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  H.B. No. 556
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to payment of attorney's fees in certain actions to
  recover possession of real property.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 16.034(a), Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In a suit for the possession of real property between a
  person claiming under record title to the property and one claiming
  by adverse possession, if the prevailing party recovers possession
  of the property from a person unlawfully in actual possession, the
  court:
               (1)  shall [may] award costs and reasonable attorney's
  fees to the prevailing party if the court finds that the person
  unlawfully in actual possession made a claim of adverse possession
  that was groundless and made in bad faith; and
               (2)  may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to
  the prevailing party in the absence of a finding described by
  Subdivision (1).
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a suit for the possession of real property filed on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A suit filed before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect immediately before the
  effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 556 was passed by the House on May 8,
  2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 131, Nays 1, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 556 on May 29, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 136, Nays 0, 1
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 556 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 26, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor