4. Protective Orders & Family Violence

Subtitle A. General Provisions

Ch. 71. Definitions

71.001. Applicability of Definitions

71.002. Court

71.0021. Dating Violence

71.003. Family

71.004. Family Violence

71.005. Household

71.006. Member of a Household

71.007. Prosecuting Attorney

Subtitle B. Protective Orders

Ch. 81. General Provisions

81.001. Entitlement to Protective Order

81.002. No Fee for Applicant

81.003. Fees and Costs Paid by Party Found to Have Committed Family Violence

81.004. Contempt for Nonpayment of Fee

81.005. Attorney's Fees

81.006. Payment of Attorney's Fees

81.007. Prosecuting Attorney

81.0075. Representation by Prosecuting Attorney in Certain Other Actions

81.008. Relief Cumulative

81.009. Appeal

81.010. Court Enforcement

Ch. 82. Applying for Protective Order

Subch. A. Application for Protective Order

82.001. Application

81.0015. Presumption

82.002. Who May File Application

82.003. Venue

82.004. Contents of Application

82.005. Application Filed During Suit for Dissolution of Marriage or Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship

82.006. Application Filed After Dissolution of Marriage

82.007. Application Filed for Child Subject to Continuing Jurisdiction

82.008. Application Filed After Expiration of Former Protective Order

82.0085. Application Filed Before Expiration of Previously Rendered Protective Order

82.009. Application for Temporary Ex Parte Order

82.010. Confidentiality of Application

81.011. Use of Digitized Signature

Subch. B. Pleadings by Respondent

82.021. Answer

82.022. Request by Respondent for Protective Order

Subch. C. Notice of Application for Protective Order

82.041. Contents of Notice of Application

82.042. Issuance of Notice of Application

82.043. Service of Notice of Application

Ch. 83. Temporary Ex Parte Orders

83.001. Requirements for Temporary Ex Parte Order

83.002. Duration of Order; Extension

83.003. Bond Not Required

83.004. Motion To Vacate

83.005. Conflicting Orders

83.006. Exclusion of Party From Residence

Ch. 84. Hearing

84.001. Time Set for Hearing

84.002. Extended Time for Hearing in District Court in Certain Counties

84.003. Hearing Rescheduled for Failure of Service

84.004. Hearing Rescheduled for Insufficient Notice

84.005. Legislative Continuance

84.006. Hearsay Statement of Child Victim of Family Violence

Ch. 85. Issuance of Protective Order

Subch. A. Findings and Orders

85.001. Required Findings and Orders

85.002. Exception for Violation of Expired Protective Order

85.003. Separate Protective Orders Required

85.004. Protective Order in Suit for Dissolution of Marriage

85.005. Agreed Order

85.006. Default Order

85.007. Confidentiality of Certain Information

85.009. Order Valid Until Superseded

Subch. B. Contents of Protective Order

85.021. Requirements of Order Applying to Any Party

85.022. Requirements of Order Applying to Person Who Committed Family Violence

85.023. Effect on Property Rights

85.024. Enforcement of Counseling Requirement

85.025. Duration of Protective Order

85.026. Warning on Protective Order

Subch. C. Delivery of Protective Order

85.041. Delivery to Respondent

85.042. Delivery of Order to Other Persons

Subch. D. Relationship Between Protective Order and Suit for Dissolution of Marriage and Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship

85.061. Dismissal of Application Prohibited; Subsequently Filed Suit for Dissolution of Marriage or Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship

85.062. Application Filed While Suit for Dissolution of Marriage or Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship Pending

85.063. Application Filed After Final Order Rendered in Suit for Dissolution of Marriage or Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship

85.064. Transfer of Protective Order

85.065. Effect of Transfer

Ch. 86. Law Enforcement Duties Relating to Protective Orders

86.001. Adoption of Procedures by Law Enforcement Agency

86.0011. Duty to Enter Information Into Statewide Law Enforcement Information System

86.002. Duty to Provide Information to Firearms Dealers

86.003. Court Order for Law Enforcement Assistance Under Temporary Order

86.004. Court Order for Law Enforcement Assistance Under Final Order

86.005. Protective Order From Another Jurisdiction

Ch. 87. Modification of Protective Orders

87.001. Modification of Protective Order

87.002. Modification May Not Extend Duration of Order

87.003. Notification of Motion to Modify

87.004. Change of Address or Telephone Number

Ch. 88. Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Protective Orders

88.001. Short Title

88.002. Definitions

88.003. Judicial Enforcement of Order

88.004. Nonjudicial Enforcement of Order

88.005. Registration of Order

88.006. Immunity

88.007. Other Remedies

88.008. Uniformity of Application and Construction

Subtitle C. Reporting Family Violence

Ch. 91. Reporting Family Violence

91.001. Definitions

91.002. Reporting by Witnesses Encouraged

91.003. Information Provided by Medical Professionals

91.004. Application of Subtitle

Ch. 92. Immunity

92.001. Immunity

Title 4: Protective Orders and Family Violence

Subtitle A. General Provisions

Ch. 71. Definitions

Sec. 71.001. APPLICABILITY OF DEFINITIONS.

(a) Definitions in this chapter apply to this title.

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

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

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Sec. 71.002. COURT.

"Court" means the district court, court of domestic relations, juvenile court having the jurisdiction of a district court, statutory county court, constitutional county court, or other court expressly given jurisdiction under this title.

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Sec. 71.0021. DATING VIOLENCE.

(a) "Dating violence" means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:

(1) is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:

(A) with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or

(B) because of the victim's or applicant's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and

(2) is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

(b) For purposes of this title, "dating relationship" means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of:

(1) the length of the relationship;

(2) the nature of the relationship; and

(3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

(c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship" under Subsection (b).

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Sec. 71.003. FAMILY.

"Family" includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Sections 573.022 and 573.024, Government Code, individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.

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Sec. 71.004. FAMILY VIOLENCE.

"Family violence" means:

(1) an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;

(2) abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), and (K), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or

(3) dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.

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Sec. 71.005. HOUSEHOLD.

"Household" means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.

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Sec. 71.006. MEMBER OF A HOUSEHOLD.

"Member of a household" includes a person who previously lived in a household.

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Sec. 71.007. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY.

"Prosecuting attorney" means the attorney, determined as provided in this title, who represents the state in a district or statutory county court in the county in which venue of the application for a protective order is proper.

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Subtitle B. Protective Orders

Ch. 81. General Provisions

Sec. 81.001. ENTITLEMENT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER.

A court shall render a protective order as provided by Section 85.001(b) if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.

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Sec. 81.0015. PRESUMPTION.

For purposes of this subtitle, there is a presumption that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future if:

(1) the respondent has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for any of the following offenses against the child for whom the petition is filed:

(A) an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, for which the court has made an affirmative finding that the offense involved family violence under Article 42.013, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(B) an offense under Title 6, Penal Code;

(2) the respondent's parental rights with respect to the child have been terminated; and

(3) the respondent is seeking or attempting to seek contact with the child.

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Sec. 81.002. NO FEE FOR APPLICANT.

An applicant for a protective order or an attorney representing an applicant may not be assessed a fee, cost, charge, or expense by a district or county clerk of the court or a sheriff, constable, or other public official or employee in connection with the filing, serving, or entering of a protective order or for any other service described by this subsection, including:

(1) a fee to dismiss, modify, or withdraw a protective order;

(2) a fee for certifying copies;

(3) a fee for comparing copies to originals;

(4) a court reporter fee;

(5) a judicial fund fee;

(6) a fee for any other service related to a protective order; or

(7) a fee to transfer a protective order.

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Sec. 81.003. FEES AND COSTS PAID BY PARTY FOUND TO HAVE COMMITTED FAMILY VIOLENCE.

(a) Except on a showing of good cause or of the indigence of a party found to have committed family violence, the court shall require in a protective order that the party against whom the order is rendered pay the $16 protective order fee, the standard fees charged by the clerk of the court in a general civil proceeding for the cost of serving the order, the costs of court, and all other fees, charges, or expenses incurred in connection with the protective order.

(b) The court may order a party against whom an agreed protective order is rendered under Section 85.005 to pay the fees required in Subsection (a).

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Sec. 81.004. CONTEMPT FOR NONPAYMENT OF FEE.

(a) A party who is ordered to pay fees and costs and who does not pay before the date specified by the order may be punished for contempt of court as provided by Section 21.002, Government Code.

(b) If a date is not specified by the court under Subsection (a), payment of costs is required before the 60th day after the date the order was rendered.

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Sec. 81.005. ATTORNEY'S FEES.

(a) The court may assess reasonable attorney's fees against the party found to have committed family violence or a party against whom an agreed protective order is rendered under Section 85.005 as compensation for the services of a private or prosecuting attorney or an attorney employed by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(b) In setting the amount of attorney's fees, the court shall consider the income and ability to pay of the person against whom the fee is assessed.

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Sec. 81.006. PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY'S FEES.

The amount of fees collected under this chapter as compensation for the fees:

(1) of a private attorney shall be paid to the private attorney who may enforce the order for fees in the attorney's own name;

(2) of a prosecuting attorney shall be paid to the credit of the county fund from which the salaries of the employees of the prosecuting attorney are paid or supplemented; and

(3) of an attorney employed by the Department of Family and Protective Services shall be deposited in the general revenue fund to the credit of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

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Sec. 81.007. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY.

(a) The county attorney or the criminal district attorney is the prosecuting attorney responsible for filing applications under this subtitle unless the district attorney assumes the responsibility by giving notice of that assumption to the county attorney.

(b) The prosecuting attorney responsible for filing an application under this subtitle shall provide notice of that responsibility to all law enforcement agencies in the jurisdiction of the prosecuting attorney.

(c) The prosecuting attorney shall comply with Article 5.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, in filing an application under this subtitle.

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Sec. 81.0075. REPRESENTATION BY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY IN CERTAIN OTHER ACTIONS.

Subject to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, a prosecuting attorney is not precluded from representing a party in a proceeding under
this subtitle and the Department of Family and Protective Services in another action involving the party, regardless of whether the proceeding under this subtitle occurs
before, concurrently with, or after the other action involving the
party.

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Sec. 81.008. RELIEF CUMULATIVE.

Except as provided by this subtitle, the relief and remedies provided by this subtitle are cumulative of other relief and remedies provided by law.

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Sec. 81.009. APPEAL.

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), a protective order rendered under this subtitle may be appealed.

(b) A protective order rendered against a party in a suit for dissolution of a marriage may not be appealed until the time the final decree of dissolution of the marriage becomes a final, appealable order.

(c) A protective order rendered against a party in a suit affecting the parent–child relationship may not be appealed until the time an order providing for support of the child or possession of or access to the child becomes a final, appealable order.

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Sec. 81.010. COURT ENFORCEMENT.

(a) A court of this state with jurisdiction of proceedings arising under this title may enforce a protective order rendered by another court in the same manner that the court that rendered the order could enforce the order, regardless of whether the order is transferred under Subchapter D, Chapter 85.

(b) A court's authority under this section includes the authority to enforce a protective order through contempt.

(c) A motion for enforcement of a protective order rendered under this title may be filed in:

(1) any court in the county in which the order was rendered with jurisdiction of proceedings arising under this title;

(2) a county in which the movant or respondent resides; or

(3) a county in which an alleged violation of the order occurs.

Sec. 81.011. USE OF DIGITIZED SIGNATURE.

(a) A digitized signature on an application for a protective order 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.

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Ch. 82. Applying for Protective Order

Subch. A. Application for Protective Order

Sec. 82.001. APPLICATION.

A proceeding under this subtitle is begun by filing "An Application for a Protective Order" with the clerk of the court.

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Sec. 82.002. WHO MAY FILE APPLICATION.

(a) With regard to family violence under Section 71.004(1) or (2), an adult member of the family or household may file an application for a protective order to protect the applicant or any other member of the applicant's family or household.

(b) With regard to family violence under Section 71.004(3), an application for a protective order to protect the applicant may be filed by:

(1) an adult member of the dating relationship; or

(2) an adult member of the marriage, if the victim is or was married as described by Section 71.0021(a)(1)(B).

(c) Any adult may apply for a protective order to protect a child from family violence.

(d) In addition, an application may be filed for the protection of any person alleged to be a victim of family violence by:

(1) a prosecuting attorney; or

(2) the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(e) The person alleged to be the victim of family violence in an application filed under Subsection (c) or (d) is considered to be the applicant for a protective order under this subtitle.

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Sec. 82.003. VENUE.

An application may be filed in:

(1) the county in which the applicant resides;

(2) the county in which the respondent resides; or

(3) any county in which the family violence is alleged to have occurred.

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Sec. 82.004. CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.

An application must state:

(1) the name and county of residence of each applicant;

(2) the name and county of residence of each individual alleged to have committed family violence;

(3) the relationships between the applicants and the individual alleged to have committed family violence;

(4) a request for one or more protective orders; and

(5) whether an applicant is receiving services from the Title IV–D agency in connection with a child support case and, if known, the agency case number for each open case.

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Sec. 82.005. APPLICATION FILED DURING SUIT FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE OR SUIT AFFECTING PARENT–CHILD RELATIONSHIP.

A person who wishes to apply for a protective order with respect to the person's spouse and who is a party to a suit for the dissolution of a marriage or a suit affecting the parent–child relationship that is pending in a court must file the application as required by Subchapter D, Chapter 85.

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Sec. 82.006. APPLICATION FILED AFTER DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE.

If an applicant for a protective order is a former spouse of the individual alleged to have committed family violence, the application must include:

(1) a copy of the decree dissolving the marriage; or

(2) a statement that the decree is unavailable to the applicant and that a copy of the decree will be filed with the court before the hearing on the application.

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Sec. 82.007. APPLICATION FILED FOR CHILD SUBJECT TO CONTINUING JURISDICTION.

An application that requests a protective order for a child who is subject to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court under Title 5 or alleges that a child who is subject to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court under Title 5 has committed family violence must include:

(1) a copy of each court order affecting the conservatorship, support, and possession of or access to the child; or

(2) a statement that the orders affecting the child are unavailable to the applicant and that a copy of the orders will be filed with the court before the hearing on the application.

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Sec. 82.008. APPLICATION FILED AFTER EXPIRATION OF FORMER PROTECTIVE ORDER.

(a) An application for a protective order that is filed after a previously rendered protective order has expired must include:

(1) a copy of the expired protective order attached to the application or, if a copy of the expired protective order is unavailable, a statement that the order is unavailable to the applicant and that a copy of the order will be filed with the court before the hearing on the application;

(2) a description of either:

(A) the violation of the expired protective order, if the application alleges that the respondent violated the expired protective order by committing an act prohibited by that order before the order expired; or

(B) the threatened harm that reasonably places the applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault; and

(3) if a violation of the expired order is alleged, a statement that the violation of the expired order has not been grounds for any other order protecting the applicant that has been issued or requested under this subtitle.

(b) The procedural requirements for an original application for a protective order apply to a protective order requested under this section.

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Sec. 82.0085. APPLICATION FILED BEFORE EXPIRATION OF PREVIOUSLY RENDERED PROTECTIVE ORDER.

(a) If an application for a protective order alleges that an unexpired protective order applicable to the respondent is due to expire not later than the 30th day after the date the application was filed, the application for the subsequent protective order must include:

(1) a copy of the previously rendered protective order attached to the application or, if a copy of the previously rendered protective order is unavailable, a statement that the order is unavailable to the applicant and that a copy of the order will be filed with the court before the hearing on the application; and

(2) a description of the threatened harm that reasonably places the applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

(b) The procedural requirements for an original application for a protective order apply to a protective order requested under this section.

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Sec. 82.009. APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY EX PARTE ORDER.

(a) An application that requests the issuance of a temporary ex parte order under Chapter 83 must:

(1) contain a detailed description of the facts and circumstances concerning the alleged family violence and the need for the immediate protective order; and

(2) be signed by each applicant under an oath that the facts and circumstances contained in the application are true to the best knowledge and belief of each applicant.

(b) For purposes of this section, a statement signed under oath by a child is valid if the statement otherwise complies with this chapter.

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Sec. 82.010. CONFIDENTIALITY OF APPLICATION.

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

(b) Except as otherwise provided by law, an application for a protective order is confidential, is excepted from required public disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may not be released to a person who is not a respondent to the application until after the date of service of notice of the application or the date of the hearing on the application, whichever date is sooner.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by law, an application requesting the issuance of a temporary ex parte order under Chapter 83 is confidential, is excepted from required public disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may not be released to a person who is not a respondent to the application until after the date that the court or law enforcement informs the respondent of the court's order.

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Subch. B. Pleadings by Respondent

Sec. 82.021. ANSWER.

A respondent to an application for a protective order who is served with notice of an application for a protective order may file an answer at any time before the hearing. A respondent is not required to file an answer to the application.

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Sec. 82.022. REQUEST BY RESPONDENT FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER.

To apply for a protective order, a respondent to an application for a protective order must file a separate application.

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Subch. C. Notice of Application for Protective Order

Sec. 82.041. CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF APPLICATION.

(a) A notice of an application for a protective order must:

(1) be styled "The State of Texas";

(2) be signed by the clerk of the court under the court's seal;

(3) contain the name and location of the court;

(4) show the date the application was filed;

(5) show the date notice of the application for a protective order was issued;

(6) show the date, time, and place of the hearing;

(7) show the file number;

(8) show the name of each applicant and each person alleged to have committed family violence;

(9) be directed to each person alleged to have committed family violence;

(10) show the name and address of the attorney for the applicant or the mailing address of the applicant, if the applicant is not represented by an attorney; and

(11) contain the address of the clerk of the court.

(b) The notice of an application for a protective order must state: "An application for a protective order has been filed in the court stated in this notice alleging that you have committed family violence. You may employ an attorney to defend you against this allegation. You or your attorney may, but are not required to, file a written answer to the application. Any answer must be filed before the hearing on the application. If you receive this notice within 48 hours before the time set for the hearing, you may request the court to reschedule the hearing not later than 14 days after the date set for the hearing. If you do not attend the hearing, a default judgment may be taken and a protective order may be issued against you."

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Sec. 82.042. ISSUANCE OF NOTICE OF APPLICATION.

(a) On the filing of an application, the clerk of the court shall issue a notice of an application for a protective order and deliver the notice as directed by the applicant.

(b) On request by the applicant, the clerk of the court shall issue a separate or additional notice of an application for a protective order.

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Sec. 82.043. SERVICE OF NOTICE OF APPLICATION.

(a) Each respondent to an application for a protective order is entitled to service of notice of an application for a protective order.

(b) An applicant for a protective order shall furnish the clerk with a sufficient number of copies of the application for service on each respondent.

(c) Notice of an application for a protective order must be served in the same manner as citation under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, except that service by publication is not authorized.

(d) Service of notice of an application for a protective order is not required before the issuance of a temporary ex parte order under Chapter 83.

(e) The requirements of service of notice under this subchapter do not apply if the application is filed as a motion in a suit for dissolution of a marriage. Notice for the motion is given in the same manner as any other motion in a suit for dissolution of a marriage.

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Ch. 83. Temporary Ex Parte Orders

Sec. 83.001. REQUIREMENTS FOR TEMPORARY EX PARTE ORDER.

(a) If the court finds from the information contained in an application for a protective order that there is a clear and present danger of family violence, the court, without further notice to the individual alleged to have committed family violence and without a hearing, may enter a temporary ex parte order for the protection of the applicant or any other member of the family or household of the applicant.

(b) In a temporary ex parte order, the court may direct a respondent to do or refrain from doing specified acts.

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Sec. 83.002. DURATION OF ORDER; EXTENSION.

(a) A temporary ex parte order is valid for the period specified in the order, not to exceed 20 days.

(b) On the request of an applicant or on the court's own motion, a temporary ex parte order may be extended for additional 20–day periods.

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Sec. 83.003. BOND NOT REQUIRED.

The court, at the court's discretion, may dispense with the necessity of a bond for a temporary ex parte order.

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Sec. 83.004. MOTION TO VACATE.

Any individual affected by a temporary ex parte order may file a motion at any time to vacate the order. On the filing of the motion to vacate, the court shall set a date for hearing the motion as soon as possible.

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Sec. 83.005. CONFLICTING ORDERS.

During the time the order is valid, a temporary ex parte order prevails over any other court order made under Title 5 to the extent of any conflict between the orders.

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Sec. 83.006. EXCLUSION OF PARTY FROM RESIDENCE.

(a) Subject to the limitations of Section 85.021(2), a person may only be excluded from the occupancy of the person's residence by a temporary ex parte order under this chapter if the applicant:

(1) files a sworn affidavit that provides a detailed description of the facts and circumstances requiring the exclusion of the person from the residence; and

(2) appears in person to testify at a temporary ex parte hearing to justify the issuance of the order without notice.

(b) Before the court may render a temporary ex parte order excluding a person from the person's residence, the court must find from the required affidavit and testimony that:

(1) the applicant requesting the excluding order either resides on the premises or has resided there within 30 days before the date the application was filed;

(2) the person to be excluded has within the 30 days before the date the application was filed committed family violence against a member of the household; and

(3) there is a clear and present danger that the person to be excluded is likely to commit family violence against a member of the household.

(c) The court may recess the hearing on a temporary ex parte order to contact the respondent by telephone and provide the respondent the opportunity to be present when the court resumes the hearing. Without regard to whether the respondent is able to be present at the hearing, the court shall resume the hearing before the end of the working day.

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Ch. 84. Hearing

Sec. 84.001. TIME SET FOR HEARING.

(a) On the filing of an application for a protective order, the court shall set a date and time for the hearing unless a later date is requested by the applicant. Except as provided by Section 84.002, the court may not set a date later than the 14th day after the date the application is filed.

(b) The court may not delay a hearing on an application in order to consolidate it with a hearing on a subsequently filed application.

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Sec. 84.002. EXTENDED TIME FOR HEARING IN DISTRICT COURT IN CERTAIN COUNTIES.

(a) On the request of the prosecuting attorney in a county with a population of more than two million or in a county in a judicial district that is composed of more than one county, the district court shall set the hearing on a date and time not later than 20 days after the date the application is filed or 20 days after the date a request is made to reschedule a hearing under Section 84.003.

(b) The district court shall grant the request of the prosecuting attorney for an extended time in which to hold a hearing on a protective order either on a case–by–case basis or for all cases filed under this subtitle.

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Sec. 84.003. HEARING RESCHEDULED FOR FAILURE OF SERVICE.

(a) If a hearing set under this chapter is not held because of the failure of a respondent to receive service of notice of an application for a protective order, the applicant may request the court to reschedule the hearing.

(b) Except as provided by Section 84.002, the date for a rescheduled hearing shall be not later than 14 days after the date the request is made.

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Sec. 84.004. HEARING RESCHEDULED FOR INSUFFICIENT NOTICE.

(a) If a respondent receives service of notice of an application for a protective order within 48 hours before the time set for the hearing, on request by the respondent, the court shall reschedule the hearing for a date not later than 14 days after the date set for the hearing.

(b) The respondent is not entitled to additional service for a hearing rescheduled under this section.

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Sec. 84.005. LEGISLATIVE CONTINUANCE.

If a proceeding for which a legislative continuance is sought under Section 30.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, includes an application for a protective order, the continuance is discretionary with the court.

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Sec. 84.006. HEARSAY STATEMENT OF CHILD VICTIM OF FAMILY VIOLENCE.

In a hearing on an application for a protective order, a statement made by a child 12 years of age or younger that describes alleged family violence against the child is admissible as evidence in the same manner that a child's statement regarding alleged abuse against the child is admissible under Section 104.006 in a suit affecting the parent–child relationship.

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Ch. 85. Issuance of Protective Order

Subch. A. Findings and Orders

Sec. 85.001. REQUIRED FINDINGS AND ORDERS.

(a) At the close of a hearing on an application for a protective order, the court shall find whether:

(1) family violence has occurred; and

(2) family violence is likely to occur in the future.

(b) If the court finds that family violence has occurred and that family violence is likely to occur in the future, the court:

(1) shall render a protective order as provided by Section 85.022 applying only to a person found to have committed family violence; and

(2) may render a protective order as provided by Section 85.021 applying to both parties that is in the best interest of the person protected by the order or member of the family or household of the person protected by the order.

(c) A protective order that requires the first applicant to do or refrain from doing an act under Section 85.022 shall include a finding that the first applicant has committed family violence and is likely to commit family violence in the future.

(d) If the court renders a protective order for a period of more than two years, the court must include in the order a finding described by Section 85.025(a–1).

[Contents]

Sec. 85.002. EXCEPTION FOR VIOLATION OF EXPIRED PROTECTIVE ORDER.

If the court finds that a respondent violated a protective order by committing an act prohibited by the order as provided by Section 85.022, that the order was in effect at the time of the violation, and that the order has expired after the date that the violation occurred, the court, without the necessity of making the findings described by Section 85.001(a), shall render a protective order as provided by Section 85.022 applying only to the respondent and may render a protective order as provided by Section 85.021.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.003. SEPARATE PROTECTIVE ORDERS REQUIRED.

(a) A court that renders separate protective orders that apply to both parties and require both parties to do or refrain from doing acts under Section 85.022 shall render two distinct and separate protective orders in two separate documents that reflect the appropriate conditions for each party.

(b) A court that renders protective orders that apply to both parties and require both parties to do or refrain from doing acts under Section 85.022 shall render the protective orders in two separate documents. The court shall provide one of the documents to the applicant and the other document to the respondent.

(c) A court may not render one protective order under Section 85.022 that applies to both parties.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.004. PROTECTIVE ORDER IN SUIT FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE.

A protective order in a suit for dissolution of a marriage must be in a separate document entitled "PROTECTIVE ORDER."

[Contents]

Sec. 85.005. AGREED ORDER.

(a) To facilitate settlement, the parties to a proceeding may agree in writing to the terms of a protective order as provided by Section 85.021. An agreement under this subsection is subject to the approval of the court.

(b) To facilitate settlement, a respondent may agree in writing to the terms of a protective order as provided by Section 85.022, subject to the approval of the court. The court may not approve an agreement that requires the applicant to do or refrain from doing an act under Section 85.022. The agreed order is enforceable civilly or criminally.

(c) If the court approves an agreement between the parties, the court shall render an agreed protective order that is in the best interest of the applicant, the family or household, or a member of the family or household.

(d) An agreed protective order is not enforceable as a contract.

(e) An agreed protective order expires on the date the court order expires.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.006. DEFAULT ORDER.

(a) A court may render a protective order that is binding on a respondent who does not attend a hearing if the respondent received service of the application and notice of the hearing.

(b) If the court reschedules the hearing under Chapter 84, a protective order may be rendered if the respondent does not attend the rescheduled hearing.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.007. CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN INFORMATION.

(a) On request by a person protected by an order or member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, the court may exclude from a protective order the address and telephone number of:

(1) a person protected by the order, in which case the order shall state the county in which the person resides;

(2) the place of employment or business of a person protected by the order; or

(3) the child–care facility or school a child protected by the order attends or in which the child resides.

(b) On granting a request for confidentiality under this section, the court shall order the clerk to:

(1) strike the information described by Subsection (a) from the public records of the court; and

(2) maintain a confidential record of the information for use only by the court.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.009. ORDER VALID UNTIL SUPERSEDED.

A protective order rendered under this chapter is valid and enforceable pending further action by the court that rendered the order until the order is properly superseded by another court with jurisdiction over the order.

[Contents]

Subch. B. Contents of Protective Order

Sec. 85.021. REQUIREMENTS OF ORDER APPLYING TO ANY PARTY.

In a protective order, the court may:

(1) prohibit a party from:

(A) removing a child who is a member of the family or household from:

(i) the possession of a person named in the order; or

(ii) the jurisdiction of the court;

(B) transferring, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of property, other than in the ordinary course of business, that is mutually owned or leased by the parties; or

(C) removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the order;

(2) grant exclusive possession of a residence to a party and, if appropriate, direct one or more parties to vacate the residence if the residence:

(A) is jointly owned or leased by the party receiving exclusive possession and a party being denied possession;

(B) is owned or leased by the party retaining possession; or

(C) is owned or leased by the party being denied possession and that party has an obligation to support the party or a child of the party granted possession of the residence;

(3) provide for the possession of and access to a child of a party if the person receiving possession of or access to the child is a parent of the child;

(4) require the payment of support for a party or for a child of a party if the person required to make the payment has an obligation to support the other party or the child; or

(5) award to a party the use and possession of specified property that is community property or jointly owned or leased property.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.022. REQUIREMENTS OF ORDER APPLYING TO PERSON WHO COMMITTED FAMILY VIOLENCE.

(a) In a protective order, the court may order the person found to have committed family violence to perform acts specified by the court that the court determines are necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of family violence and may order that person to:

(1) complete a battering intervention and prevention program accredited under Article 42.141, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(2) beginning on September 1, 2008, if the referral option under Subdivision (1) is not available, complete a program or counsel with a provider that has begun the accreditation process described by Subsection (a–1); or

(3) if the referral option under Subdivision (1) or, beginning on September 1, 2008, the referral option under Subdivision (2) is not available, counsel with a social worker, family service agency, physician, psychologist, licensed therapist, or licensed professional counselor who has completed family violence intervention training that the community justice assistance division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has approved, after consultation with the licensing authorities described by Chapters 152, 501, 502, 503, and 505, Occupations Code, and experts in the field of family violence.

(a–1) Beginning on September 1, 2009, a program or provider serving as a referral option for the courts under Subsection (a)(1) or (2) must be accredited under Section 4A, Article 42.141, Code of Criminal Procedure, as conforming to program guidelines under that article.

(b) In a protective order, the court may prohibit the person found to have committed family violence from:

(1) committing family violence;

(2) communicating:

(A) directly with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, in a threatening or harassing manner;

(B) a threat through any person to a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order; and

(C) if the court finds good cause, in any manner with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, except through the party's attorney or a person appointed by the court;

(3) going to or near the residence or place of employment or business of a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order;

(4) going to or near the residence, child–care facility, or school a child protected under the order normally attends or in which the child normally resides;

(5) engaging in conduct directed specifically toward a person who is a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, including following the person, that is reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the person;

(6) possessing a firearm, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full–time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision; and

(7) harming, threatening, or interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, that is possessed by or is in the actual or constructive care of a person protected by an order or by a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order.

(c) In an order under Subsection (b)(3) or (4), the court shall specifically describe each prohibited location and the minimum distances from the location, if any, that the party must maintain. This subsection does not apply to an order in which Section 85.007 applies.

(d) In a protective order, the court shall suspend a license to carry a handgun issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, that is held by a person found to have committed family violence.

(e) In this section, "firearm" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.01, Penal Code.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.023. EFFECT ON PROPERTY RIGHTS.

A protective order or an agreement approved by the court under this subtitle does not affect the title to real property.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.024. ENFORCEMENT OF COUNSELING REQUIREMENT.

(a) A person found to have engaged in family violence who is ordered to attend a program or counseling under Section 85.022(a)(1), (2), or (3) shall file with the court an affidavit before the 60th day after the date the order was rendered stating either that the person has begun the program or counseling or that a program or counseling is not available within a reasonable distance from the person's residence. A person who files an affidavit that the person has begun the program or counseling shall file with the court before the date the protective order expires a statement that the person completed the program or counseling not later than the 30th day before the expiration date of the protective order or the 30th day before the first anniversary of the date the protective order was issued, whichever date is earlier. An affidavit under this subsection must be accompanied by a letter, notice, or certificate from the program or counselor that verifies the person's completion of the program or counseling. A person who fails to comply with this subsection may be punished for contempt of court under Section 21.002, Government Code.

(b) A protective order under Section 85.022 must specifically advise the person subject to the order of the requirement of this section and the possible punishment if the person fails to comply with the requirement.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.025. DURATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this Section, an order under this subtitle is effective:

(1) for the period stated in the order, not to exceed two years; or

(2) if a period is not stated in the order, until the second anniversary of the date the order was issued.

(a–1) The court may render a protective order sufficient to protect the applicant and members of the applicant's family or household that is effective for a period that exceeds two years if the court finds that the person who is the subject of the protective order:

(1) caused serious bodily injury to the applicant or a member of the applicant's family or household; or

(2) was the subject of two or more previous protective orders rendered:

(A) to protect the person on whose behalf the current protective order is sought; and

(B) after a finding by the court that the subject of the protective order:

(i) has committed family violence; and

(ii) is likely to commit family violence in the future.

(b) A person who is the subject of a protective order may file a motion not earlier than the first anniversary of the date on which the order was rendered requesting that the court review the protective order and determine whether there is a continuing need for the order. A person who is the subject of a protective order under Subsection (a–1) that is effective for a period that exceeds two years may file a subsequent motion requesting that the court review the protective order and determine whether there is a continuing need for the order not earlier than the first anniversary of the date on which the court rendered an order on a previous motion by the person under this subsection. After a hearing on the motion, if the court does not make a finding that there is no continuing need for the protective order, the protective order remains in effect until the date the order expires under this section. Evidence of the movant's compliance with the protective order does not by itself support a finding by the court that there is no continuing need for the protective order. If the court finds there is no continuing need for the protective order, the court shall order that the protective order expires on a date set by the court.

(c) If a person who is the subject of a protective order is confined or imprisoned on the date the protective order would expire under Subsection (a) or (a–1), or if the protective order would expire not later than the first anniversary of the date the person is released from confinement or imprisonment, the period for which the order is effective is extended, and the order expires on:

(1) the first anniversary of the date the person is released from confinement or imprisonment, if the person was sentenced to confinement or imprisonment for more than five years; or

(2) the second anniversary of the date the person is released from confinement or imprisonment, if the person was sentenced to confinement or imprisonment for five years or less.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.026. WARNING ON PROTECTIVE ORDER.

(a) Each protective order issued under this subtitle, including a temporary ex parte order, must contain the following prominently displayed statements in boldfaced type, capital letters, or underlined:

"A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ORDER MAY BE PUNISHED FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS $500 OR BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR AS LONG AS SIX MONTHS, OR BOTH."

"NO PERSON, INCLUDING A PERSON WHO IS PROTECTED BY THIS ORDER, MAY GIVE PERMISSION TO ANYONE TO IGNORE OR VIOLATE ANY PROVISION OF THIS ORDER. DURING THE TIME IN WHICH THIS ORDER IS VALID, EVERY PROVISION OF THIS ORDER IS IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT UNLESS A COURT CHANGES THE ORDER."

"IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN A PEACE OFFICER, AS DEFINED BY SECTION 1.07, PENAL CODE, ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN EMPLOYMENT AS A SWORN, FULL–TIME PAID EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION, WHO IS SUBJECT TO A PROTECTIVE ORDER TO POSSESS A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION."

"A VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER BY COMMISSION OF AN ACT PROHIBITED BY THE ORDER MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS $4,000 OR BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR AS LONG AS ONE YEAR, OR BOTH. AN ACT THAT RESULTS IN FAMILY VIOLENCE MAY BE PROSECUTED AS A SEPARATE MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY OFFENSE. IF THE ACT IS PROSECUTED AS A SEPARATE FELONY OFFENSE, IT IS PUNISHABLE BY CONFINEMENT IN PRISON FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS."

(b) [Repealed]

(c) Each protective order issued under this subtitle, including a temporary ex parte order, must contain the following prominently displayed statement in boldfaced type, capital letters, or underlined:

"NO PERSON, INCLUDING A PERSON WHO IS PROTECTED BY THIS ORDER, MAY GIVE PERMISSION TO ANYONE TO IGNORE OR VIOLATE ANY PROVISION OF THIS ORDER. DURING THE TIME IN WHICH THIS ORDER IS VALID, EVERY PROVISION OF THIS ORDER IS IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT UNLESS A COURT CHANGES THE ORDER."

[Contents]

Subch. C. Delivery of Protective Order

Sec. 85.041. DELIVERY TO RESPONDENT.

(a) A protective order rendered under this subtitle shall be:

(1) delivered to the respondent as provided by Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(2) served in the same manner as a writ of injunction; or

(3) served in open court at the close of the hearing as provided by this section.

(b) The court shall serve an order in open court to a respondent who is present at the hearing by giving to the respondent a copy of the order, reduced to writing and signed by the judge or master. A certified copy of the signed order shall be given to the applicant at the time the order is given to the respondent. If the applicant is not in court at the conclusion of the hearing, the clerk of the court shall mail a certified copy of the order to the applicant not later than the third business day after the date the hearing is concluded.

(c) If the order has not been reduced to writing, the court shall give notice orally to a respondent who is present at the hearing of the part of the order that contains prohibitions under Section 85.022 or any other part of the order that contains provisions necessary to prevent further family violence. The clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the order to the respondent and a certified copy of the order to the applicant not later than the third business day after the date the hearing is concluded.

(d) If the respondent is not present at the hearing and the order has been reduced to writing at the conclusion of the hearing, the clerk of the court shall immediately provide a certified copy of the order to the applicant and mail a copy of the order to the respondent not later than the third business day after the date the hearing is concluded.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.042. DELIVERY OF ORDER TO OTHER PERSONS.

(a) Not later than the next business day after the date the court issues an original or modified protective order under this subtitle, the clerk of the court shall send a copy of the order, along with the information provided by the applicant or the applicant's attorney that is required under Section 411.042(b)(6), Government Code, to:

(1) the chief of police of the municipality in which the person protected by the order resides, if the person resides in a municipality;

(2) the appropriate constable and the sheriff of the county in which the person resides, if the person does not reside in a municipality; and

(3) the Title IV–D agency, if the application for the protective order indicates that the applicant is receiving services from the Title IV–D agency.

(a–1) This subsection applies only if the respondent, at the time of issuance of an original or modified protective order under this subtitle, is a member of the state military forces or is serving in the armed forces of the United States in an active–duty status and the applicant or the applicant's attorney provides to the clerk of the court the mailing address of the staff judge advocate or provost marshal, as applicable. In addition to complying with Subsection (a), the clerk of the court shall also provide a copy of the protective order and the information described by that subsection to the staff judge advocate at Joint Force Headquarters or the provost marshal of the military installation to which the respondent is assigned with the intent that the commanding officer will be notified, as applicable.

(b) If a protective order made under this chapter prohibits a respondent from going to or near a child–care facility or school, the clerk of the court shall send a copy of the order to the child–care facility or school.

(c) The clerk of a court that vacates an original or modified protective order under this subtitle shall notify each individual or entity who received a copy of the original or modified order from the clerk under this section that the order is vacated.

(d) The applicant or the applicant's attorney shall provide to the clerk of the court:

(1) the name and address of each law enforcement agency, child–care facility, school, and other individual or entity to which the clerk is required to send a copy of the order under this section; and

(2) any other information required under Section 411.042(b)(6), Government Code.

(e) The clerk of the court issuing an original or modified protective order under Section 85.022 that suspends a license to carry a handgun shall send a copy of the order to the appropriate division of the Department of Public Safety at its Austin headquarters. On receipt of the order suspending the license, the department shall:

(1) record the suspension of the license in the records of the department;

(2) report the suspension to local law enforcement agencies, as appropriate; and

(3) demand surrender of the suspended license from the license holder.

(f) A clerk of the court may transmit the order and any related information electronically or in another manner that can be accessed by the recipient.

(g) A clerk of the court may delay sending a copy of the order under Subsection (a) only if the clerk lacks information necessary to ensure service and enforcement.

(h) In this section, "business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or state or national holiday.

[Contents]

Subch. D. Relationship Between Protective Order and Suit for Dissolution of Marriage and Suit Affecting Parent–Child Relationship

Sec. 85.061. DISMISSAL OF APPLICATION PROHIBITED; SUBSEQUENTLY FILED SUIT FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE OR SUIT AFFECTING PARENT–CHILD RELATIONSHIP.

If an application for a protective order is pending, a court may not dismiss the application or delay a hearing on the application on the grounds that a suit for dissolution of marriage or suit affecting the parent–child relationship is filed after the date the application was filed.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.062. APPLICATION FILED WHILE SUIT FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE OR SUIT AFFECTING PARENT–CHILD RELATIONSHIP PENDING.

(a) If a suit for dissolution of a marriage or suit affecting the parent–child relationship is pending, a party to the suit may apply for a protective order against another party to the suit by filing an application:

(1) in the court in which the suit is pending; or

(2) in a court in the county in which the applicant resides if the applicant resides outside the jurisdiction of the court in which the suit is pending.

(b) An applicant subject to this section shall inform the clerk of the court that renders a protective order that a suit for dissolution of a marriage or a suit affecting the parent–child relationship is pending in which the applicant is party.

(c) If a final protective order is rendered by a court other than the court in which a suit for dissolution of a marriage or a suit affecting the parent–child relationship is pending, the clerk of the court that rendered the protective order shall:

(1) inform the clerk of the court in which the suit is pending that a final protective order has been rendered; and

(2) forward a copy of the final protective order to the court in which the suit is pending.

(d) A protective order rendered by a court in which an application is filed under Subsection (a)(2) is subject to transfer under Section 85.064.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.063. APPLICATION FILED AFTER FINAL ORDER RENDERED IN SUIT FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE OR SUIT AFFECTING PARENT–CHILD RELATIONSHIP.

(a) If a final order has been rendered in a suit for dissolution of marriage or suit affecting the parent–child relationship, an application for a protective order by a party to the suit against another party to the suit filed after the date the final order was rendered, and that is:

(1) filed in the county in which the final order was rendered, shall be filed in the court that rendered the final order; and

(2) filed in another county, shall be filed in a court having jurisdiction to render a protective order under this subtitle.

(b) A protective order rendered by a court in which an application is filed under Subsection (a)(2) is subject to transfer under Section 85.064.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.064. TRANSFER OF PROTECTIVE ORDER.

(a) If a protective order was rendered before the filing of a suit for dissolution of marriage or suit affecting the parent–child relationship or while the suit is pending as provided by Section 85.062, the court that rendered the order may, on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, transfer the protective order to the court having jurisdiction of the suit if the court makes the finding prescribed by Subsection (c).

(b) If a protective order that affects a party's right to possession of or access to a child is rendered after the date a final order was rendered in a suit affecting the parent–child relationship, on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, the court may transfer the protective order to the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction if the court makes the finding prescribed by Subsection (c).

(c) A court may transfer a protective order under this section if the court finds that the transfer is:

(1) in the interest of justice; or

(2) for the safety or convenience of a party or a witness.

(d) The transfer of a protective order under this section shall be conducted according to the procedures provided by Section 155.207.

(e) Except as provided by Section 81.002, the fees or costs associated with the transfer of a protective order shall be paid by the movant.

[Contents]

Sec. 85.065. EFFECT OF TRANSFER.

(a) [Repealed]

(b) [Repealed]

(c) A protective order that is transferred is subject to modification by the court that receives the order to the same extent modification is permitted under Chapter 87 by a court that rendered the order.

[Contents]

Ch. 86. Law Enforcement Duties Relating to Protective Orders

Sec. 86.001. ADOPTION OF PROCEDURES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

(a) To ensure that law enforcement officers responding to calls are aware of the existence and terms of protective orders issued under this subtitle, each law enforcement agency shall establish procedures in the agency to provide adequate information or access to information for law enforcement officers of the names of each person protected by an order issued under this subtitle and of each person against whom protective orders are directed.

(b) A law enforcement agency may enter a protective order in the agency's computer records of outstanding warrants as notice that the order has been issued and is currently in effect. On receipt of notification by a clerk of court that the court has vacated or dismissed an order, the law enforcement agency shall remove the order from the agency's computer record of outstanding warrants.

[Contents]

Sec. 86.0011. DUTY TO ENTER INFORMATION INTO STATEWIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM.

(a) On receipt of an original or modified protective order from the clerk of the issuing court, a law enforcement agency shall immediately, but not later than the third business day after the date the order is received, enter the information required by Section 411.042(b)(6), Government Code, into the statewide law enforcement information system maintained by the Department of Public Safety.

(b) In this section, "business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or state or national holiday.

[Contents]

Sec. 86.002. DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO FIREARMS DEALERS.

(a) On receipt of a request for a law enforcement information system record check of a prospective transferee by a licensed firearms dealer under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 922, the chief law enforcement officer shall determine whether the Department of Public Safety has in the department's law enforcement information system a record indicating the existence of an active protective order directed to the prospective transferee.

(b) If the department's law enforcement information system indicates the existence of an active protective order directed to the prospective transferee, the chief law enforcement officer shall immediately advise the dealer that the transfer is prohibited.

[Contents]

Sec. 86.003. COURT ORDER FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE UNDER TEMPORARY ORDER.

On request by an applicant obtaining a temporary ex parte protective order that excludes the respondent from the respondent's residence, the court granting the temporary order shall render a written order to the sheriff, constable, or chief of police to provide a law enforcement officer from the department of the chief of police, constable, or sheriff to:

(1) accompany the applicant to the residence covered by the order;

(2) inform the respondent that the court has ordered that the respondent be excluded from the residence;

(3) protect the applicant while the applicant takes possession of the residence; and

(4) protect the applicant if the respondent refuses to vacate the residence while the applicant takes possession of the applicant's necessary personal property.

[Contents]

Sec. 86.004. COURT ORDER FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE UNDER FINAL ORDER.

On request by an applicant obtaining a final protective order that excludes the respondent from the respondent's residence, the court granting the final order shall render a written order to the sheriff, constable, or chief of police to provide a law enforcement officer from the department of the chief of police, constable, or sheriff to:

(1) accompany the applicant to the residence covered by the order;

(2) inform the respondent that the court has ordered that the respondent be excluded from the residence;

(3) protect the applicant while the applicant takes possession of the residence and the respondent takes possession of the respondent's necessary personal property; and

(4) if the respondent refuses to vacate the residence:

(A) remove the respondent from the residence; and

(B) arrest the respondent for violating the court order.

[Contents]

Sec. 86.005. PROTECTIVE ORDER FROM ANOTHER JURISDICTION.

To ensure that law enforcement officers responding to calls are aware of the existence and terms of a protective order from another jurisdiction, each law enforcement agency shall establish procedures in the agency to provide adequate information or access to information for law enforcement officers regarding the name of each person protected by an order rendered in another jurisdiction and of each person against whom the protective order is directed.

[Contents]

Ch. 87. Modification of Protective Orders

Sec. 87.001. MODIFICATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER.

On the motion of any party, the court, after notice and hearing, may modify an existing protective order to:

(1) exclude any item included in the order; or

(2) include any item that could have been included in the order.

[Contents]

Sec. 87.002. MODIFICATION MAY NOT EXTEND DURATION OF ORDER.

A protective order may not be modified to extend the period of the order's validity beyond the second anniversary of the date the original order was rendered or beyond the date the order expires under Section 85.025(a–1) or (c), whichever date occurs later.

[Contents]

Sec. 87.003. NOTIFICATION OF MOTION TO MODIFY.

Notice of a motion to modify a protective order is sufficient if delivery of the motion is attempted on the respondent at the respondent's last known address by registered or certified mail as provided by Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

[Contents]

Sec. 87.004. CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER.

(a) If a protective order contains the address or telephone number of a person protected by the order, of the place of employment or business of the person, or of the child–care facility or school of a child protected by the order and that information is not confidential under Section 85.007, the person protected by the order may file a notification of change of address or telephone number with the court that rendered the order to modify the information contained in the order.

(b) The clerk of the court shall attach the notification of change to the protective order and shall deliver a copy of the notification to the respondent by registered or certified mail as provided by Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) The filing of a notification of change of address or telephone number and the attachment of the notification to a protective order does not affect the validity of the order.

[Contents]

Ch. 88. Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Protective Orders

Sec. 88.001. SHORT TITLE.

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

[Contents]

Sec. 88.002. DEFINITIONS.

In this chapter:

(1) "Foreign protective order" means a protective order issued by a tribunal of another state.

(2) "Issuing state" means the state in which a tribunal issues a protective order.

(3) "Mutual foreign protective order" means a foreign protective order that includes provisions issued in favor of both the protected individual seeking enforcement of the order and the respondent.

(4) "Protected individual" means an individual protected by a protective order.

(5) "Protective order" means an injunction or other order, issued by a tribunal under the domestic violence or family violence laws or another law of the issuing state, to prevent an individual from engaging in violent or threatening acts against, harassing, contacting or communicating with, or being in physical proximity to another individual.

(6) "Respondent" means the individual against whom enforcement of a protective order is sought.

(7) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes a military tribunal of the United States, an Indian tribe or band, and an Alaskan native village that has jurisdiction to issue protective orders.

(8) "Tribunal" means a court, agency, or other entity authorized by law to issue or modify a protective order.

[Contents]

Sec. 88.003. JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT OF ORDER.

(a) A tribunal of this state shall enforce the terms of a foreign protective order, including a term that provides relief that a tribunal of this state would not have power to provide but for this section. The tribunal shall enforce the order regardless of whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding, if the order is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protective order, the tribunal shall follow the procedures of this state for the enforcement of protective orders.

(b) A tribunal of this state shall enforce the provisions of the foreign protective order that govern the possession of and access to a child if the provisions were issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of possession and access orders in the issuing state.

(c) A tribunal of this state may enforce a provision of the foreign protective order relating to child support if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements of Chapter 159 and the federal Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act, 28 U.S.C. Section 1738B, as amended.

(d) A foreign protective order is valid if the order:

(1) names the protected individual and the respondent;

(2) is currently in effect;

(3) was rendered by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter under the law of the issuing state; and

(4) was rendered after the respondent was given reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard consistent with the right to due process, either:

(A) before the tribunal issued the order; or

(B) in the case of an ex parte order, within a reasonable time after the order was rendered.

(e) A protected individual seeking enforcement of a foreign protective order establishes a prima facie case for its validity by presenting an order that is valid on its face.

(f) It is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of a foreign protective order that the order does not meet the requirements for a valid order under Subsection (d).

(g) A tribunal of this state may enforce the provisions of a mutual foreign protective order that favor a respondent only if:

(1) the respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protective order from the tribunal of the issuing state; and

(2) the tribunal of the issuing state made specific findings in favor of the respondent.

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Sec. 88.004. NONJUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT OF ORDER.

(a) A law enforcement officer of this state, on determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protective order exists and that the order has been violated, shall enforce the foreign protective order as if it were an order of a tribunal of this state. A law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a foreign protective order exists if the protected individual presents a foreign protective order that identifies both the protected individual and the respondent and on its face, is currently in effect.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a foreign protective order may be inscribed on a tangible medium or may be stored in an electronic or other medium if it is retrievable in a perceivable form. Presentation of a certified copy of a protective order is not required for enforcement.

(c) If a protected individual does not present a foreign protective order, a law enforcement officer may determine that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protective order exists by relying on any relevant information.

(d) A law enforcement officer of this state who determines that an otherwise valid foreign protective order cannot be enforced because the respondent has not been notified or served with the order shall inform the respondent of the order and make a reasonable effort to serve the order on the respondent. After informing the respondent and attempting to serve the order, the officer shall allow the respondent a reasonable opportunity to comply with the order before enforcing the order.

(e) The registration or filing of an order in this state is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protective order under this chapter.

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Sec. 88.005. REGISTRATION OF ORDER.

(a) An individual may register a foreign protective order in this state. To register a foreign protective order, an individual shall:

(1) present a certified copy of the order to a sheriff, constable, or chief of police responsible for the registration of orders in the local computer records and in the statewide law enforcement system maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety; or

(2) present a certified copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety and request that the order be registered in the statewide law enforcement system maintained by the Department of Public Safety.

(b) On receipt of a foreign protective order, the agency responsible for the registration of protective orders shall register the order in accordance with this section and furnish to the individual registering the order a certified copy of the registered order.

(c) The agency responsible for the registration of protective orders shall register a foreign protective order on presentation of a copy of a protective order that has been certified by the issuing state. A registered foreign protective order that is inaccurate or not currently in effect shall be corrected or removed from the registry in accordance with the law of this state.

(d) An individual registering a foreign protective order shall file an affidavit made by the protected individual that, to the best of the protected individual's knowledge, the order is in effect.

(e) A foreign protective order registered under this section may be entered in any existing state or federal registry of protective orders, in accordance with state or federal law.

(f) A fee may not be charged for the registration of a foreign protective order.

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Sec. 88.006. IMMUNITY.

A state or local governmental agency, law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of court, or any state or local governmental official acting in an official capacity is immune from civil and criminal liability for an act or omission arising from the registration or enforcement of a foreign protective order or the detention or arrest of a person alleged to have violated a foreign protective order if the act or omission was done in good faith in an effort to comply with this chapter.

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Sec. 88.007. OTHER REMEDIES.

A protected individual who pursues a remedy under this chapter is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent.

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Sec. 88.008. UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION.

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among the states that enact the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

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Subtitle C. Reporting Family Violence

Ch. 91. Reporting Family Violence

Sec. 91.001. DEFINITIONS.

In this subtitle:

(1) "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004.

(2) "Medical professional" means a licensed doctor, nurse, physician assistant, or emergency medical technician.

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Sec. 91.002. REPORTING BY WITNESSES ENCOURAGED.

A person who witnesses family violence is encouraged to report the family violence to a local law enforcement agency.

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Sec. 91.003. INFORMATION PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.

A medical professional who treats a person for injuries that the medical professional has reason to believe were caused by family violence shall:

(1) immediately provide the person with information regarding the nearest family violence shelter center;

(2) document in the person's medical file:

(A) the fact that the person has received the information provided under Subdivision (1); and

(B) the reasons for the medical professional's belief that the person's injuries were caused by family violence; and

(3) give the person a written notice in substantially the following form, completed with the required information, in both English and Spanish:

"It is a crime for any person to cause you any physical injury or harm even if that person is a member or former member of your family or household.

"NOTICE TO ADULT VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE

"You may report family violence to a law enforcement officer by calling the following telephone numbers: _____________________________.

"If you, your child, or any other household resident has been injured or if you feel you are going to be in danger after a law enforcement officer investigating family violence leaves your residence or at a later time, you have the right to:

"Ask the local prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the person committing family violence; and

"Apply to a court for an order to protect you. You may want to consult with a legal aid office, a prosecuting attorney, or a private attorney. A court can enter an order that:

"(1) prohibits the abuser from committing further acts of violence;

"(2) prohibits the abuser from threatening, harassing, or contacting you at home;

"(3) directs the abuser to leave your household; and

"(4) establishes temporary custody of the children or any property.

"A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF COURT–ORDERED PROTECTION MAY BE A FELONY.

"CALL THE FOLLOWING VIOLENCE SHELTERS OR SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS IF YOU NEED PROTECTION: _____________________________."

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Sec. 91.004. APPLICATION OF SUBTITLE.

This subtitle does not affect a duty to report child abuse under Chapter 261.

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Ch. 92. Immunity

Sec. 92.001. IMMUNITY.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person who reports family violence under Section 91.002 or provides information under Section 91.003 is immune from civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

(b) A person who reports the person's own conduct or who otherwise reports family violence in bad faith is not protected from liability under this section.

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