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Texas Justice Court Training Center

Texas Justice Court Training Center

IMPORTANT NOTES ON EFFECTIVE DATES FOR TRUANCY COSTS AND ATTORNEY AD LITEM REPORTING

August 26, 2015

As you know, often the effective dates of bills differ from the date that courts may or shall take action based on these new laws. There are two bills that feature this type of ‘delayed implementation’ that justice courts need to be aware of.

First, HB 2398, the “truancy bill”. This bill creates a $50 court cost that the truancy court may impose against the child, or against the parent or other responsible party, after finding that the person has the ability to pay the cost. This bill is effective September 1, 2015, and your court may see truancy petitions filed after that date. However, Government Code 51.607 says that new court costs go into effect on January 1, unless there is explicit language in the bill stating otherwise (some of you may remember a few sessions ago this created a ‘graduated implementation’ of new court costs because some went into effect on Sept. 1 and others on Jan. 1). HB 2398 contains no such language, so you may not assess the new $50 court cost in a truancy case until January 1, 2016.

The second bill that has a confusing start date is SB 1369, which has to do with the reporting of attorney ad litem appointments. This bill is effective September 1, 2015 and creates a requirement that courts send a report of all attorney ad litem appointments to OCA by the 15th of every month. The report must be sent each month, even if no appointments are made. However, the statutory language says these attorney ad litem reports are due starting in September 2016. So you have a year to prepare and implement a system to make those reports.

As always, feel free to contact the Training Center at 512-347-9927 if you have questions regarding new legislation.

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TRAINING CENTER RELEASES TRUANCY FORMS AND EXPUNCTION FAQs

August 27, 2015

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about expunction of Failure to Attend School cases, can be found here. TJCTC-approved truancy forms can be found here. Instructions on using the new truancy forms can be found here. Many thanks to judges around the state as well as others who have helped us develop these forms. Stay tuned as more forms may be released shortly.


OUT OF COUNTY COUNSEL APPOINTMENT LIST

August 25, 2015

Click here to access the entire current list of judges authorized to appoint counsel for each Texas County. Courtesy of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.


TJCTC RESPONSE TO AG OPINION KP-0025 RE: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

June 29, 2015

The Training Center is aware of Attorney General Opinion KP-0025, released June 28, 2015, relating to the duties of justices of the peace in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. After reading and evaluating this opinion, we stand by our original statement, released June 26th, regarding the impact of that case. We recognize, as does Attorney General Paxton, that a justice of the peace has no obligation under Texas law, or any other law, to perform wedding ceremonies. However, it is our opinion that if a justice of the peace elects to provide such services, they should be provided in a non-discriminatory fashion in order to avoid violating the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Supreme Court Issues Same-Sex Marriage Opinion

June 26, 2015

Click here for the Texas Justice Court Training Center's statement on the Supreme Court's opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Click here for the court's opinion.


LIST OF BILLS AFFECTING JUSTICE COURTS NOW AVAILABLE

June 19, 2015

The 84th Session of the Texas Legislature has ended and TJCTC’s Legislative Update seminars are quickly approaching. The Legislature made several significant changes to statutes affecting justice courts this session, and a list of the bills enacting these changes may be found here. Immediate effect bills are listed in bold italics. To view the text of individual bills included in the list, please visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/

At our Legislative Update seminars, we’ll provide information on all of these bills, as well as handouts and flowcharts relating to the new “truancy court” system created by HB 2398. Attendees will also receive TJCTC’s Legislative Update Book, which will include the amended text of every changed statute affecting justice courts. Additional information on Legislative Update seminars may be found by clicking “show more” below.

UPCOMING TRAINING EVENTS


Aug

25

2:00 - 4:00

Fees and Costs in Civil and Criminal Cases Webinar  View


SEP

23

First Day of Court Personnel Online Registration. View


SEP

30

First Day of Justice of the Peace Online Registration. View


OCT

7

First Day of Civil Process Online Registration. View





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ABOUT TJCTC

The Mission of the Texas Justice Court Training Center is to provide quality education opportunities for justices of the peace, constables and court personnel, insuring the credibility of, and confidence in, the justice courts enabling them to better serve the people of The State of Texas. View


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