Bill Text: TX SB325 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Relating to establishing a protective order registry and the duties of court personnel and other persons and entities in regard to the registry.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-17 - Reported favorably w/o amendment(s) [SB325 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB325-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Huffman, Creighton S.B. No. 325
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to establishing a protective order registry and the duties
  of court personnel and other persons and entities in regard to the
  registry.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 72, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter F to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER F.  PROTECTIVE ORDER REGISTRY
         Sec. 72.151.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Authorized user" means a person to whom the
  office has given permission and the means to submit records to or
  modify or remove records in the registry.  The term does not include
  members of the public who may only access through the registry's
  Internet website certain information regarding protective orders
  entered into the registry.
               (2)  "Peace officer" has the meaning assigned by
  Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.
               (3)  "Protective order" means an order issued by a
  court in this state to prevent family violence, as defined by
  Section 71.004, Family Code.  The term includes a magistrate's
  order for emergency protection issued under Article 17.292, Code of
  Criminal Procedure, with respect to a person who is arrested for an
  offense involving family violence.
               (4)  "Protective order registry" or "registry" means
  the protective order registry established under Section 72.153.
               (5)  "Race or ethnicity" means a particular descent,
  including Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American
  descent.
         Sec. 72.152.  APPLICABILITY. This subchapter applies only
  to:
               (1)  an application for a protective order filed under:
                     (A)  Chapter 82, Family Code; or
                     (B)  Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  with respect to a person who is arrested for an offense involving
  family violence; and
               (2)  a protective order issued under:
                     (A)  Chapter 83 or 85, Family Code; or
                     (B)  Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  with respect to a person who is arrested for an offense involving
  family violence.
         Sec. 72.153.  PROTECTIVE ORDER REGISTRY. (a)  In
  consultation with the Department of Public Safety and the courts of
  this state, the office shall establish and maintain a centralized
  Internet-based registry for applications for protective orders
  filed in this state and protective orders issued in this state.
         (b)  The office shall establish and maintain the registry in
  a manner that allows municipal and county case management systems
  to easily interface with the registry.
         Sec. 72.154.  PUBLIC ACCESS TO PROTECTIVE ORDER REGISTRY.
  (a)  Subject to Subsections (c) and (d) and Section 72.158, the
  office shall establish and maintain the registry in a manner that
  allows a member of the public, free of charge, to electronically
  search for and receive publicly accessible information contained in
  the registry regarding each protective order issued in this state.  
  The registry must be searchable by:
               (1)  the county of issuance;
               (2)  the name of a person who is the subject of the
  protective order; and
               (3)  the birth year of a person who is the subject of
  the protective order.
         (b)  Publicly accessible information regarding each
  protective order must consist of the following:
               (1)  the court that issued the protective order;
               (2)  the case number;
               (3)  the full name, county of residence, birth year,
  and race or ethnicity of the person who is the subject of the
  protective order;
               (4)  the dates the protective order was issued and
  served;
               (5)  the date the protective order was vacated, if
  applicable; and
               (6)  the date the protective order expired or will
  expire, as applicable.
         (c)  A member of the public may only access the information
  in the registry described by Subsection (b).
         (d)  The office may not allow a member of the public to access
  through the registry any information related to a protective order
  issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, or Chapter
  83, Family Code.
         Sec. 72.155.  RESTRICTED ACCESS TO PROTECTIVE ORDER
  REGISTRY. (a)  The registry must include a copy of each
  application for a protective order filed in this state and a copy of
  each protective order issued in this state, including a vacated or
  expired order.  Only an authorized user, the attorney general, a
  district attorney, a criminal district attorney, a county attorney,
  a municipal attorney, or a peace officer may access that
  information under the registry.
         (b)  The office shall ensure that an authorized user, the
  attorney general, a district attorney, a criminal district
  attorney, a county attorney, a municipal attorney, or a peace
  officer is able to search for and receive a copy of a filed
  application for a protective order or a copy of an issued protective
  order through the registry's Internet website.
         Sec. 72.156.  ENTRY OF APPLICATIONS. (a)  Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), as soon as possible but not later than
  24 hours after the time an application for a protective order is
  filed, the clerk of the court shall enter a copy of the application
  into the registry.
         (b)  A clerk may delay entering information under Subsection
  (a) into the registry only to the extent that the clerk lacks the
  specific information required to be entered.
         (c)  The office shall ensure that a member of the public is
  not able to access through the registry's Internet website the
  application or any information related to the application entered
  into the registry under Subsection (a).
         Sec. 72.157.  ENTRY OF ORDERS. (a)  Except as provided by
  Subsection (c), as soon as possible but not later than 24 hours
  after the time a court issues an original or modified protective
  order or extends the duration of a protective order, the clerk of
  the court shall enter into the registry:
               (1)  a copy of the order and, if applicable, a notation
  regarding any modification or extension of the order; and
               (2)  the information required under Section 72.154(b).
         (b)  For a protective order that is vacated or that has
  expired, the clerk of the applicable court shall modify the record
  of the order in the registry to reflect the order's status as
  vacated or expired.
         (c)  A clerk may delay entering information under Subsection
  (a) into the registry only to the extent that the clerk lacks the
  specific information required to be entered.
         Sec. 72.158.  REQUEST FOR GRANT OR REMOVAL OF PUBLIC ACCESS.
  (a)  The office shall ensure that the public may access information
  about protective orders, other than information about orders under
  Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, or Chapter 83, Family
  Code, through the registry, only if:
               (1)  a protected person requests that the office grant
  the public the ability to access the information described by
  Section 72.154(b) for the order protecting the person; and
               (2)  the office approves the request.
         (b)  A person whose request under Subsection (a) was approved
  by the office may request that the office remove the ability of the
  public to access the information that was the subject of the
  person's earlier approved request.  Not later than the third
  business day after the office receives a request under this
  subsection, the office shall remove the ability of the public to
  access the information.
         (c)  The Supreme Court of Texas:
               (1)  shall prescribe a form for use by a person
  requesting a grant or removal of public access as described by
  Subsections (a) and (b); and
               (2)  by rule may prescribe procedures for requesting a
  grant or removal of public access as described by Subsections (a)
  and (b).
         SECTION 2.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, not later than June 1, 2020, the Office of Court
  Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall establish the
  protective order registry required by Section 72.153, Government
  Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
  System may delay establishing the protective order registry
  described by Subsection (a) of this section for a period not to
  exceed 90 days if the delay is authorized by resolution of the Texas
  Judicial Council.
         (c)  Not later than June 1, 2020, the Office of Court
  Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall establish and
  supervise a training program for magistrates, court personnel, and
  peace officers on the use of the protective order registry
  described by Subsection (a) of this section.  The training program
  must make all materials for use in the training program available to
  magistrates, court personnel, and peace officers.
         SECTION 3.  Notwithstanding Section 2 of this Act, the
  Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System may not
  allow a member of the public to view before September 1, 2020,
  publicly accessible information described by Section 72.154(b),
  Government Code, as added by this Act, through the Internet website
  of the protective order registry established under Subchapter F,
  Chapter 72, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter F, Chapter 72, Government Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to an application for a protective
  order filed or a protective order issued on or after September 1,
  2020.
         SECTION 5.  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas
  Judicial System is required to implement a provision of this Act
  only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that
  purpose.  If the legislature does not appropriate money
  specifically for that purpose, the Office of Court Administration
  of the Texas Judicial System may, but is not required to, implement
  a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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