Bill Text: TX HB250 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to attorney's fees associated with certain court proceedings for cruelly treated animals; authorizing fees and costs.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-16 - Received from the House [HB250 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB250-Introduced.html
  86R1867 KKR-D
 
  By: Farrar H.B. No. 250
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to attorney's fees associated with certain court
  proceedings for cruelly treated animals; authorizing fees and
  costs.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 821.023(e), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (e)  After a court finds that an animal's owner has cruelly
  treated the animal, the court:
               (1)  shall order the owner to pay all court costs,
  including:
                     (A) [(1)]  the administrative costs of:
                           (i) [(A)]  investigation;
                           (ii) [(B)]  expert witnesses; and
                           (iii) [(C)]  conducting any public sale
  ordered by the court; and
                     (B) [(2)]  the costs incurred by a municipal or
  county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization
  in:
                           (i) [(A)]  housing and caring for the animal
  during its impoundment; and
                           (ii) [(B)]  humanely destroying the animal
  if destruction is ordered by the court; and
               (2)  in a county or municipality with a population of at
  least 700,000, may order the owner to pay the county's or
  municipality's reasonable attorney's fees.
         SECTION 2.  Section 821.025, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (i) to read as follows:
         (i)  In a county or municipality with a population of at
  least 700,000, a county court or county court at law that issues a
  decision in an appeal under this section finding that an animal's
  owner has cruelly treated the animal may order the owner to pay the
  county's or municipality's reasonable attorney's fees.
         SECTION 3.  Section 103.0214, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 103.0214.  ADDITIONAL FEES AND COSTS IN CRIMINAL OR
  CIVIL CASES:  HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE. An accused or defendant, or a
  party to a civil suit, as applicable, shall pay the following fees
  and costs under the Health and Safety Code if ordered by the court
  or otherwise required:
               (1)  a fee to defray the cost of notifying state
  agencies of orders of expungement (Sec. 161.255, Health and Safety
  Code) . . . $30 per application; and
               (2)  on a finding that an animal's owner has cruelly
  treated the animal, court costs including:
                     (A)  investigation (Sec. 821.023, Health and
  Safety Code) . . . actual costs;
                     (B)  expert witnesses (Sec. 821.023, Health and
  Safety Code) . . . actual costs;
                     (C)  housing and caring for the animal during its
  impoundment (Sec. 821.023, Health and Safety Code) . . . actual
  costs;
                     (D)  conducting any public sale ordered by the
  court (Sec. 821.023, Health and Safety Code) . . . actual costs;
  [and]
                     (E)  humanely destroying the animal if
  destruction is ordered by the court (Sec. 821.023, Health and
  Safety Code) . . . actual costs; and
                     (F)  reasonable attorney's fees (Secs. 821.023
  and 821.025, Health and Safety Code) . . . actual costs.
         SECTION 4.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a proceeding commenced under Section 821.023 or 821.025, Health
  and Safety Code, on or after the effective date of this Act. A
  proceeding commenced before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law as it existed at the time the proceeding was
  commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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