec. 2.001: Marriage License

(a) A man and a woman desiring to enter into a ceremonial marriage must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of any county of this state.

(b) A license may not be issued for the marriage of persons of the same sex.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.002: Application for License

Except as provided by Section 2.006, each person applying for a license must:

(1) appear before the county clerk;

(2) submit the person's proof of identity and age as provided by Section 2.005(b);

(3) provide the information applicable to that person for which spaces are provided in the application for a marriage license;

(4) mark the appropriate boxes provided in the application; and

(5) take the oath printed on the application and sign the application before the county clerk.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.003: Application for License By Minor

(a) A person under 18 years of age may not marry unless the person has been granted by this state or another state a court order removing the disabilities of minority of the person for general purposes.

(b) In addition to the other requirements provided by this chapter, a person under 18 years of age applying for a license must provide to the county clerk:

(1) a court order granted by this state under Chapter 31 removing the disabilities of minority of the person for general purposes; or

(2) if the person is a nonresident minor, a certified copy of an order removing the disabilities of minority of the person for general purposes filed with this state under Section 31.007.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 934 (S.B. 1705), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 2.004: Application Form

(a) The county clerk shall furnish the application form as prescribed by the bureau of vital statistics.

(b) The application form must contain:

(1) a heading entitled "Application for Marriage License, ____________ County, Texas";

(2) spaces for each applicant's full name, including the woman's maiden surname, address, social security number, if any, date of birth, and place of birth, including city, county, and state;

(3) a space for indicating the document tendered by each applicant as proof of identity and age;

(4) spaces for indicating whether each applicant has been divorced within the last 30 days;

(5) printed boxes for each applicant to check "true" or "false" in response to the following statement: "I am not presently married and the other applicant is not presently married.";

(6) printed boxes for each applicant to check "true" or "false" in response to the following statement: "The other applicant is not related to me as:

(A) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;

(B) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(C) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(D) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(E) a current or former stepchild or stepparent; or

(F) a son or daughter of a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.";

(7) printed boxes for each applicant to check "true" or "false" in response to the following statement: "I am not presently delinquent in the payment of court-ordered child support.";

(8) a printed oath reading: "I SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT THE INFORMATION I HAVE GIVEN IN THIS APPLICATION IS CORRECT.";

(9) spaces immediately below the printed oath for the applicants' signatures;

(10) a certificate of the county clerk that:

(A) each applicant made the oath and the date and place that it was made; or

(B) an applicant did not appear personally but the prerequisites for the license have been fulfilled as provided by this chapter;

(11) spaces for indicating the date of the marriage and the county in which the marriage is performed;

(12) a space for the address to which the applicants desire the completed license to be mailed; and

(13) a printed box for each applicant to check indicating that the applicant wishes to make a voluntary contribution of $5 to promote healthy early childhood by supporting the Texas Home Visiting Program administered by the Office of Early Childhood Coordination of the Health and Human Services Commission.

(c) An applicant commits an offense if the applicant knowingly provides false information under Subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), or (4). An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) An applicant commits an offense if the applicant knowingly provides false information under Subsection (b)(5) or (6). An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch.7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 776, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.05, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 820 (S.B. 1836), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 2.005: Proof of Identity and Age

(a) The county clerk shall require proof of the identity and age of each applicant.

(b) The proof must be established by:

(1) a driver's license or identification card issued by this state, another state, or a Canadian province that is current or has expired not more than two years preceding the date the identification is submitted to the county clerk in connection with an application for a license;

(2) a United States passport;

(3) a current passport issued by a foreign country or a consular document issued by a state or national government;

(4) an unexpired Certificate of United States Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, United States Citizen Identification Card, Permanent Resident Card, Temporary Resident Card, Employment Authorization Card, or other document issued by the federal Department of Homeland Security or the United States Department of State including an identification photograph;

(5) an unexpired military identification card for active duty, reserve, or retired personnel with an identification photograph;

(6) an original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a bureau of vital statistics for a state or a foreign government;

(7) an original or certified copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the United States Department of State;

(8) an original or certified copy of a court order relating to the applicant's name change or sex change;

(9) school records from a secondary school or institution of higher education;

(10) an insurance policy continuously valid for the two years preceding the date of the application for a license;

(11) a motor vehicle certificate of title;

(12) military records, including documentation of release or discharge from active duty or a draft record;

(13) an unexpired military dependent identification card;

(14) an original or certified copy of the applicant's marriage license or divorce decree;

(15) a voter registration certificate;

(16) a pilot's license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or another authorized agency of the United States;

(17) a license to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;

(18) a temporary driving permit or a temporary identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety; or

(19) an offender identification card issued by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly provides false, fraudulent, or otherwise inaccurate proof of an applicant's identity or age under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.06, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910), Sec. 10, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 2.006: Absent Applicant

(a) If an applicant who is 18 years of age or older is unable to appear personally before the county clerk to apply for a marriage license, any adult person or the other applicant may apply on behalf of the absent applicant.

(b) The person applying on behalf of an absent applicant shall provide to the clerk:

(1) notwithstanding Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the notarized affidavit of the absent applicant as provided by this subchapter; and

(2) proof of the identity and age of the absent applicant under Section 2.005(b).

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the clerk may not issue a marriage license for which both applicants are absent unless the person applying on behalf of each absent applicant provides to the clerk an affidavit of the applicant declaring that the applicant is a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 947 (H.B. 858), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 650 (H.B. 869), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 934 (S.B. 1705), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 2.007: Affidavit of Absent Applicant

The affidavit of an absent applicant must include:

(1) the absent applicant's full name, including the maiden surname of a female applicant, address, date of birth, place of birth, including city, county, and state, citizenship, and social security number, if any;

(2) a declaration that the absent applicant has not been divorced within the last 30 days;

(3) a declaration that the absent applicant is:

(A) not presently married; or

(B) married to the other applicant and they wish to marry again;

(4) a declaration that the other applicant is not presently married and is not related to the absent applicant as:

(A) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;

(B) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(C) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(D) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(E) a current or former stepchild or stepparent; or

(F) a son or daughter of a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(5) a declaration that the absent applicant desires to marry and the name, age, and address of the person to whom the absent applicant desires to be married;

(6) the approximate date on which the marriage is to occur;

(7) the reason the absent applicant is unable to appear personally before the county clerk for the issuance of the license; and

(8) the appointment of any adult, other than the other applicant, to act as proxy for the purpose of participating in the ceremony, if the absent applicant is:

(A) a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation; and

(B) unable to attend the ceremony.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.07, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 650 (H.B. 869), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 2.0071: Maintenance of Records By Clerk Relating to License for Absent Applicant

A county clerk who issues a marriage license for an absent applicant shall maintain the affidavit of the absent applicant and the application for the marriage license in the same manner that the clerk maintains an application for a marriage license submitted by two applicants in person.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 650 (H.B. 869), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 2.008: Execution of Application By Clerk

(a) The county clerk shall:

(1) determine that all necessary information, other than the date of the marriage ceremony, the county in which the ceremony is conducted, and the name of the person who performs the ceremony, is recorded on the application and that all necessary documents are submitted;

(2) administer the oath to each applicant appearing before the clerk;

(3) have each applicant appearing before the clerk sign the application in the clerk's presence; and

(4) execute the clerk's certificate on the application.

(b) A person appearing before the clerk on behalf of an absent applicant is not required to take the oath on behalf of the absent applicant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.009: Issuance of License

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (d), the county clerk may not issue a license if either applicant:

(1) fails to provide the information required by this subchapter;

(2) fails to submit proof of age and identity;

(3) is under 18 years of age and has not presented:

(A) a court order granted by this state under Chapter 31 removing the disabilities of minority of the applicant for general purposes; or

(B) if the applicant is a nonresident minor, a certified copy of an order removing the disabilities of minority of the applicant for general purposes filed with this state under Section 31.007;

(4) checks "false" in response to a statement in the application, except as provided by Subsection (b) or (d), or fails to make a required declaration in an affidavit required of an absent applicant; or

(5) indicates that the applicant has been divorced within the last 30 days, unless:

(A) the applicants were divorced from each other; or

(B) the prohibition against remarriage is waived as provided by Section 6.802.

(b) If an applicant checks "false" in response to the statement "I am not presently married and the other applicant is not presently married," the county clerk shall inquire as to whether the applicant is presently married to the other applicant. If the applicant states that the applicant is currently married to the other applicant, the county clerk shall record that statement on the license before the administration of the oath. The county clerk may not refuse to issue a license on the ground that the applicants are already married to each other.

(c) On the proper execution of the application, the clerk shall:

(1) prepare the license;

(2) enter on the license the names of the licensees, the date that the license is issued, and, if applicable, the name of the person appointed to act as proxy for an absent applicant, if any;

(3) record the time at which the license was issued;

(4) distribute to each applicant written notice of the online location of the information prepared under Section 2.010 regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and note on the license that the distribution was made; and

(5) inform each applicant:

(A) that a premarital education handbook developed by the child support division of the office of the attorney general under Section 2.014 is available on the child support division's Internet website; or

(B) if the applicant does not have Internet access, how the applicant may obtain a paper copy of the handbook described by Paragraph (A).

(d) The county clerk may not refuse to issue a license to an applicant on the ground that the applicant checked "false" in response to the statement "I am not presently delinquent in the payment of court-ordered child support."

(e) A license issued by a county clerk under this section:

(1) must identify the county in which the license is issued; and

(2) may include the name of the county clerk.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 776, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.01(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 185, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.08, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 742 (S.B. 355), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 890 (H.B. 984), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 695 (H.B. 555), Sec. 1, eff. June 12, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 934 (S.B. 1705), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 2.010: Aids Information; Posting on Internet

The Department of State Health Services shall prepare and make available to the public on its Internet website information about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The information must be designed to inform an applicant for a marriage license about:

(1) the incidence and mode of transmission of AIDS and HIV;

(2) the local availability of medical procedures, including voluntary testing, designed to show or help show whether a person has AIDS or HIV infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS; and

(3) available and appropriate counseling services regarding AIDS and HIV infection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 890 (H.B. 984), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 2.012: Violation By County Clerk; Penalty

A county clerk or deputy county clerk who violates or fails to comply with this subchapter commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.013: Premarital Education Courses

(a) Each person applying for a marriage license is encouraged to attend a premarital education course of at least eight hours during the year preceding the date of the application for the license.

(b) A premarital education course must include instruction in:

(1) conflict management;

(2) communication skills; and

(3) the key components of a successful marriage.

(c) A course under this section should be offered by instructors trained in a skills-based and research-based marriage preparation curricula. The following individuals and organizations may provide courses:

(1) marriage educators;

(2) clergy or their designees;

(3) licensed mental health professionals;

(4) faith-based organizations; and

(5) community-based organizations.

(d) The curricula of a premarital education course must meet the requirements of this section and provide the skills-based and research-based curricula of:

(1) the United States Department of Health and Human Services healthy marriage initiative;

(2) the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center;

(3) criteria developed by the Health and Human Services Commission; or

(4) other similar resources.

(e) The Health and Human Services Commission shall maintain an Internet website on which individuals and organizations described by Subsection (c) may electronically register with the commission to indicate the skills-based and research-based curriculum in which the registrant is trained.

(f) A person who provides a premarital education course shall provide a signed and dated completion certificate to each individual who completes the course. The certificate must include the name of the course, the name of the course provider, and the completion date.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 185, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 327 (H.B. 2685), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2008.

Sec. 2.014: Family Trust Fund

(a) The family trust fund is created as a trust fund with the state comptroller and shall be administered by the attorney general for the beneficiaries of the fund.

(b) Money in the trust fund is derived from depositing $3 of each marriage license fee as authorized under Section 118.018(c), Local Government Code, and may be used only for:

(1) the development of a premarital education handbook;

(2) grants to institutions of higher education having academic departments that are capable of research on marriage and divorce that will assist in determining programs, courses, and policies to help strengthen families and assist children whose parents are divorcing;

(3) support for counties to create or administer free or low-cost premarital education courses;

(4) programs intended to reduce the amount of delinquent child support; and

(5) other programs the attorney general determines will assist families in this state.

(c) The premarital education handbook under Subsection (b)(1) must:

(1) as provided by Section 2.009(c)(5), be made available to each applicant for a marriage license in an electronic form on the Internet website of the child support division of the office of the attorney general or, for an applicant who does not have Internet access, in paper copy form; and

(2) contain information on:

(A) conflict management;

(B) communication skills;

(C) children and parenting responsibilities; and

(D) financial responsibilities.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 553 (S.B. 526), Sec. 6(b), and Ch. 755 (S.B. 1731), Sec. 15(b), eff. September 1, 2017.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 185, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 742 (S.B. 355), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 890 (H.B. 984), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 553 (S.B. 526), Sec. 6(b), eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 755 (S.B. 1731), Sec. 15(b), eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter B

Sec. 2.101: General Age Requirement

A county clerk may not issue a marriage license if either applicant is under 18 years of age, unless each underage applicant shows that the applicant has been granted by this state or another state a court order removing the disabilities of minority of the applicant for general purposes.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 934 (S.B. 1705), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter C

Sec. 2.201: Expiration of License

If a marriage ceremony has not been conducted before the 90th day after the date the license is issued, the marriage license expires.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1350 (S.B. 1317), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 2.202: Persons Authorized to Conduct Ceremony

(a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:

(1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;

(2) a Jewish rabbi;

(3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;

(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court, associate judge of a statutory probate court, retired associate judge of a statutory probate court, associate judge of a county court at law, retired associate judge of a county court at law, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state; and

(5) a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

(b) For the purposes of Subsection (a)(4), a retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type listed in Subsection (a)(4).

(b-1) For the purposes of Subsection (a)(5), a retired judge or magistrate is a former judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state who is fully vested in the Federal Employees Retirement System under 28 U.S.C. Section 371 or 377.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 134 (S.B. 935), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1350 (S.B. 1317), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1069 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 2.203: Ceremony

(a) On receiving an unexpired marriage license, an authorized person may conduct the marriage ceremony as provided by this subchapter.

(b) A person may assent to marriage by the appearance of a proxy appointed in the affidavit authorized by Subchapter A if the person is:

(1) a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in another country in support of combat or another military operation; and

(2) unable to attend the ceremony.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 650 (H.B. 869), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 2.204: 72-Hour Waiting Period; Exceptions

(a) Except as provided by this section, a marriage ceremony may not take place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.

(b) The 72-hour waiting period after issuance of a marriage license does not apply to an applicant who:

(1) is a member of the armed forces of the United States and on active duty;

(2) is not a member of the armed forces of the United States but performs work for the United States Department of Defense as a department employee or under a contract with the department;

(3) obtains a written waiver under Subsection (c); or

(4) completes a premarital education course described by Section 2.013, and who provides to the county clerk a premarital education course completion certificate indicating completion of the premarital education course not more than one year before the date the marriage license application is filed with the clerk.

(c) An applicant may request a judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases, a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a county judge, or a judge of a court of appeals for a written waiver permitting the marriage ceremony to take place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license. If the judge finds that there is good cause for the marriage to take place during the period, the judge shall sign the waiver. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a judge under this section has the authority to sign a waiver under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1052, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 418), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 327 (H.B. 2685), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2008.

Sec. 2.205: Discrimination in Conducting Marriage Prohibited

(a) A person authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony by this subchapter is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, or national origin against an applicant who is otherwise competent to be married.

(b) On a finding by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct that a person has intentionally violated Subsection (a), the commission may recommend to the supreme court that the person be removed from office.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.206: Return of License; Penalty

(a) The person who conducts a marriage ceremony shall record on the license the date on which and the county in which the ceremony is performed and the person's name, subscribe the license, and return the license to the county clerk who issued it not later than the 30th day after the date the ceremony is conducted.

(b) A person who fails to comply with this section commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.207: Marriage Conducted After License Expired; Penalty

(a) A person who is to conduct a marriage ceremony shall determine whether the license has expired from the county clerk's endorsement on the license.

(b) A person who conducts a marriage ceremony after the marriage license has expired commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.208: Recording and Delivery of License

(a) The county clerk shall record a returned marriage license and mail the license to the address indicated on the application. On request by the applicants, the county clerk may e-mail the marriage license to an e-mail address provided to the county clerk by the applicants in addition to mailing the license.

(b) On the application form the county clerk shall record:

(1) the date of the marriage ceremony;

(2) the county in which the ceremony was conducted; and

(3) the name of the person who conducted the ceremony.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (H.B. 2767), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 2.209: Duplicate License

(a) On request, the county clerk shall issue a certified copy of a recorded marriage license.

(b) If a marriage license issued by a county clerk is lost, destroyed, or rendered useless, the clerk shall issue a duplicate license.

(c) If one or both parties to a marriage license discover an error on the recorded marriage license, both parties to the marriage shall execute a notarized affidavit stating the error. The county clerk shall file and record the affidavit as an amendment to the marriage license, and the affidavit is considered part of the marriage license. The clerk shall include a copy of the affidavit with any future certified copy of the marriage license issued by the clerk.

(d) The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission by rule shall prescribe the form of the affidavit under Subsection (c).

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.

Subchapter D

Sec. 2.301: Fraud, Mistake, Or Illegality in Obtaining License

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the validity of a marriage is not affected by any fraud, mistake, or illegality that occurred in obtaining the marriage license.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 2.302: Ceremony Conducted By Unauthorized Person

The validity of a marriage is not affected by the lack of authority of the person conducting the marriage ceremony if:

(1) there was a reasonable appearance of authority by that person;

(2) at least one party to the marriage participated in the ceremony in good faith and that party treats the marriage as valid; and

(3) neither party to the marriage:

(A) is a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law; or

(B) by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.11, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter E

Sec. 2.401: Proof of Informal Marriage

(a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

(1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter; or

(2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.

(b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.

(c) A person under 18 years of age may not:

(1) be a party to an informal marriage; or

(2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

(d) A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or execute a declaration of an informal marriage if the person is presently married to a person who is not the other party to the informal marriage or declaration of an informal marriage, as applicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1362, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.12, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 2.402: Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage

(a) A declaration of informal marriage must be signed on a form prescribed by the bureau of vital statistics and provided by the county clerk. Each party to the declaration shall provide the information required in the form.

(b) The declaration form must contain:

(1) a heading entitled "Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage, ___________ County, Texas";

(2) spaces for each party's full name, including the woman's maiden surname, address, date of birth, place of birth, including city, county, and state, and social security number, if any;

(3) a space for indicating the type of document tendered by each party as proof of age and identity;

(4) printed boxes for each party to check "true" or "false" in response to the following statement: "The other party is not related to me as:

(A) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;

(B) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(C) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(D) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(E) a current or former stepchild or stepparent; or

(F) a son or daughter of a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.";

(5) a printed declaration and oath reading: "I SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, ARE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER BY VIRTUE OF THE FOLLOWING FACTS: ON OR ABOUT (DATE) WE AGREED TO BE MARRIED, AND AFTER THAT DATE WE LIVED TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE AND IN THIS STATE WE REPRESENTED TO OTHERS THAT WE WERE MARRIED. SINCE THE DATE OF MARRIAGE TO THE OTHER PARTY I HAVE NOT BEEN MARRIED TO ANY OTHER PERSON. THIS DECLARATION IS TRUE AND THE INFORMATION IN IT WHICH I HAVE GIVEN IS CORRECT.";

(6) spaces immediately below the printed declaration and oath for the parties' signatures; and

(7) a certificate of the county clerk that the parties made the declaration and oath and the place and date it was made.

(c) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1362, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1362, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.13, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 2.403: Proof of Identity and Age; Offense

(a) The county clerk shall require proof of the identity and age of each party to the declaration of informal marriage to be established by a document listed in Section 2.005(b).

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly provides false, fraudulent, or otherwise inaccurate proof of the person's identity or age under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.14, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.404: Recording of Certificate Or Declaration of Informal Marriage

(a) The county clerk shall:

(1) determine that all necessary information is recorded on the declaration of informal marriage form and that all necessary documents are submitted to the clerk;

(2) administer the oath to each party to the declaration;

(3) have each party sign the declaration in the clerk's presence; and

(4) execute the clerk's certificate to the declaration.

(a-1) On the proper execution of the declaration, the clerk may:

(1) prepare a certificate of informal marriage;

(2) enter on the certificate the names of the persons declaring their informal marriage and the date the certificate or declaration is issued; and

(3) record the time at which the certificate or declaration is issued.

(b) The county clerk may not certify the declaration or issue or record the certificate of informal marriage or declaration if:

(1) either party fails to supply any information or provide any document required by this subchapter;

(2) either party is under 18 years of age; or

(3) either party checks "false" in response to the statement of relationship to the other party.

(c) On execution of the declaration, the county clerk shall record the declaration or certificate of informal marriage, deliver the original of the declaration to the parties, deliver the original of the certificate of informal marriage to the parties, if a certificate was prepared, and send a copy of the declaration of informal marriage to the bureau of vital statistics.

(d) An executed declaration or a certificate of informal marriage recorded as provided in this section is prima facie evidence of the marriage of the parties.

(e) At the time the parties sign the declaration, the clerk shall distribute to each party printed materials about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The clerk shall note on the declaration that the distribution was made. The materials shall be prepared and provided to the clerk by the Texas Department of Health and shall be designed to inform the parties about:

(1) the incidence and mode of transmission of AIDS and HIV;

(2) the local availability of medical procedures, including voluntary testing, designed to show or help show whether a person has AIDS or HIV infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS; and

(3) available and appropriate counseling services regarding AIDS and HIV infection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1362, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 978 (H.B. 3666), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.405: Violation By County Clerk; Penalty

A county clerk or deputy county clerk who violates this subchapter commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $500.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter F

Sec. 2.501: Duty to Support

(a) Each spouse has the duty to support the other spouse.

(b) A spouse who fails to discharge the duty of support is liable to any person who provides necessaries to the spouse to whom support is owed.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter G

Sec. 2.601: Rights of Certain Religious Organizations

A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 434 (S.B. 2065), Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 2015.

Sec. 2.602: Discrimination Against Religious Organization Prohibited

A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges under Section 2.601 is not the basis for a civil or criminal cause of action or any other action by this state or a political subdivision of this state to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any protected organization or individual.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 434 (S.B. 2065), Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 2015.

Subtitle B

Chapter 3

Subchapter A

Sec. 3.001: Separate Property

A spouse's separate property consists of:

(1) the property owned or claimed by the spouse before marriage;

(2) the property acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift, devise, or descent; and

(3) the recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage, except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.002: Community Property

Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.003: Presumption of Community Property

(a) Property possessed by either spouse during or on dissolution of marriage is presumed to be community property.

(b) The degree of proof necessary to establish that property is separate property is clear and convincing evidence.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.004: Recordation of Separate Property

(a) A subscribed and acknowledged schedule of a spouse's separate property may be recorded in the deed records of the county in which the parties, or one of them, reside and in the county or counties in which the real property is located.

(b) A schedule of a spouse's separate real property is not constructive notice to a good faith purchaser for value or a creditor without actual notice unless the instrument is acknowledged and recorded in the deed records of the county in which the real property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.005: Gifts Between Spouses

If one spouse makes a gift of property to the other spouse, the gift is presumed to include all the income and property that may arise from that property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.006: Proportional Ownership of Property By Marital Estates

If the community estate of the spouses and the separate estate of a spouse have an ownership interest in property, the respective ownership interests of the marital estates are determined by the rule of inception of title.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.007: Property Interest in Certain Employee Benefits

(a) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

(c) The separate property interest of a spouse in a defined contribution retirement plan may be traced using the tracing and characterization principles that apply to a nonretirement asset.

(d) A spouse who is a participant in an employer-provided stock option plan or an employer-provided restricted stock plan has a separate property interest in the options or restricted stock granted to the spouse under the plan as follows:

(1) if the option or stock was granted to the spouse before marriage but required continued employment during marriage before the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed, the spouse's separate property interest is equal to the fraction of the option or restricted stock in which:

(A) the numerator is the sum of:

(i) the period from the date the option or stock was granted until the date of marriage; and

(ii) if the option or stock also required continued employment following the date of dissolution of the marriage before the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed, the period from the date of dissolution of the marriage until the date the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed; and

(B) the denominator is the period from the date the option or stock was granted until the date the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed; and

(2) if the option or stock was granted to the spouse during the marriage but required continued employment following the date of dissolution of the marriage before the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed, the spouse's separate property interest is equal to the fraction of the option or restricted stock in which:

(A) the numerator is the period from the date of dissolution of the marriage until the date the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed; and

(B) the denominator is the period from the date the option or stock was granted until the date the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed.

(e) The computation described by Subsection (d) applies to each component of the benefit requiring varying periods of employment before the grant could be exercised or the restriction removed.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 490 (H.B. 410), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 11(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.008: Property Interest in Certain Insurance Proceeds

(a) Insurance proceeds paid or payable that arise from a casualty loss to property during marriage are characterized in the same manner as the property to which the claim is attributable.

(b) If a person becomes disabled or is injured, any disability insurance payment or workers' compensation payment is community property to the extent it is intended to replace earnings lost while the disabled or injured person is married. To the extent that any insurance payment or workers' compensation payment is intended to replace earnings while the disabled or injured person is not married, the recovery is the separate property of the disabled or injured spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 490 (H.B. 410), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter B

Sec. 3.101: Managing Separate Property

Each spouse has the sole management, control, and disposition of that spouse's separate property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.102: Managing Community Property

(a) During marriage, each spouse has the sole management, control, and disposition of the community property that the spouse would have owned if single, including:

(1) personal earnings;

(2) revenue from separate property;

(3) recoveries for personal injuries; and

(4) the increase and mutations of, and the revenue from, all property subject to the spouse's sole management, control, and disposition.

(b) If community property subject to the sole management, control, and disposition of one spouse is mixed or combined with community property subject to the sole management, control, and disposition of the other spouse, then the mixed or combined community property is subject to the joint management, control, and disposition of the spouses, unless the spouses provide otherwise by power of attorney in writing or other agreement.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (a), community property is subject to the joint management, control, and disposition of the spouses unless the spouses provide otherwise by power of attorney in writing or other agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.103: Managing Earnings of Minor

Except as provided by Section 264.0111, during the marriage of the parents of an unemancipated minor for whom a managing conservator has not been appointed, the earnings of the minor are subject to the joint management, control, and disposition of the parents of the minor, unless otherwise provided by agreement of the parents or by judicial order.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 964, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.104: Protection of Third Persons

(a) During marriage, property is presumed to be subject to the sole management, control, and disposition of a spouse if it is held in that spouse's name, as shown by muniment, contract, deposit of funds, or other evidence of ownership, or if it is in that spouse's possession and is not subject to such evidence of ownership.

(b) A third person dealing with a spouse is entitled to rely, as against the other spouse or anyone claiming from that spouse, on that spouse's authority to deal with the property if:

(1) the property is presumed to be subject to the sole management, control, and disposition of the spouse; and

(2) the person dealing with the spouse:

(A) is not a party to a fraud on the other spouse or another person; and

(B) does not have actual or constructive notice of the spouse's lack of authority.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter C

Sec. 3.201: Spousal Liability

(a) A person is personally liable for the acts of the person's spouse only if:

(1) the spouse acts as an agent for the person; or

(2) the spouse incurs a debt for necessaries as provided by Subchapter F, Chapter 2.

(b) Except as provided by this subchapter, community property is not subject to a liability that arises from an act of a spouse.

(c) A spouse does not act as an agent for the other spouse solely because of the marriage relationship.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.202: Rules of Marital Property Liability

(a) A spouse's separate property is not subject to liabilities of the other spouse unless both spouses are liable by other rules of law.

(b) Unless both spouses are personally liable as provided by this subchapter, the community property subject to a spouse's sole management, control, and disposition is not subject to:

(1) any liabilities that the other spouse incurred before marriage; or

(2) any nontortious liabilities that the other spouse incurs during marriage.

(c) The community property subject to a spouse's sole or joint management, control, and disposition is subject to the liabilities incurred by the spouse before or during marriage.

(d) All community property is subject to tortious liability of either spouse incurred during marriage.

(e) For purposes of this section, all retirement allowances, annuities, accumulated contributions, optional benefits, and money in the various public retirement system accounts of this state that are community property subject to the participating spouse's sole management, control, and disposition are not subject to any claim for payment of a criminal restitution judgment entered against the nonparticipant spouse except to the extent of the nonparticipant spouse's interest as determined in a qualified domestic relations order under Chapter 804, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1244 (S.B. 2324), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.203: Order in Which Property Is Subject to Execution

(a) A judge may determine, as deemed just and equitable, the order in which particular separate or community property is subject to execution and sale to satisfy a judgment, if the property subject to liability for a judgment includes any combination of:

(1) a spouse's separate property;

(2) community property subject to a spouse's sole management, control, and disposition;

(3) community property subject to the other spouse's sole management, control, and disposition; and

(4) community property subject to the spouses' joint management, control, and disposition.

(b) In determining the order in which particular property is subject to execution and sale, the judge shall consider the facts surrounding the transaction or occurrence on which the suit is based.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter D

Sec. 3.301: Missing, Abandoned, Or Separated Spouse

(a) A spouse may file a sworn petition stating the facts that make it desirable for the petitioning spouse to manage, control, and dispose of community property described or defined in the petition that would otherwise be subject to the sole or joint management, control, and disposition of the other spouse if:

(1) the other spouse has disappeared and that spouse's location remains unknown to the petitioning spouse, unless the spouse is reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service;

(2) the other spouse has permanently abandoned the petitioning spouse; or

(3) the spouses are permanently separated.

(b) The petition may be filed in a court in the county in which the petitioner resided at the time the separation began, or the abandonment or disappearance occurred, not earlier than the 60th day after the date of the occurrence of the event. If both spouses are nonresidents of this state at the time the petition is filed, the petition may be filed in a court in a county in which any part of the described or defined community property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.302: Spouse Missing on Public Service

(a) If a spouse is reported by an executive department of the United States to be a prisoner of war or missing on the public service of the United States, the spouse of the prisoner of war or missing person may file a sworn petition stating the facts that make it desirable for the petitioner to manage, control, and dispose of the community property described or defined in the petition that would otherwise be subject to the sole or joint management, control, and disposition of the imprisoned or missing spouse.

(b) The petition may be filed in a court in the county in which the petitioner resided at the time the report was made not earlier than six months after the date of the notice that a spouse is reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service. If both spouses were nonresidents of this state at the time the report was made, the petition shall be filed in a court in a county in which any part of the described or defined property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.303: Appointment of Attorney

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the court may appoint an attorney in a suit filed under this subchapter for the respondent.

(b) The court shall appoint an attorney in a suit filed under this subchapter for a respondent reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service.

(c) The court shall allow a reasonable fee for an appointed attorney's services as a part of the costs of the suit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.304: Notice of Hearing; Citation

(a) Notice of the hearing, accompanied by a copy of the petition, shall be issued and served on the attorney representing the respondent, if an attorney has been appointed.

(b) If an attorney has not been appointed for the respondent, citation shall be issued and served on the respondent as in other civil cases.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.305: Citation By Publication

(a) If the residence of the respondent, other than a respondent reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service, is unknown, citation shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the petition was filed. If that county has no newspaper of general circulation, citation shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in an adjacent county or in the nearest county in which a newspaper of general circulation is published.

(b) The notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks before the hearing, but the first notice may not be published after the 20th day before the date set for the hearing.

Comments

Text of section effective until June 01, 2020

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 10.09, eff. June 1, 2020.

Sec. 3.305: Citation By Publication

(a) Except as provided by Section 17.032, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, if the residence of the respondent, other than a respondent reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service, is unknown, citation shall be published on the public information Internet website maintained as required by Section 72.034, Government Code, and in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the petition was filed.

(b) The notice shall be published on the public information Internet website for at least two consecutive weeks before the hearing and in a newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks before the hearing. Neither notice may be initially published after the 20th day before the date set for the hearing.

Comments

Text of section effective on June 01, 2020

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 10.09, eff. June 1, 2020.

Sec. 3.306: Court Order for Management, Control, and Disposition of Community Property

(a) After hearing the evidence in a suit under this subchapter, the court, on terms the court considers just and equitable, shall render an order describing or defining the community property at issue that will be subject to the management, control, and disposition of each spouse during marriage.

(b) The court may:

(1) impose any condition and restriction the court deems necessary to protect the rights of the respondent;

(2) require a bond conditioned on the faithful administration of the property; and

(3) require payment to the registry of the court of all or a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the property, to be disbursed in accordance with the court's further directions.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.307: Continuing Jurisdiction of Court; Vacating Original Order

(a) The court has continuing jurisdiction over the court's order rendered under this subchapter.

(b) On the motion of either spouse, the court shall amend or vacate the original order after notice and hearing if:

(1) the spouse who disappeared reappears;

(2) the abandonment or permanent separation ends; or

(3) the spouse who was reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service returns.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.308: Recording Order to Affect Real Property

An order authorized by this subchapter affecting real property is not constructive notice to a good faith purchaser for value or to a creditor without actual notice unless the order is recorded in the deed records of the county in which the real property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 3.309: Remedies Cumulative

The remedies provided in this subchapter are cumulative of other rights, powers, and remedies afforded spouses by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter E

Sec. 3.401: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

(2) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

(3) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

(4) "Marital estate" means one of three estates:

(A) the community property owned by the spouses together and referred to as the community marital estate;

(B) the separate property owned individually by the husband and referred to as a separate marital estate; or

(C) the separate property owned individually by the wife, also referred to as a separate marital estate.

(5) "Spouse" means a husband, who is a man, or a wife, who is a woman. A member of a civil union or similar relationship entered into in another state between persons of the same sex is not a spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.402: Claim for Reimbursement; Offsets

(a) For purposes of this subchapter, a claim for reimbursement includes:

(1) payment by one marital estate of the unsecured liabilities of another marital estate;

(2) inadequate compensation for the time, toil, talent, and effort of a spouse by a business entity under the control and direction of that spouse;

(3) the reduction of the principal amount of a debt secured by a lien on property owned before marriage, to the extent the debt existed at the time of marriage;

(4) the reduction of the principal amount of a debt secured by a lien on property received by a spouse by gift, devise, or descent during a marriage, to the extent the debt existed at the time the property was received;

(5) the reduction of the principal amount of that part of a debt, including a home equity loan:

(A) incurred during a marriage;

(B) secured by a lien on property; and

(C) incurred for the acquisition of, or for capital improvements to, property;

(6) the reduction of the principal amount of that part of a debt:

(A) incurred during a marriage;

(B) secured by a lien on property owned by a spouse;

(C) for which the creditor agreed to look for repayment solely to the separate marital estate of the spouse on whose property the lien attached; and

(D) incurred for the acquisition of, or for capital improvements to, property;

(7) the refinancing of the principal amount described by Subdivisions (3)-(6), to the extent the refinancing reduces that principal amount in a manner described by the applicable subdivision;

(8) capital improvements to property other than by incurring debt; and

(9) the reduction by the community property estate of an unsecured debt incurred by the separate estate of one of the spouses.

(b) The court shall resolve a claim for reimbursement by using equitable principles, including the principle that claims for reimbursement may be offset against each other if the court determines it to be appropriate.

(c) Benefits for the use and enjoyment of property may be offset against a claim for reimbursement for expenditures to benefit a marital estate, except that the separate estate of a spouse may not claim an offset for use and enjoyment of a primary or secondary residence owned wholly or partly by the separate estate against contributions made by the community estate to the separate estate.

(d) Reimbursement for funds expended by a marital estate for improvements to another marital estate shall be measured by the enhancement in value to the benefited marital estate.

(e) The party seeking an offset to a claim for reimbursement has the burden of proof with respect to the offset.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.404: Application of Inception of Title Rule; Ownership Interest Not Created

(a) This subchapter does not affect the rule of inception of title under which the character of property is determined at the time the right to own or claim the property arises.

(b) A claim for reimbursement under this subchapter does not create an ownership interest in property, but does create a claim against the property of the benefited estate by the contributing estate. The claim matures on dissolution of the marriage or the death of either spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.405: Management Rights

This subchapter does not affect the right to manage, control, or dispose of marital property as provided by this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.406: Equitable Lien

(a) On dissolution of a marriage, the court may impose an equitable lien on the property of a benefited marital estate to secure a claim for reimbursement against that property by a contributing marital estate.

(b) On the death of a spouse, a court may, on application for a claim for reimbursement brought by the surviving spouse, the personal representative of the estate of the deceased spouse, or any other person interested in the estate, as defined by Chapter 22, Estates Code, impose an equitable lien on the property of a benefited marital estate to secure a claim for reimbursement against that property by a contributing marital estate.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768, Sec. 11(4), eff. September 1, 2009.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 11(4), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.013, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 3.409: Nonreimbursable Claims

The court may not recognize a marital estate's claim for reimbursement for:

(1) the payment of child support, alimony, or spousal maintenance;

(2) the living expenses of a spouse or child of a spouse;

(3) contributions of property of a nominal value;

(4) the payment of a liability of a nominal amount; or

(5) a student loan owed by a spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 3.410: Effect of Marital Property Agreements

A premarital or marital property agreement, whether executed before, on, or after September 1, 2009, that satisfies the requirements of Chapter 4 is effective to waive, release, assign, or partition a claim for economic contribution, reimbursement, or both, under this subchapter to the same extent the agreement would have been effective to waive, release, assign, or partition a claim for economic contribution, reimbursement, or both under the law as it existed immediately before September 1, 2009, unless the agreement provides otherwise.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.

Chapter 4

Subchapter A

Sec. 4.001: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.

(2) "Property" means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.002: Formalities

A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement is enforceable without consideration.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.003: Content

(a) The parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

(1) the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

(2) the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

(3) the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;

(4) the modification or elimination of spousal support;

(5) the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;

(6) the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;

(7) the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and

(8) any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

(b) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.004: Effect of Marriage

A premarital agreement becomes effective on marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.005: Amendment Or Revocation

After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without consideration.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.006: Enforcement

(a) A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is requested proves that:

(1) the party did not sign the agreement voluntarily; or

(2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before signing the agreement, that party:

(A) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;

(B) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and

(C) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

(b) An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

(c) The remedies and defenses in this section are the exclusive remedies or defenses, including common law remedies or defenses.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.007: Enforcement: Void Marriage

If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.008: Limitation of Actions

A statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the marriage of the parties to the agreement. However, equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel, are available to either party.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.009: Application and Construction

This subchapter shall be applied and construed to effect its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this subchapter among states enacting these provisions.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.010: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter B

Sec. 4.101: Definition

In this subchapter, "property" has the meaning assigned by Section 4.001.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.102: Partition Or Exchange of Community Property

At any time, the spouses may partition or exchange between themselves all or part of their community property, then existing or to be acquired, as the spouses may desire. Property or a property interest transferred to a spouse by a partition or exchange agreement becomes that spouse's separate property. The partition or exchange of property may also provide that future earnings and income arising from the transferred property shall be the separate property of the owning spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 477 (H.B. 202), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 4.103: Agreement Between Spouses Concerning Income Or Property from Separate Property

At any time, the spouses may agree that the income or property arising from the separate property that is then owned by one of them, or that may thereafter be acquired, shall be the separate property of the owner.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.104: Formalities

A partition or exchange agreement under Section 4.102 or an agreement under Section 4.103 must be in writing and signed by both parties. Either agreement is enforceable without consideration.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 477 (H.B. 202), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 4.105: Enforcement

(a) A partition or exchange agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is requested proves that:

(1) the party did not sign the agreement voluntarily; or

(2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before execution of the agreement, that party:

(A) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;

(B) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and

(C) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

(b) An issue of unconscionability of a partition or exchange agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

(c) The remedies and defenses in this section are the exclusive remedies or defenses, including common law remedies or defenses.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 4.106: Rights of Creditors and Recordation Under Partition Or Exchange Agreement

(a) A provision of a partition or exchange agreement made under this subchapter is void with respect to the rights of a preexisting creditor whose rights are intended to be defrauded by it.

(b) A partition or exchange agreement made under this subchapter may be recorded in the deed records of the county in which a party resides and in the county in which the real property affected is located. An agreement made under this subchapter is constructive notice to a good faith purchaser for value or a creditor without actual notice only if the instrument is acknowledged and recorded in the county in which the real property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter C

Sec. 4.201: Definition

In this subchapter, "property" has the meaning assigned by Section 4.001.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Sec. 4.202: Agreement to Convert to Community Property

At any time, spouses may agree that all or part of the separate property owned by either or both spouses is converted to community property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Sec. 4.203: Formalities of Agreement

(a) An agreement to convert separate property to community property:

(1) must be in writing and:

(A) be signed by the spouses;

(B) identify the property being converted; and

(C) specify that the property is being converted to the spouses' community property; and

(2) is enforceable without consideration.

(b) The mere transfer of a spouse's separate property to the name of the other spouse or to the name of both spouses is not sufficient to convert the property to community property under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Sec. 4.204: Management of Converted Property

Except as specified in the agreement to convert the property and as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 3, and other law, property converted to community property under this subchapter is subject to:

(1) the sole management, control, and disposition of the spouse in whose name the property is held;

(2) the sole management, control, and disposition of the spouse who transferred the property if the property is not subject to evidence of ownership;

(3) the joint management, control, and disposition of the spouses if the property is held in the name of both spouses; or

(4) the joint management, control, and disposition of the spouses if the property is not subject to evidence of ownership and was owned by both spouses before the property was converted to community property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Sec. 4.205: Enforcement

(a) An agreement to convert property to community property under this subchapter is not enforceable if the spouse against whom enforcement is sought proves that the spouse did not:

(1) execute the agreement voluntarily; or

(2) receive a fair and reasonable disclosure of the legal effect of converting the property to community property.

(b) An agreement that contains the following statement, or substantially similar words, prominently displayed in bold-faced type, capital letters, or underlined, is rebuttably presumed to provide a fair and reasonable disclosure of the legal effect of converting property to community property:

"THIS INSTRUMENT CHANGES SEPARATE PROPERTY TO COMMUNITY PROPERTY. THIS MAY HAVE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES DURING MARRIAGE AND ON TERMINATION OF THE MARRIAGE BY DEATH OR DIVORCE. FOR EXAMPLE:

"EXPOSURE TO CREDITORS. IF YOU SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, ALL OR PART OF THE SEPARATE PROPERTY BEING CONVERTED TO COMMUNITY PROPERTY MAY BECOME SUBJECT TO THE LIABILITIES OF YOUR SPOUSE. IF YOU DO NOT SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, YOUR SEPARATE PROPERTY IS GENERALLY NOT SUBJECT TO THE LIABILITIES OF YOUR SPOUSE UNLESS YOU ARE PERSONALLY LIABLE UNDER ANOTHER RULE OF LAW.

"LOSS OF MANAGEMENT RIGHTS. IF YOU SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, ALL OR PART OF THE SEPARATE PROPERTY BEING CONVERTED TO COMMUNITY PROPERTY MAY BECOME SUBJECT TO EITHER THE JOINT MANAGEMENT, CONTROL, AND DISPOSITION OF YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE OR THE SOLE MANAGEMENT, CONTROL, AND DISPOSITION OF YOUR SPOUSE ALONE. IN THAT EVENT, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR MANAGEMENT RIGHTS OVER THE PROPERTY. IF YOU DO NOT SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, YOU WILL GENERALLY RETAIN THOSE RIGHTS."

"LOSS OF PROPERTY OWNERSHIP. IF YOU SIGN THIS AGREEMENT AND YOUR MARRIAGE IS SUBSEQUENTLY TERMINATED BY THE DEATH OF EITHER SPOUSE OR BY DIVORCE, ALL OR PART OF THE SEPARATE PROPERTY BEING CONVERTED TO COMMUNITY PROPERTY MAY BECOME THE SOLE PROPERTY OF YOUR SPOUSE OR YOUR SPOUSE'S HEIRS. IF YOU DO NOT SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, YOU GENERALLY CANNOT BE DEPRIVED OF OWNERSHIP OF YOUR SEPARATE PROPERTY ON TERMINATION OF YOUR MARRIAGE, WHETHER BY DEATH OR DIVORCE."

(c) If a proceeding regarding enforcement of an agreement under this subchapter occurs after the death of the spouse against whom enforcement is sought, the proof required by Subsection (a) may be made by an heir of the spouse or the personal representative of the estate of that spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 4.206: Rights of Creditors; Recording

(a) A conversion of separate property to community property does not affect the rights of a preexisting creditor of the spouse whose separate property is being converted.

(b) A conversion of separate property to community property may be recorded in the deed records of the county in which a spouse resides and of the county in which any real property is located.

(c) A conversion of real property from separate property to community property is constructive notice to a good faith purchaser for value or a creditor without actual notice only if the agreement to convert the property is acknowledged and recorded in the deed records of the county in which the real property is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

Chapter 5

Subchapter A

Sec. 5.001: Sale, Conveyance, Or Encumbrance of Homestead

Whether the homestead is the separate property of either spouse or community property, neither spouse may sell, convey, or encumber the homestead without the joinder of the other spouse except as provided in this chapter or by other rules of law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 5.002: Sale of Separate Homestead After Spouse Judicially Declared Incapacitated

If the homestead is the separate property of a spouse and the other spouse has been judicially declared incapacitated by a court exercising original jurisdiction over guardianship and other matters under Title 3, Estates Code, the owner may sell, convey, or encumber the homestead without the joinder of the other spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.014, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 5.003: Sale of Community Homestead After Spouse Judicially Declared Incapacitated

If the homestead is the community property of the spouses and one spouse has been judicially declared incapacitated by a court exercising original jurisdiction over guardianship and other matters under Title 3, Estates Code, the competent spouse may sell, convey, or encumber the homestead without the joinder of the other spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Family Code Sec. 5.107 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.015, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter B

Sec. 5.101: Sale of Separate Homestead Under Unusual Circumstances

If the homestead is the separate property of a spouse, that spouse may file a sworn petition that gives a description of the property, states the facts that make it desirable for the spouse to sell, convey, or encumber the homestead without the joinder of the other spouse, and alleges that the other spouse:

(1) has disappeared and that the location of the spouse remains unknown to the petitioning spouse;

(2) has permanently abandoned the homestead and the petitioning spouse;

(3) has permanently abandoned the homestead and the spouses are permanently separated; or

(4) has been reported by an executive department of the United States to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service of the United States.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 5.102: Sale of Community Homestead Under Unusual Circumstances

If the homestead is the community property of the spouses, one spouse may file a sworn petition that gives a description of the property, states the facts that make it desirable for the petitioning spouse to sell, convey, or encumber the homestead without the joinder of the other spouse, and alleges that the other spouse:

(1) has disappeared and that the location of the spouse remains unknown to the petitioning spouse;

(2) has permanently abandoned the homestead and the petitioning spouse;

(3) has permanently abandoned the homestead and the spouses are permanently separated; or

(4) has been reported by an executive department of the United States to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service of the United States.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 5.103: Time for Filing Petition

The petitioning spouse may file the petition in a court of the county in which any portion of the property is located not earlier than the 60th day after the date of the occurrence of an event described by Sections 5.101(1)-(3) and 5.102(1)-(3) or not less than six months after the date the other spouse has been reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 217, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 5.104: Appointment of Attorney

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the court may appoint an attorney in a suit filed under this subchapter for the respondent.

(b) The court shall appoint an attorney in a suit filed under this subchapter for a respondent reported to be a prisoner of war or missing on public service.

(c) The court shall allow a reasonable fee for the appointed attorney's services as a part of the costs of the suit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 5.105: Citation; Notice of Hearing

Citation and notice of hearing for a suit filed as provided by this subchapter shall be issued and served in the manner provided in Subchapter D, Chapter 3.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 5.106: Court Order

(a) After notice and hearing, the court shall render an order the court deems just and equitable with respect to the sale, conveyance, or encumbrance of a separate property homestead.

(b) After hearing the evidence, the court, on terms the court deems just and equitable, shall render an order describing or defining the community property at issue that will be subject to the management, control, and disposition of each spouse during marriage.

(c) The court may:

(1) impose any conditions and restrictions the court deems necessary to protect the rights of the respondent;

(2) require a bond conditioned on the faithful administration of the property; and

(3) require payment to the registry of the court of all or a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the property to be disbursed in accordance with the court's further directions.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 5.108: Remedies and Powers Cumulative

The remedies and the powers of a spouse provided by this subchapter are cumulative of the other rights, powers, and remedies afforded the spouses by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subtitle C

Chapter 6

Subchapter A

Sec. 6.001: Insupportability

On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.002: Cruelty

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.003: Adultery

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.004: Conviction of Felony

(a) The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse:

(1) has been convicted of a felony;

(2) has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and

(3) has not been pardoned.

(b) The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 25.056, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 6.005: Abandonment

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse:

(1) left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and

(2) remained away for at least one year.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.006: Living Apart

The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.007: Confinement in Mental Hospital

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if at the time the suit is filed:

(1) the other spouse has been confined in a state mental hospital or private mental hospital, as defined in Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, in this state or another state for at least three years; and

(2) it appears that the hospitalized spouse's mental disorder is of such a degree and nature that adjustment is unlikely or that, if adjustment occurs, a relapse is probable.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.008: Defenses

(a) The defenses to a suit for divorce of recrimination and adultery are abolished.

(b) Condonation is a defense to a suit for divorce only if the court finds that there is a reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter B

Sec. 6.102: Annulment of Marriage of Person Under Age 18

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage of a person 16 years of age or older but under 18 years of age that occurred without parental consent or without a court order as provided by Subchapters B and E, Chapter 2.

(b) A petition for annulment under this section may be filed by:

(1) a next friend for the benefit of the underage party;

(2) a parent; or

(3) the judicially designated managing conservator or guardian of the person of the underage party, whether an individual, authorized agency, or court.

(c) A suit filed under this subsection by a next friend is barred unless it is filed within 90 days after the date of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.16, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 52 (S.B. 432), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 6.103: Underage Annulment Barred By Adulthood

A suit to annul a marriage may not be filed under Section 6.102 by a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of a person after the 18th birthday of the person.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 52 (S.B. 432), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 6.104: Discretionary Annulment of Underage Marriage

(a) An annulment under Section 6.102 of a marriage may be granted at the discretion of the court sitting without a jury.

(b) In exercising its discretion, the court shall consider the pertinent facts concerning the welfare of the parties to the marriage, including whether the female is pregnant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 52 (S.B. 432), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 6.105: Under Influence of Alcohol Or Narcotics

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

(1) at the time of the marriage the petitioner was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotics and as a result did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage; and

(2) the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party to the marriage since the effects of the alcoholic beverages or narcotics ended.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.106: Impotency

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

(1) either party, for physical or mental reasons, was permanently impotent at the time of the marriage;

(2) the petitioner did not know of the impotency at the time of the marriage; and

(3) the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the impotency.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.107: Fraud, Duress, Or Force

The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

(1) the other party used fraud, duress, or force to induce the petitioner to enter into the marriage; and

(2) the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party since learning of the fraud or since being released from the duress or force.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.108: Mental Incapacity

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage on the suit of the party or the party's guardian or next friend, if the court finds it to be in the party's best interest to be represented by a guardian or next friend, if:

(1) at the time of the marriage the petitioner did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect; and

(2) since the marriage ceremony, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party during a period when the petitioner possessed the mental capacity to recognize the marriage relationship.

(b) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

(1) at the time of the marriage the other party did not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage or to understand the nature of the marriage ceremony because of a mental disease or defect;

(2) at the time of the marriage the petitioner neither knew nor reasonably should have known of the mental disease or defect; and

(3) since the date the petitioner discovered or reasonably should have discovered the mental disease or defect, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.109: Concealed Divorce

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if:

(1) the other party was divorced from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the date of the marriage ceremony;

(2) at the time of the marriage ceremony the petitioner did not know, and a reasonably prudent person would not have known, of the divorce; and

(3) since the petitioner discovered or a reasonably prudent person would have discovered the fact of the divorce, the petitioner has not voluntarily cohabited with the other party.

(b) A suit may not be brought under this section after the first anniversary of the date of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.110: Marriage Less Than 72 Hours After Issuance of License

(a) The court may grant an annulment of a marriage to a party to the marriage if the marriage ceremony took place in violation of Section 2.204 during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.

(b) A suit may not be brought under this section after the 30th day after the date of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.111: Death of Party to Voidable Marriage

Except as provided by Subchapter C, Chapter 123, Estates Code, a marriage subject to annulment may not be challenged in a proceeding instituted after the death of either party to the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1170 (H.B. 391), Sec. 4.03, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.016, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter C

Sec. 6.201: Consanguinity

A marriage is void if one party to the marriage is related to the other as:

(1) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;

(2) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(3) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption; or

(4) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.202: Marriage During Existence of Prior Marriage

(a) A marriage is void if entered into when either party has an existing marriage to another person that has not been dissolved by legal action or terminated by the death of the other spouse.

(b) The later marriage that is void under this section becomes valid when the prior marriage is dissolved if, after the date of the dissolution, the parties have lived together as husband and wife and represented themselves to others as being married.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.203: Certain Void Marriages Validated

Except for a marriage that would have been void under Section 6.201, a marriage that was entered into before January 1, 1970, in violation of the prohibitions of Article 496, Penal Code of Texas, 1925, is validated from the date the marriage commenced if the parties continued until January 1, 1970, to live together as husband and wife and to represent themselves to others as being married.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.204: Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Or Civil Union

(a) In this section, "civil union" means any relationship status other than marriage that:

(1) is intended as an alternative to marriage or applies primarily to cohabitating persons; and

(2) grants to the parties of the relationship legal protections, benefits, or responsibilities granted to the spouses of a marriage.

(b) A marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state.

(c) The state or an agency or political subdivision of the state may not give effect to a:

(1) public act, record, or judicial proceeding that creates, recognizes, or validates a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction; or

(2) right or claim to any legal protection, benefit, or responsibility asserted as a result of a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 124, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 6.205: Marriage to Minor

A marriage is void if either party to the marriage is younger than 18 years of age, unless a court order removing the disabilities of minority of the party for general purposes has been obtained in this state or in another state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.17, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 52 (S.B. 432), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 934 (S.B. 1705), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 6.206: Marriage to Stepchild Or Stepparent

A marriage is void if a party is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other party.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268 (S.B. 6), Sec. 4.17, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter D

Sec. 6.301: General Residency Rule for Divorce Suit

A suit for divorce may not be maintained in this state unless at the time the suit is filed either the petitioner or the respondent has been:

(1) a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and

(2) a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.302: Suit for Divorce By Nonresident Spouse

If one spouse has been a domiciliary of this state for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.303: Absence on Public Service

Time spent by a Texas domiciliary outside this state or outside the county of residence of the domiciliary while in the service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, or while accompanying the domiciliary's spouse in the spouse's service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, is considered residence in this state and in that county.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (S.B. 1159), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 6.304: Armed Forces Personnel Not Previously Residents

A person not previously a resident of this state who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and has been stationed at one or more military installations in this state for at least the last six months and at a military installation in a county of this state for at least the last 90 days, or who is accompanying the person's spouse during the spouse's military service in those locations and for those periods, is considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident of that county for those periods for the purpose of filing suit for dissolution of a marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (S.B. 1159), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 6.305: Acquiring Jurisdiction Over Nonresident Respondent

(a) If the petitioner in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is a resident or a domiciliary of this state at the time the suit for dissolution is filed, the court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the respondent or over the respondent's personal representative although the respondent is not a resident of this state if:

(1) this state is the last marital residence of the petitioner and the respondent and the suit is filed before the second anniversary of the date on which marital residence ended; or

(2) there is any basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise of the personal jurisdiction.

(b) A court acquiring jurisdiction under this section also acquires jurisdiction over the respondent in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.306: Jurisdiction to Annul Marriage

(a) A suit for annulment of a marriage may be maintained in this state only if the parties were married in this state or if either party is domiciled in this state.

(b) A suit for annulment is a suit in rem, affecting the status of the parties to the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.307: Jurisdiction to Declare Marriage Void

(a) Either party to a marriage made void by this chapter may sue to have the marriage declared void, or the court may declare the marriage void in a collateral proceeding.

(b) The court may declare a marriage void only if:

(1) the purported marriage was contracted in this state; or

(2) either party is domiciled in this state.

(c) A suit to have a marriage declared void is a suit in rem, affecting the status of the parties to the purported marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.308: Exercising Partial Jurisdiction

(a) A court in which a suit for dissolution of a marriage is filed may exercise its jurisdiction over those portions of the suit for which it has authority.

(b) The court's authority to resolve the issues in controversy between the parties may be restricted because the court lacks:

(1) the required personal jurisdiction over a nonresident party in a suit for dissolution of the marriage;

(2) the required jurisdiction under Chapter 152; or

(3) the required jurisdiction under Chapter 159.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter E

Sec. 6.401: Caption

(a) Pleadings in a suit for divorce or annulment shall be styled "In the Matter of the Marriage of __________ and __________."

(b) Pleadings in a suit to declare a marriage void shall be styled "A Suit To Declare Void the Marriage of __________ and __________."

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.402: Pleadings

(a) A petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is sufficient without the necessity of specifying the underlying evidentiary facts if the petition alleges the grounds relied on substantially in the language of the statute.

(b) Allegations of grounds for relief, matters of defense, or facts relied on for a temporary order that are stated in short and plain terms are not subject to special exceptions because of form or sufficiency.

(c) The court shall strike an allegation of evidentiary fact from the pleadings on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.403: Answer

The respondent in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is not required to answer on oath or affirmation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.4035: Waiver of Service

(a) A party to a suit for the dissolution of a marriage may waive the issuance or service of process after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk of the court in which the suit is filed the waiver of the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.

(b) The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party who executed the waiver.

(c) Notwithstanding Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit. This subsection does not apply if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.

(d) The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to a waiver executed under this section.

(e) The party executing the waiver may not sign the waiver using a digitized signature.

(f) For purposes of this section, "digitized signature" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.0096.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 614, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 916 (H.B. 1366), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 198 (S.B. 814), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 6.404: Information Regarding Protective Orders

At any time while a suit for dissolution of a marriage is pending, if the court believes, on the basis of any information received by the court, that a party to the suit or a member of the party's family or household may be a victim of family violence, the court shall inform that party of the party's right to apply for a protective order under Title 4.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 361 (S.B. 1275), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2005.

Sec. 6.405: Protective Order and Related Orders

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2021

(a) The petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage must state whether, in regard to a party to the suit or a child of a party to the suit:

(1) there is in effect:

(A) a protective order under Title 4;

(B) a protective order under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(C) an order for emergency protection under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2) an application for an order described by Subdivision (1) is pending.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2021

(a) The petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage must state whether, in regard to a party to the suit or a child of a party to the suit:

(1) there is in effect:

(A) a protective order under Title 4;

(B) a protective order under Subchapter A, Chapter 7B, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(C) an order for emergency protection under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2) an application for an order described by Subdivision (1) is pending.

(b) The petitioner shall attach to the petition a copy of each order described by Subsection (a)(1) in which a party to the suit or the child of a party to the suit was the applicant or victim of the conduct alleged in the application or order and the other party was the respondent or defendant of an action regarding the conduct alleged in the application or order without regard to the date of the order. If a copy of the order is not available at the time of filing, the petition must state that a copy of the order will be filed with the court before any hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3052), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 469 (H.B. 4173), Sec. 2.30, eff. January 1, 2021.

Sec. 6.406: Mandatory Joinder of Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship

(a) The petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage shall state whether there are children born or adopted of the marriage who are under 18 years of age or who are otherwise entitled to support as provided by Chapter 154.

(a-1) If the parties to a suit for dissolution of a marriage are the intended parents under a gestational agreement that is in effect and that establishes a parent-child relationship between the parties as intended parents and an unborn child on the birth of the child, the petition in the suit for dissolution of a marriage shall state:

(1) that the parties to the marriage have entered into a gestational agreement establishing a parent-child relationship between the parties as intended parents and an unborn child on the birth of the child;

(2) whether the gestational mother under the agreement is pregnant or a child who is the subject of the agreement has been born; and

(3) whether the agreement has been validated under Section 160.756.

(b) If the parties are parents of a child, as defined by Section 101.003, and the child is not under the continuing jurisdiction of another court as provided by Chapter 155, the suit for dissolution of a marriage must include a suit affecting the parent-child relationship under Title 5.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 130 (H.B. 1689), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 6.407: Transfer of Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship to Divorce Court

(a) If a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is pending at the time the suit for dissolution of a marriage is filed, the suit affecting the parent-child relationship shall be transferred as provided by Section 103.002 to the court in which the suit for dissolution is filed.

(b) If the parties are parents of a child, as defined by Section 101.003, and the child is under the continuing jurisdiction of another court under Chapter 155, either party to the suit for dissolution of a marriage may move that court for transfer of the suit affecting the parent-child relationship to the court having jurisdiction of the suit for dissolution. The court with continuing jurisdiction shall transfer the proceeding as provided by Chapter 155. On the transfer of the proceedings, the court with jurisdiction of the suit for dissolution of a marriage shall consolidate the two causes of action.

(c) After transfer of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship as provided in Chapter 155, the court with jurisdiction of the suit for dissolution of a marriage has jurisdiction to render an order in the suit affecting the parent-child relationship as provided by Title 5.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.408: Service of Citation

Citation on the filing of an original petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage shall be issued and served as in other civil cases. Citation may also be served on any other person who has or who may assert an interest in the suit for dissolution of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.409: Citation By Publication

(a) Citation in a suit for dissolution of a marriage may be by publication as in other civil cases, except that notice shall be published one time only.

(b) The notice shall be sufficient if given in substantially the following form:

"STATE OF TEXAS

To (name of person to be served with citation), and to all whom it may concern (if the name of any person to be served with citation is unknown), Respondent(s),

"You have been sued. You may employ an attorney. If you or your attorney do not file a written answer with the clerk who issued this citation by 10 a.m. on the Monday next following the expiration of 20 days after you were served this citation and petition, a default judgment may be taken against you. The petition of __________, Petitioner, was filed in the Court of __________ County, Texas, on the ______ day of __________, against __________, Respondent(s), numbered ______, and entitled 'In the Matter of Marriage of __________ and __________. The suit requests __________ (statement of relief sought).'

"The Court has authority in this suit to enter any judgment or decree dissolving the marriage and providing for the division of property that will be binding on you.

"Issued and given under my hand and seal of said Court at __________, Texas, this the ______ day of __________, ______.

"..............................

Clerk of the __________ Court of

____________ County, Texas

By _______, Deputy."

(c) The form authorized in this section and the form authorized by Section 102.010 may be combined in appropriate situations.

(d) If the citation is for a suit in which a parent-child relationship does not exist, service by publication may be completed by posting the citation at the courthouse door for seven days in the county in which the suit is filed.

(e) If the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney of record makes an oath that no child presently under 18 years of age was born or adopted by the spouses and that no appreciable amount of property was accumulated by the spouses during the marriage, the court may dispense with the appointment of an attorney ad litem. In a case in which citation was by publication, a statement of the evidence, approved and signed by the judge, shall be filed with the papers of the suit as a part of the record.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.410: Report to Accompany Petition

At the time a petition for divorce or annulment of a marriage is filed, the petitioner shall also file a completed report that may be used by the district clerk, at the time the petition is granted, to comply with Section 194.002, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1128, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 6.411: Confidentiality of Pleadings

(a) This section applies only in a county with a population of 3.4 million or more.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by law, all pleadings and other documents filed with the court in a suit for dissolution of a marriage are confidential, are excepted from required public disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may not be released to a person who is not a party to the suit until after the date of service of citation or the 31st day after the date of filing the suit, whichever date is sooner.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1314, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Renumbered from Family Code, Section 6.410 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 23.001(24), eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter F

Sec. 6.501: Temporary Restraining Order

(a) After the filing of a suit for dissolution of a marriage, on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, the court may grant a temporary restraining order without notice to the adverse party for the preservation of the property and for the protection of the parties as necessary, including an order prohibiting one or both parties from:

(1) intentionally communicating in person or in any other manner, including by telephone or another electronic voice transmission, video chat, in writing, or electronic messaging, with the other party by use of vulgar, profane, obscene, or indecent language or in a coarse or offensive manner, with intent to annoy or alarm the other party;

(2) threatening the other party in person or in any other manner, including by telephone or another electronic voice transmission, video chat, in writing, or electronic messaging, to take unlawful action against any person, intending by this action to annoy or alarm the other party;

(3) placing a telephone call, anonymously, at an unreasonable hour, in an offensive and repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose of communication with the intent to annoy or alarm the other party;

(4) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to the other party or to a child of either party;

(5) threatening the other party or a child of either party with imminent bodily injury;

(6) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly destroying, removing, concealing, encumbering, transferring, or otherwise harming or reducing the value of the property of the parties or either party with intent to obstruct the authority of the court to order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage;

(7) intentionally falsifying a writing or record, including an electronic record, relating to the property of either party;

(8) intentionally misrepresenting or refusing to disclose to the other party or to the court, on proper request, the existence, amount, or location of any tangible or intellectual property of the parties or either party, including electronically stored or recorded information;

(9) intentionally or knowingly damaging or destroying the tangible or intellectual property of the parties or either party, including electronically stored or recorded information;

(10) intentionally or knowingly tampering with the tangible or intellectual property of the parties or either party, including electronically stored or recorded information, and causing pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the other party;

(11) except as specifically authorized by the court:

(A) selling, transferring, assigning, mortgaging, encumbering, or in any other manner alienating any of the property of the parties or either party, regardless of whether the property is:

(i) personal property, real property, or intellectual property; or

(ii) separate or community property;

(B) incurring any debt, other than legal expenses in connection with the suit for dissolution of marriage;

(C) withdrawing money from any checking or savings account in a financial institution for any purpose;

(D) spending any money in either party's possession or subject to either party's control for any purpose;

(E) withdrawing or borrowing money in any manner for any purpose from a retirement, profit sharing, pension, death, or other employee benefit plan, employee savings plan, individual retirement account, or Keogh account of either party; or

(F) withdrawing or borrowing in any manner all or any part of the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy on the life of either party or a child of the parties;

(12) entering any safe deposit box in the name of or subject to the control of the parties or either party, whether individually or jointly with others;

(13) changing or in any manner altering the beneficiary designation on any life insurance policy on the life of either party or a child of the parties;

(14) canceling, altering, failing to renew or pay premiums on, or in any manner affecting the level of coverage that existed at the time the suit was filed of, any life, casualty, automobile, or health insurance policy insuring the parties' property or persons, including a child of the parties;

(15) opening or diverting mail or e-mail or any other electronic communication addressed to the other party;

(16) signing or endorsing the other party's name on any negotiable instrument, check, or draft, including a tax refund, insurance payment, and dividend, or attempting to negotiate any negotiable instrument payable to the other party without the personal signature of the other party;

(17) taking any action to terminate or limit credit or charge credit cards in the name of the other party;

(18) discontinuing or reducing the withholding for federal income taxes from either party's wages or salary;

(19) destroying, disposing of, or altering any financial records of the parties, including a canceled check, deposit slip, and other records from a financial institution, a record of credit purchases or cash advances, a tax return, and a financial statement;

(20) destroying, disposing of, or altering any e-mail, text message, video message, or chat message or other electronic data or electronically stored information relevant to the subject matter of the suit for dissolution of marriage, regardless of whether the information is stored on a hard drive, in a removable storage device, in cloud storage, or in another electronic storage medium;

(21) modifying, changing, or altering the native format or metadata of any electronic data or electronically stored information relevant to the subject matter of the suit for dissolution of marriage, regardless of whether the information is stored on a hard drive, in a removable storage device, in cloud storage, or in another electronic storage medium;

(22) deleting any data or content from any social network profile used or created by either party or a child of the parties;

(23) using any password or personal identification number to gain access to the other party's e-mail account, bank account, social media account, or any other electronic account;

(24) terminating or in any manner affecting the service of water, electricity, gas, telephone, cable television, or any other contractual service, including security, pest control, landscaping, or yard maintenance at the residence of either party, or in any manner attempting to withdraw any deposit paid in connection with any of those services;

(25) excluding the other party from the use and enjoyment of a specifically identified residence of the other party; or

(26) entering, operating, or exercising control over a motor vehicle in the possession of the other party.

(b) A temporary restraining order under this subchapter may not include a provision:

(1) the subject of which is a requirement, appointment, award, or other order listed in Section 64.104, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(2) that:

(A) excludes a spouse from occupancy of the residence where that spouse is living except as provided in a protective order made in accordance with Title 4;

(B) prohibits a party from spending funds for reasonable and necessary living expenses; or

(C) prohibits a party from engaging in acts reasonable and necessary to conduct that party's usual business and occupation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1081, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 43 (S.B. 815), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 6.502: Temporary Injunction and Other Temporary Orders

(a) While a suit for dissolution of a marriage is pending and on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion after notice and hearing, the court may render an appropriate order, including the granting of a temporary injunction for the preservation of the property and protection of the parties as deemed necessary and equitable and including an order directed to one or both parties:

(1) requiring a sworn inventory and appraisement of the real and personal property owned or claimed by the parties and specifying the form, manner, and substance of the inventory and appraisal and list of debts and liabilities;

(2) requiring payments to be made for the support of either spouse;

(3) requiring the production of books, papers, documents, and tangible things by a party;

(4) ordering payment of reasonable attorney's fees and expenses;

(5) appointing a receiver for the preservation and protection of the property of the parties;

(6) awarding one spouse exclusive occupancy of the residence during the pendency of the case;

(7) prohibiting the parties, or either party, from spending funds beyond an amount the court determines to be for reasonable and necessary living expenses;

(8) awarding one spouse exclusive control of a party's usual business or occupation; or

(9) prohibiting an act described by Section 6.501(a).

(b) Not later than the 30th day after the date a receiver is appointed under Subsection (a)(5), the receiver shall give notice of the appointment to each lienholder of any property under the receiver's control.

(c) Not later than the seventh day after the date a receiver is appointed under Subsection (a)(5), the court shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of the receiver's appointment. If the court dispenses with the issuance of a bond between the spouses as provided by Section 6.503(b) in connection with the receiver's appointment, the court shall include in the court's findings an explanation of the reasons the court dispensed with the issuance of a bond.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 695, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 493 (H.B. 2703), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 6.503: Affidavit, Verified Pleading, and Bond Not Required

(a) A temporary restraining order or temporary injunction under this subchapter:

(1) may be granted without an affidavit or a verified pleading stating specific facts showing that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result before notice can be served and a hearing can be held; and

(2) need not:

(A) define the injury or state why it is irreparable;

(B) state why the order was granted without notice; or

(C) include an order setting the suit for trial on the merits with respect to the ultimate relief sought.

(b) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the court may dispense with the issuance of a bond between the spouses in connection with temporary orders for the protection of the parties and their property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.504: Protective Orders

On the motion of a party to a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the court may render a protective order as provided by Subtitle B, Title 4.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1193, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 6.505: Counseling

(a) While a divorce suit is pending, the court may direct the parties to counsel with a person named by the court.

(b) The person named by the court to counsel the parties shall submit a written report to the court and to the parties before the final hearing. In the report, the counselor shall give only an opinion as to whether there exists a reasonable expectation of reconciliation of the parties and, if so, whether further counseling would be beneficial. The sole purpose of the report is to aid the court in determining whether the suit for divorce should be continued pending further counseling.

(c) A copy of the report shall be furnished to each party.

(d) If the court believes that there is a reasonable expectation of the parties' reconciliation, the court may by written order continue the proceedings and direct the parties to a person named by the court for further counseling for a period fixed by the court not to exceed 60 days, subject to any terms, conditions, and limitations the court considers desirable. In ordering counseling, the court shall consider the circumstances of the parties, including the needs of the parties' family and the availability of counseling services. At the expiration of the period specified by the court, the counselor to whom the parties were directed shall report to the court whether the parties have complied with the court's order. Thereafter, the court shall proceed as in a divorce suit generally.

(e) If the court orders counseling under this section and the parties to the marriage are the parents of a child under 18 years of age born or adopted during the marriage, the counseling shall include counseling on issues that confront children who are the subject of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 6.506: Contempt

The violation of a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or other temporary order issued under this subchapter is punishable as contempt.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.507: Interlocutory Appeal

An order under this subchapter, except an order appointing a receiver, is not subject to interlocutory appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Subchapter G

Sec. 6.601: Arbitration Procedures

(a) On written agreement of the parties, the court may refer a suit for dissolution of a marriage to arbitration. The agreement must state whether the arbitration is binding or nonbinding.

(b) If the parties agree to binding arbitration, the court shall render an order reflecting the arbitrator's award.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.6015: Determination of Validity and Enforceability of Contract Containing Agreement to Arbitrate

(a) If a party to a suit for dissolution of a marriage opposes an application to compel arbitration or makes an application to stay arbitration and asserts that the contract containing the agreement to arbitrate is not valid or enforceable, notwithstanding any provision of the contract to the contrary, the court shall try the issue promptly and may order arbitration only if the court determines that the contract containing the agreement to arbitrate is valid and enforceable against the party seeking to avoid arbitration.

(b) A determination under this section that a contract is valid and enforceable does not affect the court's authority to stay arbitration or refuse to compel arbitration on any other ground provided by law.

(c) This section does not apply to:

(1) a court order;

(2) a mediated settlement agreement described by Section 6.602;

(3) a collaborative law agreement described by Section 6.603;

(4) a written settlement agreement reached at an informal settlement conference described by Section 6.604; or

(5) any other agreement between the parties that is approved by a court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1088 (S.B. 1216), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 6.602: Mediation Procedures

(a) On the written agreement of the parties or on the court's own motion, the court may refer a suit for dissolution of a marriage to mediation.

(b) A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if the agreement:

(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation;

(2) is signed by each party to the agreement; and

(3) is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is present at the time the agreement is signed.

(c) If a mediated settlement agreement meets the requirements of this section, a party is entitled to judgment on the mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule of law.

(d) A party may at any time prior to the final mediation order file a written objection to the referral of a suit for dissolution of a marriage to mediation on the basis of family violence having been committed against the objecting party by the other party. After an objection is filed, the suit may not be referred to mediation unless, on the request of the other party, a hearing is held and the court finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the objection. If the suit is referred to mediation, the court shall order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the party who filed the objection. The order shall provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during mediation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 178, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1351, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 6.604: Informal Settlement Conference

(a) The parties to a suit for dissolution of a marriage may agree to one or more informal settlement conferences and may agree that the settlement conferences may be conducted with or without the presence of the parties' attorneys, if any.

(b) A written settlement agreement reached at an informal settlement conference is binding on the parties if the agreement:

(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in boldfaced type or in capital letters or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation;

(2) is signed by each party to the agreement; and

(3) is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is present at the time the agreement is signed.

(c) If a written settlement agreement meets the requirements of Subsection (b), a party is entitled to judgment on the settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule of law.

(d) If the court finds that the terms of the written informal settlement agreement are just and right, those terms are binding on the court. If the court approves the agreement, the court may set forth the agreement in full or incorporate the agreement by reference in the final decree.

(e) If the court finds that the terms of the written informal settlement agreement are not just and right, the court may request the parties to submit a revised agreement or set the case for a contested hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 477 (H.B. 202), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter H

Sec. 6.701: Failure to Answer

In a suit for divorce, the petition may not be taken as confessed if the respondent does not file an answer.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.702: Waiting Period

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the date the suit was filed. A decree rendered in violation of this subsection is not subject to collateral attack.

(b) A waiting period is not required before a court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void other than as required in civil cases generally.

(c) A waiting period is not required under Subsection (a) before a court may grant a divorce in a suit in which the court finds that:

(1) the respondent has been finally convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence as defined by Section 71.004 against the petitioner or a member of the petitioner's household; or

(2) the petitioner has an active protective order under Title 4 or an active magistrate's order for emergency protection under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, based on a finding of family violence, against the respondent because of family violence committed during the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 896 (H.B. 72), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 6.703: Jury

In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, either party may demand a jury trial unless the action is a suit to annul an underage marriage under Section 6.102.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 52 (S.B. 432), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 6.704: Testimony of Husband Or Wife

(a) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the husband and wife are competent witnesses for and against each other. A spouse may not be compelled to testify as to a matter that will incriminate the spouse.

(b) If the husband or wife testifies, the court or jury trying the case shall determine the credibility of the witness and the weight to be given the witness's testimony.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.705: Testimony By Marriage Counselor

(a) The report by the person named by the court to counsel the parties to a suit for divorce may not be admitted as evidence in the suit.

(b) The person named by the court to counsel the parties is not competent to testify in any suit involving the parties or their children.

(c) The files, records, and other work products of the counselor are privileged and confidential for all purposes and may not be admitted as evidence in any suit involving the parties or their children.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.706: Change of Name

(a) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall change the name of a party specifically requesting the change to a name previously used by the party unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.

(b) The court may not deny a change of name solely to keep the last name of family members the same.

(c) A change of name does not release a person from liability incurred by the person under a previous name or defeat a right the person held under a previous name.

(d) A person whose name is changed under this section may apply for a change of name certificate from the clerk of the court as provided by Section 45.106.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.707: Transfers and Debts Pending Decree

(a) A transfer of real or personal community property or a debt incurred by a spouse while a suit for divorce or annulment is pending that subjects the other spouse or the community property to liability is void with respect to the other spouse if the transfer was made or the debt incurred with the intent to injure the rights of the other spouse.

(b) A transfer or debt is not void if the person dealing with the transferor or debtor spouse did not have notice of the intent to injure the rights of the other spouse.

(c) The spouse seeking to void a transfer or debt incurred while a suit for divorce or annulment is pending has the burden of proving that the person dealing with the transferor or debtor spouse had notice of the intent to injure the rights of the spouse seeking to void the transaction.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.708: Costs; Attorney's Fees and Expenses

(a) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the court as it considers reasonable may award costs to a party. Costs may not be adjudged against a party against whom a divorce is granted for confinement in a mental hospital under Section 6.007.

(b) The expenses of counseling may be taxed as costs against either or both parties.

(c) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees and expenses. The court may order the fees and expenses and any postjudgment interest to be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 916 (H.B. 1366), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 916 (H.B. 1366), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 6.709: Temporary Orders During Appeal

(a) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage, on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, after notice and hearing, the trial court may render a temporary order as considered equitable and necessary for the preservation of the property and for the protection of the parties during an appeal, including an order directed toward one or both parties:

(1) requiring the support of either spouse;

(2) requiring the payment of reasonable and necessary attorney's fees and expenses;

(3) appointing a receiver for the preservation and protection of the property of the parties;

(4) awarding one spouse exclusive occupancy of the parties' residence pending the appeal;

(5) enjoining a party from dissipating or transferring the property awarded to the other party in the trial court's property division; or

(6) suspending the operation of all or part of the property division that is being appealed.

(b) A temporary order under this section enjoining a party from dissipating or transferring the property awarded to the other party in the trial court's property division:

(1) may be rendered without:

(A) the issuance of a bond between the spouses; or

(B) an affidavit or a verified pleading stating specific facts showing that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result;

(2) is not required to:

(A) define the injury or state why the injury is irreparable; or

(B) include an order setting the suit for trial on the merits with respect to the ultimate relief sought; and

(3) may not prohibit a party's use, transfer, conveyance, or dissipation of the property awarded to the other party in the trial court's property division if the use, transfer, conveyance, or dissipation of the property is for the purpose of suspending the enforcement of the property division that is the subject of the appeal.

(c) A temporary order under this section that suspends the operation of all or part of the property division that is the subject of the appeal may not be rendered unless the trial court takes reasonable steps to ensure that the party awarded property in the trial court's property division is protected from the other party's dissipation or transfer of that property.

(d) In considering a party's request to suspend the enforcement of the property division, the trial court shall consider whether:

(1) any relief granted under Subsection (a) is adequate to protect the party's interest in the property awarded to the party; or

(2) the party who was not awarded the property should also be required to provide security for the appeal in addition to any relief granted under Subsection (a).

(e) If the trial court determines that the party awarded the property can be adequately protected from the other party's dissipation of assets during the appeal only if the other party provides security for the appeal, the trial court shall set the appropriate amount of security, taking into consideration any relief granted under Subsection (a) and the amount of security that the other party would otherwise have to provide by law if relief under Subsection (a) was not granted.

(f) In rendering a temporary order under this section that suspends enforcement of all or part of the property division, the trial court may grant any relief under Subsection (a), in addition to requiring the party who was not awarded the property to post security for that part of the property division to be suspended. The trial court may require that the party who was not awarded the property post all or only part of the security that would otherwise be required by law.

(g) This section does not prevent a party who was not awarded the property from exercising that party's right to suspend the enforcement of the property division as provided by law.

(h) A motion seeking an original temporary order under this section:

(1) may be filed before trial; and

(2) may not be filed by a party after the date by which that party is required to file the party's notice of appeal under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(i) The trial court retains jurisdiction to conduct a hearing and sign an original temporary order under this section until the 60th day after the date any eligible party has filed a notice of appeal from final judgment under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(j) The trial court retains jurisdiction to modify and enforce a temporary order under this section unless the appellate court, on a proper showing, supersedes the trial court's order.

(k) On the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, after notice and hearing, the trial court may modify a previous temporary order rendered under this section if:

(1) the circumstances of a party have materially and substantially changed since the rendition of the previous order; and

(2) modification is equitable and necessary for the preservation of the property or for the protection of the parties during the appeal.

(l) A party may seek review of the trial court's temporary order under this section by:

(1) motion filed in the court of appeals with jurisdiction or potential jurisdiction over the appeal from the judgment in the case;

(2) proper assignment in the party's brief; or

(3) petition for writ of mandamus.

(m) A temporary order rendered under this section is not subject to interlocutory appeal.

(n) The remedies provided in this section are cumulative of all other remedies allowed by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 6.710: Notice of Final Decree

The clerk of the court shall mail a notice of the signing of the final decree of dissolution of a marriage to the party who waived service of process under Section 6.4035 at the mailing address contained in the waiver or the office of the party's attorney of record. The notice must state that a copy of the decree is available at the office of the clerk of the court and include the physical address of that office.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 614, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 529 (H.B. 2422), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 6.711: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

(a) In a suit for dissolution of a marriage in which the court has rendered a judgment dividing the estate of the parties, on request by a party, the court shall state in writing its findings of fact and conclusions of law, including the characterization and value of all assets, liabilities, claims, and offsets on which disputed evidence has been presented.

(b) A request for findings of fact and conclusions of law under this section must conform to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) The findings of fact and conclusions of law required by this section are in addition to any other findings or conclusions required or authorized by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 297, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter I

Sec. 6.801: Remarriage

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, neither party to a divorce may marry a third party before the 31st day after the date the divorce is decreed.

(b) The former spouses may marry each other at any time.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 6.802: Waiver of Prohibition Against Remarriage

For good cause shown the court may waive the prohibition against remarriage provided by this subchapter as to either or both spouses if a record of the proceedings is made and preserved or if findings of fact and conclusions of law are filed by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Chapter 7

Sec. 7.001: General Rule of Property Division

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 7.002: Division and Disposition of Certain Property Under Special Circumstances

(a) In addition to the division of the estate of the parties required by Section 7.001, in a decree of divorce or annulment the court shall order a division of the following real and personal property, wherever situated, in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage:

(1) property that was acquired by either spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property had been domiciled in this state at the time of the acquisition; or

(2) property that was acquired by either spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property so exchanged had been domiciled in this state at the time of its acquisition.

(b) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall award to a spouse the following real and personal property, wherever situated, as the separate property of the spouse:

(1) property that was acquired by the spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been the spouse's separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition; or

(2) property that was acquired by the spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been the spouse's separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition.

(c) In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall confirm the following as the separate property of a spouse if partitioned or exchanged by written agreement of the spouses:

(1) income and earnings from the spouses' property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received on or after January 1 of the year in which the suit for dissolution of marriage was filed; or

(2) income and earnings from the spouses' property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received in another year during which the spouses were married for any part of the year.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 692, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 7.003: Disposition of Retirement and Employment Benefits and Other Plans

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall determine the rights of both spouses in a pension, retirement plan, annuity, individual retirement account, employee stock option plan, stock option, or other form of savings, bonus, profit-sharing, or other employer plan or financial plan of an employee or a participant, regardless of whether the person is self-employed, in the nature of compensation or savings.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 7.004: Disposition of Rights in Insurance

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall specifically divide or award the rights of each spouse in an insurance policy.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 7.005: Insurance Coverage Not Specifically Awarded

(a) If in a decree of divorce or annulment the court does not specifically award all of the rights of the spouses in an insurance policy other than life insurance in effect at the time the decree is rendered, the policy remains in effect until the policy expires according to the policy's own terms.

(b) The proceeds of a valid claim under the policy are payable as follows:

(1) if the interest in the property insured was awarded solely to one former spouse by the decree, to that former spouse;

(2) if an interest in the property insured was awarded to each former spouse, to those former spouses in proportion to the interests awarded; or

(3) if the insurance coverage is directly related to the person of one of the former spouses, to that former spouse.

(c) The failure of either former spouse to change the endorsement on the policy to reflect the distribution of proceeds established by this section does not relieve the insurer of liability to pay the proceeds or any other obligation on the policy.

(d) This section does not affect the right of a former spouse to assert an ownership interest in an undivided life insurance policy, as provided by Subchapter D, Chapter 9.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 7.006: Agreement Incident to Divorce Or Annulment

(a) To promote amicable settlement of disputes in a suit for divorce or annulment, the spouses may enter into a written agreement concerning the division of the property and the liabilities of the spouses and maintenance of either spouse. The agreement may be revised or repudiated before rendition of the divorce or annulment unless the agreement is binding under another rule of law.

(b) If the court finds that the terms of the written agreement in a divorce or an annulment are just and right, those terms are binding on the court. If the court approves the agreement, the court may set forth the agreement in full or incorporate the agreement by reference in the final decree. If the court incorporates the agreement by reference in the final decree, the agreement is not required to be filed with the court or the court clerk.

(c) If the court finds that the terms of the written agreement in a divorce or annulment are not just and right, the court may request the spouses to submit a revised agreement or may set the case for a contested hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (H.B. 559), Sec. 1, eff. May 24, 2019.

Sec. 7.007: Disposition of Claim for Reimbursement

In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall determine the rights of both spouses in a claim for reimbursement as provided by Subchapter E, Chapter 3, and shall apply equitable principles to:

(1) determine whether to recognize the claim after taking into account all the relative circumstances of the spouses; and

(2) order a division of the claim for reimbursement, if appropriate, in a manner that the court considers just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 838, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 7.008: Consideration of Taxes

In ordering the division of the estate of the parties to a suit for dissolution of a marriage, the court may consider:

(1) whether a specific asset will be subject to taxation; and

(2) if the asset will be subject to taxation, when the tax will be required to be paid.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 168 (H.B. 203), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 7.009: Fraud on the Community; Division and Disposition of Reconstituted Estate

(a) In this section, "reconstituted estate" means the total value of the community estate that would exist if an actual or constructive fraud on the community had not occurred.

(b) If the trier of fact determines that a spouse has committed actual or constructive fraud on the community, the court shall:

(1) calculate the value by which the community estate was depleted as a result of the fraud on the community and calculate the amount of the reconstituted estate; and

(2) divide the value of the reconstituted estate between the parties in a manner the court deems just and right.

(c) In making a just and right division of the reconstituted estate under Section 7.001, the court may grant any legal or equitable relief necessary to accomplish a just and right division, including:

(1) awarding to the wronged spouse an appropriate share of the community estate remaining after the actual or constructive fraud on the community;

(2) awarding a money judgment in favor of the wronged spouse against the spouse who committed the actual or constructive fraud on the community; or

(3) awarding to the wronged spouse both a money judgment and an appropriate share of the community estate.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 487 (H.B. 908), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Chapter 8

Subchapter A

Sec. 8.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Maintenance" means an award in a suit for dissolution of a marriage of periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse.

(2) "Notice of application for a writ of withholding" means the document delivered to an obligor and filed with the court as required by this chapter for the nonjudicial determination of arrears and initiation of withholding for spousal maintenance.

(3) "Obligee" means a person entitled to receive payments under the terms of an order for spousal maintenance.

(4) "Obligor" means a person required to make periodic payments under the terms of an order for spousal maintenance.

(5) "Writ of withholding" means the document issued by the clerk of a court and delivered to an employer, directing that earnings be withheld for payment of spousal maintenance as provided by this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter B

Sec. 8.051: Eligibility for Maintenance

In a suit for dissolution of a marriage or in a proceeding for maintenance in a court with personal jurisdiction over both former spouses following the dissolution of their marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over an absent spouse, the court may order maintenance for either spouse only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property, including the spouse's separate property, on dissolution of the marriage to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs and:

(1) the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse's child and the offense occurred:

(A) within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or

(B) while the suit is pending; or

(2) the spouse seeking maintenance:

(A) is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;

(B) has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs; or

(C) is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 8.002 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 914 (H.B. 201), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 8.052: Factors in Determining Maintenance

A court that determines that a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance under this chapter shall determine the nature, amount, duration, and manner of periodic payments by considering all relevant factors, including:

(1) each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs independently, considering that spouse's financial resources on dissolution of the marriage;

(2) the education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income, and the availability and feasibility of that education or training;

(3) the duration of the marriage;

(4) the age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;

(5) the effect on each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance, if applicable;

(6) acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;

(7) the contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;

(8) the property brought to the marriage by either spouse;

(9) the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;

(10) marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage; and

(11) any history or pattern of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.003 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.053: Presumption

(a) It is a rebuttable presumption that maintenance under Section 8.051(2)(B) is not warranted unless the spouse seeking maintenance has exercised diligence in:

(1) earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs; or

(2) developing the necessary skills to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs during a period of separation and during the time the suit for dissolution of the marriage is pending.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486, Sec. 9(1), eff. September 1, 2011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.004 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 914 (H.B. 201), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 9(1), eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.054: Duration of Maintenance Order

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a court:

(1) may not order maintenance that remains in effect for more than:

(A) five years after the date of the order, if:

(i) the spouses were married to each other for less than 10 years and the eligibility of the spouse for whom maintenance is ordered is established under Section 8.051(1); or

(ii) the spouses were married to each other for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years;

(B) seven years after the date of the order, if the spouses were married to each other for at least 20 years but not more than 30 years; or

(C) 10 years after the date of the order, if the spouses were married to each other for 30 years or more; and

(2) shall limit the duration of a maintenance order to the shortest reasonable period that allows the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs, unless the ability of the spouse to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs is substantially or totally diminished because of:

(A) physical or mental disability of the spouse seeking maintenance;

(B) duties as the custodian of an infant or young child of the marriage; or

(C) another compelling impediment to earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.

(b) The court may order maintenance for a spouse to whom Section 8.051(2)(A) or (C) applies for as long as the spouse continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria prescribed by the applicable provision.

(c) On the request of either party or on the court's own motion, the court may order the periodic review of its order for maintenance under Subsection (b).

(d) The continuation of maintenance ordered under Subsection (b) is subject to a motion to modify as provided by Section 8.057.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.005 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 914 (H.B. 201), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.055: Amount of Maintenance

(a) A court may not order maintenance that requires an obligor to pay monthly more than the lesser of:

(1) $5,000; or

(2) 20 percent of the spouse's average monthly gross income.

(a-1) For purposes of this chapter, gross income:

(1) includes:

(A) 100 percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);

(B) interest, dividends, and royalty income;

(C) self-employment income;

(D) net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); and

(E) all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, unemployment benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, maintenance, and alimony; and

(2) does not include:

(A) return of principal or capital;

(B) accounts receivable;

(C) benefits paid in accordance with federal public assistance programs;

(D) benefits paid in accordance with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program;

(E) payments for foster care of a child;

(F) Department of Veterans Affairs service-connected disability compensation;

(G) supplemental security income (SSI), social security benefits, and disability benefits; or

(H) workers' compensation benefits.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486, Sec. 9(2), eff. September 1, 2011.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486, Sec. 9(2), eff. September 1, 2011.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486, Sec. 9(2), eff. September 1, 2011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.006 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1138, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 9(2), eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.056: Termination

(a) The obligation to pay future maintenance terminates on the death of either party or on the remarriage of the obligee.

(b) After a hearing, the court shall order the termination of the maintenance obligation if the court finds that the obligee cohabits with another person with whom the obligee has a dating or romantic relationship in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis.

(c) Termination of the maintenance obligation does not terminate the obligation to pay any maintenance that accrued before the date of termination, whether as a result of death or remarriage under Subsection (a) or a court order under Subsection (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.007 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.057: Modification of Maintenance Order

(a) The amount of maintenance specified in a court order or the portion of a decree that provides for the support of a former spouse may be reduced by the filing of a motion in the court that originally rendered the order. A party affected by the order or the portion of the decree to be modified may file the motion.

(b) Notice of a motion to modify maintenance and the response, if any, are governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to the filing of an original lawsuit. Notice must be given by service of citation, and a response must be in the form of an answer due on or before 10 a.m. of the first Monday after 20 days after the date of service. A court shall set a hearing on the motion in the manner provided by Rule 245, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) After a hearing, the court may modify an original or modified order or portion of a decree providing for maintenance on a proper showing of a material and substantial change in circumstances, including circumstances reflected in the factors specified in Section 8.052, relating to either party or to a child of the marriage described by Section 8.051(2)(C), if applicable. The court shall apply the modification only to payment accruing after the filing of the motion to modify.

(d) A loss of employment or circumstances that render a former spouse unable to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs by reason of incapacitating physical or mental disability that occur after the divorce or annulment are not grounds for the institution of spousal maintenance for the benefit of the former spouse.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.008 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.058: Maintenance Arrearages

A spousal maintenance payment not timely made constitutes an arrearage.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.059: Enforcement of Maintenance Order

(a) The court may enforce by contempt against the obligor:

(1) the court's maintenance order; or

(2) an agreement for periodic payments of spousal maintenance under the terms of this chapter voluntarily entered into between the parties and approved by the court.

(a-1) The court may not enforce by contempt any provision of an agreed order for maintenance that exceeds the amount of periodic support the court could have ordered under this chapter or for any period of maintenance beyond the period of maintenance the court could have ordered under this chapter.

(b) On the suit to enforce by an obligee, the court may render judgment against a defaulting party for the amount of arrearages after notice by service of citation, answer, if any, and a hearing finding that the defaulting party has failed or refused to comply with the terms of the order. The judgment may be enforced by any means available for the enforcement of judgment for debts.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to an allegation of contempt of court or the violation of a condition of probation requiring payment of court-ordered maintenance that the obligor:

(1) lacked the ability to provide maintenance in the amount ordered;

(2) lacked property that could be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise pledged to raise the funds needed;

(3) attempted unsuccessfully to borrow the needed funds; and

(4) did not know of a source from which the money could have been borrowed or otherwise legally obtained.

(d) The issue of the existence of an affirmative defense does not arise until pleaded. An obligor must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486, Sec. 9(3), eff. September 1, 2011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.009 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 9(3), eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 8.0591: Overpayment

(a) If an obligor is not in arrears on the obligor's maintenance obligation and the obligor's maintenance obligation has terminated, the obligee must return to the obligor any maintenance payment made by the obligor that exceeds the amount of maintenance ordered or approved by the court, regardless of whether the payment was made before, on, or after the date the maintenance obligation terminated.

(b) An obligor may file a suit to recover overpaid maintenance under Subsection (a). If the court finds that the obligee failed to return overpaid maintenance under Subsection (a), the court shall order the obligee to pay the obligor's attorney's fees and all court costs in addition to the amount of the overpaid maintenance. For good cause shown, the court may waive the requirement that the obligee pay attorney's fees and court costs if the court states in its order the reasons supporting that finding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 486 (H.B. 901), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 8.060: Putative Spouse

In a suit to declare a marriage void, a putative spouse who did not have knowledge of an existing impediment to a valid marriage may be awarded maintenance if otherwise qualified to receive maintenance under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.010 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.061: Unmarried Cohabitants

An order for maintenance is not authorized between unmarried cohabitants under any circumstances.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 8.011 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter C

Sec. 8.101: Income Withholding; General Rule

(a) In a proceeding in which periodic payments of spousal maintenance are ordered, modified, or enforced, the court may order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor as provided by this chapter.

(a-1) The court may order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor in a proceeding in which there is an agreement for periodic payments of spousal maintenance under the terms of this chapter voluntarily entered into between the parties and approved by the court.

(a-2) The court may not order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to the extent that any provision of an agreed order for maintenance exceeds the amount of periodic support the court could have ordered under this chapter or for any period of maintenance beyond the period of maintenance the court could have ordered under this chapter.

(b) This subchapter does not apply to contractual alimony or spousal maintenance, regardless of whether the alimony or maintenance is taxable, unless:

(1) the contract specifically permits income withholding; or

(2) the alimony or maintenance payments are not timely made under the terms of the contract.

(c) An order or writ of withholding for spousal maintenance may be combined with an order or writ of withholding for child support only if the obligee has been appointed managing conservator of the child for whom the child support is owed and is the conservator with whom the child primarily resides.

(d) An order or writ of withholding that combines withholding for spousal maintenance and child support must:

(1) require that the withheld amounts be paid to the appropriate place of payment under Section 154.004;

(2) be in the form prescribed by the Title IV-D agency under Section 158.106;

(3) clearly indicate the amounts withheld that are to be applied to current spousal maintenance and to any maintenance arrearages; and

(4) subject to the maximum withholding allowed under Section 8.106, order that withheld income be applied in the following order of priority:

(A) current child support;

(B) current spousal maintenance;

(C) child support arrearages; and

(D) spousal maintenance arrearages.

(e) Garnishment for the purposes of spousal maintenance does not apply to unemployment insurance benefit payments.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 8.102: Withholding for Arrearages in Addition to Current Spousal Maintenance

(a) The court may order that, in addition to income withheld for current spousal maintenance, income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to be applied toward the liquidation of any arrearages.

(b) The additional amount withheld to be applied toward arrearages must be whichever of the following amounts will discharge the arrearages in the least amount of time:

(1) an amount sufficient to discharge the arrearages in not more than two years; or

(2) 20 percent of the amount withheld for current maintenance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.103: Withholding for Arrearages When Current Maintenance Is Not Due

A court may order income withholding to be applied toward arrearages in an amount sufficient to discharge those arrearages in not more than two years if current spousal maintenance is no longer owed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.104: Withholding to Satisfy Judgment for Arrearages

The court, in rendering a cumulative judgment for arrearages, may order that a reasonable amount of income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to be applied toward the satisfaction of the judgment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.105: Priority of Withholding

An order or writ of withholding under this chapter has priority over any garnishment, attachment, execution, or other order affecting disposable earnings, except for an order or writ of withholding for child support under Chapter 158.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.106: Maximum Amount Withheld from Earnings

An order or writ of withholding must direct that an obligor's employer withhold from the obligor's disposable earnings the lesser of:

(1) the amount specified in the order or writ; or

(2) an amount that, when added to the amount of income being withheld by the employer for child support, is equal to 50 percent of the obligor's disposable earnings.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.107: Order Or Writ Binding on Employer Doing Business in This State

An order or writ of withholding issued under this chapter and delivered to an employer doing business in this state is binding on the employer without regard to whether the obligor resides or works outside this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.108: Voluntary Writ of Withholding By Obligor

(a) An obligor may file with the clerk of the court a notarized or acknowledged request signed by the obligor and the obligee for the issuance and delivery to the obligor's employer of a writ of withholding. The obligor may file the request under this section regardless of whether a writ or order has been served on any party or whether the obligor owes arrearages.

(b) On receipt of a request under this section, the clerk shall issue and deliver a writ of withholding in the manner provided by this subchapter.

(c) An employer who receives a writ of withholding issued under this section may request a hearing in the same manner and according to the same terms provided by Section 8.205.

(d) An obligor whose employer receives a writ of withholding issued under this section may request a hearing in the manner provided by Section 8. 258.

(e) An obligee may contest a writ of income withholding issued under this section by requesting, not later than the 180th day after the date on which the obligee discovers that the writ was issued, a hearing to be conducted in the manner provided by Section 8.258 for a hearing on a motion to stay.

(f) A writ of withholding under this section may not reduce the total amount of spousal maintenance, including arrearages, owed by the obligor.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter D

Sec. 8.151: Time Limit

The court may issue an order or writ for withholding under this chapter at any time before all spousal maintenance and arrearages are paid.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.152: Contents of Order of Withholding

(a) An order of withholding must state:

(1) the style, cause number, and court having jurisdiction to enforce the order;

(2) the name, address, and, if available, the social security number of the obligor;

(3) the amount and duration of the spousal maintenance payments, including the amount and duration of withholding for arrearages, if any; and

(4) the name, address, and, if available, the social security number of the obligee.

(b) The order for withholding must require the obligor to notify the court promptly of any material change affecting the order, including a change of employer.

(c) On request by an obligee, the court may exclude from an order of withholding the obligee's address and social security number if the obligee or a member of the obligee's family or household is a victim of family violence and is the subject of a protective order to which the obligor is also subject. On granting a request under this subsection, the court shall order the clerk to:

(1) strike the address and social security number required by Subsection (a) from the order or writ of withholding; and

(2) maintain a confidential record of the obligee's address and social security number to be used only by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.153: Request for Issuance of Order Or Writ of Withholding

An obligor or obligee may file with the clerk of the court a request for issuance of an order or writ of withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.154: Issuance and Delivery of Order Or Writ of Withholding

(a) On receipt of a request for issuance of an order or writ of withholding, the clerk of the court shall deliver a certified copy of the order or writ to the obligor's current employer or to any subsequent employer of the obligor. The clerk shall attach a copy of Subchapter E to the order or writ.

(b) Not later than the fourth working day after the date the order is signed or the request is filed, whichever is later, the clerk shall issue and deliver the certified copy of the order or writ by:

(1) certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the employer; or

(2) service of citation to:

(A) the person authorized to receive service of process for the employer in civil cases generally; or

(B) a person designated by the employer by written notice to the clerk to receive orders or notices of income withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter E

Sec. 8.201: Order Or Writ Binding on Employer

(a) An employer required to withhold income from earnings under this chapter is not entitled to notice of the proceedings before the order of withholding is rendered or writ of withholding is issued.

(b) An order or writ of withholding is binding on an employer regardless of whether the employer is specifically named in the order or writ.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.202: Effective Date and Duration of Income Withholding

An employer shall begin to withhold income in accordance with an order or writ of withholding not later than the first pay period after the date the order or writ was delivered to the employer. The employer shall continue to withhold income as required by the order or writ as long as the obligor is employed by the employer.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.203: Remitting Withheld Payments

(a) The employer shall remit to the person or office named in the order or writ of withholding the amount of income withheld from an obligor on each pay date. The remittance must include the date on which the income withholding occurred.

(b) The employer shall include with each remittance:

(1) the cause number of the suit under which income withholding is required;

(2) the payor's name; and

(3) the payee's name, unless the remittance is made by electronic funds transfer.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.204: Employer May Deduct Fee from Earnings

An employer may deduct an administrative fee of not more than $5 each month from the obligor's disposable earnings in addition to the amount withheld as spousal maintenance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.205: Hearing Requested By Employer

(a) Not later than the 20th day after the date an order or writ of withholding is delivered to an employer, the employer may file with the court a motion for a hearing on the applicability of the order or writ to the employer.

(b) The hearing under this section must be held on or before the 15th day after the date the motion is made.

(c) An order or writ of withholding is binding and the employer shall continue to withhold income and remit the amount withheld pending further order of the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.206: Liability and Obligation of Employer for Payments

(a) An employer who complies with an order or writ of withholding under this chapter is not liable to the obligor for the amount of income withheld and remitted as required by the order or writ.

(b) An employer who receives, but does not comply with, an order or writ of withholding is liable to:

(1) the obligee for any amount of spousal maintenance not paid in compliance with the order or writ;

(2) the obligor for any amount withheld from the obligor's disposable earnings, but not remitted to the obligee; and

(3) the obligee or obligor for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs incurred in recovering an amount described by Subdivision (1) or (2).

(c) An employer shall comply with an order of withholding for spousal maintenance or alimony issued in another state that appears regular on its face in the same manner as an order issued by a tribunal of this state. The employer shall notify the employee of the order and comply with the order in the manner provided by Subchapter F, Chapter 159, with respect to an order of withholding for child support issued by another state. The employer may contest the order of withholding in the manner provided by that subchapter with respect to an order of withholding for child support issued by another state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.207: Employer Receiving Multiple Orders Or Writs

(a) An employer who receives more than one order or writ of withholding to withhold income from the same obligor shall withhold the combined amounts due under each order or writ unless the combined amounts due exceed the maximum total amount of allowed income withholding under Section 8.106.

(b) If the combined amounts to be withheld under multiple orders or writs for the same obligor exceed the maximum total amount of allowed income withholding under Section 8.106, the employer shall pay, until that maximum is reached, in the following order of priority:

(1) an equal amount toward current child support owed by the obligor in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each current child support obligation;

(2) an equal amount toward current maintenance owed by the obligor in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each current maintenance obligation;

(3) an equal amount toward child support arrearages owed by the obligor in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each order or writ for child support arrearages; and

(4) an equal amount toward maintenance arrearages owed by the obligor in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each order or writ for spousal maintenance arrearages.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.208: Employer's Liability for Discriminatory Hiring Or Discharge

(a) An employer may not use an order or writ of withholding as grounds in whole or part for the termination of employment of, or for any other disciplinary action against, an employee.

(b) An employer may not refuse to hire an employee because of an order or writ of withholding.

(c) An employer who intentionally discharges an employee in violation of this section is liable to that employee for current wages, other employment benefits, and reasonable attorney's fees and court costs incurred in enforcing the employee's rights.

(d) In addition to liability imposed under Subsection (c), the court shall order with respect to an employee whose employment was suspended or terminated in violation of this section appropriate injunctive relief, including reinstatement of:

(1) the employee's position with the employer; and

(2) fringe benefits or seniority lost as a result of the suspension or termination.

(e) An employee may bring an action to enforce the employee's rights under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.209: Penalty for Noncompliance

(a) In addition to the civil remedies provided by this subchapter or any other remedy provided by law, an employer who knowingly violates this chapter by failing to withhold income for spousal maintenance or to remit withheld income in accordance with an order or writ of withholding issued under this chapter commits an offense.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed $200 for each violation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.210: Notice of Termination of Employment and of New Employment

(a) An obligor who terminates employment with an employer who has been withholding income and the obligor's employer shall each notify the court and the obligee of:

(1) the termination of employment not later than the seventh day after the date of termination;

(2) the obligor's last known address; and

(3) the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

(b) The obligor shall inform a subsequent employer of the order or writ of withholding after obtaining employment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter F

Sec. 8.251: Notice of Application for Writ of Withholding; Filing

(a) An obligor or obligee may file a notice of application for a writ of withholding if income withholding was not ordered at the time spousal maintenance was ordered.

(b) The obligor or obligee may file the notice of application for a writ of withholding in the court that ordered the spousal maintenance under Subchapter B.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.252: Contents of Notice of Application for Writ of Withholding

The notice of application for a writ of withholding must be verified and:

(1) state the amount of monthly maintenance due, including the amount of arrearages or anticipated arrearages, and the amount of disposable earnings to be withheld under a writ of withholding;

(2) state that the withholding applies to each current or subsequent employer or period of employment;

(3) state that the obligor's employer will be notified to begin the withholding if the obligor does not contest the withholding on or before the 10th day after the date the obligor receives the notice;

(4) describe the procedures for contesting the issuance and delivery of a writ of withholding;

(5) state that the obligor will be provided an opportunity for a hearing not later than the 30th day after the date of receipt of the notice of contest if the obligor contests the withholding;

(6) state that the sole ground for successfully contesting the issuance of a writ of withholding is a dispute concerning the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of the arrearages;

(7) describe the actions that may be taken if the obligor contests the notice of application for a writ of withholding, including the procedures for suspending issuance of a writ of withholding; and

(8) include with the notice a suggested form for the motion to stay issuance and delivery of the writ of withholding that the obligor may file with the clerk of the appropriate court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.253: Interstate Request for Withholding

(a) The registration of a foreign order that provides for spousal maintenance or alimony as provided in Chapter 159 is sufficient for filing a notice of application for a writ of withholding.

(b) The notice must be filed with the clerk of the court having venue as provided in Chapter 159.

(c) The notice of application for a writ of withholding may be delivered to the obligor at the same time that an order is filed for registration under Chapter 159.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.254: Additional Arrearages

If the notice of application for a writ of withholding states that the obligor has failed to pay more than one spousal maintenance payment according to the terms of the spousal maintenance order, the writ of withholding may include withholding for arrearages that accrue between the filing of the notice and the date of the hearing or the issuance of the writ.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.255: Delivery of Notice of Application for Writ of Withholding; Time of Delivery

(a) The party who files a notice of application for a writ of withholding shall deliver the notice to the obligor by:

(1) first-class or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the obligor's last known address or place of employment; or

(2) service of citation as in civil cases generally.

(b) If the notice is delivered by mail, the party who filed the notice shall file with the court a certificate stating the name, address, and date the party mailed the notice.

(c) The notice is considered to have been received by the obligor:

(1) on the date of receipt, if the notice was mailed by certified mail;

(2) on the 10th day after the date the notice was mailed, if the notice was mailed by first-class mail; or

(3) on the date of service, if the notice was delivered by service of citation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.256: Motion to Stay Issuance of Writ of Withholding

(a) The obligor may stay issuance of a writ of withholding by filing a motion to stay with the clerk of the court not later than the 10th day after the date the notice of application for a writ of withholding was received.

(b) The grounds for filing a motion to stay issuance are limited to a dispute concerning the identity of the obligor or the existence or the amount of the arrearages.

(c) The obligor shall verify that the statements of fact in the motion to stay issuance of the writ are correct.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.257: Effect of Filing Motion to Stay

If the obligor files a motion to stay as provided by Section 8.256, the clerk of the court may not deliver the writ of withholding to the obligor's employer before a hearing is held.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.258: Hearing on Motion to Stay

(a) If the obligor files a motion to stay as provided by Section 8.256, the court shall set a hearing on the motion and the clerk of the court shall notify the obligor and obligee of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(b) The court shall hold a hearing on the motion to stay not later than the 30th day after the date the motion was filed unless the obligor and obligee agree and waive the right to have the motion heard within 30 days.

(c) After the hearing, the court shall:

(1) render an order for income withholding that includes a determination of any amount of arrearages; or

(2) grant the motion to stay.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.259: Special Exceptions

(a) A defect in a notice of application for a writ of withholding is waived unless the respondent specially excepts in writing and cites with particularity the alleged defect, obscurity, or other ambiguity in the notice.

(b) A special exception under this section must be heard by the court before hearing the motion to stay issuance.

(c) If the court sustains an exception, the court shall provide the party filing the notice an opportunity to refile and shall continue the hearing to a specified date without requiring additional service.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.260: Writ of Withholding After Arrearages Are Paid

(a) The court may not refuse to order withholding solely on the basis that the obligor paid the arrearages after the obligor received the notice of application for a writ of withholding.

(b) The court shall order that a reasonable amount of income be withheld and applied toward the liquidation of arrearages, even though a judgment confirming arrearages was rendered against the obligor.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.261: Request for Issuance and Delivery of Writ of Withholding

(a) If a notice of application for a writ of withholding is delivered and the obligor does not file a motion to stay within the time provided by Section 8.256, the party who filed the notice shall file with the clerk of the court a request for issuance of the writ of withholding stating the amount of current spousal maintenance, the amount of arrearages, and the amount to be withheld from the obligor's income.

(b) The party who filed the notice may not file a request for issuance before the 11th day after the date the obligor received the notice of application for a writ of withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.262: Issuance and Delivery of Writ of Withholding

The clerk of the court shall, on the filing of a request for issuance of a writ of withholding, issue and deliver the writ as provided by Subchapter D not later than the second working day after the date the request is filed. The clerk shall charge a fee in the amount of $15 for issuing the writ of withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.263: Contents of Writ of Withholding

A writ of withholding must direct that an obligor's employer or a subsequent employer withhold from the obligor's disposable earnings an amount for current spousal maintenance and arrearages consistent with this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.264: Extension of Repayment Schedule By Party; Unreasonable Hardship

A party who files a notice of application for a writ of withholding and who determines that the schedule for repaying arrearages would cause unreasonable hardship to the obligor or the obligor's family may extend the payment period in the writ.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.265: Remittance of Amount to Be Withheld

The obligor's employer shall remit the amount withheld to the person or office named in the writ on each pay date and shall include with the remittance the date on which the withholding occurred.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.266: Failure to Receive Notice of Application for Writ of Withholding

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date of the first pay period after the date the obligor's employer receives a writ of withholding, the obligor may file an affidavit with the court stating that:

(1) the obligor did not timely file a motion to stay because the obligor did not receive the notice of application for a writ of withholding; and

(2) grounds exist for a motion to stay.

(b) The obligor may:

(1) file with the affidavit a motion to withdraw the writ of withholding; and

(2) request a hearing on the applicability of the writ.

(c) Income withholding may not be interrupted until after the hearing at which the court renders an order denying or modifying withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.267: Issuance and Delivery of Writ of Withholding to Subsequent Employer

(a) After the clerk of the court issues a writ of withholding, a party authorized to file a notice of application for a writ of withholding under this subchapter may deliver a copy of the writ to a subsequent employer of the obligor by certified mail.

(b) Except as provided by an order under Section 8.152, the writ of withholding must include the name, address, and signature of the party and clearly indicate that the writ is being issued to a subsequent employer.

(c) The party shall file:

(1) a copy of the writ of withholding with the clerk not later than the third working day after the date of delivery of the writ to the subsequent employer; and

(2) the postal return receipt from the delivery to the subsequent employer not later than the third working day after the date the party receives the receipt.

(d) The party shall pay the clerk a fee in the amount of $15 for filing the copy of the writ.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter G

Sec. 8.301: Agreement By Parties Regarding Amount Or Duration of Withholding

(a) An obligor and obligee may agree to reduce or terminate income withholding for spousal maintenance on the occurrence of any contingency stated in the order.

(b) The obligor and obligee may file a notarized or acknowledged request with the clerk of the court under Section 8.108 for a revised writ of withholding or notice of termination of withholding.

(c) The clerk shall issue and deliver to the obligor's employer a writ of withholding that reflects the agreed revision or a notice of termination of withholding.

(d) An agreement by the parties under this section does not modify the terms of an order for spousal maintenance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.302: Modifications to Or Termination of Withholding in Voluntary Withholding Cases

(a) If an obligor initiates voluntary withholding under Section 8.108, the obligee may file with the clerk of the court a notarized request signed by the obligor and the obligee for the issuance and delivery to the obligor of:

(1) a modified writ of withholding that reduces the amount of withholding; or

(2) a notice of termination of withholding.

(b) On receipt of a request under this section, the clerk shall issue and deliver a modified writ of withholding or notice of termination in the manner provided by Section 8.301.

(c) The clerk may charge a fee in the amount of $15 for issuing and delivering the modified writ of withholding or notice of termination.

(d) An obligee may contest a modified writ of withholding or notice of termination issued under this section by requesting a hearing in the manner provided by Section 8.258 not later than the 180th day after the date the obligee discovers that the writ or notice was issued.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.303: Termination of Withholding in Mandatory Withholding Cases

(a) An obligor for whom withholding for maintenance owed or withholding for maintenance and child support owed is mandatory may file a motion to terminate withholding. On a showing by the obligor that the obligor has complied fully with the terms of the maintenance or child support order, as applicable, the court shall render an order for the issuance and delivery to the obligor of a notice of termination of withholding.

(b) The clerk shall issue and deliver the notice of termination ordered under this section to the obligor.

(c) The clerk may charge a fee in the amount of $15 for issuing and delivering the notice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.304: Delivery of Order of Reduction Or Termination of Withholding

Any person may deliver to the obligor's employer a certified copy of an order that reduces the amount of spousal maintenance to be withheld or terminates the withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.305: Liability of Employers

The provisions of this chapter regarding the liability of employers for withholding apply to an order that reduces or terminates withholding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Chapter 9

Subchapter A

Sec. 9.001: Enforcement of Decree

(a) A party affected by a decree of divorce or annulment providing for a division of property as provided by Chapter 7, including a division of property and any contractual provisions under the terms of an agreement incident to divorce or annulment under Section 7.006 that was approved by the court, may request enforcement of that decree by filing a suit to enforce as provided by this chapter in the court that rendered the decree.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a suit to enforce shall be governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to the filing of an original lawsuit.

(c) A party whose rights, duties, powers, or liabilities may be affected by the suit to enforce is entitled to receive notice by citation and shall be commanded to appear by filing a written answer. Thereafter, the proceedings shall be as in civil cases generally.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 9.002: Continuing Authority to Enforce Decree

The court that rendered the decree of divorce or annulment retains the power to enforce the property division as provided by Chapter 7, including a property division and any contractual provisions under the terms of an agreement incident to divorce or annulment under Section 7.006 that was approved by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 9.003: Filing Deadlines

(a) A suit to enforce the division of tangible personal property in existence at the time of the decree of divorce or annulment must be filed before the second anniversary of the date the decree was signed or becomes final after appeal, whichever date is later, or the suit is barred.

(b) A suit to enforce the division of future property not in existence at the time of the original decree must be filed before the second anniversary of the date the right to the property matures or accrues or the decree becomes final, whichever date is later, or the suit is barred.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.004: Applicability to Undivided Property

The procedures and limitations of this subchapter do not apply to existing property not divided on divorce, which are governed by Subchapter C and by the rules applicable to civil cases generally.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.005: No Jury

A party may not demand a jury trial if the procedures to enforce a decree of divorce or annulment provided by this subchapter are invoked.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.006: Enforcement of Division of Property

(a) Except as provided by this subchapter and by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the court may render further orders to enforce the division of property made or approved in the decree of divorce or annulment to assist in the implementation of or to clarify the prior order.

(b) The court may specify more precisely the manner of effecting the property division previously made or approved if the substantive division of property is not altered or changed.

(c) An order of enforcement does not alter or affect the finality of the decree of divorce or annulment being enforced.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 9.007: Limitation on Power of Court to Enforce

(a) A court may not amend, modify, alter, or change the division of property made or approved in the decree of divorce or annulment. An order to enforce the division is limited to an order to assist in the implementation of or to clarify the prior order and may not alter or change the substantive division of property.

(b) An order under this section that amends, modifies, alters, or changes the actual, substantive division of property made or approved in a final decree of divorce or annulment is beyond the power of the divorce court and is unenforceable.

(c) The trial court may not render an order to assist in the implementation of or to clarify the property division made or approved in the decree before the 30th day after the date the final judgment is signed. If a timely motion for new trial or to vacate, modify, correct, or reform the decree is filed, the trial court may not render an order to assist in the implementation of or to clarify the property division made or approved in the decree before the 30th day after the date the order overruling the motion is signed or the motion is overruled by operation of law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 421 (S.B. 1237), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 9.008: Clarification Order

(a) On the request of a party or on the court's own motion, the court may render a clarifying order before a motion for contempt is made or heard, in conjunction with a motion for contempt or on denial of a motion for contempt.

(b) On a finding by the court that the original form of the division of property is not specific enough to be enforceable by contempt, the court may render a clarifying order setting forth specific terms to enforce compliance with the original division of property.

(c) The court may not give retroactive effect to a clarifying order.

(d) The court shall provide a reasonable time for compliance before enforcing a clarifying order by contempt or in another manner.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.009: Delivery of Property

To enforce the division of property made or approved in a decree of divorce or annulment, the court may make an order to deliver the specific existing property awarded, without regard to whether the property is of especial value, including an award of an existing sum of money or its equivalent.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 242 (H.B. 389), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 9.010: Reduction to Money Judgment

(a) If a party fails to comply with a decree of divorce or annulment and delivery of property awarded in the decree is no longer an adequate remedy, the court may render a money judgment for the damages caused by that failure to comply.

(b) If a party did not receive payments of money as awarded in the decree of divorce or annulment, the court may render judgment against a defaulting party for the amount of unpaid payments to which the party is entitled.

(c) The remedy of a reduction to money judgment is in addition to the other remedies provided by law.

(d) A money judgment rendered under this section may be enforced by any means available for the enforcement of judgment for debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.011: Right to Future Property

(a) The court may, by any remedy provided by this chapter, enforce an award of the right to receive installment payments or a lump-sum payment due on the maturation of an existing vested or nonvested right to be paid in the future.

(b) The subsequent actual receipt by the non-owning party of property awarded to the owner in a decree of divorce or annulment creates a fiduciary obligation in favor of the owner and imposes a constructive trust on the property for the benefit of the owner.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.012: Contempt

(a) The court may enforce by contempt an order requiring delivery of specific property or an award of a right to future property.

(b) The court may not enforce by contempt an award in a decree of divorce or annulment of a sum of money payable in a lump sum or in future installment payments in the nature of debt, except for:

(1) a sum of money in existence at the time the decree was rendered; or

(2) a matured right to future payments as provided by Section 9.011.

(c) This subchapter does not detract from or limit the general power of a court to enforce an order of the court by appropriate means.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.013: Costs

The court may award costs in a proceeding to enforce a property division under this subchapter as in other civil cases.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.014: Attorney's Fees

The court may award reasonable attorney's fees in a proceeding under this subchapter. The court may order the attorney's fees to be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order for fees in the attorney's own name by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2009.

Subchapter B

Sec. 9.101: Jurisdiction for Qualified Domestic Relations Order

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the court that rendered a final decree of divorce or annulment or another final order dividing property under this title retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to render an enforceable qualified domestic relations order or similar order permitting payment of pension, retirement plan, or other employee benefits divisible under the law of this state or of the United States to an alternate payee or other lawful payee.

(b) Unless prohibited by federal law, a suit seeking a qualified domestic relations order or similar order under this section applies to a previously divided pension, retirement plan, or other employee benefit divisible under the law of this state or of the United States, whether the plan or benefit is private, state, or federal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.102: Procedure

(a) A party to a decree of divorce or annulment may petition the court for a qualified domestic relations order or similar order.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this code, a petition under this subchapter is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to the filing of an original lawsuit.

(c) Each party whose rights may be affected by the petition is entitled to receive notice by citation and shall be commanded to appear by filing a written answer.

(d) The proceedings shall be conducted in the same manner as civil cases generally.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.103: Prior Failure to Render Qualified Domestic Relations Order

A party may petition a court to render a qualified domestic relations order or similar order if the court that rendered a final decree of divorce or annulment or another final order dividing property under this chapter did not provide a qualified domestic relations order or similar order permitting payment of benefits to an alternate payee or other lawful payee.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.104: Defective Prior Domestic Relations Order

If a plan administrator or other person acting in an equivalent capacity determines that a domestic relations order does not satisfy the requirements of a qualified domestic relations order or similar order, the court retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the parties and their property to the extent necessary to render a qualified domestic relations order.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.1045: Amendment of Qualified Domestic Relations Order

(a) A court that renders a qualified domestic relations order retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to amend the order to correct the order or clarify the terms of the order to effectuate the division of property ordered by the court.

(b) An amended domestic relations order under this section must be submitted to the plan administrator or other person acting in an equivalent capacity to determine whether the amended order satisfies the requirements of a qualified domestic relations order. Section 9.104 applies to a domestic relations order amended under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 481 (H.B. 248), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Sec. 9.105: Liberal Construction

The court shall liberally construe this subchapter to effect payment of retirement benefits that were divided by a previous decree that failed to contain a qualified domestic relations order or similar order or that contained an order that failed to meet the requirements of a qualified domestic relations order or similar order.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.106: Attorney's Fees

In a proceeding under this subchapter, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees incurred by a party to a divorce or annulment against the other party to the divorce or annulment. The court may order the attorney's fees to be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order for fees in the attorney's own name by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.

Subchapter C

Sec. 9.201: Procedure for Division of Certain Property Not Divided on Divorce Or Annulment

(a) Either former spouse may file a suit as provided by this subchapter to divide property not divided or awarded to a spouse in a final decree of divorce or annulment.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the suit is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to the filing of an original lawsuit.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.202: Limitations

(a) A suit under this subchapter must be filed before the second anniversary of the date a former spouse unequivocally repudiates the existence of the ownership interest of the other former spouse and communicates that repudiation to the other former spouse.

(b) The two-year limitations period is tolled for the period that a court of this state does not have jurisdiction over the former spouses or over the property.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.203: Division of Undivided Assets When Prior Court Had Jurisdiction

(a) If a court of this state failed to dispose of property subject to division in a final decree of divorce or annulment even though the court had jurisdiction over the spouses or over the property, the court shall divide the property in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

(b) If a final decree of divorce or annulment rendered by a court in another state failed to dispose of property subject to division under the law of that state even though the court had jurisdiction to do so, a court of this state shall apply the law of the other state regarding undivided property as required by Section 1, Article IV, United States Constitution (the full faith and credit clause), and enabling federal statutes.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.204: Division of Undivided Assets When Prior Court Lacked Jurisdiction

(a) If a court of this state failed to dispose of property subject to division in a final decree of divorce or annulment because the court lacked jurisdiction over a spouse or the property, and if that court subsequently acquires the requisite jurisdiction, that court may divide the property in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

(b) If a final decree of divorce or annulment rendered by a court in another state failed to dispose of property subject to division under the law of that state because the court lacked jurisdiction over a spouse or the property, and if a court of this state subsequently acquires the requisite jurisdiction over the former spouses or over the property, the court in this state may divide the property in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.205: Attorney's Fees

In a proceeding to divide property previously undivided in a decree of divorce or annulment as provided by this subchapter, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees. The court may order the attorney's fees to be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 768 (S.B. 866), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2009.

Subchapter D

Sec. 9.301: Pre-Decree Designation of Ex-Spouse As Beneficiary of Life Insurance

(a) If a decree of divorce or annulment is rendered after an insured has designated the insured's spouse as a beneficiary under a life insurance policy in force at the time of rendition, a provision in the policy in favor of the insured's former spouse is not effective unless:

(1) the decree designates the insured's former spouse as the beneficiary;

(2) the insured redesignates the former spouse as the beneficiary after rendition of the decree; or

(3) the former spouse is designated to receive the proceeds in trust for, on behalf of, or for the benefit of a child or a dependent of either former spouse.

(b) If a designation is not effective under Subsection (a), the proceeds of the policy are payable to the named alternative beneficiary or, if there is not a named alternative beneficiary, to the estate of the insured.

(c) An insurer who pays the proceeds of a life insurance policy issued by the insurer to the beneficiary under a designation that is not effective under Subsection (a) is liable for payment of the proceeds to the person or estate provided by Subsection (b) only if:

(1) before payment of the proceeds to the designated beneficiary, the insurer receives written notice at the home office of the insurer from an interested person that the designation is not effective under Subsection (a); and

(2) the insurer has not interpleaded the proceeds into the registry of a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 9.302: Pre-Decree Designation of Ex-Spouse As Beneficiary in Retirement Benefits and Other Financial Plans

(a) If a decree of divorce or annulment is rendered after a spouse, acting in the capacity of a participant, annuitant, or account holder, has designated the other spouse as a beneficiary under an individual retirement account, employee stock option plan, stock option, or other form of savings, bonus, profit-sharing, or other employer plan or financial plan of an employee or a participant in force at the time of rendition, the designating provision in the plan in favor of the other former spouse is not effective unless:

(1) the decree designates the other former spouse as the beneficiary;

(2) the designating former spouse redesignates the other former spouse as the beneficiary after rendition of the decree; or

(3) the other former spouse is designated to receive the proceeds or benefits in trust for, on behalf of, or for the benefit of a child or dependent of either former spouse.

(b) If a designation is not effective under Subsection (a), the benefits or proceeds are payable to the named alternative beneficiary or, if there is not a named alternative beneficiary, to the designating former spouse.

(c) A business entity, employer, pension trust, insurer, financial institution, or other person obligated to pay retirement benefits or proceeds of a financial plan covered by this section who pays the benefits or proceeds to the beneficiary under a designation of the other former spouse that is not effective under Subsection (a) is liable for payment of the benefits or proceeds to the person provided by Subsection (b) only if:

(1) before payment of the benefits or proceeds to the designated beneficiary, the payor receives written notice at the home office or principal office of the payor from an interested person that the designation of the beneficiary or fiduciary is not effective under Subsection (a); and

(2) the payor has not interpleaded the benefits or proceeds into the registry of a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) This section does not affect the right of a former spouse to assert an ownership interest in an undivided pension, retirement, annuity, or other financial plan described by this section as provided by this subchapter.

(e) This section does not apply to the disposition of a beneficial interest in a retirement benefit or other financial plan of a public retirement system as defined by Section 802.001, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Title 1-A

Chapter 15

Subchapter A

Sec. 15.001: Policy

It is the policy of this state to encourage the peaceable resolution of disputes, with special consideration given to disputes involving the parent-child relationship, including disputes involving the conservatorship of, possession of or access to, and support of a child, and the early settlement of pending litigation through voluntary settlement procedures.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.002: Conflicts Between Provisions

If a provision of this chapter conflicts with another provision of this code or another statute or rule of this state and the conflict cannot be reconciled, this chapter prevails.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.003: Uniformity of Application and Construction

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact a collaborative law process Act for family law matters.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.004: Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act

This chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c)), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b)).

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Subchapter B

Sec. 15.051: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Collaborative Family Law Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.052: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Collaborative family law communication" means a statement made by a party or nonparty participant, whether oral or in a record, or verbal or nonverbal, that:

(A) is made to conduct, participate in, continue, or reconvene a collaborative family law process; and

(B) occurs after the parties sign a collaborative family law participation agreement and before the collaborative family law process is concluded.

(2) "Collaborative family law participation agreement" means an agreement by persons to participate in a collaborative family law process.

(3) "Collaborative family law matter" means a dispute, transaction, claim, problem, or issue for resolution that arises under Title 1 or 5 and that is described in a collaborative family law participation agreement. The term includes a dispute, claim, or issue in a proceeding.

(4) "Collaborative family law process" means a procedure intended to resolve a collaborative family law matter without intervention by a tribunal in which parties:

(A) sign a collaborative family law participation agreement; and

(B) are represented by collaborative family law lawyers.

(5) "Collaborative lawyer" means a lawyer who represents a party in a collaborative family law process.

(6) "Law firm" means:

(A) lawyers who practice law together in a partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or association; and

(B) lawyers employed in a legal services organization or in the legal department of a corporation or other organization or of a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality.

(7) "Nonparty participant" means a person, including a collaborative lawyer, other than a party, who participates in a collaborative family law process.

(8) "Party" means a person who signs a collaborative family law participation agreement and whose consent is necessary to resolve a collaborative family law matter.

(9) "Proceeding" means a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process before a tribunal, including related prehearing and posthearing motions, conferences, and discovery.

(10) "Prospective party" means a person who discusses with a prospective collaborative lawyer the possibility of signing a collaborative family law participation agreement.

(11) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(12) "Related to a collaborative family law matter" means a matter involving the same parties, transaction or occurrence, nucleus of operative fact, dispute, claim, or issue as the collaborative family law matter.

(13) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record, to:

(A) execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

(B) attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.

(14) "Tribunal" means a court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity that, after presentation of evidence or legal argument, has jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a party's interests in a matter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.053: Applicability

This chapter applies only to a matter arising under Title 1 or 5.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Subchapter C

Sec. 15.101: Requirements for Collaborative Family Law Participation Agreement

(a) A collaborative family law participation agreement must:

(1) be in a record;

(2) be signed by the parties;

(3) state the parties' intent to resolve a collaborative family law matter through a collaborative family law process under this chapter;

(4) describe the nature and scope of the collaborative family law matter;

(5) identify the collaborative lawyer who represents each party in the collaborative family law process; and

(6) contain a statement by each collaborative lawyer confirming the lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative family law process.

(b) A collaborative family law participation agreement must include provisions for:

(1) suspending tribunal intervention in the collaborative family law matter while the parties are using the collaborative family law process; and

(2) unless otherwise agreed in writing, jointly engaging any professionals, experts, or advisors serving in a neutral capacity.

(c) Parties may agree to include in a collaborative family law participation agreement additional provisions not inconsistent with this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.102: Beginning and Concluding Collaborative Family Law Process

(a) A collaborative family law process begins when the parties sign a collaborative family law participation agreement.

(b) A tribunal may not order a party to participate in a collaborative family law process over that party's objection.

(c) A collaborative family law process is concluded by:

(1) resolution of a collaborative family law matter as evidenced by a signed record;

(2) resolution of a part of a collaborative family law matter, evidenced by a signed record, in which the parties agree that the remaining parts of the matter will not be resolved in the process; or

(3) termination of the process under Subsection (d).

(d) A collaborative family law process terminates:

(1) when a party gives notice to other parties in a record that the process is ended;

(2) when a party:

(A) begins a proceeding related to a collaborative family law matter without the agreement of all parties; or

(B) in a pending proceeding related to the matter:

(i) without the agreement of all parties, initiates a pleading, motion, or request for a conference with the tribunal;

(ii) initiates an order to show cause or requests that the proceeding be put on the tribunal's active calendar; or

(iii) takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the parties; or

(3) except as otherwise provided by Subsection (g), when a party discharges a collaborative lawyer or a collaborative lawyer withdraws from further representation of a party.

(e) A party's collaborative lawyer shall give prompt notice in a record to all other parties of the collaborative lawyer's discharge or withdrawal.

(f) A party may terminate a collaborative family law process with or without cause.

(g) Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer, a collaborative family law process continues if, not later than the 30th day after the date the notice of the collaborative lawyer's discharge or withdrawal required by Subsection (e) is sent to the parties:

(1) the unrepresented party engages a successor collaborative lawyer; and

(2) in a signed record:

(A) the parties consent to continue the process by reaffirming the collaborative family law participation agreement;

(B) the agreement is amended to identify the successor collaborative lawyer; and

(C) the successor collaborative lawyer confirms the lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative process.

(h) A collaborative family law process does not conclude if, with the consent of the parties to a signed record resolving all or part of the collaborative matter, a party requests a tribunal to approve a resolution of the collaborative family law matter or any part of that matter as evidenced by a signed record.

(i) A collaborative family law participation agreement may provide additional methods of concluding a collaborative family law process.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.103: Proceedings Pending Before Tribunal; Status Report

(a) The parties to a proceeding pending before a tribunal may sign a collaborative family law participation agreement to seek to resolve a collaborative family law matter related to the proceeding. The parties shall file promptly with the tribunal a notice of the agreement after the agreement is signed. Subject to Subsection (c) and Sections 15.104 and 15.105, the filing operates as a stay of the proceeding.

(b) A tribunal that is notified, not later than the 30th day before the date of a proceeding, that the parties are using the collaborative family law process to attempt to settle a collaborative family law matter may not, until a party notifies the tribunal that the collaborative family law process did not result in a settlement:

(1) set a proceeding or a hearing in the collaborative family law matter;

(2) impose discovery deadlines;

(3) require compliance with scheduling orders; or

(4) dismiss the proceeding.

(c) The parties shall notify the tribunal in a pending proceeding if the collaborative family law process results in a settlement. If the collaborative family law process does not result in a settlement, the parties shall file a status report:

(1) not later than the 180th day after the date the collaborative family law participation agreement was signed or, if the proceeding was filed by agreement after the collaborative family law participation agreement was signed, not later than the 180th day after the date the proceeding was filed; and

(2) on or before the first anniversary of the date the collaborative family law participation agreement was signed or, if the proceeding was filed by agreement after the collaborative family law participation agreement was signed, on or before the first anniversary of the date the proceeding was filed, accompanied by a motion for continuance.

(d) The tribunal shall grant a motion for continuance filed under Subsection (c)(2) if the status report indicates that the parties desire to continue to use the collaborative family law process.

(e) If the collaborative family law process does not result in a settlement on or before the second anniversary of the date the proceeding was filed, the tribunal may:

(1) set the proceeding for trial on the regular docket; or

(2) dismiss the proceeding without prejudice.

(f) Each party shall file promptly with the tribunal notice in a record when a collaborative family law process concludes. The stay of the proceeding under Subsection (a) is lifted when the notice is filed. The notice may not specify any reason for termination of the process.

(g) A tribunal in which a proceeding is stayed under Subsection (a) may require the parties and collaborative lawyers to provide a status report on the collaborative family law process and the proceeding. A status report:

(1) may include only information on whether the process is ongoing or concluded; and

(2) may not include a report, assessment, evaluation, recommendation, finding, or other communication regarding a collaborative family law process or collaborative family law matter.

(h) A tribunal may not consider a communication made in violation of Subsection (g).

(i) A tribunal shall provide parties notice and an opportunity to be heard before dismissing a proceeding based on delay or failure to prosecute in which a notice of collaborative family law process is filed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.104: Emergency Order

During a collaborative family law process, a tribunal may issue an emergency order to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of a party or a family, as defined by Section 71.003. If the emergency order is granted without the agreement of all parties, the granting of the order terminates the collaborative process.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.105: Effect of Written Settlement Agreement

(a) A settlement agreement under this chapter is enforceable in the same manner as a written settlement agreement under Section 154.071, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b) Notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule or law, a party is entitled to judgment on a collaborative family law settlement agreement if the agreement:

(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in boldfaced type, capitalized, or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation; and

(2) is signed by each party to the agreement and the collaborative lawyer of each party.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.106: Disqualification of Collaborative Lawyer and Lawyers in Associated Law Firm; Exception

(a) In this section, "family" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a collaborative lawyer is disqualified from appearing before a tribunal to represent a party in a proceeding related to the collaborative family law matter regardless of whether the collaborative lawyer is representing the party for a fee.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d) and Sections 15.107 and 15.108, a lawyer in a law firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated is disqualified from appearing before a tribunal to represent a party in a proceeding related to the collaborative family law matter if the collaborative lawyer is disqualified from doing so under Subsection (b).

(d) A collaborative lawyer or a lawyer in a law firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a party:

(1) to request a tribunal to approve an agreement resulting from the collaborative family law process; or

(2) to seek or defend an emergency order to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of a party or a family if a successor lawyer is not immediately available to represent that party.

(e) The exception prescribed by Subsection (d) does not apply after the party is represented by a successor lawyer or reasonable measures are taken to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of that party or family.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.107: Exception from Disqualification for Representation of Low-Income Parties

After a collaborative family law process concludes, another lawyer in a law firm with which a collaborative lawyer disqualified under Section 15.106(b) is associated may represent a party without a fee in the collaborative family law matter or a matter related to the collaborative family law matter if:

(1) the party has an annual income that qualifies the party for free legal representation under the criteria established by the law firm for free legal representation;

(2) the collaborative family law participation agreement authorizes that representation; and

(3) the collaborative lawyer is isolated from any participation in the collaborative family law matter or a matter related to the collaborative family law matter through procedures within the law firm that are reasonably calculated to isolate the collaborative lawyer from such participation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.108: Governmental Entity As Party

(a) In this section, "governmental entity" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.014.

(b) The disqualification prescribed by Section 15.106(b) applies to a collaborative lawyer representing a party that is a governmental entity.

(c) After a collaborative family law process concludes, another lawyer in a law firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a governmental entity in the collaborative family law matter or a matter related to the collaborative family law matter if:

(1) the collaborative family law participation agreement authorizes that representation; and

(2) the collaborative lawyer is isolated from any participation in the collaborative family law matter or a matter related to the collaborative family law matter through procedures within the law firm that are reasonably calculated to isolate the collaborative lawyer from such participation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.109: Disclosure of Information

(a) Except as provided by law other than this chapter, during the collaborative family law process, on the request of another party, a party shall make timely, full, candid, and informal disclosure of information related to the collaborative matter without formal discovery. A party shall update promptly any previously disclosed information that has materially changed.

(b) The parties may define the scope of the disclosure under Subsection (a) during the collaborative family law process.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.110: Standards of Professional Responsibility and Mandatory Reporting Not Affected

This chapter does not affect:

(1) the professional responsibility obligations and standards applicable to a lawyer or other licensed professional; or

(2) the obligation of a person under other law to report abuse or neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of a child or adult.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.111: Informed Consent

Before a prospective party signs a collaborative family law participation agreement, a prospective collaborative lawyer must:

(1) assess with the prospective party factors the lawyer reasonably believes relate to whether a collaborative family law process is appropriate for the prospective party's matter;

(2) provide the prospective party with information that the lawyer reasonably believes is sufficient for the prospective party to make an informed decision about the material benefits and risks of a collaborative family law process as compared to the material benefits and risks of other reasonably available alternatives for resolving the proposed collaborative matter, including litigation, mediation, arbitration, or expert evaluation; and

(3) advise the prospective party that:

(A) after signing an agreement, if a party initiates a proceeding or seeks tribunal intervention in a pending proceeding related to the collaborative family law matter, the collaborative family law process terminates;

(B) participation in a collaborative family law process is voluntary and any party has the right to terminate unilaterally a collaborative family law process with or without cause; and

(C) the collaborative lawyer and any lawyer in a law firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated may not appear before a tribunal to represent a party in a proceeding related to the collaborative family law matter, except as authorized by Section 15.106(d), 15.107, or 15.108(c).

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.112: Family Violence

(a) In this section:

(1) "Dating relationship" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.0021(b).

(2) "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004.

(3) "Household" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.005.

(4) "Member of a household" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.006.

(b) Before a prospective party signs a collaborative family law participation agreement in a collaborative family law matter in which another prospective party is a member of the prospective party's family or household or with whom the prospective party has or has had a dating relationship, a prospective collaborative lawyer must make reasonable inquiry regarding whether the prospective party has a history of family violence with the other prospective party.

(c) If a collaborative lawyer reasonably believes that the party the lawyer represents, or the prospective party with whom the collaborative lawyer consults, as applicable, has a history of family violence with another party or prospective party, the lawyer may not begin or continue a collaborative family law process unless:

(1) the party or prospective party requests beginning or continuing a process; and

(2) the collaborative lawyer or prospective collaborative lawyer determines with the party or prospective party what, if any, reasonable steps could be taken to address the concerns regarding family violence.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.113: Confidentiality of Collaborative Family Law Communication

(a) A collaborative family law communication is confidential to the extent agreed to by the parties in a signed record or as provided by law other than this chapter.

(b) If the parties agree in a signed record, the conduct and demeanor of the parties and nonparty participants, including their collaborative lawyers, are confidential.

(c) If the parties agree in a signed record, communications related to the collaborative family law matter occurring before the signing of the collaborative family law participation agreement are confidential.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.114: Privilege Against Disclosure of Collaborative Family Law Communication

(a) Except as provided by Section 15.115, a collaborative family law communication, whether made before or after the institution of a proceeding, is privileged and not subject to disclosure and may not be used as evidence against a party or nonparty participant in a proceeding.

(b) Any record of a collaborative family law communication is privileged, and neither the parties nor the nonparty participants may be required to testify in a proceeding related to or arising out of the collaborative family law matter or be subject to a process requiring disclosure of privileged information or data related to the collaborative matter.

(c) An oral communication or written material used in or made a part of a collaborative family law process is admissible or discoverable if it is admissible or discoverable independent of the collaborative family law process.

(d) If this section conflicts with other legal requirements for disclosure of communications, records, or materials, the issue of privilege may be presented to the tribunal having jurisdiction of the proceeding to determine, in camera, whether the facts, circumstances, and context of the communications or materials sought to be disclosed warrant a protective order of the tribunal or whether the communications or materials are subject to disclosure. The presentation of the issue of privilege under this subsection does not constitute a termination of the collaborative family law process under Section 15.102(d)(2)(B).

(e) A party or nonparty participant may disclose privileged collaborative family law communications to a party's successor counsel, subject to the terms of confidentiality in the collaborative family law participation agreement. Collaborative family law communications disclosed under this subsection remain privileged.

(f) A person who makes a disclosure or representation about a collaborative family law communication that prejudices the rights of a party or nonparty participant in a proceeding may not assert a privilege under this section. The restriction provided by this subsection applies only to the extent necessary for the person prejudiced to respond to the disclosure or representation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.115: Limits of Privilege

(a) The privilege prescribed by Section 15.114 does not apply to a collaborative family law communication that is:

(1) in an agreement resulting from the collaborative family law process, evidenced in a record signed by all parties to the agreement;

(2) subject to an express waiver of the privilege in a record or orally during a proceeding if the waiver is made by all parties and nonparty participants;

(3) available to the public under Chapter 552, Government Code, or made during a session of a collaborative family law process that is open, or is required by law to be open, to the public;

(4) a threat or statement of a plan to inflict bodily injury or commit a crime of violence;

(5) a disclosure of a plan to commit or attempt to commit a crime, or conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal activity;

(6) a disclosure in a report of:

(A) suspected abuse or neglect of a child to an appropriate agency under Subchapter B, Chapter 261, or in a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, except that evidence may be excluded in the case of communications between an attorney and client under Subchapter C, Chapter 261; or

(B) abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an elderly or disabled person to an appropriate agency under Subchapter B, Chapter 48, Human Resources Code; or

(7) sought or offered to prove or disprove:

(A) a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice arising from or related to a collaborative family law process;

(B) an allegation that the settlement agreement was procured by fraud, duress, coercion, or other dishonest means or that terms of the settlement agreement are illegal;

(C) the necessity and reasonableness of attorney's fees and related expenses incurred during a collaborative family law process or to challenge or defend the enforceability of the collaborative family law settlement agreement; or

(D) a claim against a third person who did not participate in the collaborative family law process.

(b) If a collaborative family law communication is subject to an exception under Subsection (a), only the part of the communication necessary for the application of the exception may be disclosed or admitted.

(c) The disclosure or admission of evidence excepted from the privilege under Subsection (a) does not make the evidence or any other collaborative family law communication discoverable or admissible for any other purpose.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 15.116: Authority of Tribunal in Case of Noncompliance

(a) Notwithstanding that an agreement fails to meet the requirements of Section 15.101 or that a lawyer has failed to comply with Section 15.111 or 15.112, a tribunal may find that the parties intended to enter into a collaborative family law participation agreement if the parties:

(1) signed a record indicating an intent to enter into a collaborative family law participation agreement; and

(2) reasonably believed the parties were participating in a collaborative family law process.

(b) If a tribunal makes the findings specified in Subsection (a) and determines that the interests of justice require the following action, the tribunal may:

(1) enforce an agreement evidenced by a record resulting from the process in which the parties participated;

(2) apply the disqualification provisions of Sections 15.106, 15.107, and 15.108; and

(3) apply the collaborative family law privilege under Section 15.114.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1048 (H.B. 3833), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Title 2

Subtitle A

Chapter 31

Sec. 31.001: Requirements

(a) A minor may petition to have the disabilities of minority removed for limited or general purposes if the minor is:

(1) a resident of this state;

(2) 17 years of age, or at least 16 years of age and living separate and apart from the minor's parents, managing conservator, or guardian; and

(3) self-supporting and managing the minor's own financial affairs.

(b) A minor may file suit under this chapter in the minor's own name. The minor need not be represented by next friend.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 31.002: Requisites of Petition; Verification

(a) The petition for removal of disabilities of minority must state:

(1) the name, age, and place of residence of the petitioner;

(2) the name and place of residence of each living parent;

(3) the name and place of residence of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, if any;

(4) the name and place of residence of the managing conservator, if any;

(5) the reasons why removal would be in the best interest of the minor; and

(6) the purposes for which removal is requested.

(b) A parent of the petitioner must verify the petition, except that if a managing conservator or guardian of the person has been appointed, the petition must be verified by that person. If the person who is to verify the petition is unavailable or that person's whereabouts are unknown, the amicus attorney or attorney ad litem shall verify the petition.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172 (H.B. 307), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 31.003: Venue

The petitioner shall file the petition in the county in which the petitioner resides.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 31.004: Representation of Petitioner

The court shall appoint an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem to represent the interest of the petitioner at the hearing.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172 (H.B. 307), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 31.005: Order

The court by order, or the Texas Supreme Court by rule or order, may remove the disabilities of minority of a minor, including any restriction imposed by Chapter 32, if the court or the Texas Supreme Court finds the removal to be in the best interest of the petitioner. The order or rule must state the limited or general purposes for which disabilities are removed.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1303, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 31.006: Effect of General Removal

Except for specific constitutional and statutory age requirements, a minor whose disabilities are removed for general purposes has the capacity of an adult, including the capacity to contract. Except as provided by federal law, all educational rights accorded to the parent of a student, including the right to make education decisions under Section 151.001(a)(10), transfer to the minor whose disabilities are removed for general purposes.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 767, Sec. 9, eff. June 13, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 31.007: Registration of Order of Another State Or Nation

(a) A nonresident minor who has had the disabilities of minority removed in the state of the minor's residence may file a certified copy of the order removing disabilities in the deed records of any county in this state.

(b) When a certified copy of the order of a court of another state or nation is filed, the minor has the capacity of an adult, except as provided by Section 31.006 and by the terms of the order.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 31.008: Waiver of Citation

(a) A party to a suit under this chapter may waive the issuance or service of citation after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk of the court in which the suit is filed the waiver of the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.

(b) The party executing the waiver may not sign the waiver using a digitized signature.

(c) The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party executing the waiver.

(d) The waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit or conform to the requirements for an unsworn declaration under Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code. This subsection does not apply if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.

(e) The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to a waiver executed under this section.

(f) For purposes of this section, "digitized signature" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.0096.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 198 (S.B. 814), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 11.01, eff. September 1, 2019.

Chapter 32

Subchapter A

Sec. 32.001: Consent By Non-Parent

(a) The following persons may consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child when the person having the right to consent as otherwise provided by law cannot be contacted and that person has not given actual notice to the contrary:

(1) a grandparent of the child;

(2) an adult brother or sister of the child;

(3) an adult aunt or uncle of the child;

(4) an educational institution in which the child is enrolled that has received written authorization to consent from a person having the right to consent;

(5) an adult who has actual care, control, and possession of the child and has written authorization to consent from a person having the right to consent;

(6) a court having jurisdiction over a suit affecting the parent-child relationship of which the child is the subject;

(7) an adult responsible for the actual care, control, and possession of a child under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court or committed by a juvenile court to the care of an agency of the state or county; or

(8) a peace officer who has lawfully taken custody of a minor, if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe the minor is in need of immediate medical treatment.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department may consent to the medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child committed to the department under Title 3 when the person having the right to consent has been contacted and that person has not given actual notice to the contrary. Consent for medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment of a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator and who is committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department is governed by Sections 266.004, 266.009, and 266.010.

(c) This section does not apply to consent for the immunization of a child.

(d) A person who consents to the medical treatment of a minor under Subsection (a)(7) or (8) is immune from liability for damages resulting from the examination or treatment of the minor, except to the extent of the person's own acts of negligence. A physician or dentist licensed to practice in this state, or a hospital or medical facility at which a minor is treated is immune from liability for damages resulting from the examination or treatment of a minor under this section, except to the extent of the person's own acts of negligence.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 108 (H.B. 1629), Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 37, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 32.002: Consent Form

(a) Consent to medical treatment under this subchapter must be in writing, signed by the person giving consent, and given to the doctor, hospital, or other medical facility that administers the treatment.

(b) The consent must include:

(1) the name of the child;

(2) the name of one or both parents, if known, and the name of any managing conservator or guardian of the child;

(3) the name of the person giving consent and the person's relationship to the child;

(4) a statement of the nature of the medical treatment to be given; and

(5) the date the treatment is to begin.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 32.003: Consent to Treatment By Child

(a) A child may consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment for the child by a licensed physician or dentist if the child:

(1) is on active duty with the armed services of the United States of America;

(2) is:

(A) 16 years of age or older and resides separate and apart from the child's parents, managing conservator, or guardian, with or without the consent of the parents, managing conservator, or guardian and regardless of the duration of the residence; and

(B) managing the child's own financial affairs, regardless of the source of the income;

(3) consents to the diagnosis and treatment of an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease that is required by law or a rule to be reported by the licensed physician or dentist to a local health officer or the Texas Department of Health, including all diseases within the scope of Section 81.041, Health and Safety Code;

(4) is unmarried and pregnant and consents to hospital, medical, or surgical treatment, other than abortion, related to the pregnancy;

(5) consents to examination and treatment for drug or chemical addiction, drug or chemical dependency, or any other condition directly related to drug or chemical use;

(6) is unmarried, is the parent of a child, and has actual custody of his or her child and consents to medical, dental, psychological, or surgical treatment for the child; or

(7) is serving a term of confinement in a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, unless the treatment would constitute a prohibited practice under Section 164.052(a)(19), Occupations Code.

(b) Consent by a child to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(c) Consent of the parents, managing conservator, or guardian of a child is not necessary in order to authorize hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care under this section.

(d) A licensed physician, dentist, or psychologist may, with or without the consent of a child who is a patient, advise the parents, managing conservator, or guardian of the child of the treatment given to or needed by the child.

(e) A physician, dentist, psychologist, hospital, or medical facility is not liable for the examination and treatment of a child under this section except for the provider's or the facility's own acts of negligence.

(f) A physician, dentist, psychologist, hospital, or medical facility may rely on the written statement of the child containing the grounds on which the child has capacity to consent to the child's medical treatment.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1227 (H.B. 2389), Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Sec. 32.004: Consent to Counseling

(a) A child may consent to counseling for:

(1) suicide prevention;

(2) chemical addiction or dependency; or

(3) sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.

(b) A licensed or certified physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker having reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused, is contemplating suicide, or is suffering from a chemical or drug addiction or dependency may:

(1) counsel the child without the consent of the child's parents or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian;

(2) with or without the consent of the child who is a client, advise the child's parents or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian of the treatment given to or needed by the child; and

(3) rely on the written statement of the child containing the grounds on which the child has capacity to consent to the child's own treatment under this section.

(c) Unless consent is obtained as otherwise allowed by law, a physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker may not counsel a child if consent is prohibited by a court order.

(d) A physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker counseling a child under this section is not liable for damages except for damages resulting from the person's negligence or wilful misconduct.

(e) A parent, or, if applicable, managing conservator or guardian, who has not consented to counseling treatment of the child is not obligated to compensate a physician, psychologist, counselor, or social worker for counseling services rendered under this section.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 32.005: Examination Without Consent of Abuse Or Neglect of Child

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a physician, dentist, or psychologist having reasonable grounds to believe that a child's physical or mental condition has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect may examine the child without the consent of the child, the child's parents, or other person authorized to consent to treatment under this subchapter.

(b) An examination under this section may include X-rays, blood tests, photographs, and penetration of tissue necessary to accomplish those tests.

(c) Unless consent is obtained as otherwise allowed by law, a physician, dentist, or psychologist may not examine a child:

(1) 16 years of age or older who refuses to consent; or

(2) for whom consent is prohibited by a court order.

(d) A physician, dentist, or psychologist examining a child under this section is not liable for damages except for damages resulting from the physician's or dentist's negligence.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 575, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Subchapter B

Sec. 32.101: Who May Consent to Immunization of Child

(a) In addition to persons authorized to consent to immunization under Chapter 151 and Chapter 153, the following persons may consent to the immunization of a child:

(1) a guardian of the child; and

(2) a person authorized under the law of another state or a court order to consent for the child.

(b) If the persons listed in Subsection (a) are not available and the authority to consent is not denied under Subsection (c), consent to the immunization of a child may be given by:

(1) a grandparent of the child;

(2) an adult brother or sister of the child;

(3) an adult aunt or uncle of the child;

(4) a stepparent of the child;

(5) an educational institution in which the child is enrolled that has written authorization to consent for the child from a parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other person who under the law of another state or a court order may consent for the child;

(6) another adult who has actual care, control, and possession of the child and has written authorization to consent for the child from a parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other person who, under the law of another state or a court order, may consent for the child;

(7) a court having jurisdiction of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship of which the minor is the subject;

(8) an adult having actual care, control, and possession of the child under an order of a juvenile court or by commitment by a juvenile court to the care of an agency of the state or county; or

(9) an adult having actual care, control, and possession of the child as the child's primary caregiver.

(c) A person otherwise authorized to consent under Subsection (a) may not consent for the child if the person has actual knowledge that a parent, managing conservator, guardian of the child, or other person who under the law of another state or a court order may consent for the child:

(1) has expressly refused to give consent to the immunization;

(2) has been told not to consent for the child; or

(3) has withdrawn a prior written authorization for the person to consent.

(d) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department may consent to the immunization of a child committed to it if a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the minor or other person who, under the law of another state or court order, may consent for the minor has been contacted and:

(1) refuses to consent; and

(2) does not expressly deny to the department the authority to consent for the child.

(e) A person who consents under this section shall provide the health care provider with sufficient and accurate health history and other information about the minor for whom the consent is given and, if necessary, sufficient and accurate health history and information about the minor's family to enable the person who may consent to the minor's immunization and the health care provider to determine adequately the risks and benefits inherent in the proposed immunization and to determine whether immunization is advisable.

(f) Consent to immunization must meet the requirements of Section 32.002(a).

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 38, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 32.1011: Consent to Immunization By Child

(a) Notwithstanding Section 32.003 or 32.101, a child may consent to the child's own immunization for a disease if:

(1) the child:

(A) is pregnant; or

(B) is the parent of a child and has actual custody of that child; and

(2) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend or authorize the initial dose of an immunization for that disease to be administered before seven years of age.

(b) Consent to immunization under this section must meet the requirements of Section 32.002(a).

(c) Consent by a child to immunization under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(d) A health care provider or facility may rely on the written statement of the child containing the grounds on which the child has capacity to consent to the child's immunization under this section.

(e) To the extent of any conflict between this section and Section 32.003, this section controls.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1313 (S.B. 63), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 32.102: Informed Consent to Immunization

(a) A person authorized to consent to the immunization of a child has the responsibility to ensure that the consent, if given, is an informed consent. The person authorized to consent is not required to be present when the immunization of the child is requested if a consent form that meets the requirements of Section 32.002 has been given to the health care provider.

(b) The responsibility of a health care provider to provide information to a person consenting to immunization is the same as the provider's responsibility to a parent.

(c) As part of the information given in the counseling for informed consent, the health care provider shall provide information to inform the person authorized to consent to immunization of the procedures available under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. Section 300aa-1 et seq.) to seek possible recovery for unreimbursed expenses for certain injuries arising out of the administration of certain vaccines.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 32.103 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(b), (d), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 32.103: Limited Liability for Immunization

(a) In the absence of wilful misconduct or gross negligence, a health care provider who accepts the health history and other information given by a person who is delegated the authority to consent to the immunization of a child during the informed consent counseling is not liable for an adverse reaction to an immunization or for other injuries to the child resulting from factual errors in the health history or information given by the person to the health care provider.

(b) A person consenting to immunization of a child, a physician, nurse, or other health care provider, or a public health clinic, hospital, or other medical facility is not liable for damages arising from an immunization administered to a child authorized under this subchapter except for injuries resulting from the person's or facility's own acts of negligence.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 32.104 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.09(e), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Subchapter C

Sec. 32.201: Emergency Shelter Or Care for Minors

(a) An emergency shelter facility may provide shelter and care to a minor and the minor's child or children, if any.

(b) An emergency shelter facility may provide shelter or care only during an emergency constituting an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the minor or the minor's child or children.

(c) Shelter or care provided under this section may not be provided after the 15th day after the date the shelter or care is commenced unless:

(1) the facility receives consent to continue services from the minor in accordance with Section 32.202; or

(2) the minor has qualified for financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code, and is on the waiting list for housing assistance.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 192, Sec. 1, eff. June 2, 2003.

Sec. 32.202: Consent to Emergency Shelter Or Care By Minor

(a) A minor may consent to emergency shelter or care to be provided to the minor or the minor's child or children, if any, under Section 32.201(c) if the minor is:

(1) 16 years of age or older and:

(A) resides separate and apart from the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, regardless of whether the parent, managing conservator, or guardian consents to the residence and regardless of the duration of the residence; and

(B) manages the minor's own financial affairs, regardless of the source of income; or

(2) unmarried and is pregnant or is the parent of a child.

(b) Consent by a minor to emergency shelter or care under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(c) An emergency shelter facility may, with or without the consent of the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, provide emergency shelter or care to the minor or the minor's child or children under Section 32.201(c).

(d) An emergency shelter facility is not liable for providing emergency shelter or care to the minor or the minor's child or children if the minor consents as provided by this section, except that the facility is liable for the facility's own acts of negligence.

(e) An emergency shelter facility may rely on the minor's written statement containing the grounds on which the minor has capacity to consent to emergency shelter or care.

(f) To the extent of any conflict between this section and Section 32.003, Section 32.003 prevails.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 192, Sec. 2, eff. June 2, 2003.

Sec. 32.203: Consent By Minor to Housing Or Care Provided Through Transitional Living Program

(a) In this section, "transitional living program" means a residential services program for children provided in a residential child-care facility licensed or certified by the Department of Family and Protective Services under Chapter 42, Human Resources Code, that:

(1) is designed to provide basic life skills training and the opportunity to practice those skills, with a goal of basic life skills development toward independent living; and

(2) is not an independent living program.

(b) A minor may consent to housing or care provided to the minor or the minor's child or children, if any, through a transitional living program if the minor is:

(1) 16 years of age or older and:

(A) resides separate and apart from the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, regardless of whether the parent, managing conservator, or guardian consents to the residence and regardless of the duration of the residence; and

(B) manages the minor's own financial affairs, regardless of the source of income; or

(2) unmarried and is pregnant or is the parent of a child.

(c) Consent by a minor to housing or care under this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.

(d) A transitional living program may, with or without the consent of the parent, managing conservator, or guardian, provide housing or care to the minor or the minor's child or children.

(e) A transitional living program must attempt to notify the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian regarding the minor's location.

(f) A transitional living program is not liable for providing housing or care to the minor or the minor's child or children if the minor consents as provided by this section, except that the program is liable for the program's own acts of negligence.

(g) A transitional living program may rely on a minor's written statement containing the grounds on which the minor has capacity to consent to housing or care provided through the program.

(h) To the extent of any conflict between this section and Section 32.003, Section 32.003 prevails.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 587 (S.B. 717), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Chapter 33

Sec. 33.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Abortion" has the meaning assigned by Section 245.002, Health and Safety Code. This definition, as applied in this chapter, may not be construed to limit a minor's access to contraceptives.

(2) "Fetus" means an individual human organism from fertilization until birth.

(3) "Guardian" means a court-appointed guardian of the person of the minor.

(3-a) "Medical emergency" has the meaning assigned by Section 171.002, Health and Safety Code.

(4) "Physician" means an individual licensed to practice medicine in this state.

(5) "Unemancipated minor" includes a minor who:

(A) is unmarried; and

(B) has not had the disabilities of minority removed under Chapter 31.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 441 (S.B. 8), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 33.002: Parental Notice

(a) A physician may not perform an abortion on a pregnant unemancipated minor unless:

(1) the physician performing the abortion gives at least 48 hours actual notice, in person or by telephone, of the physician's intent to perform the abortion to:

(A) a parent of the minor, if the minor has no managing conservator or guardian; or

(B) a court-appointed managing conservator or guardian;

(2) the physician who is to perform the abortion receives an order issued by a court under Section 33.003 or 33.004 authorizing the minor to consent to the abortion as provided by Section 33.003 or 33.004; or

(3) the physician who is to perform the abortion:

(A) concludes that a medical emergency exists;

(B) certifies in writing to the Department of State Health Services and in the patient's medical record the medical indications supporting the physician's judgment that a medical emergency exists; and

(C) provides the notice required by Section 33.0022.

(b) If a person to whom notice may be given under Subsection (a)(1) cannot be notified after a reasonable effort, a physician may perform an abortion if the physician gives 48 hours constructive notice, by certified mail, restricted delivery, sent to the last known address, to the person to whom notice may be given under Subsection (a)(1). The period under this subsection begins when the notice is mailed. If the person required to be notified is not notified within the 48-hour period, the abortion may proceed even if the notice by mail is not received.

(c) The requirement that 48 hours actual notice be provided under this section may be waived by an affidavit of:

(1) a parent of the minor, if the minor has no managing conservator or guardian; or

(2) a court-appointed managing conservator or guardian.

(d) A physician may execute for inclusion in the minor's medical record an affidavit stating that, according to the best information and belief of the physician, notice or constructive notice has been provided as required by this section. Execution of an affidavit under this subsection creates a presumption that the requirements of this section have been satisfied.

(e) The Department of State Health Services shall prepare a form to be used for making the certification required by Subsection (a)(3)(B).

(f) A certification required by Subsection (a)(3)(B) is confidential and privileged and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, or to discovery, subpoena, or other legal process. Personal or identifying information about the minor, including her name, address, or social security number, may not be included in a certification under Subsection (a)(3)(B). The physician must keep the medical records on the minor in compliance with the rules adopted by the Texas Medical Board under Section 153.003, Occupations Code.

(g) A physician who intentionally performs an abortion on a pregnant unemancipated minor in violation of this section commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000. In this subsection, "intentionally" has the meaning assigned by Section 6.03(a), Penal Code.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the minor falsely represented her age or identity to the physician to be at least 18 years of age by displaying an apparently valid proof of identity and age described by Subsection (k) such that a reasonable person under similar circumstances would have relied on the representation. The defense does not apply if the physician is shown to have had independent knowledge of the minor's actual age or identity or failed to use due diligence in determining the minor's age or identity. In this subsection, "defense" has the meaning and application assigned by Section 2.03, Penal Code.

(i) In relation to the trial of an offense under this section in which the conduct charged involves a conclusion made by the physician under Subsection (a)(3)(A), the defendant may seek a hearing before the Texas Medical Board on whether the physician's conduct was necessary because of a medical emergency. The findings of the Texas Medical Board under this subsection are admissible on that issue in the trial of the defendant. Notwithstanding any other reason for a continuance provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure or other law, on motion of the defendant, the court shall delay the beginning of the trial for not more than 30 days to permit a hearing under this subsection to take place.

(j) A physician shall use due diligence to determine that any woman on which the physician performs an abortion who claims to have reached the age of majority or to have had the disabilities of minority removed has, in fact, reached the age of majority or has had the disabilities of minority removed.

(k) For the purposes of this section, "due diligence" includes requesting proof of identity and age described by Section 2.005(b) or a copy of the court order removing disabilities of minority.

(l) If proof of identity and age cannot be provided, the physician shall provide information on how to obtain proof of identity and age. If the woman is subsequently unable to obtain proof of identity and age and the physician chooses to perform the abortion, the physician shall document that proof of identity and age was not obtained and report to the Department of State Health Services that proof of identity and age was not obtained for the woman on whom the abortion was performed. The department shall report annually to the legislature regarding the number of abortions performed without proof of identity and age.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.741, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 3, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.0021: Consent Required

A physician may not perform an abortion in violation of Section 164.052(a)(19), Occupations Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 4, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.0022: Medical Emergency Notification; Affidavit for Medical Record

(a) If the physician who is to perform the abortion concludes under Section 33.002(a)(3)(A) that a medical emergency exists and that there is insufficient time to provide the notice required by Section 33.002 or obtain the consent required by Section 33.0021, the physician shall make a reasonable effort to inform, in person or by telephone, the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the unemancipated minor within 24 hours after the time a medical emergency abortion is performed on the minor of:

(1) the performance of the abortion; and

(2) the basis for the physician's determination that a medical emergency existed that required the performance of a medical emergency abortion without fulfilling the requirements of Section 33.002 or 33.0021.

(b) A physician who performs an abortion as described by Subsection (a), not later than 48 hours after the abortion is performed, shall send a written notice that a medical emergency occurred and the ability of the parent, managing conservator, or guardian to contact the physician for more information and medical records, to the last known address of the parent, managing conservator, or guardian by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested. The physician may rely on last known address information if a reasonable and prudent person, under similar circumstances, would rely on the information as sufficient evidence that the parent, managing conservator, or guardian resides at that address. The physician shall keep in the minor's medical record:

(1) the return receipt from the written notice; or

(2) if the notice was returned as undeliverable, the notice.

(c) A physician who performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor during a medical emergency as described by Subsection (a) shall execute for inclusion in the medical record of the minor an affidavit that explains the specific medical emergency that necessitated the immediate abortion.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 4, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.003: Judicial Approval

(a) A pregnant minor may file an application for a court order authorizing the minor to consent to the performance of an abortion without notification to and consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

(b) The application must be filed in:

(1) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in the minor's county of residence;

(2) if the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian is a presiding judge of a court described by Subdivision (1):

(A) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in a contiguous county; or

(B) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in the county where the minor intends to obtain the abortion;

(3) if the minor's county of residence has a population of less than 10,000:

(A) a court described by Subdivision (1);

(B) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in a contiguous county; or

(C) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in the county in which the facility at which the minor intends to obtain the abortion is located; or

(4) a county court at law, court having probate jurisdiction, or district court, including a family district court, in the county in which the facility at which the minor intends to obtain the abortion is located, if the minor is not a resident of this state.

(c) The application must:

(1) be made under oath;

(2) include:

(A) a statement that the minor is pregnant;

(B) a statement that the minor is unmarried, is under 18 years of age, and has not had her disabilities removed under Chapter 31;

(C) a statement that the minor wishes to have an abortion without the notification to and consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(D) a statement as to whether the minor has retained an attorney and, if she has retained an attorney, the name, address, and telephone number of her attorney; and

(E) a statement about the minor's current residence, including the minor's physical address, mailing address, and telephone number; and

(3) be accompanied by the sworn statement of the minor's attorney under Subsection (r), if the minor has retained an attorney to assist the minor with filing the application under this section.

(d) The clerk of the court shall deliver a courtesy copy of the application made under this section to the judge who is to hear the application.

(e) The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor who shall represent the best interest of the minor. If the minor has not retained an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the minor. The guardian ad litem may not also serve as the minor's attorney ad litem.

(f) The court may appoint to serve as guardian ad litem:

(1) a person who may consent to treatment for the minor under Sections 32.001(a)(1)-(3);

(2) a psychiatrist or an individual licensed or certified as a psychologist under Chapter 501, Occupations Code;

(3) an appropriate employee of the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(4) a member of the clergy; or

(5) another appropriate person selected by the court.

(g) The court shall fix a time for a hearing on an application filed under Subsection (a) and shall keep a record of all testimony and other oral proceedings in the action.

(g-1) The pregnant minor must appear before the court in person and may not appear using videoconferencing, telephone conferencing, or other remote electronic means.

(h) The court shall rule on an application submitted under this section and shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth business day after the date the application is filed with the court. On request by the minor, the court shall grant an extension of the period specified by this subsection. If a request for an extension is made, the court shall rule on an application and shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth business day after the date the minor states she is ready to proceed to hearing. Proceedings under this section shall be given precedence over other pending matters to the extent necessary to assure that the court reaches a decision promptly, regardless of whether the minor is granted an extension under this subsection.

(i) The court shall determine by clear and convincing evidence, as described by Section 101.007, whether:

(1) the minor is mature and sufficiently well informed to make the decision to have an abortion performed without notification to or consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian; or

(2) the notification and attempt to obtain consent would not be in the best interest of the minor.

(i-1) In determining whether the minor meets the requirements of Subsection (i)(1), the court shall consider the experience, perspective, and judgment of the minor. The court may:

(1) consider all relevant factors, including:

(A) the minor's age;

(B) the minor's life experiences, such as working, traveling independently, or managing her own financial affairs; and

(C) steps taken by the minor to explore her options and the consequences of those options;

(2) inquire as to the minor's reasons for seeking an abortion;

(3) consider the degree to which the minor is informed about the state-published informational materials described by Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code; and

(4) require the minor to be evaluated by a licensed mental health counselor, who shall return the evaluation to the court for review within three business days.

(i-2) In determining whether the notification and the attempt to obtain consent would not be in the best interest of the minor, the court may inquire as to:

(1) the minor's reasons for not wanting to notify and obtain consent from a parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(2) whether notification or the attempt to obtain consent may lead to physical or sexual abuse;

(3) whether the pregnancy was the result of sexual abuse by a parent, managing conservator, or guardian; and

(4) any history of physical or sexual abuse from a parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

(i-3) The court shall enter an order authorizing the minor to consent to the performance of the abortion without notification to and consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian and shall execute the required forms if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, as defined by Section 101.007, that:

(1) the minor is mature and sufficiently well informed to make the decision to have an abortion performed without notification to or consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian; or

(2) the notification and attempt to obtain consent would not be in the best interest of the minor.

(j) If the court finds that the minor does not meet the requirements of Subsection (i-3), the court may not authorize the minor to consent to an abortion without the notification authorized under Section 33.002(a)(1) and consent under Section 33.0021.

(k) The court may not notify a parent, managing conservator, or guardian that the minor is pregnant or that the minor wants to have an abortion. The court proceedings shall be conducted in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the identity of the minor. The application and all other court documents pertaining to the proceedings are confidential and privileged and are not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, or to discovery, subpoena, or other legal process. Confidential records pertaining to a minor under this subsection may be disclosed to the minor.

(l) An order of the court issued under this section is confidential and privileged and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, or discovery, subpoena, or other legal process. The order may not be released to any person but the pregnant minor, the pregnant minor's guardian ad litem, the pregnant minor's attorney, the physician who is to perform the abortion, another person designated to receive the order by the minor, or a governmental agency or attorney in a criminal or administrative action seeking to assert or protect the interest of the minor. The supreme court may adopt rules to permit confidential docketing of an application under this section.

(l-1) The clerk of the court, at intervals prescribed by the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System, shall submit a report to the office that includes, for each case filed under this section:

(1) the case number and style;

(2) the applicant's county of residence;

(3) the court of appeals district in which the proceeding occurred;

(4) the date of filing;

(5) the date of disposition; and

(6) the disposition of the case.

(l-2) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall annually compile and publish a report aggregating the data received under Subsections (l-1)(3) and (6). A report submitted under Subsection (l-1) is confidential and privileged and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, or to discovery, subpoena, or other legal process. A report under this subsection must protect the confidentiality of:

(1) the identity of all minors and judges who are the subject of the report; and

(2) the information described by Subsection (l-1)(1).

(m) The clerk of the supreme court shall prescribe the application form to be used by the minor filing an application under this section.

(n) A filing fee is not required of and court costs may not be assessed against a minor filing an application under this section.

(o) A minor who has filed an application under this section may not withdraw or otherwise non-suit her application without the permission of the court.

(p) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (q), a minor who has filed an application and has obtained a determination by the court as described by Subsection (i) may not initiate a new application proceeding and the prior proceeding is res judicata of the issue relating to the determination of whether the minor may or may not be authorized to consent to the performance of an abortion without notification to and consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

(q) A minor whose application is denied may subsequently submit an application to the court that denied the application if the minor shows that there has been a material change in circumstances since the time the court denied the application.

(r) An attorney retained by the minor to assist her in filing an application under this section shall fully inform himself or herself of the minor's prior application history, including the representations made by the minor in the application regarding her address, proper venue in the county in which the application is filed, and whether a prior application has been filed and initiated. If an attorney assists the minor in the application process in any way, with or without payment, the attorney representing the minor must attest to the truth of the minor's claims regarding the venue and prior applications in a sworn statement.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.742, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 110 (H.B. 841), Sec. 1, eff. May 21, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 5, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.004: Appeal

(a) A minor whose application under Section 33.003 is denied may appeal to the court of appeals having jurisdiction over civil matters in the county in which the application was filed. On receipt of a notice of appeal, the clerk of the court that denied the application shall deliver a copy of the notice of appeal and record on appeal to the clerk of the court of appeals. On receipt of the notice and record, the clerk of the court of appeals shall place the appeal on the docket of the court.

(b) The court of appeals shall rule on an appeal under this section not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth business day after the date the notice of appeal is filed with the court that denied the application. On request by the minor, the court shall grant an extension of the period specified by this subsection. If a request for an extension is made, the court shall rule on the appeal not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth business day after the date the minor states she is ready to proceed. Proceedings under this section shall be given precedence over other pending matters to the extent necessary to assure that the court reaches a decision promptly, regardless of whether the minor is granted an extension under this subsection.

(c) A ruling of the court of appeals issued under this section is confidential and privileged and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, or discovery, subpoena, or other legal process. The ruling may not be released to any person but the pregnant minor, the pregnant minor's guardian ad litem, the pregnant minor's attorney, another person designated to receive the ruling by the minor, or a governmental agency or attorney in a criminal or administrative action seeking to assert or protect the interest of the minor. The supreme court may adopt rules to permit confidential docketing of an appeal under this section.

(c-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (c), the court of appeals may publish an opinion relating to a ruling under this section if the opinion is written in a way to preserve the confidentiality of the identity of the pregnant minor.

(d) The clerk of the supreme court shall prescribe the notice of appeal form to be used by the minor appealing a judgment under this section.

(e) A filing fee is not required of and court costs may not be assessed against a minor filing an appeal under this section.

(f) An expedited confidential appeal shall be available to any pregnant minor to whom a court of appeals denies an application to authorize the minor to consent to the performance of an abortion without notification to or consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 6, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.005: Affidavit of Physician

(a) A physician may execute for inclusion in the minor's medical record an affidavit stating that, after reasonable inquiry, it is the belief of the physician that:

(1) the minor has made an application or filed a notice of an appeal with a court under this chapter;

(2) the deadline for court action imposed by this chapter has passed; and

(3) the physician has been notified that the court has not denied the application or appeal.

(b) A physician who in good faith has executed an affidavit under Subsection (a) may rely on the affidavit and may perform the abortion as if the court had issued an order granting the application or appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 33.006: Guardian Ad Litem Immunity

A guardian ad litem appointed under this chapter and acting in the course and scope of the appointment is not liable for damages arising from an act or omission of the guardian ad litem committed in good faith. The immunity granted by this section does not apply if the conduct of the guardian ad litem is committed in a manner described by Sections 107.003(b)(1)-(4).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 33.0065: Records

The clerk of the court shall retain the records for each case before the court under this chapter in accordance with rules for civil cases and grant access to the records to the minor who is the subject of the proceeding.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 7, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.007: Costs Paid By State

(a) A court acting under Section 33.003 or 33.004 may issue an order requiring the state to pay:

(1) the cost of any attorney ad litem and any guardian ad litem appointed for the minor;

(2) notwithstanding Sections 33.003(n) and 33.004(e), the costs of court associated with the application or appeal; and

(3) any court reporter's fees incurred.

(b) An order issued under Subsection (a) must be directed to the comptroller, who shall pay the amount ordered from funds appropriated to the Texas Department of Health.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 33.008: Physician's Duty to Report Abuse of a Minor; Investigation and Assistance

(a) If a minor claims to have been physically or sexually abused or a physician or physician's agent has reason to believe that a minor has been physically or sexually abused, the physician or physician's agent shall immediately report the suspected abuse and the name of the abuser to the Department of Family and Protective Services and to a local law enforcement agency and shall refer the minor to the department for services or intervention that may be in the best interest of the minor. The local law enforcement agency shall respond and shall write a report within 24 hours of being notified of the alleged abuse. A report shall be made regardless of whether the local law enforcement agency knows or suspects that a report about the abuse may have previously been made.

(b) The appropriate local law enforcement agency and the Department of Family and Protective Services shall investigate suspected abuse reported under this section and, if warranted, shall refer the case to the appropriate prosecuting authority.

(c) When the local law enforcement agency responds to the report of physical or sexual abuse as required by Subsection (a), a law enforcement officer or appropriate agent from the Department of Family and Protective Services may take emergency possession of the minor without a court order to protect the health and safety of the minor as described by Chapter 262.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 110 (H.B. 841), Sec. 2, eff. May 21, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 8, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.0085: Duty of Judge Or Justice to Report Abuse of Minor

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a judge or justice who, as a result of court proceedings conducted under Section 33.003 or 33.004, has reason to believe that a minor has been or may be physically or sexually abused shall:

(1) immediately report the suspected abuse and the name of the abuser to the Department of Family and Protective Services and to a local law enforcement agency; and

(2) refer the minor to the department for services or intervention that may be in the best interest of the minor.

(b) The appropriate local law enforcement agency and the Department of Family and Protective Services shall investigate suspected abuse reported under this section and, if warranted, shall refer the case to the appropriate prosecuting authority.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 9, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.009: Other Reports of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

A court or the guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem for the minor shall report conduct reasonably believed to violate Section 21.02, 22.011, 22.021, or 25.02, Penal Code, based on information obtained during a confidential court proceeding held under this chapter to:

(1) any local or state law enforcement agency;

(2) the Department of Family and Protective Services, if the alleged conduct involves a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child;

(3) the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged conduct occurred, if the alleged conduct occurred in a facility operated, licensed, certified, or registered by a state agency; or

(4) an appropriate agency designated by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (H.B. 8), Sec. 3.27, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 33.010: Confidentiality

Notwithstanding any other law, information obtained by the Department of Family and Protective Services or another entity under Section 33.008, 33.0085, or 33.009 is confidential except to the extent necessary to prove a violation of Section 21.02, 22.011, 22.021, or 25.02, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (H.B. 8), Sec. 3.28, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 10, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.011: Information Relating to Judicial Bypass

The Texas Department of Health shall produce and distribute informational materials that explain the rights of a minor under this chapter. The materials must explain the procedures established by Sections 33.003 and 33.004 and must be made available in English and in Spanish. The material provided by the department shall also provide information relating to alternatives to abortion and health risks associated with abortion.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 33.012: Civil Penalty

(a) A person who is found to have intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with gross negligence violated this chapter is liable to this state for a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000.

(b) Each performance or attempted performance of an abortion in violation of this chapter is a separate violation.

(c) A civil penalty may not be assessed against:

(1) a minor on whom an abortion is performed or attempted; or

(2) a judge or justice hearing a court proceeding conducted under Section 33.003 or 33.004.

(d) It is not a defense to an action brought under this section that the minor gave informed and voluntary consent.

(e) The attorney general shall bring an action to collect a penalty under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 11, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.013: Capacity to Consent

An unemancipated minor does not have the capacity to consent to any action that violates this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 11, eff. January 1, 2016.

Sec. 33.014: Attorney General to Enforce

The attorney general shall enforce this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 436 (H.B. 3994), Sec. 11, eff. January 1, 2016.

Chapter 34

Sec. 34.0015: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Adult caregiver" means an adult person whom a parent has authorized to provide temporary care for a child under this chapter.

(2) "Parent" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.024.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 897 (S.B. 482), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.002: Authorization Agreement

(a) A parent or both parents of a child may enter into an authorization agreement with an adult caregiver to authorize the adult caregiver to perform the following acts in regard to the child:

(1) to authorize medical, dental, psychological, or surgical treatment and immunization of the child, including executing any consents or authorizations for the release of information as required by law relating to the treatment or immunization;

(2) to obtain and maintain health insurance coverage for the child and automobile insurance coverage for the child, if appropriate;

(3) to enroll the child in a day-care program or preschool or in a public or private elementary or secondary school;

(4) to authorize the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities;

(5) to authorize the child to obtain a learner's permit, driver's license, or state-issued identification card;

(6) to authorize employment of the child;

(7) to apply for and receive public benefits on behalf of the child; and

(8) to obtain:

(A) copies or originals of state-issued personal identification documents for the child, including the child's birth certificate; and

(B) to the extent authorized under federal law, copies or originals of federally issued personal identification documents for the child, including the child's social security card.

(b) To the extent of any conflict or inconsistency between this chapter and any other law relating to the eligibility requirements other than parental consent to obtain a service under Subsection (a), the other law controls.

(c) An authorization agreement under this chapter does not confer on an adult caregiver the right to authorize the performance of an abortion on the child or the administration of emergency contraception to the child.

(d) Only one authorization agreement may be in effect for a child at any time. An authorization agreement is void if it is executed while a prior authorization agreement remains in effect.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 484 (H.B. 848), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 897 (S.B. 482), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1167 (S.B. 821), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3052), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.0021: Authorization Agreement By Parent in Child Protective Services Case

A parent may enter into an authorization agreement with an adult caregiver with whom a child is placed under a parental child safety placement agreement approved by the Department of Family and Protective Services to allow the person to perform the acts described by Section 34.002(a) with regard to the child:

(1) during an investigation of abuse or neglect; or

(2) while the department is providing services to the parent.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 484 (H.B. 848), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.0022: Inapplicability of Certain Laws

(a) An authorization agreement executed under this chapter between a child's parent and an adult caregiver does not subject the adult caregiver to any law or rule governing the licensing or regulation of a residential child-care facility under Chapter 42, Human Resources Code.

(b) A child who is the subject of an authorization agreement executed under this chapter is not considered to be placed in foster care and the parties to the authorization agreement are not subject to any law or rule governing foster care providers.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.003: Contents of Authorization Agreement

(a) The authorization agreement must contain:

(1) the following information from the adult caregiver:

(A) the name and signature of the adult caregiver;

(B) the adult caregiver's relationship to the child; and

(C) the adult caregiver's current physical address and telephone number or the best way to contact the adult caregiver;

(2) the following information from the parent:

(A) the name and signature of the parent; and

(B) the parent's current address and telephone number or the best way to contact the parent;

(3) the information in Subdivision (2) with respect to the other parent, if applicable;

(4) a statement that the adult caregiver has been given authorization to perform the functions listed in Section 34.002(a) as a result of a voluntary action of the parent and that the adult caregiver has voluntarily assumed the responsibility of performing those functions;

(5) statements that neither the parent nor the adult caregiver has knowledge that a parent, guardian, custodian, licensed child-placing agency, or other authorized agency asserts any claim or authority inconsistent with the authorization agreement under this chapter with regard to actual physical possession or care, custody, or control of the child;

(6) statements that:

(A) to the best of the parent's and adult caregiver's knowledge:

(i) there is no court order or pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship concerning the child;

(ii) there is no pending litigation in any court concerning:

(a) custody, possession, or placement of the child; or

(b) access to or visitation with the child; and

(iii) a court does not have continuing jurisdiction concerning the child; or

(B) the court with continuing jurisdiction concerning the child has given written approval for the execution of the authorization agreement accompanied by the following information:

(i) the county in which the court is located;

(ii) the number of the court; and

(iii) the cause number in which the order was issued or the litigation is pending;

(7) a statement that to the best of the parent's and adult caregiver's knowledge there is no current, valid authorization agreement regarding the child;

(8) a statement that the authorization is made in conformance with this chapter;

(9) a statement that the parent and the adult caregiver understand that each party to the authorization agreement is required by law to immediately provide to each other party information regarding any change in the party's address or contact information;

(10) a statement by the parent that:

(A) indicates the authorization agreement is for a term of:

(i) six months from the date the parties enter into the agreement, which renews automatically for six-month terms unless the agreement is terminated as provided by Section 34.008; or

(ii) the time provided in the agreement with a specific expiration date earlier than six months after the date the parties enter into the agreement; and

(B) identifies the circumstances under which the authorization agreement may be:

(i) terminated as provided by Section 34.008 before the term of the agreement expires; or

(ii) continued beyond the term of the agreement by a court as provided by Section 34.008(b); and

(11) space for the signature and seal of a notary public.

(b) The authorization agreement must contain the following warnings and disclosures:

(1) that the authorization agreement is an important legal document;

(2) that the parent and the adult caregiver must read all of the warnings and disclosures before signing the authorization agreement;

(3) that the persons signing the authorization agreement are not required to consult an attorney but are advised to do so;

(4) that the parent's rights as a parent may be adversely affected by placing or leaving the parent's child with another person;

(5) that the authorization agreement does not confer on the adult caregiver the rights of a managing or possessory conservator or legal guardian;

(6) that a parent who is a party to the authorization agreement may terminate the authorization agreement and resume custody, possession, care, and control of the child on demand and that at any time the parent may request the return of the child;

(7) that failure by the adult caregiver to return the child to the parent immediately on request may have criminal and civil consequences;

(8) that, under other applicable law, the adult caregiver may be liable for certain expenses relating to the child in the adult caregiver's care but that the parent still retains the parental obligation to support the child;

(9) that, in certain circumstances, the authorization agreement may not be entered into without written permission of the court;

(10) that the authorization agreement may be terminated by certain court orders affecting the child;

(11) that the authorization agreement does not supersede, invalidate, or terminate any prior authorization agreement regarding the child;

(12) that the authorization agreement is void if a prior authorization agreement regarding the child is in effect and has not expired or been terminated;

(13) that, except as provided by Section 34.005(a-2), the authorization agreement is void unless not later than the 10th day after the date the authorization agreement is signed, the parties mail to a parent who was not a party to the authorization agreement at the parent's last known address, if the parent is living and the parent's parental rights have not been terminated:

(A) one copy of the authorization agreement by certified mail, return receipt requested, or international registered mail, return receipt requested, as applicable; and

(B) one copy of the authorization agreement by first class mail or international first class mail, as applicable; and

(14) that the authorization agreement does not confer on an adult caregiver the right to authorize the performance of an abortion on the child or the administration of emergency contraception to the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 897 (S.B. 482), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3052), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.004: Execution of Authorization Agreement

(a) The authorization agreement must be signed and sworn to before a notary public by the parent and the adult caregiver.

(b) A parent may not execute an authorization agreement without a written order by the appropriate court if:

(1) there is a court order or pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship concerning the child;

(2) there is pending litigation in any court concerning:

(A) custody, possession, or placement of the child; or

(B) access to or visitation with the child; or

(3) a court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the child.

(c) An authorization agreement obtained in violation of Subsection (b) is void.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3052), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.005: Duties of Parties to Authorization Agreement

(a) If both parents did not sign the authorization agreement, not later than the 10th day after the date the authorization agreement is executed the parties shall mail to the parent who was not a party to the authorization agreement at the parent's last known address, if that parent is living and that parent's parental rights have not been terminated:

(1) one copy of the executed authorization agreement by certified mail, return receipt requested, or international registered mail, return receipt requested, as applicable; and

(2) one copy of the executed authorization agreement by first class mail or international first class mail, as applicable.

(a-1) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (a-2), an authorization agreement is void if the parties fail to comply with Subsection (a).

(a-2) Subsection (a) does not apply to an authorization agreement if the parent who was not a party to the authorization agreement:

(1) does not have court-ordered possession of or access to the child who is the subject of the authorization agreement; and

(2) has previously committed an act of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, or assault against the parent who is a party to the authorization agreement, the child who is the subject of the authorization agreement, or another child of the parent who is a party to the authorization agreement, as documented by one or more of the following:

(A) the issuance of a protective order against the parent who was not a party to the authorization agreement as provided under Chapter 85 or under a similar law of another state; or

(B) the conviction of the parent who was not a party to the authorization agreement of an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or of another criminal offense in this state or in another state an element of which involves a violent act or prohibited sexual conduct.

(b) A party to the authorization agreement shall immediately inform each other party of any change in the party's address or contact information. If a party fails to comply with this subsection, the authorization agreement is voidable by the other party.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 897 (S.B. 482), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 3052), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.006: Authorization Voidable

An authorization agreement is voidable by a party if the other party knowingly:

(1) obtained the authorization agreement by fraud, duress, or misrepresentation; or

(2) made a false statement on the authorization agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 34.007: Effect of Authorization Agreement

(a) A person who is not a party to the authorization agreement who relies in good faith on an authorization agreement under this chapter, without actual knowledge that the authorization agreement is void, revoked, or invalid, is not subject to civil or criminal liability to any person, and is not subject to professional disciplinary action, for that reliance if the agreement is completed as required by this chapter.

(b) The authorization agreement does not affect the rights of the child's parent or legal guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child, and does not mean that the adult caregiver has legal custody of the child.

(c) An authorization agreement executed under this chapter does not confer or affect standing or a right of intervention in any proceeding under Title 5.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.0075: Term of Authorization Agreement

An authorization agreement executed under this chapter is for a term of six months from the date the parties enter into the agreement and renews automatically for six-month terms unless:

(1) an earlier expiration date is stated in the authorization agreement;

(2) the authorization agreement is terminated as provided by Section 34.008; or

(3) a court authorizes the continuation of the agreement as provided by Section 34.008(b).

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.008: Termination of Authorization Agreement

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an authorization agreement under this chapter terminates if, after the execution of the authorization agreement, a court enters an order:

(1) affecting the parent-child relationship;

(2) concerning custody, possession, or placement of the child;

(3) concerning access to or visitation with the child; or

(4) regarding the appointment of a guardian for the child under Subchapter B, Chapter 1104, Estates Code.

(b) An authorization agreement may continue after a court order described by Subsection (a) is entered if the court entering the order gives written permission.

(c) An authorization agreement under this chapter terminates on written revocation by a party to the authorization agreement if the party:

(1) gives each party written notice of the revocation;

(2) files the written revocation with the clerk of the county in which:

(A) the child resides;

(B) the child resided at the time the authorization agreement was executed; or

(C) the adult caregiver resides; and

(3) files the written revocation with the clerk of each court:

(A) that has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the child;

(B) in which there is a court order or pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship concerning the child;

(C) in which there is pending litigation concerning:

(i) custody, possession, or placement of the child; or

(ii) access to or visitation with the child; or

(D) that has entered an order regarding the appointment of a guardian for the child under Subchapter B, Chapter 1104, Estates Code.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2017.

(e) If both parents have signed the authorization agreement, either parent may revoke the authorization agreement without the other parent's consent.

(f) Execution of a subsequent authorization agreement does not by itself supersede, invalidate, or terminate a prior authorization agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 897 (S.B. 482), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 244 (H.B. 871), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 22.017, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 34.009: Penalty

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1) presents a document that is not a valid authorization agreement as a valid authorization agreement under this chapter;

(2) makes a false statement on an authorization agreement; or

(3) obtains an authorization agreement by fraud, duress, or misrepresentation.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 815 (S.B. 1598), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Chapter 35

Sec. 35.001: Applicability

This chapter applies to a person whose relationship to a child would make the person eligible to consent to treatment under Section 32.001 or eligible to enter an authorization agreement under Section 34.001.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.002: Temporary Authorization

A person described by Section 35.001 may seek a court order for temporary authorization for care of a child by filing a petition in the district court in the county in which the person resides if:

(1) the child has resided with the person for at least the 30 days preceding the date the petition was filed; and

(2) the person does not have an authorization agreement under Chapter 34 or other signed, written documentation from a parent, conservator, or guardian that enables the person to provide necessary care for the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.003: Petition for Temporary Authorization for Care of Child

(a) A petition for temporary authorization for care of a child must:

(1) be styled "ex parte" and be in the name of the child;

(2) be verified by the petitioner;

(3) state:

(A) the name, date of birth, and current physical address of the child;

(B) the name, date of birth, and current physical address of the petitioner; and

(C) the name and, if known, the current physical and mailing addresses of the child's parents, conservators, or guardians;

(4) describe the status and location of any court proceeding in this or another state with respect to the child;

(5) describe the petitioner's relationship to the child;

(6) provide the dates during the preceding 12 months that the child has resided with the petitioner;

(7) describe any service or action that the petitioner is unable to obtain or undertake on behalf of the child without authorization from the court;

(8) state any reason that the petitioner is unable to obtain signed, written documentation from a parent, conservator, or guardian of the child;

(9) contain a statement of the period for which the petitioner is requesting temporary authorization; and

(10) contain a statement of any reason supporting the request for the temporary authorization.

(b) If the petition identifies a court proceeding with respect to the child under Subsection (a)(4), the petitioner shall submit a copy of any court order that designates a conservator or guardian of the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.004: Notice; Hearing

(a) On receipt of the petition, the court shall set a hearing.

(b) A copy of the petition and notice of the hearing shall be delivered to the parent, conservator, or guardian of the child by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the last known address of the parent, conservator, or guardian.

(c) Proof of service under Subsection (b) must be filed with the court at least three days before the date of the hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.005: Order for Temporary Authorization

(a) At the hearing on the petition, the court may hear evidence relating to the child's need for care by the petitioner, any other matter raised in the petition, and any objection or other testimony of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian.

(b) The court shall award temporary authorization for care of the child to the petitioner if the court finds it is necessary to the child's welfare and no objection is made by the child's parent, conservator, or guardian. If an objection is made, the court shall dismiss the petition without prejudice.

(c) The court shall grant the petition for temporary authorization only if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the child does not have a parent, conservator, guardian, or other legal representative available to give the necessary consent.

(d) The order granting temporary authorization under this chapter expires on the first anniversary of the date of issuance or at an earlier date determined by the court. The order may authorize the petitioner to:

(1) consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment and immunization of the child;

(2) execute any consent or authorization for the release of information as required by law relating to the treatment or immunization under Subdivision (1);

(3) obtain and maintain any public benefit for the child;

(4) enroll the child in a day-care program, preschool, or public or private primary or secondary school;

(5) authorize the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities; and

(6) authorize or consent to any other care for the child essential to the child's welfare.

(e) An order granting temporary authorization under this chapter must state:

(1) the name and date of birth of the person with temporary authorization to care for the child;

(2) the specific areas of authorization granted to the person;

(3) that the order does not supersede any rights of a parent, conservator, or guardian as provided by court order; and

(4) the expiration date of the temporary authorization order.

(f) A copy of an order for temporary authorization must:

(1) be filed under the cause number in any court that has rendered a conservatorship or guardian order regarding the child; and

(2) be sent to the last known address of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.006: Renewal Or Termination of Temporary Authorization

(a) A temporary authorization order may be renewed by court order for a period of not more than one year on a showing by the petitioner of a continuing need for the order.

(b) At any time, the petitioner or the child's parent, conservator, or guardian may request the court to terminate the order. The court shall terminate the order on finding that there is no longer a need for the order.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Sec. 35.007: Effect of Temporary Authorization

(a) A person who relies in good faith on a temporary authorization order under this chapter is not subject to:

(1) civil or criminal liability to any person; or

(2) professional disciplinary action.

(b) A temporary authorization order does not affect the rights of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child, and does not establish legal custody of the child.

(c) A temporary authorization order does not confer or affect standing or a right of intervention in any proceeding under Title 5.

(d) An order under this chapter is not a child custody determination and does not create a court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under Title 5.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 1043), Sec. 1, eff. June 1, 2017.

Chapter 35A

Sec. 35A.001: Applicability

This chapter applies to a person whose relationship to a child would make the person eligible to consent to treatment under Section 32.001(a)(1), (2), or (3), and who has had actual care, custody, and control of the child for the six months preceding the filing of a petition under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 35A.002: Temporary Authorization

A person described by Section 35A.001 may seek a court order for temporary authorization to consent to voluntary inpatient mental health services for a child by filing a petition in the district court in the county in which the person resides.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 35A.003: Petition for Temporary Authorization

A petition for temporary authorization to consent to voluntary inpatient mental health services for a child must:

(1) be styled "ex parte" and be in the name of the child;

(2) be verified by the petitioner;

(3) state:

(A) the name, date of birth, and current physical address of the child;

(B) the name, date of birth, and current physical address of the petitioner; and

(C) the name and, if known, the current physical and mailing addresses of the child's parents, conservators, or guardians;

(4) describe the status and location of any court proceeding in this or another state with respect to the child;

(5) describe the petitioner's relationship to the child;

(6) provide the dates during the preceding six months that the child has resided with the petitioner;

(7) contain a certificate of medical examination for mental illness prepared by a physician who has examined the child not earlier than the third day before the date the petition is filed and be accompanied by a sworn statement containing the physician's opinion, and the detailed reasons for that opinion, that the child is a person:

(A) with mental illness or who demonstrates symptoms of a serious emotional disorder; and

(B) who presents a risk of serious harm to self or others if not immediately restrained or hospitalized; and

(8) state any reason that the petitioner is unable to obtain signed, written documentation from a parent, conservator, or guardian of the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 35A.004: Notice; Hearing

(a) On receipt of the petition, the court shall set a hearing.

(b) A copy of the petition and notice of the hearing shall be delivered to the parent, conservator, or guardian of the child by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the last known address of the parent, conservator, or guardian.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 35A.005: Order for Temporary Authorization

(a) At the hearing on the petition, the court may hear evidence relating to the child's need for inpatient mental health services by the petitioner, any other matter raised in the petition, and any objection or other testimony of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian.

(b) The court shall dismiss the petition for temporary authorization if an objection is made by the child's parent, conservator, or guardian.

(c) The court shall grant the petition for temporary authorization only if the court finds:

(1) by a preponderance of the evidence that the child does not have available a parent, conservator, guardian, or other legal representative to give consent under Section 572.001, Health and Safety Code, for voluntary inpatient mental health services; and

(2) by clear and convincing evidence that the child is a person:

(A) with mental illness or who demonstrates symptoms of a serious emotional disorder; and

(B) who presents a risk of serious harm to self or others if not immediately restrained or hospitalized.

(d) Subject to Subsection (e), the order granting temporary authorization under this chapter expires on the earliest of:

(1) the date the petitioner requests that the child be discharged from the inpatient mental health facility;

(2) the date a physician determines that the criteria listed in Subsection (c)(2) no longer apply to the child; or

(3) subject to Subsection (e), the 10th day after the date the order for temporary authorization is issued under this section.

(e) The order granting temporary authorization continues in effect until the earlier occurrence of an event described by Subsection (d)(1) or (2) if the petitioner obtains an order for temporary managing conservatorship before the order expires as provided by Subsection (d)(3).

(f) A copy of an order granting temporary authorization must:

(1) be filed under the cause number in any court that has rendered a conservatorship or guardian order regarding the child; and

(2) be sent to the last known address of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 988 (S.B. 1238), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subtitle B

Chapter 41

Sec. 41.001: Liability

A parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any property damage proximately caused by:

(1) the negligent conduct of the child if the conduct is reasonably attributable to the negligent failure of the parent or other person to exercise that duty; or

(2) the wilful and malicious conduct of a child who is at least 10 years of age but under 18 years of age.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 587, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 41.002: Limit of Damages

Recovery for damage caused by wilful and malicious conduct is limited to actual damages, not to exceed $25,000 per occurrence, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 783, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 41.0025: Liability for Property Damage to an Inn Or Hotel

(a) Notwithstanding Section 41.002, recovery of damages by an inn or hotel for wilful and malicious conduct is limited to actual damages, not to exceed $25,000 per occurrence, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(b) In this section "occurrence" means one incident on a single day in one hotel room. The term does not include incidents in separate rooms or incidents that occur on different days.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 40, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 41.003: Venue

A suit as provided by this chapter may be filed in the county in which the conduct of the child occurred or in the county in which the defendant resides.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Chapter 42

Sec. 42.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Order" means a temporary or final order of a court of this state or another state or nation.

(2) "Possessory right" means a court-ordered right of possession of or access to a child, including conservatorship, custody, and visitation.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 42.002: Liability for Interference with Possessory Right

(a) A person who takes or retains possession of a child or who conceals the whereabouts of a child in violation of a possessory right of another person may be liable for damages to that person.

(b) A possessory right is violated by the taking, retention, or concealment of a child at a time when another person is entitled to possession of or access to the child.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 42.003: Aiding Or Assisting Interference with Possessory Right

(a) A person who aids or assists in conduct for which a cause of action is authorized by this chapter is jointly and severally liable for damages.

(b) A person who was not a party to the suit in which an order was rendered providing for a possessory right is not liable unless the person at the time of the violation:

(1) had actual notice of the existence and contents of the order; or

(2) had reasonable cause to believe that the child was the subject of an order and that the person's actions were likely to violate the order.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 42.005: Venue

A suit may be filed in a county in which:

(1) the plaintiff resides;

(2) the defendant resides;

(3) a suit affecting the parent-child relationship as provided by Chapter 102 may be brought, concerning the child who is the subject of the court order; or

(4) a court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 155.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 42.006: Damages

(a) Damages may include:

(1) the actual costs and expenses incurred, including attorney's fees, in:

(A) locating a child who is the subject of the order;

(B) recovering possession of the child if the petitioner is entitled to possession; and

(C) enforcing the order and prosecuting the suit; and

(2) mental suffering and anguish incurred by the plaintiff because of a violation of the order.

(b) A person liable for damages who acted with malice or with an intent to cause harm to the plaintiff may be liable for exemplary damages.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 42.007: Affirmative Defense

The defendant may plead as an affirmative defense that the defendant acted in violation of the order with the express consent of the plaintiff.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 437, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 42.008: Remedies Not Affected

This chapter does not affect any other civil or criminal remedy available to any person, including the child, for interference with a possessory right, nor does it affect the power of a parent to represent the interest of a child in a suit filed on behalf of the child.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 42.009: Frivolous Suit

A person sued for damages as provided by this chapter is entitled to recover attorney's fees and court costs if:

(1) the claim for damages is dismissed or judgment is awarded to the defendant; and

(2) the court or jury finds that the claim for damages is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Subtitle C

Chapter 45

Subchapter A

Sec. 45.001: Who May File; Venue

A parent, managing conservator, or guardian of a child may file a petition requesting a change of name of the child in the county where the child resides.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.002: Requirements of Petition

(a) A petition to change the name of a child must be verified and include:

(1) the present name and place of residence of the child;

(2) the reason a change of name is requested;

(3) the full name requested for the child;

(4) whether the child is subject to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court under Chapter 155; and

(5) whether the child is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b) If the child is 10 years of age or older, the child's written consent to the change of name must be attached to the petition.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 45.003: Citation

(a) The following persons are entitled to citation in a suit under this subchapter:

(1) a parent of the child whose parental rights have not been terminated;

(2) any managing conservator of the child; and

(3) any guardian of the child.

(b) Citation must be issued and served in the same manner as under Chapter 102.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.0031: Waiver of Citation

(a) A party to a suit under this subchapter may waive the issuance or service of citation after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk of the court in which the suit is filed the waiver of the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.

(b) The party executing the waiver may not sign the waiver using a digitized signature.

(c) The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party executing the waiver.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit. This subsection does not apply if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.

(e) The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to a waiver executed under this section.

(f) For purposes of this section, "digitized signature" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.0096.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 198 (S.B. 814), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 45.004: Order

(a) The court may order the name of a child changed if:

(1) the change is in the best interest of the child; and

(2) for a child subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure:

(A) the change is in the interest of the public; and

(B) the person petitioning on behalf of the child provides the court with proof that the child has notified the appropriate local law enforcement authority of the proposed name change.

(b) If the child is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of a court under Chapter 155, the court shall send a copy of the order to the central record file as provided in Chapter 108.

(c) In this section, "local law enforcement authority" has the meaning assigned by Article 62.001, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1008 (H.B. 867), Sec. 2.05, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 45.005: Liabilities and Rights Unaffected

A change of name does not:

(1) release a child from any liability incurred in the child's previous name; or

(2) defeat any right the child had in the child's previous name.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Subchapter B

Sec. 45.101: Who May File; Venue

An adult may file a petition requesting a change of name in the county of the adult's place of residence.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.102: Requirements of Petition

(a) A petition to change the name of an adult must be verified and include:

(1) the present name and place of residence of the petitioner;

(2) the full name requested for the petitioner;

(3) the reason the change in name is requested;

(4) whether the petitioner has been the subject of a final felony conviction;

(5) whether the petitioner is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(6) a legible and complete set of the petitioner's fingerprints on a fingerprint card format acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b) The petition must include each of the following or a reasonable explanation why the required information is not included:

(1) the petitioner's:

(A) full name;

(B) sex;

(C) race;

(D) date of birth;

(E) driver's license number for any driver's license issued in the 10 years preceding the date of the petition;

(F) social security number; and

(G) assigned FBI number, state identification number, if known, or any other reference number in a criminal history record system that identifies the petitioner;

(2) any offense above the grade of Class C misdemeanor for which the petitioner has been charged; and

(3) the case number and the court if a warrant was issued or a charging instrument was filed or presented for an offense listed in Subsection (b)(2).

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1003, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 6.001, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 45.103: Order

(a) The court shall order a change of name under this subchapter for a person other than a person with a final felony conviction or a person subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, if the change is in the interest or to the benefit of the petitioner and in the interest of the public.

(b) A court may order a change of name under this subchapter for a person with a final felony conviction if:

(1) in addition to the requirements of Subsection (a), the person has:

(A) received a certificate of discharge by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or completed a period of community supervision or juvenile probation ordered by a court and not less than two years have passed from the date of the receipt of discharge or completion of community supervision or juvenile probation; or

(B) been pardoned; or

(2) the person is requesting to change the person's name to the primary name used in the person's criminal history record information.

(c) A court may order a change of name under this subchapter for a person subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, if the person:

(1) meets the requirements of Subsection (a) or is requesting to change the person's name to the primary name used in the person's criminal history record information; and

(2) provides the court with proof that the person has notified the appropriate local law enforcement authority of the proposed name change.

(d) In this section:

(1) "Criminal history record information" has the meaning assigned by Section 411.082, Government Code.

(2) "Local law enforcement authority" has the meaning assigned by Article 62.001, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1008 (H.B. 867), Sec. 2.06, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 25.057, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 232 (H.B. 2623), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 45.104: Liabilities and Rights Unaffected

A change of name under this subchapter does not release a person from liability incurred in that person's previous name or defeat any right the person had in the person's previous name.

Comments

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.105: Change of Name in Divorce Suit

(a) On the final disposition of a suit for divorce, for annulment, or to declare a marriage void, the court shall enter a decree changing the name of a party specially praying for the change to a prior used name unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name. The court may not deny a change of name solely to keep last names of family members the same.

(b) A person whose name is changed under this section may apply for a change of name certificate from the clerk of the court as provided by Section 45.106.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 45.106: Change of Name Certificate

(a) A person whose name is changed under Section 6.706 or 45.105 may apply to the clerk of the court ordering the name change for a change of name certificate.

(b) A certificate under this section is a one-page document that includes:

(1) the name of the person before the change of name was ordered;

(2) the name to which the person's name was changed by the court;

(3) the date on which the name change was made;

(4) the person's social security number and driver's license number, if any;

(5) the name of the court in which the name change was ordered; and

(6) the signature of the clerk of the court that issued the certificate.

(c) An applicant for a certificate under this section shall pay a $10 fee to the clerk of the court for issuance of the certificate.

(d) A certificate under this section constitutes proof of the change of name of the person named in the certificate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 45.107: Waiver of Citation

(a) A party to a suit under this subchapter may waive the issuance or service of citation after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk of the court in which the suit is filed the waiver of the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.

(b) The party executing the waiver may not sign the waiver using a digitized signature.

(c) The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party executing the waiver.

(d) The waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit or conform to the requirements for an unsworn declaration under Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code. This subsection does not apply if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.

(e) The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to a waiver executed under this section.

(f) For purposes of this section, "digitized signature" has the meaning assigned by Section 101.0096.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 198 (S.B. 814), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 891), Sec. 11.02, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subtitle E

Chapter 47

Sec. 47.001: Applicability of Definitions

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the definitions in Chapter 101 apply to terms used in this title.

(b) If a term defined in this title has a meaning different from the meaning provided by Chapter 101, the meaning provided by this title prevails.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612 (S.B. 822), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 47.002: Applicability of Laws Relating to Attorneys Ad Litem, Guardians Ad Litem, and Amicus Attorneys

Chapter 107 applies to the appointment of an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, or amicus attorney under this title.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612 (S.B. 822), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 47.003: Use of Digitized Signature

(a) A digitized signature on an original petition or application under this title or any other pleading or order in a proceeding under this title satisfies the requirements for and imposes the duties of signatories to pleadings, motions, and other papers identified under Rule 13, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) A digitized signature under this section may be applied only by, and must remain under the sole control of, the person whose signature is represented.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1165 (S.B. 813), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2017.

Title 3

Chapter 51

Sec. 51.01: Purpose and Interpretation

This title shall be construed to effectuate the following public purposes:

(1) to provide for the protection of the public and public safety;

(2) consistent with the protection of the public and public safety:

(A) to promote the concept of punishment for criminal acts;

(B) to remove, where appropriate, the taint of criminality from children committing certain unlawful acts; and

(C) to provide treatment, training, and rehabilitation that emphasizes the accountability and responsibility of both the parent and the child for the child's conduct;

(3) to provide for the care, the protection, and the wholesome moral, mental, and physical development of children coming within its provisions;

(4) to protect the welfare of the community and to control the commission of unlawful acts by children;

(5) to achieve the foregoing purposes in a family environment whenever possible, separating the child from the child's parents only when necessary for the child's welfare or in the interest of public safety and when a child is removed from the child's family, to give the child the care that should be provided by parents; and

(6) to provide a simple judicial procedure through which the provisions of this title are executed and enforced and in which the parties are assured a fair hearing and their constitutional and other legal rights recognized and enforced.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 51.02: Definitions

In this title:

(1) "Aggravated controlled substance felony" means an offense under Subchapter D, Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, that is punishable by:

(A) a minimum term of confinement that is longer than the minimum term of confinement for a felony of the first degree; or

(B) a maximum fine that is greater than the maximum fine for a felony of the first degree.

(2) "Child" means a person who is:

(A) ten years of age or older and under 17 years of age; or

(B) seventeen years of age or older and under 18 years of age who is alleged or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.

(3) "Custodian" means the adult with whom the child resides.

(4) "Guardian" means the person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of the child or the public or private agency with whom the child has been placed by a court.

(5) "Judge" or "juvenile court judge" means the judge of a juvenile court.

(6) "Juvenile court" means a court designated under Section 51.04 of this code to exercise jurisdiction over proceedings under this title.

(7) "Law-enforcement officer" means a peace officer as defined by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(8) "Nonoffender" means a child who:

(A) is subject to jurisdiction of a court under abuse, dependency, or neglect statutes under Title 5 for reasons other than legally prohibited conduct of the child; or

(B) has been taken into custody and is being held solely for deportation out of the United States.

(8-a) "Nonsecure correctional facility" means a facility described by Section 51.126.

(9) "Parent" means the mother or the father of a child, but does not include a parent whose parental rights have been terminated.

(10) "Party" means the state, a child who is the subject of proceedings under this subtitle, or the child's parent, spouse, guardian, or guardian ad litem.

(11) "Prosecuting attorney" means the county attorney, district attorney, or other attorney who regularly serves in a prosecutory capacity in a juvenile court.

(12) "Referral to juvenile court" means the referral of a child or a child's case to the office or official, including an intake officer or probation officer, designated by the juvenile board to process children within the juvenile justice system.

(13) "Secure correctional facility" means any public or private residential facility, including an alcohol or other drug treatment facility, that:

(A) includes construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of juveniles or other individuals held in lawful custody in the facility; and

(B) is used for the placement of any juvenile who has been adjudicated as having committed an offense, any nonoffender, or any other individual convicted of a criminal offense.

(14) "Secure detention facility" means any public or private residential facility that:

(A) includes construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of juveniles or other individuals held in lawful custody in the facility; and

(B) is used for the temporary placement of any juvenile who is accused of having committed an offense, any nonoffender, or any other individual accused of having committed a criminal offense.

(15) "Status offender" means a child who is accused, adjudicated, or convicted for conduct that would not, under state law, be a crime if committed by an adult, including:

(A) running away from home under Section 51.03(b)(2);

(B) a fineable only offense under Section 51.03(b)(1) transferred to the juvenile court under Section 51.08(b), but only if the conduct constituting the offense would not have been criminal if engaged in by an adult;

(C) a violation of standards of student conduct as described by Section 51.03(b)(4);

(D) a violation of a juvenile curfew ordinance or order;

(E) a violation of a provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Code applicable to minors only; or

(F) a violation of any other fineable only offense under Section 8.07(a)(4) or (5), Penal Code, but only if the conduct constituting the offense would not have been criminal if engaged in by an adult.

(16) "Traffic offense" means:

(A) a violation of a penal statute cognizable under Chapter 729, Transportation Code, except for conduct for which the person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment or confinement in jail; or

(B) a violation of a motor vehicle traffic ordinance of an incorporated city or town in this state.

(17) "Valid court order" means a court order entered under Section 54.04 concerning a child adjudicated to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision as a status offender.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2152, ch. 693, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.06, 30.182, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 41, 47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.02, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1187 (H.B. 3689), Sec. 4.004, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.03: Delinquent Conduct; Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision

(a) Delinquent conduct is:

(1) conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates a penal law of this state or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail;

(2) conduct that violates a lawful order of a court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of that court in:

(A) a justice or municipal court;

(B) a county court for conduct punishable only by a fine; or

(C) a truancy court;

(3) conduct that violates Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code; or

(4) conduct that violates Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (third or subsequent offense).

(b) Conduct indicating a need for supervision is:

(1) subject to Subsection (f), conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates:

(A) the penal laws of this state of the grade of misdemeanor that are punishable by fine only; or

(B) the penal ordinances of any political subdivision of this state;

(2) the voluntary absence of a child from the child's home without the consent of the child's parent or guardian for a substantial length of time or without intent to return;

(3) conduct prohibited by city ordinance or by state law involving the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of paint and other protective coatings or glue and other adhesives and the volatile chemicals itemized in Section 485.001, Health and Safety Code;

(4) an act that violates a school district's previously communicated written standards of student conduct for which the child has been expelled under Section 37.007(c), Education Code;

(5) notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), conduct described by Section 43.02(a) or (b), Penal Code; or

(6) notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), conduct that violates Section 43.261, Penal Code.

(c) Nothing in this title prevents criminal proceedings against a child for perjury.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(e) For the purposes of Subsection (b)(2), "child" does not include a person who is married, divorced, or widowed.

(e-1) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(f) Conduct described under Subsection (b)(1) does not constitute conduct indicating a need for supervision unless the child has been referred to the juvenile court under Section 51.08(b).

(g) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2153, ch. 693, Sec. 2 to 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 906, ch. 340, Sec. 1, eff. June 6, 1977; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 511, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 924, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 955, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1099, Sec. 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1100, Sec. 3.02, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1245, Sec. 1, 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 16, Sec. 7.02, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 46, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 14.30, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 15, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 311 (H.B. 558), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1098 (S.B. 1489), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1150 (H.B. 2015), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 206), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1273 (S.B. 825), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.002, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 51.031: Habitual Felony Conduct

(a) Habitual felony conduct is conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony, other than a state jail felony, if:

(1) the child who engaged in the conduct has at least two previous final adjudications as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony;

(2) the second previous final adjudication is for conduct that occurred after the date the first previous adjudication became final; and

(3) all appeals relating to the previous adjudications considered under Subdivisions (1) and (2) have been exhausted.

(b) For purposes of this section, an adjudication is final if the child is placed on probation or committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

(c) An adjudication based on conduct that occurred before January 1, 1996, may not be considered in a disposition made under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 39, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.04: Jurisdiction

(a) This title covers the proceedings in all cases involving the delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision engaged in by a person who was a child within the meaning of this title at the time the person engaged in the conduct, and, except as provided by Subsection (h) or Section 51.0414, the juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction over proceedings under this title.

(b) In each county, the county's juvenile board shall designate one or more district, criminal district, domestic relations, juvenile, or county courts or county courts at law as the juvenile court, subject to Subsections (c), (d), and (i).

(c) If the county court is designated as a juvenile court, at least one other court shall be designated as the juvenile court. A county court does not have jurisdiction of a proceeding involving a petition approved by a grand jury under Section 53.045 of this code.

(d) If the judge of a court designated in Subsection (b) or (c) of this section is not an attorney licensed in this state, there shall also be designated an alternate court, the judge of which is an attorney licensed in this state.

(e) A designation made under Subsection (b), (c), or (i) may be changed from time to time by the authorized boards or judges for the convenience of the people and the welfare of children. However, there must be at all times a juvenile court designated for each county. It is the intent of the legislature that in selecting a court to be the juvenile court of each county, the selection shall be made as far as practicable so that the court designated as the juvenile court will be one which is presided over by a judge who has a sympathetic understanding of the problems of child welfare and that changes in the designation of juvenile courts be made only when the best interest of the public requires it.

(f) If the judge of the juvenile court or any alternate judge named under Subsection (b) or (c) is not in the county or is otherwise unavailable, any magistrate may make a determination under Section 53.02(f) or may conduct the detention hearing provided for in Section 54.01.

(g) The juvenile board may appoint a referee to make determinations under Section 53.02(f) or to conduct hearings under this title. The referee shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state and shall comply with Section 54.10. Payment of any referee services shall be provided from county funds.

(h) A judge exercising jurisdiction over a child in a suit instituted under Subtitle E, Title 5, may refer any aspect of a suit involving the child that is instituted under this title to the appropriate associate judge appointed under Subchapter C, Chapter 201, serving in the county and exercising jurisdiction over the child under Subtitle E, Title 5, if the associate judge consents to the referral. The scope of an associate judge's authority over a suit referred under this subsection is subject to any limitations placed by the court judge in the order of referral.

(i) If the court designated as the juvenile court under Subsection (b) does not have jurisdiction over proceedings under Subtitle E, Title 5, the county's juvenile board may designate at least one other court that does have jurisdiction over proceedings under Subtitle E, Title 5, as a juvenile court or alternative juvenile court.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1357, ch. 514, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1975; Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2153, ch. 693, Sec. 5 to 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1112, ch. 411, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 1977; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 168, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 232, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 186 (S.B. 92), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 660 (S.B. 1887), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 51.041: Jurisdiction After Appeal

(a) The court retains jurisdiction over a person, without regard to the age of the person, for conduct engaged in by the person before becoming 17 years of age if, as a result of an appeal by the person or the state under Chapter 56 of an order of the court, the order is reversed or modified and the case remanded to the court by the appellate court.

(b) If the respondent is at least 18 years of age when the order of remand from the appellate court is received by the juvenile court, the juvenile court shall proceed as provided by Sections 54.02(o)-(r) for the detention of a person at least 18 years of age in discretionary transfer proceedings. Pending retrial of the adjudication or transfer proceeding, the juvenile court may:

(1) order the respondent released from custody;

(2) order the respondent detained in a juvenile detention facility; or

(3) set bond and order the respondent detained in a county adult facility if bond is not made.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 74 (S.B. 888), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.0411: Jurisdiction for Transfer Or Release Hearing

The court retains jurisdiction over a person, without regard to the age of the person, who is referred to the court under Section 54.11 for transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or release under supervision.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 1997.

Sec. 51.0412: Jurisdiction Over Incomplete Proceedings

The court retains jurisdiction over a person, without regard to the age of the person, who is a respondent in an adjudication proceeding, a disposition proceeding, a proceeding to modify disposition, a proceeding for waiver of jurisdiction and transfer to criminal court under Section 54.02(a), or a motion for transfer of determinate sentence probation to an appropriate district court if:

(1) the petition or motion was filed while the respondent was younger than 18 or 19 years of age, as applicable;

(2) the proceeding is not complete before the respondent becomes 18 or 19 years of age, as applicable; and

(3) the court enters a finding in the proceeding that the prosecuting attorney exercised due diligence in an attempt to complete the proceeding before the respondent became 18 or 19 years of age, as applicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 51.0413: Jurisdiction Over and Transfer of Combination of Proceedings

(a) A juvenile court designated under Section 51.04(b) or, if that court does not have jurisdiction over proceedings under Subtitle E, Title 5, the juvenile court designated under Section 51.04(i) may simultaneously exercise jurisdiction over proceedings under this title and proceedings under Subtitle E, Title 5, if there is probable cause to believe that the child who is the subject of those proceedings engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and cause to believe that the child may be the victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code.

(b) If a proceeding is instituted under this title in a juvenile court designated under Section 51.04(b) that does not have jurisdiction over proceedings under Subtitle E, Title 5, the court shall assess the case and may transfer the proceedings to a court designated as a juvenile court or alternative juvenile court under Section 51.04(i) if the receiving court agrees and if, in the course of the proceedings, evidence is presented that constitutes cause to believe that the child who is the subject of those proceedings is a child described by Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 186 (S.B. 92), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 51.0414: Discretionary Transfer to Combine Proceedings

(a) The juvenile court may transfer a child's case, including transcripts of records and documents for the case, to a district or statutory county court located in another county that is exercising jurisdiction over the child in a suit instituted under Subtitle E, Title 5. A case may only be transferred under this section with the consent of the judge of the court to which the case is being transferred.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 51.04, a district or statutory county court to which a case is transferred under this section has jurisdiction over the transferred case regardless of whether the court is a designated juvenile court or alternative juvenile court in the county.

(c) If the court exercising jurisdiction over the child under Subtitle E, Title 5, consents to a transfer under this section, the juvenile court shall file the transfer order with the clerk of the transferring court. On receipt and without a hearing or further order from the juvenile court, the clerk of the transferring court shall transfer the files, including transcripts of records and documents for the case as soon as practicable but not later than the 10th day after the date an order of transfer is filed.

(d) On receipt of the pleadings, documents, and orders from the transferring court, the clerk of the receiving court shall notify the judge of the receiving court, all parties, and the clerk of the transferring court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 660 (S.B. 1887), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 51.042: Objection to Jurisdiction Because of Age of the Child

(a) A child who objects to the jurisdiction of the court over the child because of the age of the child must raise the objection at the adjudication hearing or discretionary transfer hearing, if any.

(b) A child who does not object as provided by Subsection (a) waives any right to object to the jurisdiction of the court because of the age of the child at a later hearing or on appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 51.045: Juries in County Courts at Law

If a provision of this title requires a jury of 12 persons, that provision prevails over any other law that limits the number of members of a jury in a particular county court at law. The state and the defense are entitled to the same number of peremptory challenges allowed in a district court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 51.05: Court Sessions and Facilities

(a) The juvenile court shall be deemed in session at all times. Suitable quarters shall be provided by the commissioners court of each county for the hearing of cases and for the use of the judge, the probation officer, and other employees of the court.

(b) The juvenile court and the juvenile board shall report annually to the commissioners court on the suitability of the quarters and facilities of the juvenile court and may make recommendations for their improvement.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2154, ch. 693, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.

Sec. 51.06: Venue

(a) A proceeding under this title shall be commenced in

(1) the county in which the alleged delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision occurred; or

(2) the county in which the child resides at the time the petition is filed, but only if:

(A) the child was under probation supervision in that county at the time of the commission of the delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(B) it cannot be determined in which county the delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision occurred; or

(C) the county in which the child resides agrees to accept the case for prosecution, in writing, prior to the case being sent to the county of residence for prosecution.

(b) An application for a writ of habeas corpus brought by or on behalf of a person who has been committed to an institution under the jurisdiction of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and which attacks the validity of the judgment of commitment shall be brought in the county in which the court that entered the judgment of commitment is located.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 161, ch. 44, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. April 26, 1983; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 7, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 488, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 40, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.07: Transfer to Another County for Disposition

(a) When a child has been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision under Section 54.03, the juvenile court may transfer the case and transcripts of records and documents to the juvenile court of the county where the child resides for disposition of the case under Section 54.04. Consent by the court of the county where the child resides is not required.

(b) For purposes of Subsection (a), while a child is the subject of a suit under Title 5, the child is considered to reside in the county in which the court of continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the child is located.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 51.071: Transfer of Probation Supervision Between Counties: Courtesy Supervision Prohibited

Except as provided by Section 51.075, a juvenile court or juvenile probation department may not engage in the practice of courtesy supervision of a child on probation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 51.072: Transfer of Probation Supervision Between Counties: Interim Supervision

(a) In this section:

(1) "Receiving county" means the county to which a child on probation has moved or intends to move.

(2) "Sending county" means the county that:

(A) originally placed the child on probation; or

(B) assumed permanent supervision of the child under an inter-county transfer of probation supervision.

(b) When a child on probation moves or intends to move from one county to another and intends to remain in the receiving county for at least 60 days, the juvenile probation department of the sending county shall request that the juvenile probation department of the receiving county provide interim supervision of the child. If the receiving county and the sending county are member counties within a judicial district served by one juvenile probation department, then a transfer of probation supervision is not required.

(c) The juvenile probation department of the receiving county may refuse the request to provide interim supervision only if:

(1) the residence of the child in the receiving county is in a residential placement facility arranged by the sending county; or

(2) the residence of the child in the receiving county is in a foster care placement arranged by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(d) The juvenile probation department of the sending county shall initiate the request for interim supervision by electronic communication to the probation officer designated as the inter-county transfer officer for the juvenile probation department of the receiving county or, in the absence of this designation, to the chief juvenile probation officer.

(e) The juvenile probation department of the sending county shall provide the juvenile probation department of the receiving county with the following information in the request for interim supervision initiated under Subsection (d):

(1) the child's name, sex, age, race, and date of birth;

(2) the name, address, date of birth, and social security or driver's license number, and telephone number, if available, of the person with whom the child proposes to reside or is residing in the receiving county;

(3) the offense for which the child is on probation;

(4) the length of the child's probation term;

(5) a brief summary of the child's history of referrals;

(6) a brief statement of any special needs of the child;

(7) the name and telephone number of the child's school in the receiving county, if available; and

(8) the reason for the child moving or intending to move to the receiving county.

(f) Not later than 10 business days after a receiving county has agreed to provide interim supervision of a child, the juvenile probation department of the sending county shall provide the juvenile probation department of the receiving county with a copy of the following documents:

(1) the petition and the adjudication and disposition orders for the child, including the child's thumbprint;

(2) the child's conditions of probation;

(3) the social history report for the child;

(4) any psychological or psychiatric reports concerning the child;

(5) the Department of Public Safety CR 43J form or tracking incident number concerning the child;

(6) any law enforcement incident reports concerning the offense for which the child is on probation;

(7) any sex offender registration information concerning the child;

(8) any juvenile probation department progress reports concerning the child and any other pertinent documentation for the child's probation officer;

(9) case plans concerning the child;

(10) the Texas Juvenile Justice Department standard assessment tool results for the child;

(11) the computerized referral and case history for the child, including case disposition;

(12) the child's birth certificate;

(13) the child's social security number or social security card, if available;

(14) the name, address, and telephone number of the contact person in the sending county's juvenile probation department;

(15) Title IV-E eligibility screening information for the child, if available;

(16) the address in the sending county for forwarding funds collected to which the sending county is entitled;

(17) any of the child's school or immunization records that the juvenile probation department of the sending county possesses;

(18) any victim information concerning the case for which the child is on probation; and

(19) if applicable, documentation that the sending county has required the child to provide a DNA sample to the Department of Public Safety under Section 54.0405 or 54.0409 or under Subchapter G, Chapter 411, Government Code.

(f-1) The inter-county transfer officers in the sending and receiving counties shall agree on the official start date for the period of interim supervision, which must begin no later than three business days after the date the documents required under Subsection (f) have been received and accepted by the receiving county.

(f-2) On initiating a transfer of probation supervision under this section, for a child ordered to submit a DNA sample as a condition of probation, the sending county shall provide to the receiving county documentation of compliance with the requirements of Section 54.0405 or 54.0409 or of Subchapter G, Chapter 411, Government Code, as applicable. If the sending county has not provided the documentation required under this section within the time provided by Subsection (f), the receiving county may refuse to accept interim supervision until the sending county has provided the documentation.

(g) The juvenile probation department of the receiving county shall supervise the child under the probation conditions imposed by the sending county and provide services similar to those provided to a child placed on probation under the same conditions in the receiving county. On request of the juvenile probation department of the receiving county, the juvenile court of the receiving county may modify the original probation conditions and impose new conditions using the procedures in Section 54.05. The juvenile court of the receiving county may not modify a financial probation condition imposed by the juvenile court of the sending county or the length of the child's probation term. The juvenile court of the receiving county shall designate a cause number for identifying the modification proceedings.

(h) The juvenile court of the sending county may revoke probation for a violation of a condition imposed by the juvenile court of the sending county only if the condition has not been specifically modified or replaced by the juvenile court of the receiving county. The juvenile court of the receiving county may revoke probation for a violation of a condition of probation that the juvenile court of the receiving county has modified or imposed.

(i) If a child is reasonably believed to have violated a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court of the sending county, the juvenile court of the sending or receiving county may issue a directive to apprehend or detain the child in a certified detention facility, as in other cases of probation violation. In order to respond to a probation violation under this subsection, the juvenile court of the receiving county may:

(1) modify the conditions of probation or extend the probation term; or

(2) require that the juvenile probation department of the sending county resume direct supervision for the child.

(j) On receiving a directive from the juvenile court of the receiving county under Subsection (i)(2), the juvenile probation department of the sending county shall arrange for the prompt transportation of the child back to the sending county at the expense of the sending county. The juvenile probation department in the receiving county shall provide the sending county with supporting written documentation of the incidents of violation of probation on which the request to resume direct supervision is based.

(j-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (j), the sending county may request interim supervision from the receiving county that issued a directive under Subsection (i)(2). Following the conclusion of any judicial proceedings in the sending county or on the completion of any residential placement ordered by the juvenile court of the sending county, the sending and receiving counties may mutually agree to return the child to the receiving county. The sending and receiving counties may take into consideration whether:

(1) the person having legal custody of the child resides in the receiving county;

(2) the child has been ordered by the juvenile court of the sending county to reside with a parent, guardian, or other person who resides in the sending county or any other county; and

(3) the case meets the statutory requirements for collaborative supervision.

(j-2) The period of interim supervision under Subsection (j-1) may not exceed the period under Subsection (m).

(k) The juvenile probation department of the receiving county is entitled to any probation supervision fees collected from the child or the child's parent while providing interim supervision for the child. During the period of interim supervision, the receiving county shall collect and distribute to the victim monetary restitution payments in the manner specified by the sending county. At the expiration of the period of interim supervision, the receiving county shall collect and distribute directly to the victim any remaining payments.

(l) The sending county is financially responsible for any special treatment program or placement that the juvenile court of the sending county requires as a condition of probation if the child's family is financially unable to pay for the program or placement.

(m) Except as provided by Subsection (n), a period of interim supervision may not exceed 180 days. Permanent supervision automatically transfers to the juvenile probation department of the receiving county after the expiration of the period of interim supervision. The juvenile probation department of the receiving county may request permanent supervision from the juvenile probation department of the sending county at any time before the 180-day interim supervision period expires. After signing and entry of an order of transfer of permanent supervision by the sending county juvenile court, the juvenile probation department shall, in accordance with Section 51.073(b), promptly send the permanent supervision order and related documents to the receiving county.

(m-1) If a child on interim supervision moves to another county of residence or is otherwise no longer in the receiving county before the expiration of 180 days, the receiving county shall direct the sending county to resume supervision of the child.

(n) Notwithstanding Subsection (m), the period of interim supervision of a child who is placed on probation under Section 54.04(q) does not expire until the child has satisfactorily completed the greater of either 180 days or one-third of the term of probation, including one-third of the term of any extension of the probation term ordered under Section 54.05. Permanent supervision automatically transfers to the probation department of the receiving county after the expiration of the period of interim supervision under this subsection. If the state elects to initiate transfer proceedings under Section 54.051, the juvenile court of the sending county may order transfer of the permanent supervision before the expiration of the period of interim supervision under this subsection.

(o) At least once every 90 days during the period of interim supervision, the juvenile probation department of the receiving county shall provide the juvenile probation department of the sending county with a progress report of supervision concerning the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 51.073: Transfer of Probation Supervision Between Counties: Permanent Supervision

(a) In this section:

(1) "Receiving county" means the county to which a child on probation has moved or intends to move.

(2) "Sending county" means the county that:

(A) originally placed the child on probation; or

(B) assumed permanent supervision of the child under an inter-county transfer of probation supervision.

(b) On transfer of permanent supervision of a child under Section 51.072(m) or (n), the juvenile court of the sending county shall order the juvenile probation department of the sending county to provide the juvenile probation department of the receiving county with the order of transfer. On receipt of the order of transfer, the juvenile probation department of the receiving county shall ensure that the order of transfer, the petition, the order of adjudication, the order of disposition, and the conditions of probation are filed with the clerk of the juvenile court of the receiving county.

(c) The juvenile court of the receiving county shall require that the child be brought before the court in order to impose new or different conditions of probation than those originally ordered by the sending county or ordered by the receiving county during the period of interim supervision. The child shall be represented by counsel as provided by Section 51.10.

(d) Once permanent supervision is transferred to the juvenile probation department of the receiving county, the receiving county is fully responsible for selecting and imposing conditions of probation, providing supervision, modifying conditions of probation, and revoking probation. The sending county has no further jurisdiction over the child's case.

(d-1) On the final transfer of a case involving a child who has been adjudicated as having committed an offense for which registration is required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, the receiving county shall have jurisdiction to conduct a hearing under that chapter. This subsection does not prohibit the receiving county juvenile court from considering the written recommendations of the sending county juvenile court.

(e) This section does not affect the sending county's jurisdiction over any new offense committed by the child in the sending county.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 51.074: Transfer of Probation Supervision Between Counties: Deferred Prosecution

(a) A juvenile court may transfer interim supervision, but not permanent supervision, to the county where a child on deferred prosecution resides.

(b) On an extension of a previous order of deferred prosecution authorized under Section 53.03(j), the child shall remain on interim supervision for an additional period not to exceed 180 days.

(c) On a violation of the conditions of the original deferred prosecution agreement, the receiving county shall forward the case to the sending county for prosecution or other action in the manner provided by Sections 51.072(i) and (j), except that the original conditions of deferred prosecution may not be modified by the receiving county.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 51.075: Collaborative Supervision Between Adjoining Counties

(a) If a child who is on probation in one county spends substantial time in an adjoining county, including residing, attending school, or working in the adjoining county, the juvenile probation departments of the two counties may enter into a collaborative supervision arrangement regarding the child.

(b) Under a collaborative supervision arrangement, the juvenile probation department of the adjoining county may authorize a probation officer for the county to provide supervision and other services for the child as an agent of the juvenile probation department of the county in which the child was placed on probation. The probation officer providing supervision and other services for the child in the adjoining county shall provide the probation officer supervising the child in the county in which the child was placed on probation with periodic oral, electronic, or written reports concerning the child.

(c) The juvenile court of the county in which the child was placed on probation retains sole authority to modify, amend, extend, or revoke the child's probation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 51.08: Transfer from Criminal Court

(a) If the defendant in a criminal proceeding is a child who is charged with an offense other than perjury, a traffic offense, a misdemeanor punishable by fine only, or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision, unless the child has been transferred to criminal court under Section 54.02, the court exercising criminal jurisdiction shall transfer the case to the juvenile court, together with a copy of the accusatory pleading and other papers, documents, and transcripts of testimony relating to the case, and shall order that the child be taken to the place of detention designated by the juvenile court, or shall release the child to the custody of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, to be brought before the juvenile court at a time designated by that court.

(b) A court in which there is pending a complaint against a child alleging a violation of a misdemeanor offense punishable by fine only other than a traffic offense or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision other than a traffic offense:

(1) except as provided by Subsection (d), shall waive its original jurisdiction and refer the child to juvenile court if:

(A) the complaint pending against the child alleges a violation of a misdemeanor offense under Section 43.261, Penal Code, that is punishable by fine only; or

(B) the child has previously been convicted of:

(i) two or more misdemeanors punishable by fine only other than a traffic offense;

(ii) two or more violations of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision other than a traffic offense; or

(iii) one or more of each of the types of misdemeanors described in Subparagraph (i) or (ii); and

(2) may waive its original jurisdiction and refer the child to juvenile court if the child:

(A) has not previously been convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by fine only other than a traffic offense or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision other than a traffic offense; or

(B) has previously been convicted of fewer than two misdemeanors punishable by fine only other than a traffic offense or two violations of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision other than a traffic offense.

(c) A court in which there is pending a complaint against a child alleging a violation of a misdemeanor offense punishable by fine only other than a traffic offense or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision other than a traffic offense shall notify the juvenile court of the county in which the court is located of the pending complaint and shall furnish to the juvenile court a copy of the final disposition of any matter for which the court does not waive its original jurisdiction under Subsection (b).

(d) A court that has implemented a juvenile case manager program under Article 45.056, Code of Criminal Procedure, may, but is not required to, waive its original jurisdiction under Subsection (b)(1)(B).

(e) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 , Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(f) A court shall waive original jurisdiction for a complaint against a child alleging a violation of a misdemeanor offense punishable by fine only, other than a traffic offense, and refer the child to juvenile court if the court or another court has previously dismissed a complaint against the child under Section 8.08, Penal Code.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1245, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 650 (H.B. 3010), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 311 (H.B. 558), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.09: Waiver of Rights

Unless a contrary intent clearly appears elsewhere in this title, any right granted to a child by this title or by the constitution or laws of this state or the United States may be waived in proceedings under this title if:

(1) the waiver is made by the child and the attorney for the child;

(2) the child and the attorney waiving the right are informed of and understand the right and the possible consequences of waiving it;

(3) the waiver is voluntary; and

(4) the waiver is made in writing or in court proceedings that are recorded.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2154, ch. 693, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 84, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 64, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 429, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 557, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 593, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 8, 9, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 51.095: Admissibility of a Statement of a Child

(a) Notwithstanding Section 51.09, the statement of a child is admissible in evidence in any future proceeding concerning the matter about which the statement was given if:

(1) the statement is made in writing under a circumstance described by Subsection (d) and:

(A) the statement shows that the child has at some time before the making of the statement received from a magistrate a warning that:

(i) the child may remain silent and not make any statement at all and that any statement that the child makes may be used in evidence against the child;

(ii) the child has the right to have an attorney present to advise the child either prior to any questioning or during the questioning;

(iii) if the child is unable to employ an attorney, the child has the right to have an attorney appointed to counsel with the child before or during any interviews with peace officers or attorneys representing the state; and

(iv) the child has the right to terminate the interview at any time;

(B) and:

(i) the statement must be signed in the presence of a magistrate by the child with no law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney present, except that a magistrate may require a bailiff or a law enforcement officer if a bailiff is not available to be present if the magistrate determines that the presence of the bailiff or law enforcement officer is necessary for the personal safety of the magistrate or other court personnel, provided that the bailiff or law enforcement officer may not carry a weapon in the presence of the child; and

(ii) the magistrate must be fully convinced that the child understands the nature and contents of the statement and that the child is signing the same voluntarily, and if a statement is taken, the magistrate must sign a written statement verifying the foregoing requisites have been met;

(C) the child knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives these rights before and during the making of the statement and signs the statement in the presence of a magistrate; and

(D) the magistrate certifies that the magistrate has examined the child independent of any law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney, except as required to ensure the personal safety of the magistrate or other court personnel, and has determined that the child understands the nature and contents of the statement and has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived these rights;

(2) the statement is made orally and the child makes a statement of facts or circumstances that are found to be true and tend to establish the child's guilt, such as the finding of secreted or stolen property, or the instrument with which the child states the offense was committed;

(3) the statement was res gestae of the delinquent conduct or the conduct indicating a need for supervision or of the arrest;

(4) the statement is made:

(A) in open court at the child's adjudication hearing;

(B) before a grand jury considering a petition, under Section 53.045, that the child engaged in delinquent conduct; or

(C) at a preliminary hearing concerning the child held in compliance with this code, other than at a detention hearing under Section 54.01; or

(5) subject to Subsection (f), the statement is made orally under a circumstance described by Subsection (d) and the statement is recorded by an electronic recording device, including a device that records images, and:

(A) before making the statement, the child is given the warning described by Subdivision (1)(A) by a magistrate, the warning is a part of the recording, and the child knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives each right stated in the warning;

(B) the recording device is capable of making an accurate recording, the operator of the device is competent to use the device, the recording is accurate, and the recording has not been altered;

(C) each voice on the recording is identified; and

(D) not later than the 20th day before the date of the proceeding, the attorney representing the child is given a complete and accurate copy of each recording of the child made under this subdivision.

(b) This section and Section 51.09 do not preclude the admission of a statement made by the child if:

(1) the statement does not stem from interrogation of the child under a circumstance described by Subsection (d); or

(2) without regard to whether the statement stems from interrogation of the child under a circumstance described by Subsection (d), the statement is:

(A) voluntary and has a bearing on the credibility of the child as a witness; or

(B) recorded by an electronic recording device, including a device that records images, and is obtained:

(i) in another state in compliance with the laws of that state or this state; or

(ii) by a federal law enforcement officer in this state or another state in compliance with the laws of the United States.

(c) An electronic recording of a child's statement made under Subsection (a)(5) or (b)(2)(B) shall be preserved until all juvenile or criminal matters relating to any conduct referred to in the statement are final, including the exhaustion of all appeals, or barred from prosecution.

(d) Subsections (a)(1) and (a)(5) apply to the statement of a child made:

(1) while the child is in a detention facility or other place of confinement;

(2) while the child is in the custody of an officer; or

(3) during or after the interrogation of the child by an officer if the child is in the possession of the Department of Family and Protective Services and is suspected to have engaged in conduct that violates a penal law of this state.

(e) A juvenile law referee or master may perform the duties imposed on a magistrate under this section without the approval of the juvenile court if the juvenile board of the county in which the statement of the child is made has authorized a referee or master to perform the duties of a magistrate under this section.

(f) A magistrate who provides the warnings required by Subsection (a)(5) for a recorded statement may at the time the warnings are provided request by speaking on the recording that the officer return the child and the recording to the magistrate at the conclusion of the process of questioning. The magistrate may then view the recording with the child or have the child view the recording to enable the magistrate to determine whether the child's statements were given voluntarily. The magistrate's determination of voluntariness shall be reduced to writing and signed and dated by the magistrate. If a magistrate uses the procedure described by this subsection, a child's statement is not admissible unless the magistrate determines that the statement was given voluntarily.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 982, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(29), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 110 (H.B. 841), Sec. 3, eff. May 21, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1158 (H.B. 2337), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 51.10: Right to Assistance of Attorney; Compensation

(a) A child may be represented by an attorney at every stage of proceedings under this title, including:

(1) the detention hearing required by Section 54.01 of this code;

(2) the hearing to consider transfer to criminal court required by Section 54.02 of this code;

(3) the adjudication hearing required by Section 54.03 of this code;

(4) the disposition hearing required by Section 54.04 of this code;

(5) the hearing to modify disposition required by Section 54.05 of this code;

(6) hearings required by Chapter 55 of this code;

(7) habeas corpus proceedings challenging the legality of detention resulting from action under this title; and

(8) proceedings in a court of civil appeals or the Texas Supreme Court reviewing proceedings under this title.

(b) The child's right to representation by an attorney shall not be waived in:

(1) a hearing to consider transfer to criminal court as required by Section 54.02;

(2) an adjudication hearing as required by Section 54.03;

(3) a disposition hearing as required by Section 54.04;

(4) a hearing prior to commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as a modified disposition in accordance with Section 54.05(f); or

(5) hearings required by Chapter 55.

(c) If the child was not represented by an attorney at the detention hearing required by Section 54.01 of this code and a determination was made to detain the child, the child shall immediately be entitled to representation by an attorney. The court shall order the retention of an attorney according to Subsection (d) or appoint an attorney according to Subsection (f).

(d) The court shall order a child's parent or other person responsible for support of the child to employ an attorney to represent the child, if:

(1) the child is not represented by an attorney;

(2) after giving the appropriate parties an opportunity to be heard, the court determines that the parent or other person responsible for support of the child is financially able to employ an attorney to represent the child; and

(3) the child's right to representation by an attorney:

(A) has not been waived under Section 51.09 of this code; or

(B) may not be waived under Subsection (b) of this section.

(e) The court may enforce orders under Subsection (d) by proceedings under Section 54.07 or by appointing counsel and ordering the parent or other person responsible for support of the child to pay a reasonable attorney's fee set by the court. The order may be enforced under Section 54.07.

(f) The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the interest of a child entitled to representation by an attorney, if:

(1) the child is not represented by an attorney;

(2) the court determines that the child's parent or other person responsible for support of the child is financially unable to employ an attorney to represent the child; and

(3) the child's right to representation by an attorney:

(A) has not been waived under Section 51.09 of this code; or

(B) may not be waived under Subsection (b) of this section.

(g) The juvenile court may appoint an attorney in any case in which it deems representation necessary to protect the interests of the child.

(h) Any attorney representing a child in proceedings under this title is entitled to 10 days to prepare for any adjudication or transfer hearing under this title.

(i) Except as provided in Subsection (d) of this section, an attorney appointed under this section to represent the interests of a child shall be paid from the general fund of the county in which the proceedings were instituted according to the schedule in Article 26.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, 1965. For this purpose, a bona fide appeal to a court of civil appeals or proceedings on the merits in the Texas Supreme Court are considered the equivalent of a bona fide appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

(j) The juvenile board of a county may make available to the public the list of attorneys eligible for appointment to represent children in proceedings under this title as provided in the plan adopted under Section 51.102. The list of attorneys must indicate the level of case for which each attorney is eligible for appointment under Section 51.102(b)(2).

(k) Subject to Chapter 61, the juvenile court may order the parent or other person responsible for support of the child to reimburse the county for payments the county made to counsel appointed to represent the child under Subsection (f) or (g). The court may:

(1) order payment for each attorney who has represented the child at any hearing, including a detention hearing, discretionary transfer hearing, adjudication hearing, disposition hearing, or modification of disposition hearing;

(2) include amounts paid to or on behalf of the attorney by the county for preparation time and investigative and expert witness costs; and

(3) require full or partial reimbursement to the county.

(l) The court may not order payments under Subsection (k) that exceed the financial ability of the parent or other person responsible for support of the child to meet the payment schedule ordered by the court.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 161, ch. 44, art. 1, Sec. 2, eff. April 26, 1983; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 11, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 41, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.101: Appointment of Attorney and Continuation of Representation

(a) If an attorney is appointed under Section 54.01(b-1) or (d) to represent a child at the initial detention hearing and the child is detained, the attorney shall continue to represent the child until the case is terminated, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed by the juvenile court. Release of the child from detention does not terminate the attorney's representation.

(b) If there is an initial detention hearing without an attorney and the child is detained, the attorney appointed under Section 51.10(c) shall continue to represent the child until the case is terminated, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed by the juvenile court. Release of the child from detention does not terminate the attorney's representation.

(c) The juvenile court shall determine, on the filing of a petition, whether the child's family is indigent if:

(1) the child is released by intake;

(2) the child is released at the initial detention hearing; or

(3) the case was referred to the court without the child in custody.

(d) A juvenile court that makes a finding of indigence under Subsection (c) shall appoint an attorney to represent the child on or before the fifth working day after the date the petition for adjudication or discretionary transfer hearing was served on the child. An attorney appointed under this subsection shall continue to represent the child until the case is terminated, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed by the juvenile court.

(e) The juvenile court shall determine whether the child's family is indigent if a motion or petition is filed under Section 54.05 seeking to modify disposition by committing the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or placing the child in a secure correctional facility. A court that makes a finding of indigence shall appoint an attorney to represent the child on or before the fifth working day after the date the petition or motion has been filed. An attorney appointed under this subsection shall continue to represent the child until the court rules on the motion or petition, the family retains an attorney, or a new attorney is appointed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 912 (H.B. 1318), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 42, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.102: Appointment of Counsel Plan

(a) The juvenile board in each county shall adopt a plan that:

(1) specifies the qualifications necessary for an attorney to be included on an appointment list from which attorneys are appointed to represent children in proceedings under this title; and

(2) establishes the procedures for:

(A) including attorneys on the appointment list and removing attorneys from the list; and

(B) appointing attorneys from the appointment list to individual cases.

(b) A plan adopted under Subsection (a) must:

(1) to the extent practicable, comply with the requirements of Article 26.04, Code of Criminal Procedure, except that:

(A) the income and assets of the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's support must be used in determining whether the child is indigent; and

(B) any alternative plan for appointing counsel is established by the juvenile board in the county; and

(2) recognize the differences in qualifications and experience necessary for appointments to cases in which:

(A) the allegation is:

(i) conduct indicating a need for supervision or delinquent conduct, and commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department is not an authorized disposition; or

(ii) delinquent conduct, and commitment to the department without a determinate sentence is an authorized disposition; or

(B) determinate sentence proceedings have been initiated or proceedings for discretionary transfer to criminal court have been initiated.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 906, Sec. 11, eff. Jan. 1, 2002. Renumbered from Sec. 51.101 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(51), eff. Sept. 1, 2003. Renumbered from Sec. 51.101 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 43, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.11: Guardian Ad Litem

(a) If a child appears before the juvenile court without a parent or guardian, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the child. The juvenile court need not appoint a guardian ad litem if a parent or guardian appears with the child.

(b) In any case in which it appears to the juvenile court that the child's parent or guardian is incapable or unwilling to make decisions in the best interest of the child with respect to proceedings under this title, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the child in the proceedings.

(c) An attorney for a child may also be his guardian ad litem. A law-enforcement officer, probation officer, or other employee of the juvenile court may not be appointed guardian ad litem.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973.

Sec. 51.115: Attendance at Hearing: Parent Or Other Guardian

(a) Each parent of a child, each managing and possessory conservator of a child, each court-appointed custodian of a child, and a guardian of the person of the child shall attend each hearing affecting the child held under:

(1) Section 54.02 (waiver of jurisdiction and discretionary transfer to criminal court);

(2) Section 54.03 (adjudication hearing);

(3) Section 54.04 (disposition hearing);

(4) Section 54.05 (hearing to modify disposition); and

(5) Section 54.11 (release or transfer hearing).

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to:

(1) a person for whom, for good cause shown, the court waives attendance;

(2) a person who is not a resident of this state; or

(3) a parent of a child for whom a managing conservator has been appointed and the parent is not a conservator of the child.

(c) A person required under this section to attend a hearing is entitled to reasonable written or oral notice that includes a statement of the place, date, and time of the hearing and that the attendance of the person is required. The notice may be included with or attached to any other notice required by this chapter to be given the person. Separate notice is not required for a disposition hearing that convenes on the adjournment of an adjudication hearing. If a person required under this section fails to attend a hearing, the juvenile court may proceed with the hearing.

(d) A person who is required by Subsection (a) to attend a hearing, who receives the notice of the hearing, and who fails to attend the hearing may be punished by the court for contempt by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000. In addition to or in lieu of contempt, the court may order the person to receive counseling or to attend an educational course on the duties and responsibilities of parents and skills and techniques in raising children.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 51.116: Right to Reemployment

(a) An employer may not terminate the employment of a permanent employee because the employee is required under Section 51.115 to attend a hearing.

(b) An employee whose employment is terminated in violation of this section is entitled to return to the same employment that the employee held when notified of the hearing if the employee, as soon as practical after the hearing, gives the employer actual notice that the employee intends to return.

(c) A person who is injured because of a violation of this section is entitled to reinstatement to the person's former position and to damages, but the damages may not exceed an amount equal to six months' compensation at the rate at which the person was compensated when required to attend the hearing.

(d) The injured person is also entitled to reasonable attorney's fees in an amount approved by the court.

(e) It is a defense to an action brought under this section that the employer's circumstances changed while the employee attended the hearing so that reemployment was impossible or unreasonable. To establish a defense under this subsection, an employer must prove that the termination of employment was because of circumstances other than the employee's attendance at the hearing.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 51.12: Place and Conditions of Detention

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (h), a child may be detained only in a:

(1) juvenile processing office in compliance with Section 52.025;

(2) place of nonsecure custody in compliance with Article 45.058, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(3) certified juvenile detention facility that complies with the requirements of Subsection (f);

(4) secure detention facility as provided by Subsection (j);

(5) county jail or other facility as provided by Subsection (l); or

(6) nonsecure correctional facility as provided by Subsection (j-1).

(b) The proper authorities in each county shall provide a suitable place of detention for children who are parties to proceedings under this title, but the juvenile board shall control the conditions and terms of detention and detention supervision and shall permit visitation with the child at all reasonable times.

(b-1) A pre-adjudication secure detention facility may be operated only by:

(1) a governmental unit in this state as defined by Section 101.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(2) a private entity under a contract with a governmental unit in this state.

(c) In each county, each judge of the juvenile court and a majority of the members of the juvenile board shall personally inspect all public or private juvenile pre-adjudication secure detention facilities that are located in the county at least annually and shall certify in writing to the authorities responsible for operating and giving financial support to the facilities and to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department that the facilities are suitable or unsuitable for the detention of children. In determining whether a facility is suitable or unsuitable for the detention of children, the juvenile court judges and juvenile board members shall consider:

(1) current monitoring and inspection reports and any noncompliance citation reports issued by the department, including the report provided under Subsection (c-1), and the status of any required corrective actions;

(2) current governmental inspector certification regarding the facility's compliance with local fire codes;

(3) current building inspector certification regarding the facility's compliance with local building codes;

(4) for the 12-month period preceding the inspection, the total number of allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation reported by the facility and a summary of the findings of any investigations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation conducted by the facility, a local law enforcement agency, and the department;

(5) the availability of health and mental health services provided to facility residents;

(6) the availability of educational services provided to facility residents; and

(7) the overall physical appearance of the facility, including the facility's security, maintenance, cleanliness, and environment.

(c-1) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall annually inspect each public or private juvenile pre-adjudication secure detention facility. The department shall provide a report to each juvenile court judge presiding in the same county as an inspected facility indicating whether the facility is suitable or unsuitable for the detention of children in accordance with:

(1) the requirements of Subsections (a), (f), and (g); and

(2) minimum professional standards for the detention of children in pre-adjudication secure confinement promulgated by the department or, at the election of the juvenile board of the county in which the facility is located, the current standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association.

(d) Except as provided by Subsections (j) and (l), a child may not be placed in a facility that has not been certified under Subsection (c) as suitable for the detention of children and registered under Subsection (i). Except as provided by Subsections (j) and (l), a child detained in a facility that has not been certified under Subsection (c) as suitable for the detention of children or that has not been registered under Subsection (i) shall be entitled to immediate release from custody in that facility.

(e) If there is no certified place of detention in the county in which the petition is filed, the designated place of detention may be in another county.

(f) A child detained in a building that contains a jail, lockup, or other place of secure confinement, including an alcohol or other drug treatment facility, shall be separated by sight and sound from adults detained in the same building. Children and adults are separated by sight and sound only if they are unable to see each other and conversation between them is not possible. The separation must extend to all areas of the facility, including sally ports and passageways, and those areas used for admission, counseling, sleeping, toileting, showering, dining, recreational, educational, or vocational activities, and health care. The separation may be accomplished through architectural design. A person who has been transferred for prosecution in criminal court under Section 54.02 and is under 17 years of age is considered a child for the purposes of this subsection.

(g) Except for a child detained in a juvenile processing office, a place of nonsecure custody, a secure detention facility as provided by Subsection (j), or a facility as provided by Subsection (l), a child detained in a building that contains a jail or lockup may not have any contact with:

(1) part-time or full-time security staff, including management, who have contact with adults detained in the same building; or

(2) direct-care staff who have contact with adults detained in the same building.

(h) This section does not apply to a person:

(1) who has been transferred to criminal court for prosecution under Section 54.02 and is at least 17 years of age; or

(2) who is at least 17 years of age and who has been taken into custody after having:

(A) escaped from a juvenile facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; or

(B) violated a condition of release under supervision of the department.

(i) Except for a facility as provided by Subsection (l), a governmental unit or private entity that operates or contracts for the operation of a juvenile pre-adjudication secure detention facility under Subsection (b-1) in this state shall:

(1) register the facility annually with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(2) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility.

(j) After being taken into custody, a child may be detained in a secure detention facility until the child is released under Section 53.01, 53.012, or 53.02 or until a detention hearing is held under Section 54.01(a), regardless of whether the facility has been certified under Subsection (c), if:

(1) a certified juvenile detention facility is not available in the county in which the child is taken into custody;

(2) the detention facility complies with:

(A) the short-term detention standards adopted by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(B) the requirements of Subsection (f); and

(3) the detention facility has been designated by the county juvenile board for the county in which the facility is located.

(j-1) After being taken into custody, a child may be detained in a nonsecure correctional facility until the child is released under Section 53.01, 53.012, or 53.02 or until a detention hearing is held under Section 54.01(a), if:

(1) the nonsecure correctional facility has been appropriately registered and certified;

(2) a certified secure detention facility is not available in the county in which the child is taken into custody;

(3) the nonsecure correctional facility complies with the short-term detention standards adopted by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(4) the nonsecure correctional facility has been designated by the county juvenile board for the county in which the facility is located.

(k) If a child who is detained under Subsection (j) or (l) is not released from detention at the conclusion of the detention hearing for a reason stated in Section 54.01(e), the child may be detained after the hearing only in a certified juvenile detention facility.

(l) A child who is taken into custody and required to be detained under Section 53.02(f) may be detained in a county jail or other facility until the child is released under Section 53.02(f) or until a detention hearing is held as required by Section 54.01(p), regardless of whether the facility complies with the requirements of this section, if:

(1) a certified juvenile detention facility or a secure detention facility described by Subsection (j) is not available in the county in which the child is taken into custody or in an adjacent county;

(2) the facility has been designated by the county juvenile board for the county in which the facility is located;

(3) the child is separated by sight and sound from adults detained in the same facility through architectural design or time-phasing;

(4) the child does not have any contact with management or direct-care staff that has contact with adults detained in the same facility on the same work shift;

(5) the county in which the child is taken into custody is not located in a metropolitan statistical area as designated by the United States Bureau of the Census; and

(6) each judge of the juvenile court and a majority of the members of the juvenile board of the county in which the child is taken into custody have personally inspected the facility at least annually and have certified in writing to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department that the facility complies with the requirements of Subdivisions (3) and (4).

(m) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department may deny, suspend, or revoke the registration of any facility required to register under Subsection (i) if the facility fails to:

(1) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility; or

(2) timely correct any notice of noncompliance with minimum standards.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2155, ch. 693, Sec. 10, 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 293, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 12, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 772, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 232, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 2, eff; Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 5, eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1087 (S.B. 1209), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 44, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.125: Post-Adjudication Correctional Facilities

(a) A post-adjudication secure correctional facility for juvenile offenders may be operated only by:

(1) a governmental unit in this state as defined by Section 101.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(2) a private entity under a contract with a governmental unit in this state.

(b) In each county, each judge of the juvenile court and a majority of the members of the juvenile board shall personally inspect all public or private juvenile post-adjudication secure correctional facilities that are not operated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and that are located in the county at least annually and shall certify in writing to the authorities responsible for operating and giving financial support to the facilities and to the department that the facility or facilities are suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children. In determining whether a facility is suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children, the juvenile court judges and juvenile board members shall consider:

(1) current monitoring and inspection reports and any noncompliance citation reports issued by the department, including the report provided under Subsection (c), and the status of any required corrective actions; and

(2) the other factors described under Sections 51.12(c)(2)-(7).

(c) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall annually inspect each public or private juvenile post-adjudication secure correctional facility that is not operated by the department. The department shall provide a report to each juvenile court judge presiding in the same county as an inspected facility indicating whether the facility is suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children in accordance with minimum professional standards for the confinement of children in post-adjudication secure confinement promulgated by the department or, at the election of the juvenile board of the county in which the facility is located, the current standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association.

(d) A governmental unit or private entity that operates or contracts for the operation of a juvenile post-adjudication secure correctional facility in this state under Subsection (a), except for a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, shall:

(1) register the facility annually with the department; and

(2) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility.

(e) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department may deny, suspend, or revoke the registration of any facility required to register under Subsection (d) if the facility fails to:

(1) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility; or

(2) timely correct any notice of noncompliance with minimum standards.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 6, eff. June 8, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 51.126: Nonsecure Correctional Facilities

(a) A nonsecure correctional facility for juvenile offenders may be operated only by:

(1) a governmental unit, as defined by Section 101.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(2) a private entity under a contract with a governmental unit in this state.

(b) In each county, each judge of the juvenile court and a majority of the members of the juvenile board shall personally inspect, at least annually, all nonsecure correctional facilities that are located in the county and shall certify in writing to the authorities responsible for operating and giving financial support to the facilities and to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department that the facility or facilities are suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children. In determining whether a facility is suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children, the juvenile court judges and juvenile board members shall consider:

(1) current monitoring and inspection reports and any noncompliance citation reports issued by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, including the report provided under Subsection (c), and the status of any required corrective actions; and

(2) the other factors described under Sections 51.12(c)(2)-(7).

(c) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall annually inspect each nonsecure correctional facility. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall provide a report to each juvenile court judge presiding in the same county as an inspected facility indicating whether the facility is suitable or unsuitable for the confinement of children in accordance with minimum professional standards for the confinement of children in nonsecure confinement promulgated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or, at the election of the juvenile board of the county in which the facility is located, the current standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association.

(d) A governmental unit or private entity that operates or contracts for the operation of a juvenile nonsecure correctional facility in this state under Subsection (a), except for a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, shall:

(1) register the facility annually with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(2) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility.

(e) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department may deny, suspend, or revoke the registration of any facility required to register under Subsection (d) if the facility fails to:

(1) adhere to all applicable minimum standards for the facility; or

(2) timely correct any notice of noncompliance with minimum standards.

(f) Expired.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1187 (H.B. 3689), Sec. 4.005, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 2.001, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 51.13: Effect of Adjudication Or Disposition

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an order of adjudication or disposition in a proceeding under this title is not a conviction of crime. Except as provided by Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, an order of adjudication or disposition does not impose any civil disability ordinarily resulting from a conviction or operate to disqualify the child in any civil service application or appointment.

(b) The adjudication or disposition of a child or evidence adduced in a hearing under this title may be used only in subsequent:

(1) proceedings under this title in which the child is a party;

(2) sentencing proceedings in criminal court against the child to the extent permitted by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, 1965; or

(3) civil commitment proceedings under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code.

(c) A child may not be committed or transferred to a penal institution or other facility used primarily for the execution of sentences of persons convicted of crime, except:

(1) for temporary detention in a jail or lockup pending juvenile court hearing or disposition under conditions meeting the requirements of Section 51.12;

(2) after transfer for prosecution in criminal court under Section 54.02, unless the juvenile court orders the detention of the child in a certified juvenile detention facility under Section 54.02(h);

(3) after transfer from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 245.151(c), Human Resources Code; or

(4) after transfer from a post-adjudication secure correctional facility, as that term is defined by Section 54.04011.

(d) An adjudication under Section 54.03 that a child engaged in conduct that occurred on or after January 1, 1996, and that constitutes a felony offense resulting in commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 54.04(d)(2), (d)(3), or (m) or 54.05(f) or commitment to a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Section 54.04011 for conduct that occurred on or after December 1, 2013, is a final felony conviction only for the purposes of Sections 12.42(a), (b), and (c)(1) or Section 12.425, Penal Code.

(e) A finding that a child engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision as described by Section 51.03(b)(6) is a conviction only for the purposes of Sections 43.261(c) and (d), Penal Code.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 799, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 13, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1188, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 3.004, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1087 (S.B. 1209), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1323 (S.B. 511), Sec. 1, eff. December 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 854 (S.B. 1149), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.003, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 51.151: Polygraph Examination

If a child is taken into custody under Section 52.01 of this code, a person may not administer a polygraph examination to the child without the consent of the child's attorney or the juvenile court unless the child is transferred to criminal court for prosecution under Section 54.02 of this code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 708, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 51.17: Procedure and Evidence

(a) Except as provided by Section 56.01(b-1) and except for the burden of proof to be borne by the state in adjudicating a child to be delinquent or in need of supervision under Section 54.03(f) or otherwise when in conflict with a provision of this title, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure govern proceedings under this title.

(b) Discovery in a proceeding under this title is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure and by case decisions in criminal cases.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this title, the Texas Rules of Evidence applicable to criminal cases and Articles 33.03 and 37.07 and Chapter 38, Code of Criminal Procedure, apply in a judicial proceeding under this title.

(d) When on the motion for appointment of an interpreter by a party or on the motion of the juvenile court, in any proceeding under this title, the court determines that the child, the child's parent or guardian, or a witness does not understand and speak English, an interpreter must be sworn to interpret for the person as provided by Article 38.30, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(e) In any proceeding under this title, if a party notifies the court that the child, the child's parent or guardian, or a witness is deaf, the court shall appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings in any language, including sign language, that the deaf person can understand, as provided by Article 38.31, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(f) Any requirement under this title that a document contain a person's signature, including the signature of a judge or a clerk of the court, is satisfied if the document contains the signature of the person as captured on an electronic device or as a digital signature. Article 2.26, Code of Criminal Procedure, applies in a proceeding held under this title.

(g) Articles 21.07, 26.07, 26.08, 26.09, and 26.10, Code of Criminal Procedure, relating to the name of an adult defendant in a criminal case, apply to a child in a proceeding held under this title.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2021

(h) Articles 57.01 and 57.02, Code of Criminal Procedure, relating to the use of a pseudonym by a victim in a criminal case, apply in a proceeding held under this title.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2021

(h) Articles 58.001, 58.101, 58.102, 58.103, 58.104, 58.105, and 58.106, Code of Criminal Procedure, relating to the use of a pseudonym by a victim in a criminal case, apply in a proceeding held under this title.

(i) Except as provided by Section 56.03(f), the state is not required to pay any cost or fee otherwise imposed for court proceedings in either the trial or appellate courts.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 642 (H.B. 1688), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 469 (H.B. 4173), Sec. 2.31, eff. January 1, 2021.

Sec. 51.18: Election Between Juvenile Court and Alternate Juvenile Court

(a) This section applies only to a child who has a right to a trial before a juvenile court the judge of which is not an attorney licensed in this state.

(b) On any matter that may lead to an order appealable under Section 56.01 of this code, a child may be tried before either the juvenile court or the alternate juvenile court.

(c) The child may elect to be tried before the alternate juvenile court only if the child files a written notice with that court not later than 10 days before the date of the trial. After the notice is filed, the child may be tried only in the alternate juvenile court. If the child does not file a notice as provided by this subsection, the child may be tried only in the juvenile court.

(d) If the child is tried before the juvenile court, the child is not entitled to a trial de novo before the alternate juvenile court.

(e) The child may appeal any order of the juvenile court or alternate juvenile court only as provided by Section 56.01 of this code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1112, ch. 411, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 1977. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 168, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Sec. 51.19: Limitation Periods

(a) The limitation periods and the procedures for applying the limitation periods under Chapter 12, Code of Criminal Procedure, and other statutory law apply to proceedings under this title.

(b) For purposes of computing a limitation period, a petition filed in juvenile court for a transfer or an adjudication hearing is equivalent to an indictment or information and is treated as presented when the petition is filed in the proper court.

(c) The limitation period is two years for an offense or conduct that is not given a specific limitation period under Chapter 12, Code of Criminal Procedure, or other statutory law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 51.20: Physical Or Mental Examination

(a) At any stage of the proceedings under this title, including when a child is initially detained in a pre-adjudication secure detention facility or a post-adjudication secure correctional facility, the juvenile court may, at its discretion or at the request of the child's parent or guardian, order a child who is referred to the juvenile court or who is alleged by a petition or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision to be examined by a disinterested expert, including a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, qualified by education and clinical training in mental health or mental retardation and experienced in forensic evaluation, to determine whether the child has a mental illness as defined by Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, is a person with mental retardation as defined by Section 591.003, Health and Safety Code, or suffers from chemical dependency as defined by Section 464.001, Health and Safety Code. If the examination is to include a determination of the child's fitness to proceed, an expert may be appointed to conduct the examination only if the expert is qualified under Subchapter B, Chapter 46B, Code of Criminal Procedure, to examine a defendant in a criminal case, and the examination and the report resulting from an examination under this subsection must comply with the requirements under Subchapter B, Chapter 46B, Code of Criminal Procedure, for the examination and resulting report of a defendant in a criminal case.

(b) If, after conducting an examination of a child ordered under Subsection (a) and reviewing any other relevant information, there is reason to believe that the child has a mental illness or mental retardation or suffers from chemical dependency, the probation department shall refer the child to the local mental health or mental retardation authority or to another appropriate and legally authorized agency or provider for evaluation and services, unless the prosecuting attorney has filed a petition under Section 53.04.

(c) If, while a child is under deferred prosecution supervision or court-ordered probation, a qualified professional determines that the child has a mental illness or mental retardation or suffers from chemical dependency and the child is not currently receiving treatment services for the mental illness, mental retardation, or chemical dependency, the probation department shall refer the child to the local mental health or mental retardation authority or to another appropriate and legally authorized agency or provider for evaluation and services.

(d) A probation department shall report each referral of a child to a local mental health or mental retardation authority or another agency or provider made under Subsection (b) or (c) to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in a format specified by the department.

(e) At any stage of the proceedings under this title, the juvenile court may order a child who has been referred to the juvenile court or who is alleged by the petition or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision to be subjected to a physical examination by a licensed physician.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 828, Sec. 5(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 35, Sec. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 225 (H.B. 144), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 51.21: Mental Health Screening and Referral

(a) A probation department that administers the mental health screening instrument or clinical assessment required by Section 221.003, Human Resources Code, shall refer the child to the local mental health authority for assessment and evaluation if:

(1) the child's scores on the screening instrument or clinical assessment indicate a need for further mental health assessment and evaluation; and

(2) the department and child do not have access to an internal, contract, or private mental health professional.

(b) A probation department shall report each referral of a child to a local mental health authority made under Subsection (a) to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in a format specified by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 3.005, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 46, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 52

Sec. 52.01: Taking Into Custody; Issuance of Warning Notice

(a) A child may be taken into custody:

(1) pursuant to an order of the juvenile court under the provisions of this subtitle;

(2) pursuant to the laws of arrest;

(3) by a law-enforcement officer, including a school district peace officer commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, if there is probable cause to believe that the child has engaged in:

(A) conduct that violates a penal law of this state or a penal ordinance of any political subdivision of this state;

(B) delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; or

(C) conduct that violates a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court;

(4) by a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe that the child has violated a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court;

(5) pursuant to a directive to apprehend issued as provided by Section 52.015; or

(6) by a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe that the child has violated a condition of release imposed by the juvenile court or referee under Section 54.01.

(b) The taking of a child into custody is not an arrest except for the purpose of determining the validity of taking him into custody or the validity of a search under the laws and constitution of this state or of the United States.

(c) A law-enforcement officer authorized to take a child into custody under Subdivisions (2) and (3) of Subsection (a) of this section may issue a warning notice to the child in lieu of taking the child into custody if:

(1) guidelines for warning disposition have been issued by the law-enforcement agency in which the officer works;

(2) the guidelines have been approved by the juvenile board of the county in which the disposition is made;

(3) the disposition is authorized by the guidelines;

(4) the warning notice identifies the child and describes the child's alleged conduct;

(5) a copy of the warning notice is sent to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian as soon as practicable after disposition; and

(6) a copy of the warning notice is filed with the law-enforcement agency and the office or official designated by the juvenile board.

(d) A warning notice filed with the office or official designated by the juvenile board may be used as the basis of further action if necessary.

(e) A law-enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a child is in violation of the compulsory school attendance law under Section 25.085, Education Code, may take the child into custody for the purpose of returning the child to the school campus of the child to ensure the child's compliance with compulsory school attendance requirements.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 115, Sec. 2, eff. May 11, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 15, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2237), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 52.011: Duty of Law Enforcement Officer to Notify Probate Court

(a) In this section, "ward" has the meaning assigned by Section 22.033, Estates Code.

(b) As soon as practicable, but not later than the first working day after the date a law enforcement officer takes a child who is a ward into custody under Section 52.01(a)(2) or (3), the law enforcement officer or other person having custody of the child shall notify the court with jurisdiction over the child's guardianship of the child's detention or arrest.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 313 (S.B. 1096), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 52.015: Directive to Apprehend

(a) On the request of a law-enforcement or probation officer, a juvenile court may issue a directive to apprehend a child if the court finds there is probable cause to take the child into custody under the provisions of this title.

(b) On the issuance of a directive to apprehend, any law-enforcement or probation officer shall take the child into custody.

(c) An order under this section is not subject to appeal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 16, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 52.0151: Bench Warrant; Attachment of Witness in Custody

(a) If a witness is in a placement in the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, a juvenile secure detention facility, or a juvenile secure correctional facility, the court may issue a bench warrant or direct that an attachment issue to require a peace officer or probation officer to secure custody of the person at the placement and produce the person in court. Once the person is no longer needed as a witness or the period prescribed by Subsection (c) has expired without extension, the court shall order the peace officer or probation officer to return the person to the placement from which the person was released.

(b) The court may order that the person who is the witness be detained in a certified juvenile detention facility if the person is younger than 17 years of age. If the person is at least 17 years of age, the court may order that the person be detained without bond in an appropriate county facility for the detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(c) A witness held in custody under this section may be placed in a certified juvenile detention facility for a period not to exceed 30 days. The length of placement may be extended in 30-day increments by the court that issued the original bench warrant. If the placement is not extended, the period under this section expires and the witness may be returned as provided by Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 52.02: Release Or Delivery to Court

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a person taking a child into custody, without unnecessary delay and without first taking the child to any place other than a juvenile processing office designated under Section 52.025, shall do one of the following:

(1) release the child to a parent, guardian, custodian of the child, or other responsible adult upon that person's promise to bring the child before the juvenile court as requested by the court;

(2) bring the child before the office or official designated by the juvenile board if there is probable cause to believe that the child engaged in delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, or conduct that violates a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court;

(3) bring the child to a detention facility designated by the juvenile board;

(4) bring the child to a secure detention facility as provided by Section 51.12(j);

(5) bring the child to a medical facility if the child is believed to suffer from a serious physical condition or illness that requires prompt treatment;

(6) dispose of the case under Section 52.03; or

(7) if school is in session and the child is a student, bring the child to the school campus to which the child is assigned if the principal, the principal's designee, or a peace officer assigned to the campus agrees to assume responsibility for the child for the remainder of the school day.

(b) A person taking a child into custody shall promptly give notice of the person's action and a statement of the reason for taking the child into custody, to:

(1) the child's parent, guardian, or custodian; and

(2) the office or official designated by the juvenile board.

(c) A person who takes a child into custody and who has reasonable grounds to believe that the child has been operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the child's system may, before complying with Subsection (a):

(1) take the child to a place to obtain a specimen of the child's breath or blood as provided by Chapter 724, Transportation Code; and

(2) perform intoxilyzer processing and videotaping of the child in an adult processing office of a law enforcement agency.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 51.09(a), a child taken into custody as provided by Subsection (c) may submit to the taking of a breath specimen or refuse to submit to the taking of a breath specimen without the concurrence of an attorney, but only if the request made of the child to give the specimen and the child's response to that request is videotaped. A videotape made under this subsection must be maintained until the disposition of any proceeding against the child relating to the arrest is final and be made available to an attorney representing the child during that period.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 495, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 286 (H.B. 776), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 52.025: Designation of Juvenile Processing Office

(a) The juvenile board may designate an office or a room, which may be located in a police facility or sheriff's offices, as the juvenile processing office for the temporary detention of a child taken into custody under Section 52.01. The office may not be a cell or holding facility used for detentions other than detentions under this section. The juvenile board by written order may prescribe the conditions of the designation and limit the activities that may occur in the office during the temporary detention.

(b) A child may be detained in a juvenile processing office only for:

(1) the return of the child to the custody of a person under Section 52.02(a)(1);

(2) the completion of essential forms and records required by the juvenile court or this title;

(3) the photographing and fingerprinting of the child if otherwise authorized at the time of temporary detention by this title;

(4) the issuance of warnings to the child as required or permitted by this title; or

(5) the receipt of a statement by the child under Section 51.095(a)(1), (2), (3), or (5).

(c) A child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child's attorney.

(d) A child may not be detained in a juvenile processing office for longer than six hours.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 495, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 52.026: Responsibility for Transporting Juvenile Offenders

(a) It shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer who has taken a child into custody to transport the child to the appropriate detention facility or to the school campus to which the child is assigned as provided by Section 52.02(a)(7) if the child is not released to the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child.

(b) If the juvenile detention facility is located outside the county in which the child is taken into custody, it shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer who has taken the child into custody or, if authorized by the commissioners court of the county, the sheriff of that county to transport the child to the appropriate juvenile detention facility unless the child is:

(1) detained in a secure detention facility under Section 51.12(j); or

(2) released to the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child.

(c) On adoption of an order by the juvenile board and approval of the juvenile board's order by record vote of the commissioners court, it shall be the duty of the sheriff of the county in which the child is taken into custody to transport the child to and from all scheduled juvenile court proceedings and appearances and other activities ordered by the juvenile court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 411, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1082, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 286 (H.B. 776), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 52.03: Disposition Without Referral to Court

(a) A law-enforcement officer authorized by this title to take a child into custody may dispose of the case of a child taken into custody or accused of a Class C misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, without referral to juvenile court or charging a child in a court of competent criminal jurisdiction, if:

(1) guidelines for such disposition have been adopted by the juvenile board of the county in which the disposition is made as required by Section 52.032;

(2) the disposition is authorized by the guidelines; and

(3) the officer makes a written report of the officer's disposition to the law-enforcement agency, identifying the child and specifying the grounds for believing that the taking into custody or accusation of criminal conduct was authorized.

(b) No disposition authorized by this section may involve:

(1) keeping the child in law-enforcement custody; or

(2) requiring periodic reporting of the child to a law-enforcement officer, law-enforcement agency, or other agency.

(c) A disposition authorized by this section may involve:

(1) referral of the child to an agency other than the juvenile court;

(2) a brief conference with the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian; or

(3) referral of the child and the child's parent, guardian, or custodian for services under Section 264.302.

(d) Statistics indicating the number and kind of dispositions made by a law-enforcement agency under the authority of this section shall be reported at least annually to the office or official designated by the juvenile board, as ordered by the board.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 18, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 52.031: First Offender Program

(a) A juvenile board may establish a first offender program under this section for the referral and disposition of children taken into custody, or accused prior to the filing of a criminal charge, of:

(1) conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(2) a Class C misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense; or

(3) delinquent conduct other than conduct that constitutes:

(A) a felony of the first, second, or third degree, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a capital felony; or

(B) a state jail felony or misdemeanor involving violence to a person or the use or possession of a firearm, location-restricted knife, or club, as those terms are defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, or a prohibited weapon, as described by Section 46.05, Penal Code.

(a-1) A child accused of a Class C misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, may be referred to a first offender program established under this section prior to the filing of a complaint with a criminal court.

(b) Each juvenile board in the county in which a first offender program is established shall designate one or more law enforcement officers and agencies, which may be law enforcement agencies, to process a child under the first offender program.

(c) The disposition of a child under the first offender program may not take place until guidelines for the disposition have been adopted by the juvenile board of the county in which the disposition is made as required by Section 52.032.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 16

(d) A law enforcement officer taking a child into custody or accusing a child of an offense described in Subsection (a)(2) may refer the child to the law enforcement officer or agency designated under Subsection (b) for disposition under the first offender program and not refer the child to juvenile court or a court of competent criminal jurisdiction only if:

(1) the child has not previously been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct;

(2) the referral complies with guidelines for disposition under Subsection (c); and

(3) the officer reports in writing the referral to the agency, identifying the child and specifying the grounds for taking the child into custody or accusing a child of an offense described in Subsection (a)(2).

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 8

(d) A law enforcement officer taking a child into custody for conduct described by Subsection (a) or before issuing a citation to a child for an offense described by Subsection (a-1) may refer the child to the law enforcement officer or agency designated under Subsection (b) for disposition under the first offender program and not refer the child to juvenile court for the conduct or file a complaint with a criminal court for the offense only if:

(1) the child has not previously been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct;

(2) the referral complies with guidelines for disposition under Subsection (c); and

(3) the officer reports in writing the referral to the agency, identifying the child and specifying the grounds for taking the child into custody or for accusing the child of an offense.

(e) A child referred for disposition under the first offender program may not be detained in law enforcement custody.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 16

(f) The parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child must receive notice that the child has been referred for disposition under the first offender program. The notice must:

(1) state the grounds for taking the child into custody or accusing a child of an offense described in Subsection (a)(2);

(2) identify the law enforcement officer or agency to which the child was referred;

(3) briefly describe the nature of the program; and

(4) state that the child's failure to complete the program will result in the child being referred to the juvenile court or a court of competent criminal jurisdiction.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 8

(f) The parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child must receive notice that the child has been referred for disposition under the first offender program. The notice must:

(1) state the grounds for taking the child into custody for conduct described by Subsection (a), or for accusing the child of an offense described by Subsection (a-1);

(2) identify the law enforcement officer or agency to which the child was referred;

(3) briefly describe the nature of the program; and

(4) state that the child's failure to complete the program will result in the child being referred to the juvenile court for the conduct or a complaint being filed with a criminal court for the offense.

(g) The child and the parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child must consent to participation by the child in the first offender program.

(h) Disposition under a first offender program may include:

(1) voluntary restitution by the child or the parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child to the victim of the conduct of the child;

(2) voluntary community service restitution by the child;

(3) educational, vocational training, counseling, or other rehabilitative services; and

(4) periodic reporting by the child to the law enforcement officer or agency to which the child has been referred.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 16

(i) The case of a child who successfully completes the first offender program is closed and may not be referred to juvenile court or a court of competent criminal jurisdiction, unless the child is taken into custody under circumstances described by Subsection (j)(3).

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 8

(i) The case of a child who successfully completes the first offender program is closed and may not be referred to juvenile court or filed with a criminal court, unless the child is taken into custody under circumstances described by Subsection (j)(3).

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 16

(j) The case of a child referred for disposition under the first offender program shall be referred to juvenile court or a court of competent criminal jurisdiction if:

(1) the child fails to complete the program;

(2) the child or the parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child terminates the child's participation in the program before the child completes it; or

(3) the child completes the program but is taken into custody under Section 52.01 before the 90th day after the date the child completes the program for conduct other than the conduct for which the child was referred to the first offender program.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 8

(j) The case of a child referred for disposition under the first offender program shall be referred to juvenile court or, if the child is accused of an offense described by Subsection (a-1), filed with a criminal court if:

(1) the child fails to complete the program;

(2) the child or the parent, guardian, or other custodian of the child terminates the child's participation in the program before the child completes it; or

(3) the child completes the program but is taken into custody under Section 52.01 before the 90th day after the date the child completes the program for conduct other than the conduct for which the child was referred to the first offender program.

(k) A statement made by a child to a person giving advice or supervision or participating in the first offender program may not be used against the child in any proceeding under this title or any criminal proceeding.

(l) The law enforcement agency must report to the juvenile board in December of each year the following:

(1) the last known address of the child, including the census tract;

(2) the gender and ethnicity of the child referred to the program; and

(3) the offense committed by the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1049 (H.B. 1935), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 52.032: Informal Disposition Guidelines

(a) The juvenile board of each county, in cooperation with each law enforcement agency in the county, shall adopt guidelines for the disposition of a child under Section 52.03 or 52.031. The guidelines adopted under this section shall not be considered mandatory.

(b) The guidelines adopted under Subsection (a) may not allow for the case of a child to be disposed of under Section 52.03 or 52.031 if there is probable cause to believe that the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and cause to believe that the child may be the victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 186 (S.B. 92), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 52.04: Referral to Juvenile Court; Notice to Parents

(a) The following shall accompany referral of a child or a child's case to the office or official designated by the juvenile board or be provided as quickly as possible after referral:

(1) all information in the possession of the person or agency making the referral pertaining to the identity of the child and the child's address, the name and address of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, the names and addresses of any witnesses, and the child's present whereabouts;

(2) a complete statement of the circumstances of the alleged delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(3) when applicable, a complete statement of the circumstances of taking the child into custody; and

(4) when referral is by an officer of a law-enforcement agency, a complete statement of all prior contacts with the child by officers of that law-enforcement agency.

(b) The office or official designated by the juvenile board may refer the case to a law-enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting an investigation to obtain necessary information.

(c) If the office of the prosecuting attorney is designated by the juvenile court to conduct the preliminary investigation under Section 53.01, the referring entity shall first transfer the child's case to the juvenile probation department for statistical reporting purposes only. On the creation of a statistical record or file for the case, the probation department shall within three business days forward the case to the prosecuting attorney for review under Section 53.01.

(d) On referral of the case of a child who has not been taken into custody to the office or official designated by the juvenile board, the office or official designated by the juvenile board shall promptly give notice of the referral and a statement of the reason for the referral to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1091, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 52.041: Referral of Child to Juvenile Court After Expulsion

(a) A school district that expels a child shall refer the child to juvenile court in the county in which the child resides.

(b) The board of the school district or a person designated by the board shall deliver a copy of the order expelling the student and any other information required by Section 52.04 on or before the second working day after the date of the expulsion hearing to the authorized officer of the juvenile court.

(c) Within five working days of receipt of an expulsion notice under this section by the office or official designated by the juvenile board, a preliminary investigation and determination shall be conducted as required by Section 53.01.

(d) The office or official designated by the juvenile board shall within two working days notify the school district that expelled the child if:

(1) a determination was made under Section 53.01 that the person referred to juvenile court was not a child within the meaning of this title;

(2) a determination was made that no probable cause existed to believe the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(3) no deferred prosecution or formal court proceedings have been or will be initiated involving the child;

(4) the court or jury finds that the child did not engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and the case has been dismissed with prejudice; or

(5) the child was adjudicated but no disposition was or will be ordered by the court.

(e) In any county where a juvenile justice alternative education program is operated, no student shall be expelled without written notification by the board of the school district or its designated agent to the juvenile board's designated representative. The notification shall be made not later than two business days following the board's determination that the student is to be expelled. Failure to timely notify the designated representative of the juvenile board shall result in the child's duty to continue attending the school district's educational program, which shall be provided to that child until such time as the notification to the juvenile board's designated representative is properly made.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 20, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 16, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Chapter 53

Sec. 53.01: Preliminary Investigation and Determinations; Notice to Parents

(a) On referral of a person believed to be a child or on referral of the person's case to the office or official designated by the juvenile board, the intake officer, probation officer, or other person authorized by the board shall conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether:

(1) the person referred to juvenile court is a child within the meaning of this title; and

(2) there is probable cause to believe the person:

(A) engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; or

(B) is a nonoffender who has been taken into custody and is being held solely for deportation out of the United States.

(b) If it is determined that the person is not a child or there is no probable cause, the person shall immediately be released.

(b-1) The person who is conducting the preliminary investigation shall, as appropriate, refer the child's case to a community resource coordination group, a local-level interagency staffing group, or other community juvenile service provider for services under Section 53.011, if the person determines that:

(1) the child is younger than 12 years of age;

(2) there is probable cause to believe the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(3) the child's case does not require referral to the prosecuting attorney under Subsection (d) or (f);

(4) the child is eligible for deferred prosecution under Section 53.03; and

(5) the child and the child's family are not currently receiving services under Section 53.011 and would benefit from receiving the services.

(c) When custody of a child is given to the office or official designated by the juvenile board, the intake officer, probation officer, or other person authorized by the board shall promptly give notice of the whereabouts of the child and a statement of the reason the child was taken into custody to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian unless the notice given under Section 52.02(b) provided fair notice of the child's present whereabouts.

(d) Unless the juvenile board approves a written procedure proposed by the office of prosecuting attorney and chief juvenile probation officer which provides otherwise, if it is determined that the person is a child and, regardless of a finding of probable cause, or a lack thereof, there is an allegation that the child engaged in delinquent conduct of the grade of felony, or conduct constituting a misdemeanor offense involving violence to a person or the use or possession of a firearm, location-restricted knife, or club, as those terms are defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, or prohibited weapon, as described by Section 46.05, Penal Code, the case shall be promptly forwarded to the office of the prosecuting attorney, accompanied by:

(1) all documents that accompanied the current referral; and

(2) a summary of all prior referrals of the child to the juvenile court, juvenile probation department, or a detention facility.

(e) If a juvenile board adopts an alternative referral plan under Subsection (d), the board shall register the plan with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

(f) A juvenile board may not adopt an alternate referral plan that does not require the forwarding of a child's case to the prosecuting attorney as provided by Subsection (d) if probable cause exists to believe that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that violates Section 19.03, Penal Code (capital murder), or Section 19.02, Penal Code (murder).

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 21, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 47, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 698 (H.B. 1204), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1049 (H.B. 1935), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 53.011: Services Provided to Certain Children and Families

(a) In this section:

(1) "Community resource coordination group" has the meaning assigned by Section 531.421, Government Code.

(2) "Local-level interagency staffing group" means a group established under the memorandum of understanding described by Section 531.055, Government Code.

(b) On receipt of a referral under Section 53.01(b-1), a community resource coordination group, a local-level interagency staffing group, or another community juvenile services provider shall evaluate the child's case and make recommendations to the juvenile probation department for appropriate services for the child and the child's family.

(c) The probation officer shall create and coordinate a service plan or system of care for the child or the child's family that incorporates the service recommendations for the child or the child's family provided to the juvenile probation department under Subsection (b). The child and the child's parent, guardian, or custodian must consent to the services with knowledge that consent is voluntary.

(d) For a child who receives a service plan or system of care under this section, the probation officer may hold the child's case open for not more than three months to monitor adherence to the service plan or system of care. The probation officer may adjust the service plan or system of care as necessary during the monitoring period. The probation officer may refer the child to the prosecuting attorney if the child fails to successfully participate in required services during that period.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 698 (H.B. 1204), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 53.012: Review By Prosecutor

(a) The prosecuting attorney shall promptly review the circumstances and allegations of a referral made under Section 53.01 for legal sufficiency and the desirability of prosecution and may file a petition without regard to whether probable cause was found under Section 53.01.

(b) If the prosecuting attorney does not file a petition requesting the adjudication of the child referred to the prosecuting attorney, the prosecuting attorney shall:

(1) terminate all proceedings, if the reason is for lack of probable cause; or

(2) return the referral to the juvenile probation department for further proceedings.

(c) The juvenile probation department shall promptly refer a child who has been returned to the department under Subsection (b)(2) and who fails or refuses to participate in a program of the department to the prosecuting attorney for review of the child's case and determination of whether to file a petition.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 22, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 53.013: Progressive Sanctions Program

Each juvenile board may adopt a progressive sanctions program using the model for progressive sanctions in Chapter 59.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 22, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 53.02: Release from Detention

(a) If a child is brought before the court or delivered to a detention facility as authorized by Sections 51.12(a)(3) and (4), the intake or other authorized officer of the court shall immediately make an investigation and shall release the child unless it appears that his detention is warranted under Subsection (b). The release may be conditioned upon requirements reasonably necessary to insure the child's appearance at later proceedings, but the conditions of the release must be in writing and filed with the office or official designated by the court and a copy furnished to the child.

(b) A child taken into custody may be detained prior to hearing on the petition only if:

(1) the child is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;

(2) suitable supervision, care, or protection for the child is not being provided by a parent, guardian, custodian, or other person;

(3) the child has no parent, guardian, custodian, or other person able to return the child to the court when required;

(4) the child may be dangerous to himself or herself or the child may threaten the safety of the public if released;

(5) the child has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term in jail or prison and is likely to commit an offense if released; or

(6) the child's detention is required under Subsection (f).

(c) If the child is not released, a request for detention hearing shall be made and promptly presented to the court, and an informal detention hearing as provided in Section 54.01 of this code shall be held promptly, but not later than the time required by Section 54.01 of this code.

(d) A release of a child to an adult under Subsection (a) must be conditioned on the agreement of the adult to be subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to an order of contempt by the court if the adult, after notification, is unable to produce the child at later proceedings.

(e) Unless otherwise agreed in the memorandum of understanding under Section 37.011, Education Code, in a county with a population greater than 125,000, if a child being released under this section is expelled under Section 37.007, Education Code, the release shall be conditioned on the child's attending a juvenile justice alternative education program pending a deferred prosecution or formal court disposition of the child's case.

(f) A child who is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct and to have used, possessed, or exhibited a firearm, as defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, in the commission of the offense shall be detained until the child is released at the direction of the judge of the juvenile court, a substitute judge authorized by Section 51.04(f), or a referee appointed under Section 51.04(g), including an oral direction by telephone, or until a detention hearing is held as required by Section 54.01.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1102, ch. 518, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 1979; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 291, ch. 115, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 23, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 17, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 232, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 53.03: Deferred Prosecution

(a) Subject to Subsections (e) and (g), if the preliminary investigation required by Section 53.01 of this code results in a determination that further proceedings in the case are authorized, the probation officer or other designated officer of the court, subject to the direction of the juvenile court, may advise the parties for a reasonable period of time not to exceed six months concerning deferred prosecution and rehabilitation of a child if:

(1) deferred prosecution would be in the interest of the public and the child;

(2) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian consent with knowledge that consent is not obligatory; and

(3) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian are informed that they may terminate the deferred prosecution at any point and petition the court for a court hearing in the case.

(b) Except as otherwise permitted by this title, the child may not be detained during or as a result of the deferred prosecution process.

(c) An incriminating statement made by a participant to the person giving advice and in the discussions or conferences incident thereto may not be used against the declarant in any court hearing.

(d) The juvenile board may adopt a fee schedule for deferred prosecution services and rules for the waiver of a fee for financial hardship in accordance with guidelines that the Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall provide. The maximum fee is $15 a month. If the board adopts a schedule and rules for waiver, the probation officer or other designated officer of the court shall collect the fee authorized by the schedule from the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child for whom a deferred prosecution is authorized under this section or waive the fee in accordance with the rules adopted by the board. The officer shall deposit the fees received under this section in the county treasury to the credit of a special fund that may be used only for juvenile probation or community-based juvenile corrections services or facilities in which a juvenile may be required to live while under court supervision. If the board does not adopt a schedule and rules for waiver, a fee for deferred prosecution services may not be imposed.

(e) A prosecuting attorney may defer prosecution for any child. A probation officer or other designated officer of the court:

(1) may not defer prosecution for a child for a case that is required to be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney under Section 53.01(d); and

(2) may defer prosecution for a child who has previously been adjudicated for conduct that constitutes a felony only if the prosecuting attorney consents in writing.

(f) The probation officer or other officer designated by the court supervising a program of deferred prosecution for a child under this section shall report to the juvenile court any violation by the child of the program.

(g) Prosecution may not be deferred for a child alleged to have engaged in conduct that:

(1) is an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code; or

(2) is a third or subsequent offense under Section 106.04 or 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code.

(h) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 28.08, Penal Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include:

(1) voluntary attendance in a class with instruction in self-responsibility and empathy for a victim of an offense conducted by a local juvenile probation department, if the class is available; and

(2) voluntary restoration of the property damaged by the child by removing or painting over any markings made by the child, if the owner of the property consents to the restoration.

(h-1) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 481.115, 481.1151, 481.116, 481.1161, 481.117, 481.118, or 481.121, Health and Safety Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include a condition that the child attend a drug education program that is designed to educate persons on the dangers of drug abuse and is approved by the Department of State Health Services in accordance with Section 521.374, Transportation Code.

(h-2) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 106.02, 106.025, 106.04, 106.041, 106.05, or 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, or Section 49.02, Penal Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include a condition that the child attend an alcohol awareness program described by Section 106.115, Alcoholic Beverage Code.

(i) The court may defer prosecution for a child at any time:

(1) for an adjudication that is to be decided by a jury trial, before the jury is sworn;

(2) for an adjudication before the court, before the first witness is sworn; or

(3) for an uncontested adjudication, before the child pleads to the petition or agrees to a stipulation of evidence.

(j) The court may add the period of deferred prosecution under Subsection (i) to a previous order of deferred prosecution, except that the court may not place the child on deferred prosecution for a combined period longer than one year.

(k) In deciding whether to grant deferred prosecution under Subsection (i), the court may consider professional representations by the parties concerning the nature of the case and the background of the respondent. The representations made under this subsection by the child or counsel for the child are not admissible against the child at trial should the court reject the application for deferred prosecution.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3261, ch. 565, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 24, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 593, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(17), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1004 (H.B. 642), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 53.035: Grand Jury Referral

(a) The prosecuting attorney may, before filing a petition under Section 53.04, refer an offense to a grand jury in the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.

(b) The grand jury has the same jurisdiction and powers to investigate the facts and circumstances concerning an offense referred to the grand jury under this section as it has to investigate other criminal activity.

(c) If the grand jury votes to take no action on an offense referred to the grand jury under this section, the prosecuting attorney may not file a petition under Section 53.04 concerning the offense unless the same or a successor grand jury approves the filing of the petition.

(d) If the grand jury votes for approval of the prosecution of an offense referred to the grand jury under this section, the prosecuting attorney may file a petition under Section 53.04.

(e) The approval of the prosecution of an offense by a grand jury under this section does not constitute approval of a petition by a grand jury for purposes of Section 53.045.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 53.04: Court Petition; Answer

(a) If the preliminary investigation, required by Section 53.01 of this code results in a determination that further proceedings are authorized and warranted, a petition for an adjudication or transfer hearing of a child alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision may be made as promptly as practicable by a prosecuting attorney who has knowledge of the facts alleged or is informed and believes that they are true.

(b) The proceedings shall be styled "In the matter of ______________."

(c) The petition may be on information and belief.

(d) The petition must state:

(1) with reasonable particularity the time, place, and manner of the acts alleged and the penal law or standard of conduct allegedly violated by the acts;

(2) the name, age, and residence address, if known, of the child who is the subject of the petition;

(3) the names and residence addresses, if known, of the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child and of the child's spouse, if any;

(4) if the child's parent, guardian, or custodian does not reside or cannot be found in the state, or if their places of residence are unknown, the name and residence address of any known adult relative residing in the county or, if there is none, the name and residence address of the known adult relative residing nearest to the location of the court; and

(5) if the child is alleged to have engaged in habitual felony conduct, the previous adjudications in which the child was found to have engaged in conduct violating penal laws of the grade of felony.

(e) An oral or written answer to the petition may be made at or before the commencement of the hearing. If there is no answer, a general denial of the alleged conduct is assumed.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 25, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 53.045: Offenses Eligible for Determinate Sentence

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (e), the prosecuting attorney may refer the petition to the grand jury of the county in which the court in which the petition is filed presides if the petition alleges that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that constitutes habitual felony conduct as described by Section 51.031 or that included the violation of any of the following provisions:

(1) Section 19.02, Penal Code (murder);

(2) Section 19.03, Penal Code (capital murder);

(3) Section 19.04, Penal Code (manslaughter);

(4) Section 20.04, Penal Code (aggravated kidnapping);

(5) Section 22.011, Penal Code (sexual assault) or Section 22.021, Penal Code (aggravated sexual assault);

(6) Section 22.02, Penal Code (aggravated assault);

(7) Section 29.03, Penal Code (aggravated robbery);

(8) Section 22.04, Penal Code (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual), if the offense is punishable as a felony, other than a state jail felony;

(9) Section 22.05(b), Penal Code (felony deadly conduct involving discharging a firearm);

(10) Subchapter D, Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, if the conduct constitutes a felony of the first degree or an aggravated controlled substance felony (certain offenses involving controlled substances);

(11) Section 15.03, Penal Code (criminal solicitation);

(12) Section 21.11(a)(1), Penal Code (indecency with a child);

(13) Section 15.031, Penal Code (criminal solicitation of a minor);

(14) Section 15.01, Penal Code (criminal attempt), if the offense attempted was an offense under Section 19.02, Penal Code (murder), or Section 19.03, Penal Code (capital murder), or an offense listed by Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure;

(15) Section 28.02, Penal Code (arson), if bodily injury or death is suffered by any person by reason of the commission of the conduct;

(16) Section 49.08, Penal Code (intoxication manslaughter); or

(17) Section 15.02, Penal Code (criminal conspiracy), if the offense made the subject of the criminal conspiracy includes a violation of any of the provisions referenced in Subdivisions (1) through (16).

(b) A grand jury may approve a petition submitted to it under this section by a vote of nine members of the grand jury in the same manner that the grand jury votes on the presentment of an indictment.

(c) The grand jury has all the powers to investigate the facts and circumstances relating to a petition submitted under this section as it has to investigate other criminal activity but may not issue an indictment unless the child is transferred to a criminal court as provided by Section 54.02 of this code.

(d) If the grand jury approves of the petition, the fact of approval shall be certified to the juvenile court, and the certification shall be entered in the record of the case. For the purpose of the transfer of a child to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as provided by Section 152.00161(c) or 245.151(c), Human Resources Code, as applicable, a juvenile court petition approved by a grand jury under this section is an indictment presented by the grand jury.

(e) The prosecuting attorney may not refer a petition that alleges the child engaged in conduct that violated Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code, or Sections 22.021(a)(1)(B) and (2)(B), Penal Code, unless the child is more than three years older than the victim of the conduct.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 574, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 26, 27, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 3.006, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.31, eff. January 1, 2017.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 854 (S.B. 1149), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 53.05: Time Set for Hearing

(a) After the petition has been filed, the juvenile court shall set a time for the hearing.

(b) The time set for the hearing shall not be later than 10 working days after the day the petition was filed if:

(1) the child is in detention; or

(2) the child will be taken into custody under Section 53.06(d) of this code.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 28, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 53.06: Summons

(a) The juvenile court shall direct issuance of a summons to:

(1) the child named in the petition;

(2) the child's parent, guardian, or custodian;

(3) the child's guardian ad litem; and

(4) any other person who appears to the court to be a proper or necessary party to the proceeding.

(b) The summons must require the persons served to appear before the court at the time set to answer the allegations of the petition. A copy of the petition must accompany the summons.

(c) The court may endorse on the summons an order directing the person having the physical custody or control of the child to bring the child to the hearing. A person who violates an order entered under this subsection may be proceeded against under Section 53.08 or 54.07 of this code.

(d) If it appears from an affidavit filed or from sworn testimony before the court that immediate detention of the child is warranted under Section 53.02(b) of this code, the court may endorse on the summons an order that a law-enforcement officer shall serve the summons and shall immediately take the child into custody and bring him before the court.

(e) A party, other than the child, may waive service of summons by written stipulation or by voluntary appearance at the hearing.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 29, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 53.07: Service of Summons

(a) If a person to be served with a summons is in this state and can be found, the summons shall be served upon him personally at least two days before the day of the adjudication hearing. If he is in this state and cannot be found, but his address is known or can with reasonable diligence be ascertained, the summons may be served on him by mailing a copy by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days before the day of the hearing. If he is outside this state but he can be found or his address is known, or his whereabouts or address can with reasonable diligence be ascertained, service of the summons may be made either by delivering a copy to him personally or mailing a copy to him by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days before the day of the hearing.

(b) The juvenile court has jurisdiction of the case if after reasonable effort a person other than the child cannot be found nor his post-office address ascertained, whether he is in or outside this state.

(c) Service of the summons may be made by any suitable person under the direction of the court.

(d) The court may authorize payment from the general funds of the county of the costs of service and of necessary travel expenses incurred by persons summoned or otherwise required to appear at the hearing.

(e) Witnesses may be subpoenaed in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, 1965.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973.

Sec. 53.08: Writ of Attachment

(a) The juvenile court may issue a writ of attachment for a person who violates an order entered under Section 53.06(c).

(b) A writ of attachment issued under this section is executed in the same manner as in a criminal proceeding as provided by Chapter 24, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 30, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Chapter 54

Sec. 54.01: Detention Hearing

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (p), if the child is not released under Section 53.02, a detention hearing without a jury shall be held promptly, but not later than the second working day after the child is taken into custody; provided, however, that when a child is detained on a Friday or Saturday, then such detention hearing shall be held on the first working day after the child is taken into custody.

(b) Reasonable notice of the detention hearing, either oral or written, shall be given, stating the time, place, and purpose of the hearing. Notice shall be given to the child and, if they can be found, to his parents, guardian, or custodian. Prior to the commencement of the hearing, the court shall inform the parties of the child's right to counsel and to appointed counsel if they are indigent and of the child's right to remain silent with respect to any allegations of delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, or conduct that violates an order of probation imposed by a juvenile court.

(b-1) Unless the court finds that the appointment of counsel is not feasible due to exigent circumstances, the court shall appoint counsel within a reasonable time before the first detention hearing is held to represent the child at that hearing.

(c) At the detention hearing, the court may consider written reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of witnesses. Prior to the detention hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in making the detention decision. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the child or his parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.

(d) A detention hearing may be held without the presence of the child's parents if the court has been unable to locate them. If no parent or guardian is present, the court shall appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem for the child, subject to the requirements of Subsection (b-1).

(e) At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall order the child released from detention unless it finds that:

(1) he is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;

(2) suitable supervision, care, or protection for him is not being provided by a parent, guardian, custodian, or other person;

(3) he has no parent, guardian, custodian, or other person able to return him to the court when required;

(4) he may be dangerous to himself or may threaten the safety of the public if released; or

(5) he has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term in jail or prison and is likely to commit an offense if released.

(f) Unless otherwise agreed in the memorandum of understanding under Section 37.011, Education Code, a release may be conditioned on requirements reasonably necessary to insure the child's appearance at later proceedings, but the conditions of the release must be in writing and a copy furnished to the child. In a county with a population greater than 125,000, if a child being released under this section is expelled under Section 37.007, Education Code, the release shall be conditioned on the child's attending a juvenile justice alternative education program pending a deferred prosecution or formal court disposition of the child's case.

(g) No statement made by the child at the detention hearing shall be admissible against the child at any other hearing.

(h) A detention order extends to the conclusion of the disposition hearing, if there is one, but in no event for more than 10 working days. Further detention orders may be made following subsequent detention hearings. The initial detention hearing may not be waived but subsequent detention hearings may be waived in accordance with the requirements of Section 51.09. Each subsequent detention order shall extend for no more than 10 working days, except that in a county that does not have a certified juvenile detention facility, as described by Section 51.12(a)(3), each subsequent detention order shall extend for no more than 15 working days.

(i) A child in custody may be detained for as long as 10 days without the hearing described in Subsection (a) of this section if:

(1) a written request for shelter in detention facilities pending arrangement of transportation to his place of residence in another state or country or another county of this state is voluntarily executed by the child not later than the next working day after he was taken into custody;

(2) the request for shelter contains:

(A) a statement by the child that he voluntarily agrees to submit himself to custody and detention for a period of not longer than 10 days without a detention hearing;

(B) an allegation by the person detaining the child that the child has left his place of residence in another state or country or another county of this state, that he is in need of shelter, and that an effort is being made to arrange transportation to his place of residence; and

(C) a statement by the person detaining the child that he has advised the child of his right to demand a detention hearing under Subsection (a) of this section; and

(3) the request is signed by the juvenile court judge to evidence his knowledge of the fact that the child is being held in detention.

(j) The request for shelter may be revoked by the child at any time, and on such revocation, if further detention is necessary, a detention hearing shall be held not later than the next working day in accordance with Subsections (a) through (g) of this section.

(k) Notwithstanding anything in this title to the contrary, the child may sign a request for shelter without the concurrence of an adult specified in Section 51.09 of this code.

(l) The juvenile board may appoint a referee to conduct the detention hearing. The referee shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state. Such payment or additional payment as may be warranted for referee services shall be provided from county funds. Before commencing the detention hearing, the referee shall inform the parties who have appeared that they are entitled to have the hearing before the juvenile court judge or a substitute judge authorized by Section 51.04(f). If a party objects to the referee conducting the detention hearing, an authorized judge shall conduct the hearing within 24 hours. At the conclusion of the hearing, the referee shall transmit written findings and recommendations to the juvenile court judge or substitute judge. The juvenile court judge or substitute judge shall adopt, modify, or reject the referee's recommendations not later than the next working day after the day that the judge receives the recommendations. Failure to act within that time results in release of the child by operation of law. A recommendation that the child be released operates to secure the child's immediate release, subject to the power of the juvenile court judge or substitute judge to reject or modify that recommendation. The effect of an order detaining a child shall be computed from the time of the hearing before the referee.

(m) The detention hearing required in this section may be held in the county of the designated place of detention where the child is being held even though the designated place of detention is outside the county of residence of the child or the county in which the alleged delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, or probation violation occurred.

(n) An attorney appointed by the court under Section 51.10(c) because a determination was made under this section to detain a child who was not represented by an attorney may request on behalf of the child and is entitled to a de novo detention hearing under this section. The attorney must make the request not later than the 10th working day after the date the attorney is appointed. The hearing must take place not later than the second working day after the date the attorney filed a formal request with the court for a hearing.

(o) The court or referee shall find whether there is probable cause to believe that a child taken into custody without an arrest warrant or a directive to apprehend has engaged in delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, or conduct that violates an order of probation imposed by a juvenile court. The court or referee must make the finding within 48 hours, including weekends and holidays, of the time the child was taken into custody. The court or referee may make the finding on any reasonably reliable information without regard to admissibility of that information under the Texas Rules of Evidence. A finding of probable cause is required to detain a child after the 48th hour after the time the child was taken into custody. If a court or referee finds probable cause, additional findings of probable cause are not required in the same cause to authorize further detention.

(p) If a child is detained in a county jail or other facility as provided by Section 51.12(l) and the child is not released under Section 53.02(f), a detention hearing without a jury shall be held promptly, but not later than the 24th hour, excluding weekends and holidays, after the time the child is taken into custody.

(q) If a child has not been released under Section 53.02 or this section and a petition has not been filed under Section 53.04 or 54.05 concerning the child, the court shall order the child released from detention not later than:

(1) the 30th working day after the date the initial detention hearing is held, if the child is alleged to have engaged in conduct constituting a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of the first degree; or

(2) the 15th working day after the date the initial detention hearing is held, if the child is alleged to have engaged in conduct constituting an offense other than an offense listed in Subdivision (1) or conduct that violates an order of probation imposed by a juvenile court.

(q-1) The juvenile board may impose an earlier deadline than the specified deadlines for filing petitions under Subsection (q) and may specify the consequences of not filing a petition by the deadline the juvenile board has established. The juvenile board may authorize but not require the juvenile court to release a respondent from detention for failure of the prosecutor to file a petition by the juvenile board's deadline.

(r) On the conditional release of a child from detention by judicial order under Subsection (f), the court, referee, or detention magistrate may order that the child's parent, guardian, or custodian present in court at the detention hearing engage in acts or omissions specified by the court, referee, or detention magistrate that will assist the child in complying with the conditions of release. The order must be in writing and a copy furnished to the parent, guardian, or custodian. An order entered under this subsection may be enforced as provided by Chapter 61.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2156, ch. 693, Sec. 14, 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1102, ch. 518, Sec. 2, eff. June 11, 1979; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 31, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 922, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 18, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 232, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(30), eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 912 (H.B. 1318), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 54.011: Detention Hearings for Status Offenders and Nonoffenders; Penalty

(a) The detention hearing for a status offender or nonoffender who has not been released administratively under Section 53.02 shall be held before the 24th hour after the time the child arrived at a detention facility, excluding hours of a weekend or a holiday. Except as otherwise provided by this section, the judge or referee conducting the detention hearing shall release the status offender or nonoffender from secure detention.

(b) The judge or referee may order a child in detention accused of the violation of a valid court order as defined by Section 51.02 detained not longer than 72 hours after the time the detention order was entered, excluding weekends and holidays, if:

(1) the judge or referee finds at the detention hearing that there is probable cause to believe the child violated the valid court order; and

(2) the detention of the child is justified under Section 54.01(e)(1), (2), or (3).

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a detention order entered under Subsection (b) may be extended for one additional 72-hour period, excluding weekends and holidays, only on a finding of good cause by the juvenile court.

(d) A detention order for a child under this section may be extended on the demand of the child's attorney only to allow the time that is necessary to comply with the requirements of Section 51.10(h), entitling the attorney to 10 days to prepare for an adjudication hearing.

(e) A status offender may be detained for a necessary period, not to exceed the period allowed under the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, to enable the child's return to the child's home in another state under Chapter 60.

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (a), a nonoffender, including a person who has been taken into custody and is being held solely for deportation out of the United States, may not be detained for any period of time in a secure detention facility or secure correctional facility, regardless of whether the facility is publicly or privately operated. A nonoffender who is detained in violation of this subsection is entitled to immediate release from the facility and may bring a civil action for compensation for the illegal detention against any person responsible for the detention. A person commits an offense if the person knowingly detains or assists in detaining a nonoffender in a secure detention facility or secure correctional facility in violation of this subsection. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 32, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 15, 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 54.012: Interactive Video Recording of Detention Hearing

(a) A detention hearing under Section 54.01 may be held using interactive video equipment if:

(1) the child and the child's attorney agree to the video hearing; and

(2) the parties to the proceeding have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.

(b) A detention hearing may not be held using video equipment unless the video equipment for the hearing provides for a two-way communication of image and sound among the child, the court, and other parties at the hearing.

(c) A recording of the communications shall be made. The recording shall be preserved until the earlier of:

(1) the 91st day after the date on which the recording is made if the child is alleged to have engaged in conduct constituting a misdemeanor;

(2) the 120th day after the date on which the recording is made if the child is alleged to have engaged in conduct constituting a felony; or

(3) the date on which the adjudication hearing ends.

(d) An attorney for the child may obtain a copy of the recording on payment of the reasonable costs of reproducing the copy.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 33, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 54.02: Waiver of Jurisdiction and Discretionary Transfer to Criminal Court

(a) The juvenile court may waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a child to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the child is alleged to have violated a penal law of the grade of felony;

(2) the child was:

(A) 14 years of age or older at the time he is alleged to have committed the offense, if the offense is a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of the first degree, and no adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense; or

(B) 15 years of age or older at the time the child is alleged to have committed the offense, if the offense is a felony of the second or third degree or a state jail felony, and no adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense; and

(3) after a full investigation and a hearing, the juvenile court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the child before the court committed the offense alleged and that because of the seriousness of the offense alleged or the background of the child the welfare of the community requires criminal proceedings.

(b) The petition and notice requirements of Sections 53.04, 53.05, 53.06, and 53.07 of this code must be satisfied, and the summons must state that the hearing is for the purpose of considering discretionary transfer to criminal court.

(c) The juvenile court shall conduct a hearing without a jury to consider transfer of the child for criminal proceedings.

(d) Prior to the hearing, the juvenile court shall order and obtain a complete diagnostic study, social evaluation, and full investigation of the child, his circumstances, and the circumstances of the alleged offense.

(e) At the transfer hearing the court may consider written reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of witnesses. At least five days prior to the transfer hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child and the prosecuting attorney with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in making the transfer decision. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the child or the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.

(f) In making the determination required by Subsection (a) of this section, the court shall consider, among other matters:

(1) whether the alleged offense was against person or property, with greater weight in favor of transfer given to offenses against the person;

(2) the sophistication and maturity of the child;

(3) the record and previous history of the child; and

(4) the prospects of adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of the rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to the juvenile court.

(g) If the petition alleges multiple offenses that constitute more than one criminal transaction, the juvenile court shall either retain or transfer all offenses relating to a single transaction. Except as provided by Subsection (g-1), a child is not subject to criminal prosecution at any time for any offense arising out of a criminal transaction for which the juvenile court retains jurisdiction.

(g-1) A child may be subject to criminal prosecution for an offense committed under Chapter 19 or Section 49.08, Penal Code, if:

(1) the offense arises out of a criminal transaction for which the juvenile court retained jurisdiction over other offenses relating to the criminal transaction; and

(2) on or before the date the juvenile court retained jurisdiction, one or more of the elements of the offense under Chapter 19 or Section 49.08, Penal Code, had not occurred.

(h) If the juvenile court waives jurisdiction, it shall state specifically in the order its reasons for waiver and certify its action, including the written order and findings of the court, and shall transfer the person to the appropriate court for criminal proceedings and cause the results of the diagnostic study of the person ordered under Subsection (d), including psychological information, to be transferred to the appropriate criminal prosecutor. On transfer of the person for criminal proceedings, the person shall be dealt with as an adult and in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, except that if detention in a certified juvenile detention facility is authorized under Section 152.0015, Human Resources Code, the juvenile court may order the person to be detained in the facility pending trial or until the criminal court enters an order under Article 4.19, Code of Criminal Procedure. A transfer of custody made under this subsection is an arrest.

(h-1) If the juvenile court orders a person detained in a certified juvenile detention facility under Subsection (h), the juvenile court shall set or deny bond for the person as required by the Code of Criminal Procedure and other law applicable to the pretrial detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(i) A waiver under this section is a waiver of jurisdiction over the child and the criminal court may not remand the child to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

(j) The juvenile court may waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a person to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the person is 18 years of age or older;

(2) the person was:

(A) 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed a capital felony or an offense under Section 19.02, Penal Code;

(B) 14 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed an aggravated controlled substance felony or a felony of the first degree other than an offense under Section 19.02, Penal Code; or

(C) 15 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed a felony of the second or third degree or a state jail felony;

(3) no adjudication concerning the alleged offense has been made or no adjudication hearing concerning the offense has been conducted;

(4) the juvenile court finds from a preponderance of the evidence that:

(A) for a reason beyond the control of the state it was not practicable to proceed in juvenile court before the 18th birthday of the person; or

(B) after due diligence of the state it was not practicable to proceed in juvenile court before the 18th birthday of the person because:

(i) the state did not have probable cause to proceed in juvenile court and new evidence has been found since the 18th birthday of the person;

(ii) the person could not be found; or

(iii) a previous transfer order was reversed by an appellate court or set aside by a district court; and

(5) the juvenile court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the child before the court committed the offense alleged.

(k) The petition and notice requirements of Sections 53.04, 53.05, 53.06, and 53.07 of this code must be satisfied, and the summons must state that the hearing is for the purpose of considering waiver of jurisdiction under Subsection (j). The person's parent, custodian, guardian, or guardian ad litem is not considered a party to a proceeding under Subsection (j) and it is not necessary to provide the parent, custodian, guardian, or guardian ad litem with notice.

(l) The juvenile court shall conduct a hearing without a jury to consider waiver of jurisdiction under Subsection (j). Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a waiver of jurisdiction under Subsection (j) may be made without the necessity of conducting the diagnostic study or complying with the requirements of discretionary transfer proceedings under Subsection (d). If requested by the attorney for the person at least 10 days before the transfer hearing, the court shall order that the person be examined pursuant to Section 51.20(a) and that the results of the examination be provided to the attorney for the person and the attorney for the state at least five days before the transfer hearing.

(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the juvenile court shall waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a child to the appropriate district court or criminal court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the child has previously been transferred to a district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings under this section, unless:

(A) the child was not indicted in the matter transferred by the grand jury;

(B) the child was found not guilty in the matter transferred;

(C) the matter transferred was dismissed with prejudice; or

(D) the child was convicted in the matter transferred, the conviction was reversed on appeal, and the appeal is final; and

(2) the child is alleged to have violated a penal law of the grade of felony.

(n) A mandatory transfer under Subsection (m) may be made without conducting the study required in discretionary transfer proceedings by Subsection (d). The requirements of Subsection (b) that the summons state that the purpose of the hearing is to consider discretionary transfer to criminal court does not apply to a transfer proceeding under Subsection (m). In a proceeding under Subsection (m), it is sufficient that the summons provide fair notice that the purpose of the hearing is to consider mandatory transfer to criminal court.

(o) If a respondent is taken into custody for possible discretionary transfer proceedings under Subsection (j), the juvenile court shall hold a detention hearing in the same manner as provided by Section 54.01, except that the court shall order the respondent released unless it finds that the respondent:

(1) is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;

(2) may be dangerous to himself or herself or may threaten the safety of the public if released; or

(3) has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term of jail or prison and is likely to commit an offense if released.

(p) If the juvenile court does not order a respondent released under Subsection (o), the court shall, pending the conclusion of the discretionary transfer hearing, order that the respondent be detained in:

(1) a certified juvenile detention facility as provided by Subsection (q); or

(2) an appropriate county facility for the detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(q) The detention of a respondent in a certified juvenile detention facility must comply with the detention requirements under this title, except that, to the extent practicable, the person shall be kept separate from children detained in the same facility.

(r) If the juvenile court orders a respondent detained in a county facility under Subsection (p), the county sheriff shall take custody of the respondent under the juvenile court's order. The juvenile court shall set or deny bond for the respondent as required by the Code of Criminal Procedure and other law applicable to the pretrial detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(s) If a child is transferred to criminal court under this section, only the petition for discretionary transfer, the order of transfer, and the order of commitment, if any, are a part of the district clerk's public record.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2156, ch. 693, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 1 to 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 34, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1354 (S.B. 518), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1087 (S.B. 1209), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1103 (S.B. 1617), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 54.03: Adjudication Hearing

(a) A child may be found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision only after an adjudication hearing conducted in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) At the beginning of the adjudication hearing, the juvenile court judge shall explain to the child and his parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem:

(1) the allegations made against the child;

(2) the nature and possible consequences of the proceedings, including the law relating to the admissibility of the record of a juvenile court adjudication in a criminal proceeding;

(3) the child's privilege against self-incrimination;

(4) the child's right to trial and to confrontation of witnesses;

(5) the child's right to representation by an attorney if he is not already represented; and

(6) the child's right to trial by jury.

(c) Trial shall be by jury unless jury is waived in accordance with Section 51.09. If the hearing is on a petition that has been approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045, the jury must consist of 12 persons and be selected in accordance with the requirements in criminal cases. If the hearing is on a petition that alleges conduct that violates a penal law of this state of the grade of misdemeanor, the jury must consist of the number of persons required by Article 33.01(b), Code of Criminal Procedure. Jury verdicts under this title must be unanimous.

(d) Except as provided by Section 54.031, only material, relevant, and competent evidence in accordance with the Texas Rules of Evidence applicable to criminal cases and Chapter 38, Code of Criminal Procedure, may be considered in the adjudication hearing. Except in a detention or discretionary transfer hearing, a social history report or social service file shall not be viewed by the court before the adjudication decision and shall not be viewed by the jury at any time.

(e) A child alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision need not be a witness against nor otherwise incriminate himself. An extrajudicial statement which was obtained without fulfilling the requirements of this title or of the constitution of this state or the United States, may not be used in an adjudication hearing. A statement made by the child out of court is insufficient to support a finding of delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision unless it is corroborated in whole or in part by other evidence. An adjudication of delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the child with the alleged delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the alleged conduct. Evidence illegally seized or obtained is inadmissible in an adjudication hearing.

(f) At the conclusion of the adjudication hearing, the court or jury shall find whether or not the child has engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision. The finding must be based on competent evidence admitted at the hearing. The child shall be presumed to be innocent of the charges against the child and no finding that a child has engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision may be returned unless the state has proved such beyond a reasonable doubt. In all jury cases the jury will be instructed that the burden is on the state to prove that a child has engaged in delinquent conduct or is in need of supervision beyond a reasonable doubt. A child may be adjudicated as having engaged in conduct constituting a lesser included offense as provided by Articles 37.08 and 37.09, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(g) If the court or jury finds that the child did not engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision, the court shall dismiss the case with prejudice.

(h) If the finding is that the child did engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision, the court or jury shall state which of the allegations in the petition were found to be established by the evidence. The court shall also set a date and time for the disposition hearing.

(i) In order to preserve for appellate or collateral review the failure of the court to provide the child the explanation required by Subsection (b), the attorney for the child must comply with Rule 33.1, Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, before testimony begins or, if the adjudication is uncontested, before the child pleads to the petition or agrees to a stipulation of evidence.

(j) When the state and the child agree to the disposition of the case, in whole or in part, the prosecuting attorney shall inform the court of the agreement between the state and the child. The court shall inform the child that the court is not required to accept the agreement. The court may delay a decision on whether to accept the agreement until after reviewing a report filed under Section 54.04(b). If the court decides not to accept the agreement, the court shall inform the child of the court's decision and give the child an opportunity to withdraw the plea or stipulation of evidence. If the court rejects the agreement, no document, testimony, or other evidence placed before the court that relates to the rejected agreement may be considered by the court in a subsequent hearing in the case. A statement made by the child before the court's rejection of the agreement to a person writing a report to be filed under Section 54.04(b) may not be admitted into evidence in a subsequent hearing in the case. If the court accepts the agreement, the court shall make a disposition in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the state and the child.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2157, ch. 693, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1098, ch. 514, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 590, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 386, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 37, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 28 (H.B. 609), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 54.031: Hearsay Statement of Certain Abuse Victims

(a) This section applies to a hearing under this title in which a child is alleged to be a delinquent child on the basis of a violation of any of the following provisions of the Penal Code, if a child 12 years of age or younger or a person with a disability is the alleged victim of the violation:

(1) Chapter 21 (Sexual Offenses) or 22 (Assaultive Offenses);

(2) Section 25.02 (Prohibited Sexual Conduct);

(3) Section 43.25 (Sexual Performance by a Child);

(4) Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8) (Trafficking of Persons); or

(5) Section 43.05(a)(2) (Compelling Prostitution).

(b) This section applies only to statements that describe the alleged violation that:

(1) were made by the child or person with a disability who is the alleged victim of the violation; and

(2) were made to the first person, 18 years of age or older, to whom the child or person with a disability made a statement about the violation.

(c) A statement that meets the requirements of Subsection (b) is not inadmissible because of the hearsay rule if:

(1) on or before the 14th day before the date the hearing begins, the party intending to offer the statement:

(A) notifies each other party of its intention to do so;

(B) provides each other party with the name of the witness through whom it intends to offer the statement; and

(C) provides each other party with a written summary of the statement;

(2) the juvenile court finds, in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury, that the statement is reliable based on the time, content, and circumstances of the statement; and

(3) the child or person with a disability who is the alleged victim testifies or is available to testify at the hearing in court or in any other manner provided by law.

(d) In this section, "person with a disability" means a person 13 years of age or older who because of age or physical or mental disease, disability, or injury is substantially unable to protect the person's self from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for the person's self.

Comments

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 590, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 14.31, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 3, eff. June 11, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 24), Sec. 4.01, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 54.032: Deferral of Adjudication and Dismissal of Certain Cases on Completion of Teen Court Program

(a) A juvenile court may defer adjudication proceedings under Section 54.03 for not more than 180 days if the child:

(1) is alleged to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision that violated a penal law of this state of the grade of misdemeanor that is punishable by fine only or a penal ordinance of a political subdivision of this state;

(2) waives, under Section 51.09, the privilege against self-incrimination and testifies under oath that the allegations are true;

(3) presents to the court an oral or written request to attend a teen court program; and

(4) has not successfully completed a teen court program in the two years preceding the date that the alleged conduct occurred.

(b) The teen court program must be approved by the court.

(c) A child for whom adjudication proceedings are deferred under Subsection (a) shall complete the teen court program not later than the 90th day after the date the teen court hearing to determine punishment is held or the last day of the deferral period, whichever date is earlier. The court shall dismiss the case with prejudice at the time the child presents satisfactory evidence that the child has successfully completed the teen court program.

(d) A case dismissed under this section may not be part of the child's records for any purpose.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2020

(e) The court may require a child who requests a teen court program to pay a fee not to exceed $10 that is set by the court to cover the costs of administering this section. The court shall deposit the fee in the county treasury of the county in which the court is located. A child who requests a teen court program and does not complete the program is not entitled to a refund of the fee.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2020

(e) The court may require a child who requests a teen court program to pay a reimbursement fee not to exceed $10 that is set by the court to cover the costs of administering this section. The court shall deposit the fee in the county treasury of the county in which the court is located. A child who requests a teen court program and does not complete the program is not entitled to a refund of the fee.

(f) A court may transfer a case in which proceedings have been deferred as provided by this section to a court in another county if the court to which the case is transferred consents. A case may not be transferred unless it is within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2020

(g) In addition to the fee authorized by Subsection (e), the court may require a child who requests a teen court program to pay a $10 fee to cover the cost to the teen court for performing its duties under this section. The court shall pay the fee to the teen court program, and the teen court program must account to the court for the receipt and disbursal of the fee. A child who pays a fee under this subsection is not entitled to a refund of the fee, regardless of whether the child successfully completes the teen court program.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2020

(g) In addition to the reimbursement fee authorized by Subsection (e), the court may require a child who requests a teen court program to pay a $10 reimbursement fee to cover the cost to the teen court for performing its duties under this section. The court shall pay the fee to the teen court program, and the teen court program must account to the court for the receipt and disbursal of the fee. A child who pays a fee under this subsection is not entitled to a refund of the fee, regardless of whether the child successfully completes the teen court program.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2020

(h) Notwithstanding Subsection (e) or (g), a juvenile court that is located in the Texas-Louisiana border region, as defined by Section 2056.002, Government Code, may charge a fee of $20 under those subsections.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2020

(h) Notwithstanding Subsection (e) or (g), a juvenile court that is located in the Texas-Louisiana border region, as defined by Section 2056.002, Government Code, may charge a reimbursement fee of $20 under those subsections.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1031, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 748, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 216, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 910 (H.B. 2949), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1352 (S.B. 346), Sec. 2.42, eff. January 1, 2020.

Sec. 54.0325: Deferral of Adjudication and Dismissal of Certain Cases on Completion of Teen Dating Violence Court Program

(a) In this section:

(1) "Dating violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.0021.

(2) "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004.

(3) "Teen dating violence court program" means a program that includes:

(A) a 12-week program designed to educate children who engage in dating violence and encourage them to refrain from engaging in that conduct;

(B) a dedicated teen victim advocate who assists teen victims by offering referrals to additional services, providing counseling and safety planning, and explaining the juvenile justice system;

(C) a court-employed resource coordinator to monitor children's compliance with the 12-week program;

(D) one judge who presides over all of the cases in the jurisdiction that qualify for the program; and

(E) an attorney in the district attorney's office or the county attorney's office who is assigned to the program.

(b) On the recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, the juvenile court may defer adjudication proceedings under Section 54.03 for not more than 180 days if the child is a first offender who is alleged to have engaged in conduct:

(1) that violated a penal law of this state of the grade of misdemeanor; and

(2) involving dating violence.

(c) For the purposes of Subsection (b), a first offender is a child who has not previously been referred to juvenile court for allegedly engaging in conduct constituting dating violence, family violence, or an assault.

(d) Before implementation, the teen dating violence court program must be approved by:

(1) the court; and

(2) the commissioners court of the county.

(e) A child for whom adjudication proceedings are deferred under Subsection (b) shall:

(1) complete the teen dating violence court program not later than the last day of the deferral period; and

(2) appear in court once a month for monitoring purposes.

(f) The court shall dismiss the case with prejudice at the time the child presents satisfactory evidence that the child has successfully completed the teen dating violence court program.

(g) The court may require a child who participates in a teen dating violence court program to pay a fee not to exceed $10 that is set by the court to cover the costs of administering this section. The court shall deposit the fee in the county treasury of the county in which the court is located.

(h) In addition to the fee authorized by Subsection (g), the court may require a child who participates in a teen dating violence court program to pay a fee of $10 to cover the cost to the teen dating violence court program for performing its duties under this section. The court shall pay the fee to the teen dating violence court program, and the teen dating violence court program must account to the court for the receipt and disbursal of the fee.

(i) The court shall track the number of children ordered to participate in the teen dating violence court program, the percentage of victims meeting with the teen victim advocate, and the compliance rate of the children ordered to participate in the program.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2496), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 54.0326: Deferral of Adjudication and Dismissal of Certain Cases on Completion of Trafficked Persons Program

(a) This section applies to a juvenile court or to an alternative juvenile court exercising simultaneous jurisdiction over proceedings under this title and Subtitle E, Title 5, in the manner authorized by Section 51.0413.

(b) A juvenile court may defer adjudication proceedings under Section 54.03 until the child's 18th birthday and require a child to participate in a program established under Section 152.0017, Human Resources Code, if the child:

(1) is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and may be a victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code; and

(2) presents to the court an oral or written request to participate in the program.

(c) Following a child's completion of the program, the court shall dismiss the case with prejudice at the time the child presents satisfactory evidence that the child successfully completed the program.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 186 (S.B. 92), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 21.002(5), eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.033: Sexually Transmitted Disease, Aids, and Hiv Testing

(a) A child found at the conclusion of an adjudication hearing under Section 54.03 of this code to have engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation of Sections 21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code, shall undergo a medical procedure or test at the direction of the juvenile court designed to show or help show whether the child has a sexually transmitted disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS. The court may direct the child to undergo the procedure or test on the court's own motion or on the request of the victim of the delinquent conduct.

(b) If the child or another person who has the power to consent to medical treatment for the child refuses to submit voluntarily or consent to the procedure or test, the court shall require the child to submit to the procedure or test.

(c) The person performing the procedure or test shall make the test results available to the local health authority. The local health authority shall be required to notify the victim of the delinquent conduct and the person found to have engaged in the delinquent conduct of the test result.

(d) The state may not use the fact that a medical procedure or test was performed on a child under this section or use the results of the procedure or test in any proceeding arising out of the delinquent conduct.

(e) Testing under this section shall be conducted in accordance with written infectious disease control protocols adopted by the Texas Board of Health that clearly establish procedural guidelines that provide criteria for testing and that respect the rights of the child and the victim of the delinquent conduct.

(f) Nothing in this section allows a court to release a test result to anyone other than a person specifically authorized under this section. Section 81.103(d), Health and Safety Code, may not be construed to allow the disclosure of test results under this section except as provided by this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 811, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 54.034: Limited Right to Appeal: Warning

Before the court may accept a child's plea or stipulation of evidence in a proceeding held under this title, the court shall inform the child that if the court accepts the plea or stipulation and the court makes a disposition in accordance with the agreement between the state and the child regarding the disposition of the case, the child may not appeal an order of the court entered under Section 54.03, 54.04, or 54.05, unless:

(1) the court gives the child permission to appeal; or

(2) the appeal is based on a matter raised by written motion filed before the proceeding in which the child entered the plea or agreed to the stipulation of evidence.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 74, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 54.04: Disposition Hearing

(a) The disposition hearing shall be separate, distinct, and subsequent to the adjudication hearing. There is no right to a jury at the disposition hearing unless the child is in jeopardy of a determinate sentence under Subsection (d)(3) or (m), in which case, the child is entitled to a jury of 12 persons to determine the sentence, but only if the child so elects in writing before the commencement of the voir dire examination of the jury panel. If a finding of delinquent conduct is returned, the child may, with the consent of the attorney for the state, change the child's election of one who assesses the disposition.

(b) At the disposition hearing, the juvenile court, notwithstanding the Texas Rules of Evidence or Chapter 37, Code of Criminal Procedure, may consider written reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of witnesses. On or before the second day before the date of the disposition hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child and the prosecuting attorney with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in disposition. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the child or the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.

(c) No disposition may be made under this section unless the child is in need of rehabilitation or the protection of the public or the child requires that disposition be made. If the court or jury does not so find, the court shall dismiss the child and enter a final judgment without any disposition. No disposition placing the child on probation outside the child's home may be made under this section unless the court or jury finds that the child, in the child's home, cannot be provided the quality of care and level of support and supervision that the child needs to meet the conditions of the probation.

(d) If the court or jury makes the finding specified in Subsection (c) allowing the court to make a disposition in the case:

(1) the court or jury may, in addition to any order required or authorized under Section 54.041 or 54.042, place the child on probation on such reasonable and lawful terms as the court may determine:

(A) in the child's own home or in the custody of a relative or other fit person; or

(B) subject to the finding under Subsection (c) on the placement of the child outside the child's home, in:

(i) a suitable foster home;

(ii) a suitable public or private residential treatment facility licensed by a state governmental entity or exempted from licensure by state law, except a facility operated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; or

(iii) a suitable public or private post-adjudication secure correctional facility that meets the requirements of Section 51.125, except a facility operated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department;

(2) if the court or jury found at the conclusion of the adjudication hearing that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of this state or the United States of the grade of felony, the court or jury made a special commitment finding under Section 54.04013, and the petition was not approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045, the court may commit the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 54.04013, or a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Section 54.04011(c)(1), as applicable, without a determinate sentence;

(3) if the court or jury found at the conclusion of the adjudication hearing that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045(a) and if the petition was approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045, the court or jury may sentence the child to commitment in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Section 54.04011(c)(2) with a possible transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a term of:

(A) not more than 40 years if the conduct constitutes:

(i) a capital felony;

(ii) a felony of the first degree; or

(iii) an aggravated controlled substance felony;

(B) not more than 20 years if the conduct constitutes a felony of the second degree; or

(C) not more than 10 years if the conduct constitutes a felony of the third degree;

(4) the court may assign the child an appropriate sanction level and sanctions as provided by the assignment guidelines in Section 59.003;

(5) the court may place the child in a suitable nonsecure correctional facility that is registered and meets the applicable standards for the facility as provided by Section 51.126; or

(6) if applicable, the court or jury may make a disposition under Subsection (m) or Section 54.04011(c)(2)(A).

(e) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall accept a person properly committed to it by a juvenile court even though the person may be 17 years of age or older at the time of commitment.

(f) The court shall state specifically in the order its reasons for the disposition and shall furnish a copy of the order to the child. If the child is placed on probation, the terms of probation shall be written in the order.

(g) If the court orders a disposition under Subsection (d)(3) or (m) and there is an affirmative finding that the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the conduct or during immediate flight from commission of the conduct, the court shall enter the finding in the order. If there is an affirmative finding that the deadly weapon was a firearm, the court shall enter that finding in the order.

(h) At the conclusion of the dispositional hearing, the court shall inform the child of:

(1) the child's right to appeal, as required by Section 56.01; and

(2) the procedures for the sealing of the child's records under Subchapter C-1, Chapter 58.

(i) If the court places the child on probation outside the child's home or commits the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, the court:

(1) shall include in its order its determination that:

(A) it is in the child's best interests to be placed outside the child's home;

(B) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child's removal from the home and to make it possible for the child to return to the child's home; and

(C) the child, in the child's home, cannot be provided the quality of care and level of support and supervision that the child needs to meet the conditions of probation; and

(2) may approve an administrative body to conduct permanency hearings pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 675 if required during the placement or commitment of the child.

(j) If the court or jury found that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law of the grade of felony or jailable misdemeanor, the court:

(1) shall require that the child's thumbprint be affixed or attached to the order; and

(2) may require that a photograph of the child be attached to the order.

(k) Except as provided by Subsection (m), the period to which a court or jury may sentence a person to commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department with a transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice under Subsection (d)(3) applies without regard to whether the person has previously been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct.

(l) Except as provided by Subsection (q), a court or jury may place a child on probation under Subsection (d)(1) for any period, except that probation may not continue on or after the child's 18th birthday. Except as provided by Subsection (q), the court may, before the period of probation ends, extend the probation for any period, except that the probation may not extend to or after the child's 18th birthday.

(m) The court or jury may sentence a child adjudicated for habitual felony conduct as described by Section 51.031 to a term prescribed by Subsection (d)(3) and applicable to the conduct adjudicated in the pending case if:

(1) a petition was filed and approved by a grand jury under Section 53.045 alleging that the child engaged in habitual felony conduct; and

(2) the court or jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the allegation described by Subdivision (1) in the grand jury petition is true.

(n) A court may order a disposition of secure confinement of a status offender adjudicated for violating a valid court order only if:

(1) before the order is issued, the child received the full due process rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Texas Constitution; and

(2) the juvenile probation department in a report authorized by Subsection (b):

(A) reviewed the behavior of the child and the circumstances under which the child was brought before the court;

(B) determined the reasons for the behavior that caused the child to be brought before the court; and

(C) determined that all dispositions, including treatment, other than placement in a secure detention facility or secure correctional facility, have been exhausted or are clearly inappropriate.

(o) In a disposition under this title:

(1) a status offender may not, under any circumstances, be committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for engaging in conduct that would not, under state or local law, be a crime if committed by an adult;

(2) a status offender may not, under any circumstances other than as provided under Subsection (n), be placed in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility; and

(3) a child adjudicated for contempt of a county, justice, or municipal court order may not, under any circumstances, be placed in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility or committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for that conduct.

(p) Except as provided by Subsection (l), a court that places a child on probation under Subsection (d)(1) for conduct described by Section 54.0405(b) and punishable as a felony shall specify a minimum probation period of two years.

(q) If a court or jury sentences a child to commitment in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Subsection (d)(3) for a term of not more than 10 years, the court or jury may place the child on probation under Subsection (d)(1) as an alternative to making the disposition under Subsection (d)(3). The court shall prescribe the period of probation ordered under this subsection for a term of not more than 10 years. The court may, before the sentence of probation expires, extend the probationary period under Section 54.05, except that the sentence of probation and any extension may not exceed 10 years. The court may, before the child's 19th birthday, discharge the child from the sentence of probation. If a sentence of probation ordered under this subsection and any extension of probation ordered under Section 54.05 will continue after the child's 19th birthday, the court shall discharge the child from the sentence of probation on the child's 19th birthday unless the court transfers the child to an appropriate district court under Section 54.051.

(r) If the judge orders a disposition under this section and there is an affirmative finding that the victim or intended victim was younger than 17 years of age at the time of the conduct, the judge shall enter the finding in the order.

(s) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263, Sec. 64(1), eff. June 8, 2007.

(t) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263, Sec. 64(1), eff. June 8, 2007.

(u) For the purposes of disposition under Subsection (d)(2), delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of this state of the grade of felony does not include conduct that violates a lawful order of a county, municipal, justice, or juvenile court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of that court.

(v) If the judge orders a disposition under this section for delinquent conduct based on a violation of an offense, on the motion of the attorney representing the state the judge shall make an affirmative finding of fact and enter the affirmative finding in the papers in the case if the judge determines that, regardless of whether the conduct at issue is the subject of the prosecution or part of the same criminal episode as the conduct that is the subject of the prosecution, a victim in the trial:

(1) is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined by 22 U.S.C. Section 7102(8); or

(2) has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity described by 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii).

(w) That part of the papers in the case containing an affirmative finding under Subsection (v):

(1) must include specific information identifying the victim, as available;

(2) may not include information identifying the victim's location; and

(3) is confidential, unless written consent for the release of the affirmative finding is obtained from the victim or, if the victim is younger than 18 years of age, the victim's parent or guardian.

(x) A child may be detained in an appropriate detention facility following disposition of the child's case under Subsection (d) or (m) pending:

(1) transportation of the child to the ordered placement; and

(2) the provision of medical or other health care services for the child that may be advisable before transportation, including health care services for children in the late term of pregnancy.

(y) A juvenile court conducting a hearing under this section involving a child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services has been appointed managing conservator may communicate with the court having continuing jurisdiction over the child before the disposition hearing. The juvenile court may allow the parties to the suit affecting the parent-child relationship in which the Department of Family and Protective Services is a party to participate in the communication under this subsection.

(z) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a juvenile court or jury in a county to which Section 54.04011 applies from committing a child to a post-adjudication secure correctional facility in accordance with that section after a disposition hearing held in accordance with this section.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2158, ch. 693, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1802, ch. 394, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 161, ch. 44, art. 1, Sec. 3, eff. April 26, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3261, ch. 565, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1052, Sec. 6.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 16.01(17), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 80, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 557, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 574, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 784, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 1048, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 38, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1193, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1415, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1448, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 5.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 7, eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 64(1), eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 849 (H.B. 1121), Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.001(13), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 108 (H.B. 1629), Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1323 (S.B. 511), Sec. 2, eff. December 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 49, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 962 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 746 (S.B. 1304), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.0401: Community-Based Programs

(a) This section applies only to a county that has a population of at least 335,000.

(b) A juvenile court of a county to which this section applies may require a child who is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of the grade of misdemeanor and for whom the requirements of Subsection (c) are met to participate in a community-based program administered by the county's juvenile board.

(c) A juvenile court of a county to which this section applies may make a disposition under Subsection (b) for delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of the grade of misdemeanor:

(1) if:

(A) the child has been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of misdemeanor on at least two previous occasions;

(B) of the previous adjudications, the conduct that was the basis for one of the adjudications occurred after the date of another previous adjudication; and

(C) the conduct that is the basis of the current adjudication occurred after the date of at least two previous adjudications; or

(2) if:

(A) the child has been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony on at least one previous occasion; and

(B) the conduct that is the basis of the current adjudication occurred after the date of that previous adjudication.

(d) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall establish guidelines for the implementation of community-based programs described by this section. The juvenile board of each county to which this section applies shall implement a community-based program that complies with those guidelines.

(e) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall provide grants to selected juvenile boards to assist with the implementation of a system of community-based programs under this section.

(f) Expired.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 8, eff. June 8, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 50, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.04012: Trafficked Persons Program

(a) This section applies to a juvenile court or to an alternative juvenile court exercising simultaneous jurisdiction over proceedings under this title and Subtitle E, Title 5, in the manner authorized by Section 51.0413.

(b) A juvenile court may require a child adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and who is believed to be a victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code, to participate in a program established under Section 152.0017, Human Resources Code.

(c) The court may require a child participating in the program to periodically appear in court for monitoring and compliance purposes.

(d) Following a child's successful completion of the program, the court may order the sealing of the records of the case in the manner provided by Subchapter C-1, Chapter 58.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 186 (S.B. 92), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Redesignated from Family Code, Section 54.04011 by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 21.001(17), eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 21.002(6), eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 746 (S.B. 1304), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.04013: Special Commitment to Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, after a disposition hearing held in accordance with Section 54.04, the juvenile court may commit a child who is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct that constitutes a felony offense to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department without a determinate sentence if the court makes a special commitment finding that the child has behavioral health or other special needs that cannot be met with the resources available in the community. The court should consider the findings of a validated risk and needs assessment and the findings of any other appropriate professional assessment available to the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 962 (S.B. 1630), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.0404: Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor: Educational Programs

(a) If a child is found to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision described by Section 51.03(b)(6), the juvenile court may enter an order requiring the child to attend and successfully complete an educational program described by Section 37.218, Education Code, or another equivalent educational program.

(b) A juvenile court that enters an order under Subsection (a) shall require the child or the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's support to pay the cost of attending an educational program under Subsection (a) if the court determines that the child, parent, or other person is financially able to make payment.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322 (S.B. 407), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 7.004, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 29), Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.0405: Child Placed on Probation for Conduct Constituting Sexual Offense

(a) If a court or jury makes a disposition under Section 54.04 in which a child described by Subsection (b) is placed on probation, the court:

(1) may require as a condition of probation that the child:

(A) attend psychological counseling sessions for sex offenders as provided by Subsection (e); and

(B) submit to a polygraph examination as provided by Subsection (f) for purposes of evaluating the child's treatment progress; and

(2) shall require as a condition of probation that the child:

(A) register under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(B) submit a blood sample or other specimen to the Department of Public Safety under Subchapter G, Chapter 411, Government Code, for the purpose of creating a DNA record of the child, unless the child has already submitted the required specimen under other state law.

(b) This section applies to a child placed on probation for conduct constituting an offense for which the child is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) Psychological counseling required as a condition of probation under Subsection (a) must be with an individual or organization that:

(1) provides sex offender treatment or counseling;

(2) is specified by the local juvenile probation department supervising the child; and

(3) meets minimum standards of counseling established by the local juvenile probation department.

(d) A polygraph examination required as a condition of probation under Subsection (a) must be administered by an individual who is:

(1) specified by the local juvenile probation department supervising the child; and

(2) licensed as a polygraph examiner under Chapter 1703, Occupations Code.

(e) A local juvenile probation department that specifies a sex offender treatment provider under Subsection (c) to provide counseling to a child shall:

(1) establish with the cooperation of the treatment provider the date, time, and place of the first counseling session between the child and the treatment provider;

(2) notify the child and the treatment provider, not later than the 21st day after the date the order making the disposition placing the child on probation under Section 54.04 becomes final, of the date, time, and place of the first counseling session between the child and the treatment provider; and

(3) require the treatment provider to notify the department immediately if the child fails to attend any scheduled counseling session.

(f) A local juvenile probation department that specifies a polygraph examiner under Subsection (d) to administer a polygraph examination to a child shall arrange for a polygraph examination to be administered to the child:

(1) not later than the 60th day after the date the child attends the first counseling session established under Subsection (e); and

(2) after the initial polygraph examination, as required by Subdivision (1), on the request of the treatment provider specified under Subsection (c).

(g) A court that requires as a condition of probation that a child attend psychological counseling under Subsection (a) may order the parent or guardian of the child to:

(1) attend four sessions of instruction with an individual or organization specified by the court relating to:

(A) sexual offenses;

(B) family communication skills;

(C) sex offender treatment;

(D) victims' rights;

(E) parental supervision; and

(F) appropriate sexual behavior; and

(2) during the period the child attends psychological counseling, participate in monthly treatment groups conducted by the child's treatment provider relating to the child's psychological counseling.

(h) A court that orders a parent or guardian of a child to attend instructional sessions and participate in treatment groups under Subsection (g) shall require:

(1) the individual or organization specified by the court under Subsection (g) to notify the court immediately if the parent or guardian fails to attend any scheduled instructional session; and

(2) the child's treatment provider specified under Subsection (c) to notify the court immediately if the parent or guardian fails to attend a session in which the parent or guardian is required to participate in a scheduled treatment group.

(i) A court that requires as a condition of probation that a child attend psychological counseling under Subsection (a) may, before the date the probation period ends, extend the probation for any additional period necessary to complete the required counseling as determined by the treatment provider, except that the probation may not be extended to a date after the date of the child's 18th birthday, or 19th birthday if the child is placed on determinate sentence probation under Section 54.04(q).

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.743, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 54.0406: Child Placed on Probation for Conduct Involving a Handgun

(a) If a court or jury places a child on probation under Section 54.04(d) for conduct that violates a penal law that includes as an element of the offense the possession, carrying, using, or exhibiting of a handgun, as defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, and if at the adjudication hearing the court or jury affirmatively finds that the child personally possessed, carried, used, or exhibited the handgun, the court shall require as a condition of probation that the child, not later than the 30th day after the date the court places the child on probation, notify the juvenile probation officer who is supervising the child of the manner in which the child acquired the handgun, including the date and place of and any person involved in the acquisition.

(b) On receipt of information described by Subsection (a), a juvenile probation officer shall promptly notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of the information.

(c) Information provided by a child to a juvenile probation officer as required by Subsection (a) and any other information derived from that information may not be used as evidence against the child in any juvenile or criminal proceeding.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1446, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 54.0407: Cruelty to Animals: Counseling Required

If a child is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct constituting an offense under Section 42.09 or 42.092, Penal Code, the juvenile court shall order the child to participate in psychological counseling for a period to be determined by the court.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 450, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 886 (H.B. 2328), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 54.0408: Referral of Child Exiting Probation to Mental Health Or Mental Retardation Authority

A juvenile probation officer shall refer a child who has been determined to have a mental illness or mental retardation to an appropriate local mental health or mental retardation authority at least three months before the child is to complete the child's juvenile probation term unless the child is currently receiving treatment from the local mental health or mental retardation authority of the county in which the child resides.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 54.0409: Dna Sample Required on Certain Felony Adjudications

(a) This section applies only to conduct constituting the commission of a felony:

(1) that is listed in Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2) for which it is shown that a deadly weapon, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, was used or exhibited during the commission of the conduct or during immediate flight from the commission of the conduct.

(b) If a court or jury makes a disposition under Section 54.04 in which a child is adjudicated as having engaged in conduct constituting the commission of a felony to which this section applies and the child is placed on probation, the court shall require as a condition of probation that the child provide a DNA sample under Subchapter G, Chapter 411, Government Code, for the purpose of creating a DNA record of the child, unless the child has already submitted the required sample under other state law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1209 (S.B. 727), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.32, eff. January 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.041: Orders Affecting Parents and Others

(a) When a child has been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and the juvenile court has made a finding that the child is in need of rehabilitation or that the protection of the public or the child requires that disposition be made, the juvenile court, on notice by any reasonable method to all persons affected, may:

(1) order any person found by the juvenile court to have, by a wilful act or omission, contributed to, caused, or encouraged the child's delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision to do any act that the juvenile court determines to be reasonable and necessary for the welfare of the child or to refrain from doing any act that the juvenile court determines to be injurious to the welfare of the child;

(2) enjoin all contact between the child and a person who is found to be a contributing cause of the child's delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(3) after notice and a hearing of all persons affected order any person living in the same household with the child to participate in social or psychological counseling to assist in the rehabilitation of the child and to strengthen the child's family environment; or

(4) after notice and a hearing of all persons affected order the child's parent or other person responsible for the child's support to pay all or part of the reasonable costs of treatment programs in which the child is required to participate during the period of probation if the court finds the child's parent or person responsible for the child's support is able to pay the costs.

(b) If a child is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision arising from the commission of an offense in which property damage or loss or personal injury occurred, the juvenile court, on notice to all persons affected and on hearing, may order the child or a parent to make full or partial restitution to the victim of the offense. The program of restitution must promote the rehabilitation of the child, be appropriate to the age and physical, emotional, and mental abilities of the child, and not conflict with the child's schooling. When practicable and subject to court supervision, the court may approve a restitution program based on a settlement between the child and the victim of the offense. An order under this subsection may provide for periodic payments by the child or a parent of the child for the period specified in the order but except as provided by Subsection (h), that period may not extend past the date of the 18th birthday of the child or past the date the child is no longer enrolled in an accredited secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma, whichever date is later.

(c) Restitution under this section is cumulative of any other remedy allowed by law and may be used in addition to other remedies; except that a victim of an offense is not entitled to receive more than actual damages under a juvenile court order.

(d) A person subject to an order proposed under Subsection (a) of this section is entitled to a hearing on the order before the order is entered by the court.

(e) An order made under this section may be enforced as provided by Section 54.07 of this code.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 , Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(g) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 , Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(h) If the juvenile court places the child on probation in a determinate sentence proceeding initiated under Section 53.045 and transfers supervision on the child's 19th birthday to a district court for placement on community supervision, the district court shall require the payment of any unpaid restitution as a condition of the community supervision. The liability of the child's parent for restitution may not be extended by transfer to a district court for supervision.

Comments

Added by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2157, ch. 693, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 338, ch. 154, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 528, ch. 110, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3262, ch. 565, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1170, Sec. 3, eff. June 16, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 39, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.0411: Juvenile Probation Diversion Fund

(a) If a disposition hearing is held under Section 54.04 of this code, the juvenile court, after giving the child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support a reasonable opportunity to be heard, shall order the child, parent, or other person, if financially able to do so, to pay a fee as costs of court of $20.

(b) Orders for the payment of fees under this section may be enforced as provided by Section 54.07 of this code.

(c) An officer collecting costs under this section shall keep separate records of the funds collected as costs under this section and shall deposit the funds in the county treasury.

(d) Each officer collecting court costs under this section shall file the reports required under Article 103.005, Code of Criminal Procedure. If no funds due as costs under this section have been collected in any quarter, the report required for each quarter shall be filed in the regular manner, and the report must state that no funds due under this section were collected.

(e) The custodian of the county treasury may deposit the funds collected under this section in interest-bearing accounts. The custodian shall keep records of the amount of funds on deposit collected under this section and not later than the last day of the month following each calendar quarter shall send to the comptroller of public accounts the funds collected under this section during the preceding quarter. A county may retain 10 percent of the funds as a service fee and may retain the interest accrued on the funds if the custodian of a county treasury keeps records of the amount of funds on deposit collected under this section and remits the funds to the comptroller within the period prescribed under this subsection.

(f) Funds collected are subject to audit by the comptroller and funds expended are subject to audit by the State Auditor.

(g) The comptroller shall deposit the funds in a special fund to be known as the juvenile probation diversion fund.

(h) The legislature shall determine and appropriate the necessary amount from the juvenile probation diversion fund to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for the purchase of services the department considers necessary for the diversion of any juvenile who is at risk of commitment to the department. The department shall develop guidelines for the use of the fund. The department may not purchase the services if a person responsible for the child's support or a local juvenile probation department is financially able to provide the services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 347, Sec. 8, eff. Oct. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 51, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.042: License Suspension

(a) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04, shall:

(1) order the Department of Public Safety to suspend a child's driver's license or permit, or if the child does not have a license or permit, to deny the issuance of a license or permit to the child if the court finds that the child has engaged in conduct that:

(A) violates a law of this state enumerated in Section 521.342(a), Transportation Code; or

(B) violates a penal law of this state or the United States, an element or elements of which involve a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined by 22 U.S.C. Section 7102; or

(2) notify the Department of Public Safety of the adjudication, if the court finds that the child has engaged in conduct that violates a law of this state enumerated in Section 521.372(a), Transportation Code.

(b) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04, may order the Department of Public Safety to suspend a child's driver's license or permit or, if the child does not have a license or permit, to deny the issuance of a license or permit to the child, if the court finds that the child has engaged in conduct that violates Section 28.08, Penal Code.

(c) The order under Subsection (a)(1) shall specify a period of suspension or denial of 365 days.

(d) The order under Subsection (b) shall specify a period of suspension or denial:

(1) not to exceed 365 days; or

(2) of 365 days if the court finds the child has been previously adjudicated as having engaged in conduct violating Section 28.08, Penal Code.

(e) A child whose driver's license or permit has been suspended or denied pursuant to this section may, if the child is otherwise eligible for, and fulfills the requirements for issuance of, a provisional driver's license or permit under Chapter 521, Transportation Code, apply for and receive an occupational license in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter L of that chapter.

(f) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04, may order the Department of Public Safety to suspend a child's driver's license or permit or, if the child does not have a license or permit, to deny the issuance of a license or permit to the child for a period not to exceed 12 months if the court finds that the child has engaged in conduct in need of supervision or delinquent conduct other than the conduct described by Subsection (a).

(g) A juvenile court that places a child on probation under Section 54.04 may require as a reasonable condition of the probation that if the child violates the probation, the court may order the Department of Public Safety to suspend the child's driver's license or permit or, if the child does not have a license or permit, to deny the issuance of a license or permit to the child for a period not to exceed 12 months. The court may make this order if a child that is on probation under this condition violates the probation. A suspension under this subsection is cumulative of any other suspension under this section.

(h) If a child is adjudicated for conduct that violates Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, and if any conduct on which that adjudication is based is a ground for a driver's license suspension under Chapter 524 or 724, Transportation Code, each of the suspensions shall be imposed. The court imposing a driver's license suspension under this section shall credit a period of suspension imposed under Chapter 524 or 724, Transportation Code, toward the period of suspension required under this section, except that if the child was previously adjudicated for conduct that violates Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, credit may not be given.

Comments

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 1605, ch. 303, Sec. 25, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 629, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(42), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 784, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 491, Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 14.32, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 40, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.183, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 593, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(18), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1146 (H.B. 2730), Sec. 18.02, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 54.043: Monitoring School Attendance

If the court places a child on probation under Section 54.04(d) and requires as a condition of probation that the child attend school, the probation officer charged with supervising the child shall monitor the child's school attendance and report to the court if the child is voluntarily absent from school.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, Sec. 6.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 54.044: Community Service

(a) If the court places a child on probation under Section 54.04(d), the court shall require as a condition of probation that the child work a specified number of hours at a community service project approved by the court and designated by the juvenile probation department as provided by Subsection (e), unless the court determines and enters a finding on the order placing the child on probation that:

(1) the child is physically or mentally incapable of participating in the project;

(2) participating in the project will be a hardship on the child or the family of the child; or

(3) the child has shown good cause that community service should not be required.

(b) The court may also order under this section that the child's parent perform community service with the child.

(c) The court shall order that the child and the child's parent perform a total of not more than 500 hours of community service under this section.

(d) A municipality or county that establishes a program to assist children and their parents in rendering community service under this section may purchase insurance policies protecting the municipality or county against claims brought by a person other than the child or the child's parent for a cause of action that arises from an act of the child or parent while rendering community service. The municipality or county is not liable under this section to the extent that damages are recoverable under a contract of insurance or under a plan of self-insurance authorized by statute. The liability of the municipality or county for a cause of action that arises from an action of the child or the child's parent while rendering community service may not exceed $100,000 to a single person and $300,000 for a single occurrence in the case of personal injury or death, and $10,000 for a single occurrence of property damage. Liability may not extend to punitive or exemplary damages. This subsection does not waive a defense, immunity, or jurisdictional bar available to the municipality or county or its officers or employees, nor shall this section be construed to waive, repeal, or modify any provision of Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(e) For the purposes of this section, a court may submit to the juvenile probation department a list of organizations or projects approved by the court for community service. The juvenile probation department may:

(1) designate an organization or project for community service only from the list submitted by the court; and

(2) reassign or transfer a child to a different organization or project on the list submitted by the court under this subsection without court approval.

(f) A person subject to an order proposed under Subsection (a) or (b) is entitled to a hearing on the order before the order is entered by the court.

(g) On a finding by the court that a child's parents or guardians have made a reasonable good faith effort to prevent the child from engaging in delinquent conduct or engaging in conduct indicating a need for supervision and that, despite the parents' or guardians' efforts, the child continues to engage in such conduct, the court shall waive any requirement for community service that may be imposed on a parent under this section.

(h) An order made under this section may be enforced as provided by Section 54.07.

(i) In a disposition hearing under Section 54.04 in which the court finds that a child engaged in conduct violating Section 521.453, Transportation Code, the court, in addition to any other order authorized under this title and if the court is located in a municipality or county that has established a community service program, may order the child to perform eight hours of community service as a condition of probation under Section 54.04(d) unless the child is shown to have previously engaged in conduct violating Section 521.453, Transportation Code, in which case the court may order the child to perform 12 hours of community service.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 41, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1358, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 54.045: Admission of Unadjudicated Conduct

(a) During a disposition hearing under Section 54.04, a child may:

(1) admit having engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision for which the child has not been adjudicated; and

(2) request the court to take the admitted conduct into account in the disposition of the child.

(b) If the prosecuting attorney agrees in writing, the court may take the admitted conduct into account in the disposition of the child.

(c) A court may take into account admitted conduct over which exclusive venue lies in another county only if the court obtains the written permission of the prosecuting attorney for that county.

(d) A child may not be adjudicated by any court for having engaged in conduct taken into account under this section, except that, if the conduct taken into account included conduct over which exclusive venue lies in another county and the written permission of the prosecuting attorney of that county was not obtained, the child may be adjudicated for that conduct, but the child's admission under this section may not be used against the child in the adjudication.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 41, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 54.046: Conditions of Probation for Damaging Property with Graffiti

(a) If a juvenile court places on probation under Section 54.04(d) a child adjudicated as having engaged in conduct in violation of Section 28.08, Penal Code, in addition to other conditions of probation, the court:

(1) shall order the child to:

(A) reimburse the owner of the property for the cost of restoring the property; or

(B) with consent of the owner of the property, restore the property by removing or painting over any markings made by the child on the property; and

(2) if the child made markings on public property, a street sign, or an official traffic-control device in violation of Section 28.08, Penal Code, shall order the child to:

(A) make to the political subdivision that owns the public property or erected the street sign or official traffic-control device restitution in an amount equal to the lesser of the cost to the political subdivision of replacing or restoring the public property, street sign, or official traffic-control device; or

(B) with the consent of the political subdivision, restore the public property, street sign, or official traffic-control device by removing or painting over any markings made by the child on the property, sign, or device.

(a-1) For purposes of Subsection (a), "official traffic-control device" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.304, Transportation Code.

(b) In addition to a condition imposed under Subsection (a), the court may require the child as a condition of probation to attend a class with instruction in self-responsibility and empathy for a victim of an offense conducted by a local juvenile probation department.

(c) If a juvenile court orders a child to make restitution under Subsection (a) and the child, child's parent, or other person responsible for the child's support is financially unable to make the restitution, the court may order the child to perform a specific number of hours of community service, in addition to the hours required under Subsection (d), to satisfy the restitution.

(d) If a juvenile court places on probation under Section 54.04(d) a child adjudicated as having engaged in conduct in violation of Section 28.08, Penal Code, in addition to other conditions of probation, the court shall order the child to perform:

(1) at least 15 hours of community service if the amount of pecuniary loss resulting from the conduct is $50 or more but less than $500; or

(2) at least 30 hours of community service if the amount of pecuniary loss resulting from the conduct is $500 or more.

(e) The juvenile court shall direct a child ordered to make restitution under this section to deliver the amount or property due as restitution to a juvenile probation department for transfer to the owner. The juvenile probation department shall notify the juvenile court when the child has delivered the full amount of restitution ordered.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 593, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1053 (H.B. 2151), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (H.B. 1633), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 54.0461: Payment of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Fees

(a) If a child is adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct that violates Section 28.08, Penal Code, the juvenile court shall order the child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support to pay to the court a $50 juvenile delinquency prevention fee as a cost of court.

(b) The court shall deposit fees received under this section to the credit of the county juvenile delinquency prevention fund provided for under Article 102.0171, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) If the court finds that a child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support is unable to pay the juvenile delinquency prevention fee required under Subsection (a), the court shall enter into the child's case records a statement of that finding. The court may waive a fee under this section only if the court makes the finding under this subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 174, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 601, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1053 (H.B. 2151), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 54.0462: Payment of Fees for Offenses Requiring Dna Testing

(a) If a child is adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct that constitutes the commission of a felony and the provision of a DNA sample is required under Section 54.0409 or other law, the juvenile court shall order the child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support to pay to the court as a cost of court:

(1) a $50 fee if the disposition of the case includes a commitment to a facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(2) a $34 fee if the disposition of the case does not include a commitment described by Subdivision (1) and the child is required to submit a DNA sample under Section 54.0409 or other law.

(b) The clerk of the court shall transfer to the comptroller any funds received under this section. The comptroller shall credit the funds to the Department of Public Safety to help defray the cost of any analyses performed on DNA samples provided by children with respect to whom a court cost is collected under this section.

(c) If the court finds that a child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support is unable to pay the fee required under Subsection (a), the court shall enter into the child's case records a statement of that finding. The court may waive a fee under this section only if the court makes the finding under this subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1209 (S.B. 727), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 52, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.047: Alcohol Or Drug Related Offense

(a) If the court or jury finds at an adjudication hearing for a child that the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that constitutes a violation of Section 481.115, 481.1151, 481.116, 481.1161, 481.117, 481.118, or 481.121, Health and Safety Code, the court may order that the child attend a drug education program that is designed to educate persons on the dangers of drug abuse and is approved by the Department of State Health Services in accordance with Section 521.374, Transportation Code.

(b) If the court or jury finds at an adjudication hearing for a child that the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates the alcohol-related offenses in Section 106.02, 106.025, 106.04, 106.041, 106.05, or 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, or Section 49.02, Penal Code, the court may order that the child attend an alcohol awareness program described by Section 106.115, Alcoholic Beverage Code.

(c) The court shall, in addition to any order described by Subsection (a) or (b), order that, in the manner provided by Section 106.071(d), Alcoholic Beverage Code:

(1) the child perform community service; and

(2) the child's driver's license or permit be suspended or that the child be denied issuance of a driver's license or permit.

(d) An order under this section:

(1) is subject to a finding under Section 54.04(c); and

(2) may be issued in addition to any other order authorized by this title.

(e) The Department of State Health Services:

(1) is responsible for the administration of the certification of drug education programs;

(2) may charge a nonrefundable application fee for:

(A) initial certification of approval; or

(B) renewal of the certification;

(3) shall adopt rules regarding drug education programs approved under this section; and

(4) shall monitor and provide training to a person who provides a drug education program.

(f) If the court orders a child under Subsection (a) or (b) to attend a drug education program or alcohol awareness program, unless the court determines that the parent or guardian of the child is indigent and unable to pay the cost, the court shall require the child's parent or a guardian of the child to pay the cost of attending the program. The court shall allow the child's parent or guardian to pay the cost of attending the program in installments.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 54.046 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(19), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1004 (H.B. 642), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.048: Restitution

(a) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04, may order restitution to be made by the child and the child's parents.

(b) This section applies without regard to whether the petition in the case contains a plea for restitution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 54.0481: Restitution for Damaging Property with Graffiti

(a) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04 regarding a child who has been adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct that violates Section 28.08, Penal Code:

(1) may order the child or a parent or other person responsible for the child's support to make restitution by:

(A) reimbursing the owner of the property for the cost of restoring the property; or

(B) with the consent of the owner of the property, personally restoring the property by removing or painting over any markings the child made; and

(2) if the child made markings on public property, a street sign, or an official traffic-control device in violation of Section 28.08, Penal Code, may order the child or a parent or other person responsible for the child's support to:

(A) make to the political subdivision that owns the public property or erected the street sign or official traffic-control device restitution in an amount equal to the lesser of the cost to the political subdivision of replacing or restoring the public property, street sign, or official traffic-control device; or

(B) with the consent of the political subdivision, restore the public property, street sign, or official traffic-control device by removing or painting over any markings made by the child on the property, sign, or device.

(b) If a juvenile court orders a child to make restitution under Subsection (a) and the child, child's parent, or other person responsible for the child's support is financially unable to make the restitution, the court may order the child to perform a specific number of hours of community service to satisfy the restitution.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (a), "official traffic-control device" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.304, Transportation Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1053 (H.B. 2151), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 54.0482: Treatment of Restitution Payments

(a) A juvenile probation department that receives a payment to a victim as the result of a juvenile court order for restitution shall immediately:

(1) deposit the payment in an interest-bearing account in the county treasury; and

(2) notify the victim that a payment has been received.

(b) The juvenile probation department shall promptly remit the payment to a victim who has been notified under Subsection (a) and makes a claim for payment.

(b-1) If the victim does not make a claim for payment on or before the 30th day after the date of being notified under Subsection (a), the juvenile probation department shall notify the victim by certified mail, sent to the last known address of the victim, that a payment has been received.

(c) On or before the fifth anniversary of the date the juvenile probation department receives a payment for a victim that is not claimed by the victim, the department shall make and document a good faith effort to locate and notify the victim that an unclaimed payment exists, including:

(1) confirming, if possible, the victim's most recent address with the Department of Public Safety; and

(2) making at least one additional certified mailing to the victim.

(d) A juvenile probation department satisfies the good faith requirement under Subsection (c) by sending by certified mail to the victim, during the period the child is required by the juvenile court order to make payments to the victim, a notice that the victim is entitled to an unclaimed payment.

(e) If a victim claims a payment on or before the fifth anniversary of the date on which the juvenile probation department mailed a notice to the victim under Subsection (b-1), the juvenile probation department shall pay the victim the amount of the original payment, less any interest earned while holding the payment.

(f) If a victim does not claim a payment on or before the fifth anniversary of the date on which the juvenile probation department mailed a notice to the victim under Subsection (b-1), the department:

(1) has no liability to the victim or anyone else in relation to the payment; and

(2) shall transfer the payment from the interest-bearing account to a special fund of the county treasury, the unclaimed juvenile restitution fund.

(g) The county may spend money in the unclaimed juvenile restitution fund only for the same purposes for which the county may spend juvenile state aid.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2007.

Renumbered from Family Code, Section 54.0481 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.001(14), eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 54.049: Conditions of Probation for Desecrating a Cemetery Or Abusing a Corpse

(a) If a juvenile court places on probation under Section 54.04(d) a child adjudicated to have engaged in conduct in violation of Section 28.03(f), Penal Code, involving damage or destruction inflicted on a place of human burial or under Section 42.08, Penal Code, in addition to other conditions of probation, the court shall order the child to make restitution to a cemetery organization operating a cemetery affected by the conduct in an amount equal to the cost to the cemetery of repairing any damage caused by the conduct.

(b) If a juvenile court orders a child to make restitution under Subsection (a) and the child is financially unable to make the restitution, the court may order:

(1) the child to perform a specific number of hours of community service to satisfy the restitution; or

(2) a parent or other person responsible for the child's support to make the restitution in the amount described by Subsection (a).

(c) In this section, "cemetery" and "cemetery organization" have the meanings assigned by Section 711.001, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1025 (H.B. 1012), Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 2005.

Sec. 54.0491: Gang-Related Conduct

(a) In this section:

(1) "Criminal street gang" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.01, Penal Code.

(2) "Gang-related conduct" means conduct that violates a penal law of the grade of Class B misdemeanor or higher and in which a child engages with the intent to:

(A) further the criminal activities of a criminal street gang of which the child is a member;

(B) gain membership in a criminal street gang; or

(C) avoid detection as a member of a criminal street gang.

(b) A juvenile court, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04 regarding a child who has been adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct that is also gang-related conduct, shall order the child to participate in a criminal street gang intervention program that is appropriate for the child based on the child's level of involvement in the criminal activities of a criminal street gang. The intervention program:

(1) must include at least 12 hours of instruction; and

(2) may include voluntary tattoo removal.

(c) If a child required to attend a criminal street gang intervention program is committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as a result of the gang-related conduct, the child must complete the intervention program before being discharged from the custody of or released under supervision by the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1130 (H.B. 2086), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 53, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.05: Hearing to Modify Disposition

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (a-1), any disposition, except a commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, may be modified by the juvenile court as provided in this section until:

(1) the child reaches:

(A) the child's 18th birthday; or

(B) the child's 19th birthday, if the child was placed on determinate sentence probation under Section 54.04(q); or

(2) the child is earlier discharged by the court or operation of law.

(a-1) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 , Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

(b) Except for a commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or to a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Section 54.04011 or a placement on determinate sentence probation under Section 54.04(q), all dispositions automatically terminate when the child reaches the child's 18th birthday.

(c) There is no right to a jury at a hearing to modify disposition.

(d) A hearing to modify disposition shall be held on the petition of the child and his parent, guardian, guardian ad litem, or attorney, or on the petition of the state, a probation officer, or the court itself. Reasonable notice of a hearing to modify disposition shall be given to all parties.

(e) After the hearing on the merits or facts, the court may consider written reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of other witnesses. On or before the second day before the date of the hearing to modify disposition, the court shall provide the attorney for the child and the prosecuting attorney with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in deciding whether to modify disposition. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the child or his parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (j), a disposition based on a finding that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of this state or the United States of the grade of felony may be modified so as to commit the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or, if applicable, a post-adjudication secure correctional facility operated under Section 152.0016, Human Resources Code, if the court after a hearing to modify disposition finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the child violated a reasonable and lawful order of the court. A disposition based on a finding that the child engaged in habitual felony conduct as described by Section 51.031 or in delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045(a) may be modified to commit the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or, if applicable, a post-adjudication secure correctional facility operated under Section 152.0016, Human Resources Code, with a possible transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a definite term prescribed by, as applicable, Section 54.04(d)(3) or Section 152.0016(g), Human Resources Code, if the original petition was approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045 and if after a hearing to modify the disposition the court finds that the child violated a reasonable and lawful order of the court.

(g) Except as provided by Subsection (j), a disposition based solely on a finding that the child engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision may not be modified to commit the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. A new finding in compliance with Section 54.03 must be made that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that meets the requirements for commitment under Section 54.04.

(h) A hearing shall be held prior to placement in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility for a period longer than 30 days or commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as a modified disposition. In other disposition modifications, the child and the child's parent, guardian, guardian ad litem, or attorney may waive hearing in accordance with Section 51.09.

(i) The court shall specifically state in the order its reasons for modifying the disposition and shall furnish a copy of the order to the child.

(j) If, after conducting a hearing to modify disposition without a jury, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a child violated a reasonable and lawful condition of probation ordered under Section 54.04(q), the court may modify the disposition to commit the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 54.04(d)(3) or, if applicable, a post-adjudication secure correctional facility operated under Section 152.0016, Human Resources Code, for a term that does not exceed the original sentence assessed by the court or jury.

(k) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263, Sec. 64(2), eff. June 8, 2007.

(l) The court may extend a period of probation under this section at any time during the period of probation or, if a motion for revocation or modification of probation is filed before the period of supervision ends, before the first anniversary of the date on which the period of probation expires.

(m) If the court places the child on probation outside the child's home or commits the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or to a post-adjudication secure correctional facility operated under Section 152.0016, Human Resources Code, the court:

(1) shall include in the court's order a determination that:

(A) it is in the child's best interests to be placed outside the child's home;

(B) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child's removal from the child's home and to make it possible for the child to return home; and

(C) the child, in the child's home, cannot be provided the quality of care and level of support and supervision that the child needs to meet the conditions of probation; and

(2) may approve an administrative body to conduct a permanency hearing pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 675 if required during the placement or commitment of the child.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1829, ch. 743, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 162, ch. 44, art. 1, Sec. 4, eff. April 26, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 45, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 557, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 42, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1448, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 5.002, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 9, eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 64(2), eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1098 (S.B. 1489), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1323 (S.B. 511), Sec. 4, eff. December 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 54, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 935 (H.B. 2398), Sec. 41(3), eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 54.051: Transfer of Determinate Sentence Probation to Appropriate District Court

(a) On motion of the state concerning a child who is placed on probation under Section 54.04(q) for a period, including any extension ordered under Section 54.05, that will continue after the child's 19th birthday, the juvenile court shall hold a hearing to determine whether to transfer the child to an appropriate district court or discharge the child from the sentence of probation.

(b) The hearing must be conducted before the person's 19th birthday, or before the person's 18th birthday if the offense for which the person was placed on probation occurred before September 1, 2011, and must be conducted in the same manner as a hearing to modify disposition under Section 54.05.

(c) If, after a hearing, the court determines to discharge the child, the court shall specify a date on or before the child's 19th birthday to discharge the child from the sentence of probation.

(d) If, after a hearing, the court determines to transfer the child, the court shall transfer the child to an appropriate district court on the child's 19th birthday.

(d-1) After a transfer to district court under Subsection (d), only the petition, the grand jury approval, the judgment concerning the conduct for which the person was placed on determinate sentence probation, and the transfer order are a part of the district clerk's public record.

(e) A district court that exercises jurisdiction over a person transferred under Subsection (d) shall place the person on community supervision under Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure, for the remainder of the person's probationary period and under conditions consistent with those ordered by the juvenile court.

(e-1) The restrictions on a judge placing a defendant on community supervision imposed by Article 42A.054, Code of Criminal Procedure, do not apply to a case transferred from the juvenile court. The minimum period of community supervision imposed by Article 42A.053(d), Code of Criminal Procedure, does not apply to a case transferred from the juvenile court.

(e-2) If a person who is placed on community supervision under this section violates a condition of that supervision or if the person violated a condition of probation ordered under Section 54.04(q) and that probation violation was not discovered by the state before the person's 19th birthday, the district court shall dispose of the violation of community supervision or probation, as appropriate, in the same manner as if the court had originally exercised jurisdiction over the case. If the judge revokes community supervision, the judge may reduce the prison sentence to any length without regard to the minimum term imposed by Article 42A.755(a), Code of Criminal Procedure.

(e-3) The time that a person serves on probation ordered under Section 54.04(q) is the same as time served on community supervision ordered under this section for purposes of determining the person's eligibility for early discharge from community supervision under Article 42A.701, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(f) The juvenile court may transfer a child to an appropriate district court as provided by this section without a showing that the child violated a condition of probation ordered under Section 54.04(q).

(g) If the juvenile court places the child on probation for an offense for which registration as a sex offender is required by Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, and defers the registration requirement until completion of treatment for the sex offense under Subchapter H, Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, the authority under that article to reexamine the need for registration on completion of treatment is transferred to the court to which probation is transferred.

(h) If the juvenile court places the child on probation for an offense for which registration as a sex offender is required by Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the child registers, the authority of the court to excuse further compliance with the registration requirement under Subchapter H, Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, is transferred to the court to which probation is transferred.

(i) If the juvenile court exercises jurisdiction over a person who is 18 or 19 years of age or older, as applicable, under Section 51.041 or 51.0412, the court or jury may, if the person is otherwise eligible, place the person on probation under Section 54.04(q). The juvenile court shall set the conditions of probation and immediately transfer supervision of the person to the appropriate court exercising criminal jurisdiction under Subsection (e).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1008 (H.B. 867), Sec. 2.07, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 1208), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.33, eff. January 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.052: Credit for Time Spent in Detention Facility for Child with Determinate Sentence

(a) This section applies only to a child who is committed to:

(1) the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under a determinate sentence under Section 54.04(d)(3) or (m) or Section 54.05(f); or

(2) a post-adjudication secure correctional facility under a determinate sentence under Section 54.04011(c)(2).

(b) The judge of the court in which a child is adjudicated shall give the child credit on the child's sentence for the time spent by the child, in connection with the conduct for which the child was adjudicated, in a secure detention facility before the child's transfer to a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility or a post-adjudication secure correctional facility, as applicable.

(c) If a child appeals the child's adjudication and is retained in a secure detention facility pending the appeal, the judge of the court in which the child was adjudicated shall give the child credit on the child's sentence for the time spent by the child in a secure detention facility pending disposition of the child's appeal. The court shall endorse on both the commitment and the mandate from the appellate court all credit given the child under this subsection.

(d) The Texas Juvenile Justice Department or the juvenile board or local juvenile probation department operating or contracting for the operation of the post-adjudication secure correctional facility under Section 152.0016, Human Resources Code, as applicable, shall grant any credit under this section in computing the child's eligibility for parole and discharge.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263 (S.B. 103), Sec. 10, eff. June 8, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1323 (S.B. 511), Sec. 5, eff. December 1, 2013.

Sec. 54.06: Judgments for Support

(a) At any stage of the proceeding, when a child has been placed outside the child's home, the juvenile court, after giving the parent or other person responsible for the child's support a reasonable opportunity to be heard, shall order the parent or other person to pay in a manner directed by the court a reasonable sum for the support in whole or in part of the child or the court shall waive the payment by order. The court shall order that the payment for support be made to the local juvenile probation department to be used only for residential care and other support for the child unless the child has been committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, in which case the court shall order that the payment be made to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for deposit in a special account in the general revenue fund that may be appropriated only for the care of children committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

(b) At any stage of the proceeding, when a child has been placed outside the child's home and the parent of the child is obligated to pay support for the child under a court order under Title 5, the juvenile court shall order that the person entitled to receive the support assign the person's right to support for the child placed outside the child's home to the local juvenile probation department to be used for residential care and other support for the child unless the child has been committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, in which event the court shall order that the assignment be made to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

(c) A court may enforce an order for support under this section by ordering garnishment of the wages of the person ordered to pay support or by any other means available to enforce a child support order under Title 5.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 61(1).

(e) The court shall apply the child support guidelines under Subchapter C, Chapter 154, in an order requiring the payment of child support under this section. The court shall also require in an order to pay child support under this section that health insurance and dental insurance be provided for the child. Subchapter D, Chapter 154, applies to an order requiring health insurance and dental insurance for a child under this section.

(f) An order under this section prevails over any previous child support order issued with regard to the child to the extent of any conflict between the orders.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 163, ch. 44, art. 1, Sec. 5, eff. April 26, 1983; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 798, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 1048, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 43, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 61(1), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 734 (H.B. 1549), Sec. 55, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1150 (S.B. 550), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2018.

Sec. 54.061: Payment of Probation Fees

(a) If a child is placed on probation under Section 54.04(d)(1) of this code, the juvenile court, after giving the child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support a reasonable opportunity to be heard, shall order the child, parent, or other person, if financially able to do so, to pay to the court a fee of not more than $15 a month during the period that the child continues on probation.

(b) Orders for the payment of fees under this section may be enforced as provided by Section 54.07 of this code.

(c) The court shall deposit the fees received under this section in the county treasury to the credit of a special fund that may be used only for juvenile probation or community-based juvenile corrections services or facilities in which a juvenile may be required to live while under court supervision.

(d) If the court finds that a child, parent, or other person responsible for the child's support is financially unable to pay the probation fee required under Subsection (a), the court shall enter into the records of the child's case a statement of that finding. The court may waive a fee under this section only if the court makes the finding under this subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 338, ch. 154, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2425, ch. 617, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 44, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 54.07: Enforcement of Order

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) or a juvenile court child support order, any order of the juvenile court may be enforced as provided by Chapter 61.

(b) A violation of any of the following orders of the juvenile court may not be enforced by contempt of court proceedings against the child:

(1) an order setting conditions of probation;

(2) an order setting conditions of deferred prosecution; and

(3) an order setting conditions of release from detention.

(c) This section and Chapter 61 do not preclude a juvenile court from summarily finding a child or other person in direct contempt of the juvenile court for conduct occurring in the presence of the judge of the court. Direct contempt of the juvenile court by a child is punishable by a maximum of 10 days' confinement in a secure juvenile detention facility or by a maximum of 40 hours of community service, or both. The juvenile court may not impose a fine on a child for direct contempt.

(d) This section and Chapter 61 do not preclude a juvenile court in an appropriate case from using a civil or coercive contempt proceeding to enforce an order.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 339, ch. 154, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 54.08: Public Access to Court Hearings

(a) Except as provided by this section, the court shall open hearings under this title to the public unless the court, for good cause shown, determines that the public should be excluded.

(b) The court may not prohibit a person who is a victim of the conduct of a child, or the person's family, from personally attending a hearing under this title relating to the conduct by the child unless the victim or member of the victim's family is to testify in the hearing or any subsequent hearing relating to the conduct and the court determines that the victim's or family member's testimony would be materially affected if the victim or member of the victim's family hears other testimony at trial.

(c) If a child is under the age of 14 at the time of the hearing, the court shall close the hearing to the public unless the court finds that the interests of the child or the interests of the public would be better served by opening the hearing to the public.

(d) In this section, "family" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 45, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 54.09: Recording of Proceedings

All judicial proceedings under this chapter except detention hearings shall be recorded by stenographic notes or by electronic, mechanical, or other appropriate means. Upon request of any party, a detention hearing shall be recorded.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973.

Sec. 54.10: Hearings Before Referee

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a hearing under Section 54.03, 54.04, or 54.05, including a jury trial, a hearing under Chapter 55, including a jury trial, or a hearing under the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (Chapter 60) may be held by a referee appointed in accordance with Section 51.04(g) or an associate judge appointed under Chapter 54A, Government Code, provided:

(1) the parties have been informed by the referee or associate judge that they are entitled to have the hearing before the juvenile court judge; and

(2) after each party is given an opportunity to object, no party objects to holding the hearing before the referee or associate judge.

(b) The determination under Section 53.02(f) whether to release a child may be made by a referee appointed in accordance with Section 51.04(g) if:

(1) the child has been informed by the referee that the child is entitled to have the determination made by the juvenile court judge or a substitute judge authorized by Section 51.04(f); or

(2) the child and the attorney for the child have in accordance with Section 51.09 waived the right to have the determination made by the juvenile court judge or a substitute judge.

(c) If a child objects to a referee making the determination under Section 53.02(f), the juvenile court judge or a substitute judge authorized by Section 51.04(f) shall make the determination.

(d) At the conclusion of the hearing or immediately after making the determination, the referee shall transmit written findings and recommendations to the juvenile court judge. The juvenile court judge shall adopt, modify, or reject the referee's recommendations not later than the next working day after the day that the judge receives the recommendations. Failure to act within that time results in release of the child by operation of law and a recommendation that the child be released operates to secure the child's immediate release subject to the power of the juvenile court judge to modify or reject that recommendation.

(e) Except as provided by Subsection (f), the hearings provided by Sections 54.03, 54.04, and 54.05 may not be held before a referee if the grand jury has approved of the petition and the child is subject to a determinate sentence.

(f) When the state and a child who is subject to a determinate sentence agree to the disposition of the case, wholly or partly, a referee or associate judge may hold a hearing for the purpose of allowing the child to enter a plea or stipulation of evidence. After the hearing under this subsection, the referee or associate judge shall transmit the referee's or associate judge's written findings and recommendations regarding the plea or stipulation of evidence to the juvenile court judge for consideration. The juvenile court judge may accept or reject the plea or stipulation of evidence in accordance with Section 54.03(j).

Comments

Added by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2157, ch. 693, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1830, ch. 743, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 74, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 232, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1007 (H.B. 706), Sec. 2.03.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 6.08, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 981 (H.B. 678), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 54.11: Release Or Transfer Hearing

(a) On receipt of a referral under Section 244.014(a), Human Resources Code, for the transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice of a person committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), on receipt of a request by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 245.051(d), Human Resources Code, for approval of the release under supervision of a person committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f), or on receipt of a referral under Section 152.0016(g) or (j), Human Resources Code, the court shall set a time and place for a hearing on the possible transfer or release of the person, as applicable.

(b) The court shall notify the following of the time and place of the hearing:

(1) the person to be transferred or released under supervision;

(2) the parents of the person;

(3) any legal custodian of the person, including the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or a juvenile board or local juvenile probation department if the child is committed to a post-adjudication secure correctional facility;

(4) the office of the prosecuting attorney that represented the state in the juvenile delinquency proceedings;

(5) the victim of the offense that was included in the delinquent conduct that was a ground for the disposition, or a member of the victim's family; and

(6) any other person who has filed a written request with the court to be notified of a release hearing with respect to the person to be transferred or released under supervision.

(c) Except for the person to be transferred or released under supervision and the prosecuting attorney, the failure to notify a person listed in Subsection (b) of this section does not affect the validity of a hearing conducted or determination made under this section if the record in the case reflects that the whereabouts of the persons who did not receive notice were unknown to the court and a reasonable effort was made by the court to locate those persons.

(d) At a hearing under this section the court may consider written reports and supporting documents from probation officers, professional court employees, professional consultants, employees of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, or employees of a post-adjudication secure correctional facility in addition to the testimony of witnesses. On or before the fifth day before the date of the hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the person to be transferred or released under supervision with access to all written matter to be considered by the court. All written matter is admissible in evidence at the hearing.

(e) At the hearing, the person to be transferred or released under supervision is entitled to an attorney, to examine all witnesses against him, to present evidence and oral argument, and to previous examination of all reports on and evaluations and examinations of or relating to him that may be used in the hearing.

(f) A hearing under this section is open to the public unless the person to be transferred or released under supervision waives a public hearing with the consent of his attorney and the court.

(g) A hearing under this section must be recorded by a court reporter or by audio or video tape recording, and the record of the hearing must be retained by the court for at least two years after the date of the final determination on the transfer or release of the person by the court.

(h) The hearing on a person who is referred for transfer under Section 152.0016(j) or 244.014(a), Human Resources Code, shall be held not later than the 60th day after the date the court receives the referral.

(i) On conclusion of the hearing on a person who is referred for transfer under Section 152.0016(j) or 244.014(a), Human Resources Code, the court may, as applicable, order:

(1) the return of the person to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or post-adjudication secure correctional facility; or

(2) the transfer of the person to the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the completion of the person's sentence.

(j) On conclusion of the hearing on a person who is referred for release under supervision under Section 152.0016(g) or 245.051(c), Human Resources Code, the court may, as applicable, order the return of the person to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or post-adjudication secure correctional facility:

(1) with approval for the release of the person under supervision; or

(2) without approval for the release of the person under supervision.

(k) In making a determination under this section, the court may consider the experiences and character of the person before and after commitment to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or post-adjudication secure correctional facility, the nature of the penal offense that the person was found to have committed and the manner in which the offense was committed, the abilities of the person to contribute to society, the protection of the victim of the offense or any member of the victim's family, the recommendations of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, county juvenile board, local juvenile probation department, and prosecuting attorney, the best interests of the person, and any other factor relevant to the issue to be decided.

(l) Pending the conclusion of a transfer hearing, the juvenile court shall order that the person who is referred for transfer be detained in a certified juvenile detention facility as provided by Subsection (m). If the person is at least 17 years of age, the juvenile court may order that the person be detained without bond in an appropriate county facility for the detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(m) The detention of a person in a certified juvenile detention facility must comply with the detention requirements under this title, except that, to the extent practicable, the person must be kept separate from children detained in the same facility.

(n) If the juvenile court orders that a person who is referred for transfer be detained in a county facility under Subsection (l), the county sheriff shall take custody of the person under the juvenile court's order.

(o) In this section, "post-adjudication secure correctional facility" has the meaning assigned by Section 54.04011.

Comments

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 574, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 46, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 25.058, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 653), Sec. 3.007, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1299 (H.B. 2862), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1323 (S.B. 511), Sec. 6, eff. December 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 854 (S.B. 1149), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 55

Subchapter A

Sec. 55.01: Meaning of "Having a Mental Illness"

For purposes of this chapter, a child who is described as having a mental illness means a child with a mental illness as defined by Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.002, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.02: Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Jurisdiction

For the purpose of initiating proceedings to order mental health or intellectual disability services for a child or for commitment of a child as provided by this chapter, the juvenile court has jurisdiction of proceedings under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.003, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.03: Standards of Care

(a) Except as provided by this chapter, a child for whom inpatient mental health services is ordered by a court under this chapter shall be cared for as provided by Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

(b) Except as provided by this chapter, a child who is committed by a court to a residential care facility due to an intellectual disability shall be cared for as provided by Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.004, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter B

Sec. 55.11: Mental Illness Determination; Examination

(a) On a motion by a party, the juvenile court shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a child who is alleged by petition or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision has a mental illness. In making its determination, the court may:

(1) consider the motion, supporting documents, professional statements of counsel, and witness testimony; and

(2) make its own observation of the child.

(b) If the court determines that probable cause exists to believe that the child has a mental illness, the court shall temporarily stay the juvenile court proceedings and immediately order the child to be examined under Section 51.20. The information obtained from the examination must include expert opinion as to whether the child has a mental illness and whether the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code. If ordered by the court, the information must also include expert opinion as to whether the child is unfit to proceed with the juvenile court proceedings.

(c) After considering all relevant information, including information obtained from an examination under Section 51.20, the court shall:

(1) if the court determines that evidence exists to support a finding that the child has a mental illness and that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, proceed under Section 55.12; or

(2) if the court determines that evidence does not exist to support a finding that the child has a mental illness or that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, dissolve the stay and continue the juvenile court proceedings.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.12: Initiation of Commitment Proceedings

If, after considering all relevant information, the juvenile court determines that evidence exists to support a finding that a child has a mental illness and that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the court shall:

(1) initiate proceedings as provided by Section 55.13 to order temporary or extended mental health services, as provided in Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code; or

(2) refer the child's case as provided by Section 55.14 to the appropriate court for the initiation of proceedings in that court for commitment of the child under Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.02(a) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.13: Commitment Proceedings in Juvenile Court

(a) If the juvenile court initiates proceedings for temporary or extended mental health services under Section 55.12(1), the prosecuting attorney or the attorney for the child may file with the juvenile court an application for court-ordered mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code. The juvenile court shall:

(1) set a date for a hearing and provide notice as required by Sections 574.005 and 574.006, Health and Safety Code; and

(2) conduct the hearing in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code.

(b) The burden of proof at the hearing is on the party who filed the application.

(c) The juvenile court shall appoint the number of physicians necessary to examine the child and to complete the certificates of medical examination for mental illness required under Section 574.009, Health and Safety Code.

(d) After conducting a hearing on an application under this section, the juvenile court shall:

(1) if the criteria under Section 574.034 or 574.0345, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order temporary mental health services for the child; or

(2) if the criteria under Section 574.035 or 574.0355, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order extended mental health services for the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 582 (S.B. 362), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 55.14: Referral for Commitment Proceedings

(a) If the juvenile court refers the child's case to the appropriate court for the initiation of commitment proceedings under Section 55.12(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) send all papers relating to the child's mental illness to the clerk of the court to which the case is referred;

(2) send to the office of the appropriate county attorney or, if a county attorney is not available, to the office of the appropriate district attorney, copies of all papers sent to the clerk of the court under Subdivision (1); and

(3) if the child is in detention:

(A) order the child released from detention to the child's home or another appropriate place;

(B) order the child detained in an appropriate place other than a juvenile detention facility; or

(C) if an appropriate place to release or detain the child as described by Paragraph (A) or (B) is not available, order the child to remain in the juvenile detention facility subject to further detention orders of the court.

(b) The papers sent to the clerk of a court under Subsection (a)(1) constitute an application for mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.15: Standards of Care; Expiration of Court Order for Mental Health Services

If the juvenile court or a court to which the child's case is referred under Section 55.12(2) orders mental health services for the child, the child shall be cared for, treated, and released in conformity to Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, except:

(1) a court order for mental health services for a child automatically expires on the 120th day after the date the child becomes 18 years of age; and

(2) the administrator of a mental health facility shall notify, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the juvenile court that ordered mental health services or the juvenile court that referred the case to a court that ordered the mental health services of the intent to discharge the child at least 10 days prior to discharge.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2157, ch. 693, Sec. 20 and 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.02(c) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.16: Order for Mental Health Services; Stay of Proceedings

(a) If the court to which the child's case is referred under Section 55.12(2) orders temporary or extended inpatient mental health services for the child, the court shall immediately notify in writing the referring juvenile court of the court's order for mental health services.

(b) If the juvenile court orders temporary or extended inpatient mental health services for the child or if the juvenile court receives notice under Subsection (a) from the court to which the child's case is referred, the proceedings under this title then pending in juvenile court shall be stayed.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.02(d) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.17: Mental Health Services Not Ordered; Dissolution of Stay

(a) If the court to which a child's case is referred under Section 55.12(2) does not order temporary or extended inpatient mental health services for the child, the court shall immediately notify in writing the referring juvenile court of the court's decision.

(b) If the juvenile court does not order temporary or extended inpatient mental health services for the child or if the juvenile court receives notice under Subsection (a) from the court to which the child's case is referred, the juvenile court shall dissolve the stay and continue the juvenile court proceedings.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.18: Discharge from Mental Health Facility Before Reaching 18 Years of Age

If the child is discharged from the mental health facility before reaching 18 years of age, the juvenile court may:

(1) dismiss the juvenile court proceedings with prejudice; or

(2) continue with proceedings under this title as though no order of mental health services had been made.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.02(e) by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.19: Transfer to Criminal Court on 18th Birthday

(a) The juvenile court shall transfer all pending proceedings from the juvenile court to a criminal court on the 18th birthday of a child for whom the juvenile court or a court to which the child's case is referred under Section 55.12(2) has ordered inpatient mental health services if:

(1) the child is not discharged or furloughed from the inpatient mental health facility before reaching 18 years of age; and

(2) the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045 and no adjudication concerning the alleged conduct has been made.

(b) The juvenile court shall send notification of the transfer of a child under Subsection (a) to the inpatient mental health facility. The criminal court shall, within 90 days of the transfer, institute proceedings under Chapter 46B, Code of Criminal Procedure. If those or any subsequent proceedings result in a determination that the defendant is competent to stand trial, the defendant may not receive a punishment for the delinquent conduct described by Subsection (a)(2) that results in confinement for a period longer than the maximum period of confinement the defendant could have received if the defendant had been adjudicated for the delinquent conduct while still a child and within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Sec. 55.02(f) and (g) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 35, Sec. 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Subchapter C

Sec. 55.31: Unfitness to Proceed Determination; Examination

(a) A child alleged by petition or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision who as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability lacks capacity to understand the proceedings in juvenile court or to assist in the child's own defense is unfit to proceed and shall not be subjected to discretionary transfer to criminal court, adjudication, disposition, or modification of disposition as long as such incapacity endures.

(b) On a motion by a party, the juvenile court shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a child who is alleged by petition or who is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability. In making its determination, the court may:

(1) consider the motion, supporting documents, professional statements of counsel, and witness testimony; and

(2) make its own observation of the child.

(c) If the court determines that probable cause exists to believe that the child is unfit to proceed, the court shall temporarily stay the juvenile court proceedings and immediately order the child to be examined under Section 51.20. The information obtained from the examination must include expert opinion as to whether the child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability.

(d) After considering all relevant information, including information obtained from an examination under Section 51.20, the court shall:

(1) if the court determines that evidence exists to support a finding that the child is unfit to proceed, proceed under Section 55.32; or

(2) if the court determines that evidence does not exist to support a finding that the child is unfit to proceed, dissolve the stay and continue the juvenile court proceedings.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.04(a) and (b) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.006, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.32: Hearing on Issue of Fitness to Proceed

(a) If the juvenile court determines that evidence exists to support a finding that a child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability, the court shall set the case for a hearing on that issue.

(b) The issue of whether the child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability shall be determined at a hearing separate from any other hearing.

(c) The court shall determine the issue of whether the child is unfit to proceed unless the child or the attorney for the child demands a jury before the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

(d) Unfitness to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

(e) If the court or jury determines that the child is fit to proceed, the juvenile court shall continue with proceedings under this title as though no question of fitness to proceed had been raised.

(f) If the court or jury determines that the child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability, the court shall:

(1) stay the juvenile court proceedings for as long as that incapacity endures; and

(2) proceed under Section 55.33.

(g) The fact that the child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability does not preclude any legal objection to the juvenile court proceedings which is susceptible of fair determination prior to the adjudication hearing and without the personal participation of the child.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Redesignated from Family Code Sec. 55.04(c) to (f) and (h) and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.007, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.33: Proceedings Following Finding of Unfitness to Proceed

(a) If the juvenile court or jury determines under Section 55.32 that a child is unfit to proceed with the juvenile court proceedings for delinquent conduct, the court shall:

(1) if the unfitness to proceed is a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability:

(A) provided that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, order the child placed with the Department of State Health Services or the Department of Aging and Disability Services, as appropriate, for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period, for placement in a facility designated by the department; or

(B) on application by the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem, order the child placed in a private psychiatric inpatient facility for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period, but only if the placement is agreed to in writing by the administrator of the facility; or

(2) if the unfitness to proceed is a result of mental illness and the court determines that the child may be adequately treated in an alternative setting, order the child to receive treatment for mental illness on an outpatient basis for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period.

(b) If the court orders a child placed in a private psychiatric inpatient facility under Subsection (a)(1)(B), the state or a political subdivision of the state may be ordered to pay any costs associated with the child's placement, subject to an express appropriation of funds for the purpose.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.008, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.34: Transportation to and from Facility

(a) If the court issues a placement order under Section 55.33(a)(1), the court shall order the probation department or sheriff's department to transport the child to the designated facility.

(b) On receipt of a report from a facility to which a child has been transported under Subsection (a), the court shall order the probation department or sheriff's department to transport the child from the facility to the court. If the child is not transported to the court before the 11th day after the date of the court's order, an authorized representative of the facility shall transport the child from the facility to the court.

(c) The county in which the juvenile court is located shall reimburse the facility for the costs incurred in transporting the child to the juvenile court as required by Subsection (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.35: Information Required to Be Sent to Facility; Report to Court

(a) If the juvenile court issues a placement order under Section 55.33(a), the court shall order the probation department to send copies of any information in the possession of the department and relevant to the issue of the child's mental illness or intellectual disability to the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate.

(b) Not later than the 75th day after the date the court issues a placement order under Section 55.33(a), the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate, shall submit to the court a report that:

(1) describes the treatment of the child provided by the facility or center; and

(2) states the opinion of the director of the facility or center as to whether the child is fit or unfit to proceed.

(c) The court shall provide a copy of the report submitted under Subsection (b) to the prosecuting attorney and the attorney for the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.009, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.36: Report That Child Is Fit to Proceed; Hearing on Objection

(a) If a report submitted under Section 55.35(b) states that a child is fit to proceed, the juvenile court shall find that the child is fit to proceed unless the child's attorney objects in writing or in open court not later than the second day after the date the attorney receives a copy of the report under Section 55.35(c).

(b) On objection by the child's attorney under Subsection (a), the juvenile court shall promptly hold a hearing to determine whether the child is fit to proceed, except that the hearing may be held after the date that the placement order issued under Section 55.33(a) expires. At the hearing, the court shall determine the issue of the fitness of the child to proceed unless the child or the child's attorney demands in writing a jury before the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

(c) If, after a hearing, the court or jury finds that the child is fit to proceed, the court shall dissolve the stay and continue the juvenile court proceedings as though a question of fitness to proceed had not been raised.

(d) If, after a hearing, the court or jury finds that the child is unfit to proceed, the court shall proceed under Section 55.37.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.37: Report That Child Is Unfit to Proceed As a Result of Mental Illness; Initiation of Commitment Proceedings

If a report submitted under Section 55.35(b) states that a child is unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness and that the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the director of the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate, shall submit to the court two certificates of medical examination for mental illness. On receipt of the certificates, the court shall:

(1) initiate proceedings as provided by Section 55.38 in the juvenile court for commitment of the child under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code; or

(2) refer the child's case as provided by Section 55.39 to the appropriate court for the initiation of proceedings in that court for commitment of the child under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.38: Commitment Proceedings in Juvenile Court for Mental Illness

(a) If the juvenile court initiates commitment proceedings under Section 55.37(1), the prosecuting attorney may file with the juvenile court an application for court-ordered mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code. The juvenile court shall:

(1) set a date for a hearing and provide notice as required by Sections 574.005 and 574.006, Health and Safety Code; and

(2) conduct the hearing in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code.

(b) After conducting a hearing under Subsection (a)(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) if the criteria under Section 574.034 or 574.0345, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order temporary mental health services; or

(2) if the criteria under Section 574.035 or 574.0355, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order extended mental health services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 582 (S.B. 362), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 55.39: Referral for Commitment Proceedings for Mental Illness

(a) If the juvenile court refers the child's case to an appropriate court for the initiation of commitment proceedings under Section 55.37(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) send all papers relating to the child's unfitness to proceed, including the verdict and judgment of the juvenile court finding the child unfit to proceed, to the clerk of the court to which the case is referred;

(2) send to the office of the appropriate county attorney or, if a county attorney is not available, to the office of the appropriate district attorney, copies of all papers sent to the clerk of the court under Subdivision (1); and

(3) if the child is in detention:

(A) order the child released from detention to the child's home or another appropriate place;

(B) order the child detained in an appropriate place other than a juvenile detention facility; or

(C) if an appropriate place to release or detain the child as described by Paragraph (A) or (B) is not available, order the child to remain in the juvenile detention facility subject to further detention orders of the court.

(b) The papers sent to a court under Subsection (a)(1) constitute an application for mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.40: Report That Child Is Unfit to Proceed As a Result of Intellectual Disability

If a report submitted under Section 55.35(b) states that a child is unfit to proceed as a result of an intellectual disability and that the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the director of the residential care facility shall submit to the court an affidavit stating the conclusions reached as a result of the diagnosis. On receipt of the affidavit, the court shall:

(1) initiate proceedings as provided by Section 55.41 in the juvenile court for commitment of the child under Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code; or

(2) refer the child's case as provided by Section 55.42 to the appropriate court for the initiation of proceedings in that court for commitment of the child under Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.010, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.41: Commitment Proceedings in Juvenile Court for Children with Intellectual Disability

(a) If the juvenile court initiates commitment proceedings under Section 55.40(1), the prosecuting attorney may file with the juvenile court an application for placement under Section 593.041, Health and Safety Code. The juvenile court shall:

(1) set a date for a hearing and provide notice as required by Sections 593.047 and 593.048, Health and Safety Code; and

(2) conduct the hearing in accordance with Sections 593.049-593.056, Health and Safety Code.

(b) After conducting a hearing under Subsection (a)(2), the juvenile court may order commitment of the child to a residential care facility if the commitment criteria under Section 593.052, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied.

(c) On receipt of the court's order, the Department of Aging and Disability Services or the appropriate community center shall admit the child to a residential care facility.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.011, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.012, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.42: Referral for Commitment Proceedings for Children with Intellectual Disability

(a) If the juvenile court refers the child's case to an appropriate court for the initiation of commitment proceedings under Section 55.40(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) send all papers relating to the child's intellectual disability to the clerk of the court to which the case is referred;

(2) send to the office of the appropriate county attorney or, if a county attorney is not available, to the office of the appropriate district attorney, copies of all papers sent to the clerk of the court under Subdivision (1); and

(3) if the child is in detention:

(A) order the child released from detention to the child's home or another appropriate place;

(B) order the child detained in an appropriate place other than a juvenile detention facility; or

(C) if an appropriate place to release or detain the child as described by Paragraph (A) or (B) is not available, order the child to remain in the juvenile detention facility subject to further detention orders of the court.

(b) The papers sent to a court under Subsection (a)(1) constitute an application for placement under Section 593.041, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.013, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.014, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.43: Restoration Hearing

(a) The prosecuting attorney may file with the juvenile court a motion for a restoration hearing concerning a child if:

(1) the child is found unfit to proceed as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability; and

(2) the child:

(A) is not:

(i) ordered by a court to receive inpatient mental health services;

(ii) committed by a court to a residential care facility; or

(iii) ordered by a court to receive treatment on an outpatient basis; or

(B) is discharged or currently on furlough from a mental health facility or outpatient center before the child reaches 18 years of age.

(b) At the restoration hearing, the court shall determine the issue of whether the child is fit to proceed.

(c) The restoration hearing shall be conducted without a jury.

(d) The issue of fitness to proceed must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

(e) If, after a hearing, the court finds that the child is fit to proceed, the court shall continue the juvenile court proceedings.

(f) If, after a hearing, the court finds that the child is unfit to proceed, the court shall dismiss the motion for restoration.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.015, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.44: Transfer to Criminal Court on 18th Birthday of Child

(a) The juvenile court shall transfer all pending proceedings from the juvenile court to a criminal court on the 18th birthday of a child for whom the juvenile court or a court to which the child's case is referred has ordered inpatient mental health services or residential care for persons with an intellectual disability if:

(1) the child is not discharged or currently on furlough from the facility before reaching 18 years of age; and

(2) the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045 and no adjudication concerning the alleged conduct has been made.

(b) The juvenile court shall send notification of the transfer of a child under Subsection (a) to the facility. The criminal court shall, before the 91st day after the date of the transfer, institute proceedings under Chapter 46B, Code of Criminal Procedure. If those or any subsequent proceedings result in a determination that the defendant is competent to stand trial, the defendant may not receive a punishment for the delinquent conduct described by Subsection (a)(2) that results in confinement for a period longer than the maximum period of confinement the defendant could have received if the defendant had been adjudicated for the delinquent conduct while still a child and within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 35, Sec. 8, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.016, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.45: Standards of Care; Notice of Release Or Furlough

(a) If the juvenile court or a court to which the child's case is referred under Section 55.37(2) orders mental health services for the child, the child shall be cared for, treated, and released in accordance with Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, except that the administrator of a mental health facility shall notify, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the juvenile court that ordered mental health services or that referred the case to a court that ordered mental health services of the intent to discharge the child on or before the 10th day before the date of discharge.

(b) If the juvenile court or a court to which the child's case is referred under Section 55.40(2) orders the commitment of the child to a residential care facility, the child shall be cared for, treated, and released in accordance with Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, except that the administrator of the residential care facility shall notify, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the juvenile court that ordered commitment of the child or that referred the case to a court that ordered commitment of the child of the intent to discharge or furlough the child on or before the 20th day before the date of discharge or furlough.

(c) If the referred child, as described in Subsection (b), is alleged to have committed an offense listed in Article 42A.054, Code of Criminal Procedure, the administrator of the residential care facility shall apply, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the juvenile court that ordered commitment of the child or that referred the case to a court that ordered commitment of the child and show good cause for any release of the child from the facility for more than 48 hours. Notice of this request must be provided to the prosecuting attorney responsible for the case. The prosecuting attorney, the juvenile, or the administrator may apply for a hearing on this application. If no one applies for a hearing, the trial court shall resolve the application on the written submission. The rules of evidence do not apply to this hearing. An appeal of the trial court's ruling on the application is not allowed. The release of a child described in this subsection without the express approval of the trial court is punishable by contempt.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908 (H.B. 2884), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.34, eff. January 1, 2017.

Subchapter D

Sec. 55.51: Lack of Responsibility for Conduct Determination; Examination

(a) A child alleged by petition to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision is not responsible for the conduct if at the time of the conduct, as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability, the child lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the child's conduct or to conform the child's conduct to the requirements of law.

(b) On a motion by a party in which it is alleged that a child may not be responsible as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability for the child's conduct, the court shall order the child to be examined under Section 51.20. The information obtained from the examinations must include expert opinion as to whether the child is not responsible for the child's conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability.

(c) The issue of whether the child is not responsible for the child's conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability shall be tried to the court or jury in the adjudication hearing.

(d) Lack of responsibility for conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

(e) In its findings or verdict the court or jury must state whether the child is not responsible for the child's conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability.

(f) If the court or jury finds the child is not responsible for the child's conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability, the court shall proceed under Section 55.52.

(g) A child found to be not responsible for the child's conduct as a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability shall not be subject to proceedings under this title with respect to such conduct, other than proceedings under Section 55.52.

Comments

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 47, eff. May 31, 1995. Renumbered from Family Code Sec. 55.05 and amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.018, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.52: Proceedings Following Finding of Lack of Responsibility for Conduct

(a) If the court or jury finds that a child is not responsible for the child's conduct under Section 55.51, the court shall:

(1) if the lack of responsibility is a result of mental illness or an intellectual disability:

(A) provided that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, order the child placed with the Department of State Health Services or the Department of Aging and Disability Services, as appropriate, for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period, for placement in a facility designated by the department; or

(B) on application by the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem, order the child placed in a private psychiatric inpatient facility for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period, but only if the placement is agreed to in writing by the administrator of the facility; or

(2) if the child's lack of responsibility is a result of mental illness and the court determines that the child may be adequately treated in an alternative setting, order the child to receive treatment on an outpatient basis for a period of not more than 90 days, which order may not specify a shorter period.

(b) If the court orders a child placed in a private psychiatric inpatient facility under Subsection (a)(1)(B), the state or a political subdivision of the state may be ordered to pay any costs associated with the child's placement, subject to an express appropriation of funds for the purpose.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.019, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.53: Transportation to and from Facility

(a) If the court issues a placement order under Section 55.52(a)(1), the court shall order the probation department or sheriff's department to transport the child to the designated facility.

(b) On receipt of a report from a facility to which a child has been transported under Subsection (a), the court shall order the probation department or sheriff's department to transport the child from the facility to the court. If the child is not transported to the court before the 11th day after the date of the court's order, an authorized representative of the facility shall transport the child from the facility to the court.

(c) The county in which the juvenile court is located shall reimburse the facility for the costs incurred in transporting the child to the juvenile court as required by Subsection (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.54: Information Required to Be Sent to Facility; Report to Court

(a) If the juvenile court issues a placement order under Section 55.52(a), the court shall order the probation department to send copies of any information in the possession of the department and relevant to the issue of the child's mental illness or intellectual disability to the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate.

(b) Not later than the 75th day after the date the court issues a placement order under Section 55.52(a), the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate, shall submit to the court a report that:

(1) describes the treatment of the child provided by the facility or center; and

(2) states the opinion of the director of the facility or center as to whether the child has a mental illness or an intellectual disability.

(c) The court shall send a copy of the report submitted under Subsection (b) to the prosecuting attorney and the attorney for the child.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.020, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.55: Report That Child Does Not Have Mental Illness Or Intellectual Disability; Hearing on Objection

(a) If a report submitted under Section 55.54(b) states that a child does not have a mental illness or an intellectual disability, the juvenile court shall discharge the child unless:

(1) an adjudication hearing was conducted concerning conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045(a) and a petition was approved by a grand jury under Section 53.045; and

(2) the prosecuting attorney objects in writing not later than the second day after the date the attorney receives a copy of the report under Section 55.54(c).

(b) On objection by the prosecuting attorney under Subsection (a), the juvenile court shall hold a hearing without a jury to determine whether the child has a mental illness or an intellectual disability and whether the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

(c) At the hearing, the burden is on the state to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the child has a mental illness or an intellectual disability and that the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

(d) If, after a hearing, the court finds that the child does not have a mental illness or an intellectual disability and that the child does not meet the commitment criteria under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the court shall discharge the child.

(e) If, after a hearing, the court finds that the child has a mental illness or an intellectual disability and that the child meets the commitment criteria under Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the court shall issue an appropriate commitment order.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.021, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 55.56: Report That Child Has Mental Illness; Initiation of Commitment Proceedings

If a report submitted under Section 55.54(b) states that a child has a mental illness and that the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the director of the public or private facility or outpatient center, as appropriate, shall submit to the court two certificates of medical examination for mental illness. On receipt of the certificates, the court shall:

(1) initiate proceedings as provided by Section 55.57 in the juvenile court for commitment of the child under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code; or

(2) refer the child's case as provided by Section 55.58 to the appropriate court for the initiation of proceedings in that court for commitment of the child under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.57: Commitment Proceedings in Juvenile Court for Mental Illness

(a) If the juvenile court initiates commitment proceedings under Section 55.56(1), the prosecuting attorney may file with the juvenile court an application for court-ordered mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code. The juvenile court shall:

(1) set a date for a hearing and provide notice as required by Sections 574.005 and 574.006, Health and Safety Code; and

(2) conduct the hearing in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 574, Health and Safety Code.

(b) After conducting a hearing under Subsection (a)(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) if the criteria under Section 574.034 or 574.0345, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order temporary mental health services; or

(2) if the criteria under Section 574.035 or 574.0355, Health and Safety Code, are satisfied, order extended mental health services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 582 (S.B. 362), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 55.58: Referral for Commitment Proceedings for Mental Illness

(a) If the juvenile court refers the child's case to an appropriate court for the initiation of commitment proceedings under Section 55.56(2), the juvenile court shall:

(1) send all papers relating to the child's mental illness, including the verdict and judgment of the juvenile court finding that the child was not responsible for the child's conduct, to the clerk of the court to which the case is referred;

(2) send to the office of the appropriate county attorney or, if a county attorney is not available, to the office of the district attorney, copies of all papers sent to the clerk of the court under Subdivision (1); and

(3) if the child is in detention:

(A) order the child released from detention to the child's home or another appropriate place;

(B) order the child detained in an appropriate place other than a juvenile detention facility; or

(C) if an appropriate place to release or detain the child as described by Paragraph (A) or (B) is not available, order the child to remain in the juvenile detention facility subject to further detention orders of the court.

(b) The papers sent to a court under Subsection (a)(1) constitute an application for mental health services under Section 574.001, Health and Safety Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 55.59: Report That Child Has Intellectual Disability; Initiation of Commitment Proceedings

If a report submitted under Section 55.54(b) states that a child has an intellectual disability and that the child meets the commitment criteria for civil commitment under Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, the director of the residential care facility shall submit to the court an affidavit stating the conclusions reached as a result of the diagnosis. On receipt of an affidavit, the juvenile court shall:

(1) initiate proceedings in the juvenile court as provided by Section 55.60 for commitment of the child under Subtitle D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code; or