Subtitle B. Parental Liability

Subtitle B. Parental Liability

Ch. 41. Liability of Parents for Conduct of Child

41.001. Liability

41.002. Limit of Damages

41.0025. Liability for Property Damage to an Inn or Hotel

41.003. Venue

Ch. 42. Civil Liability for Interference with Possessory Interest in Child

42.001. Definitions

42.002. Liability for Interference with Possessory Right

42.003. Aiding or Assisting Interference with Possessory Right

42.005. Venue

42.006. Damages

42.007. Affirmative Defense

42.008. Remedies Not Affected

42.009. Frivolous Suit

Title 2: Child in Relation to the Family

Subtitle B. Parental Liability

Ch. 41. Liability of Parents for Conduct of Child

Sec. 41.001. LIABILITY.

A parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any property damage proximately caused by:

(1) the negligent conduct of the child if the conduct is reasonably attributable to the negligent failure of the parent or other person to exercise that duty; or

(2) the wilful and malicious conduct of a child who is at least 10 years of age but under 18 years of age.

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Sec. 41.002. LIMIT OF DAMAGES.

Recovery for damage caused by wilful and malicious conduct is limited to actual damages, not to exceed $25,000 per occurrence, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

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Sec. 41.0025. LIABILITY FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE TO AN INN OR HOTEL.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 41.002, recovery of damages by an inn or hotel for wilful and malicious conduct is limited to actual damages, not to exceed $25,000 per occurrence, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(b) In this section "occurrence" means one incident on a single day in one hotel room. The term does not include incidents in separate rooms or incidents that occur on different days.

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Sec. 41.003. VENUE.

A suit as provided by this chapter may be filed in the county in which the conduct of the child occurred or in the county in which the defendant resides.

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Ch. 42. Civil Liability for Interference with Possessory Interest in Child

Sec. 42.001. DEFINITIONS.

In this chapter:

(1) "Order" means a temporary or final order of a court of this state or another state or nation.

(2) "Possessory right" means a court–ordered right of possession of or access to a child, including conservatorship, custody, and visitation.

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Sec. 42.002. LIABILITY FOR INTERFERENCE WITH POSSESSORY RIGHT.

(a) A person who takes or retains possession of a child or who conceals the whereabouts of a child in violation of a possessory right of another person may be liable for damages to that person.

(b) A possessory right is violated by the taking, retention, or concealment of a child at a time when another person is entitled to possession of or access to the child.

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Sec. 42.003. AIDING OR ASSISTING INTERFERENCE WITH POSSESSORY RIGHT.

(a) A person who aids or assists in conduct for which a cause of action is authorized by this chapter is jointly and severally liable for damages.

(b) A person who was not a party to the suit in which an order was rendered providing for a possessory right is not liable unless the person at the time of the violation:

(1) had actual notice of the existence and contents of the order; or

(2) had reasonable cause to believe that the child was the subject of an order and that the person's actions were likely to violate the order.

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Sec. 42.005. VENUE.

A suit may be filed in a county in which:

(1) the plaintiff resides;

(2) the defendant resides;

(3) a suit affecting the parent–child relationship as provided by Chapter 102 may be brought, concerning the child who is the subject of the court order; or

(4) a court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 155.

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Sec. 42.006. DAMAGES.

(a) Damages may include:

(1) the actual costs and expenses incurred, including attorney's fees, in:

(A) locating a child who is the subject of the order;

(B) recovering possession of the child if the petitioner is entitled to possession; and

(C) enforcing the order and prosecuting the suit; and

(2) mental suffering and anguish incurred by the plaintiff because of a violation of the order.

(b) A person liable for damages who acted with malice or with an intent to cause harm to the plaintiff may be liable for exemplary damages.

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Sec. 42.007. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.

The defendant may plead as an affirmative defense that the defendant acted in violation of the order with the express consent of the plaintiff.

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Sec. 42.008. REMEDIES NOT AFFECTED.

This chapter does not affect any other civil or criminal remedy available to any person, including the child, for interference with a possessory right, nor does it affect the power of a parent to represent the interest of a child in a suit filed on behalf of the child.

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Sec. 42.009. FRIVOLOUS SUIT.

A person sued for damages as provided by this chapter is entitled to recover attorney's fees and court costs if:

(1) the claim for damages is dismissed or judgment is awarded to the defendant; and

(2) the court or jury finds that the claim for damages is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.

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