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  83R11079 CAE-D
 
  By: Hunter H.B. No. 1759
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to a correction, clarification, or retraction of incorrect
  information published.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 73, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by designating Sections 73.001 through 73.006 as Subchapter
  A and adding a subchapter heading to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 73, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by adding Subchapter B to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B. CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR RETRACTION BY
  PUBLISHER
         Sec. 73.051.  SHORT TITLE. This subchapter may be cited as
  the Defamation Mitigation Act. This subchapter shall be liberally
  construed.
         Sec. 73.052.  PURPOSE. The purpose of this subchapter is to
  provide a method for a person who has been defamed by a publication
  or broadcast to mitigate any perceived damage or injury.
         Sec. 73.053.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Defamatory" means tending to harm a reputation.
               (2)  "Person" means an individual, corporation,
  business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint
  venture, or other legal or commercial entity. The term does not
  include a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or
  instrumentality.
         Sec. 73.054.  APPLICABILITY. (a) This subchapter applies
  to a claim for relief from damages arising out of harm to a personal
  reputation caused by the false content of a publication.
         (b)  This subchapter applies to all publications, including
  writings, broadcasts, oral communications, electronic
  transmissions, or other forms of transmitting information.
         Sec. 73.055.  REQUEST FOR CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR
  RETRACTION. (a) A person may maintain an action for defamation
  only if:
               (1)  the person has made a timely and sufficient
  request for a correction, clarification, or retraction from the
  defendant; or
               (2)  the defendant has made a correction,
  clarification, or retraction.
         (b)  A request for a correction, clarification, or
  retraction is timely if made during the period of limitation for
  commencement of an action for defamation.
         (c)  A person may recover exemplary damages only if not later
  than the 90th day after receiving knowledge of the publication, the
  person requests a correction, clarification, or retraction.
         (d)  A request for a correction, clarification, or
  retraction is sufficient if it:
               (1)  is served on the publisher;
               (2)  is made in writing, reasonably identifies the
  person making the request, and is signed by the individual claiming
  to have been defamed or by the person's authorized attorney or
  agent;
               (3)  states with particularity the statement alleged to
  be false and defamatory and, to the extent known, the time and place
  of publication;
               (4)  alleges the defamatory meaning of the statement;
  and
               (5)  specifies the circumstances causing a defamatory
  meaning of the statement if it arises from something other than the
  express language of the publication.
         Sec. 73.056.  DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE OF FALSITY. (a) A
  person who has been requested to make a correction, clarification,
  or retraction may ask the person making the request to provide
  reasonably available information regarding the falsity of the
  allegedly defamatory statement. Any information requested under
  this section must be provided by the person seeking the correction,
  clarification, or retraction not later than the 30th day after the
  date the person receives the request.  A period of limitation for
  commencement of a claim under this subsection is tolled during the
  period allowed in this section.
         (b)  If a correction, clarification, or retraction is not
  made, a person who, without good cause, fails to disclose the
  information requested under Subsection (a) may not recover
  exemplary damages.
         Sec. 73.057.  TIMELY AND SUFFICIENT CORRECTION,
  CLARIFICATION, OR RETRACTION. (a) A correction, clarification, or
  retraction is timely if it is made not later than the 30th day after
  receipt of:
               (1)  the request for the correction, clarification, or
  retraction; or
               (2)  the information requested under Section
  73.056(a).
         (b)  A correction, clarification, or retraction is
  sufficient if it is published with a prominence and in a manner and
  medium reasonably likely to reach substantially the same audience
  as the publication complained of and:
               (1)  is publication of an acknowledgment that the
  statement specified as false and defamatory is erroneous;
               (2)  is an allegation that the defamatory meaning
  arises from other than the express language of the publication and
  the publisher disclaims an intent to communicate that meaning or to
  assert its truth;
               (3)  is a statement attributed to another person whom
  the publisher identifies and the publisher disclaims an intent to
  assert the truth of the statement; or
               (4)  is publication of the requestor's statement of the
  facts, as set forth in a request for correction, clarification, or
  retraction, or a fair summary of the statement, exclusive of any
  portion that is defamatory of another, obscene, or otherwise
  improper for publication.
         (c)  If a request for correction, clarification, or
  retraction has specified two or more statements as false and
  defamatory, the correction, clarification, or retraction may deal
  with the statements individually in any manner provided by
  Subsection (b).
         (d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a correction,
  clarification, or retraction is published with a prominence and in
  a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach substantially the
  same audience as the publication complained of if:
               (1)  it is published in a later issue, edition, or
  broadcast of the original publication;
               (2)  publication is in the next practicable issue,
  edition, or broadcast of the original publication because the
  publication will not be published within the time limits
  established for a timely correction, clarification, or retraction;
  or
               (3)  the original publication no longer exists and if
  the correction, clarification, or retraction is published in the
  newspaper with the largest general circulation in the region in
  which the original publication was distributed.
         (e)  If the original publication was on the Internet, a
  correction, clarification, or retraction is published with a
  prominence and in a manner and medium reasonably likely to reach
  substantially the same audience as the publication complained of if
  the publisher appends to the original publication the correction,
  clarification, or retraction.
         Sec. 73.058.  CHALLENGES TO CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR
  RETRACTION OR TO REQUEST FOR CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR
  RETRACTION. (a) If a defendant in an action under this subchapter
  intends to rely on a timely and sufficient correction,
  clarification, or retraction, the defendant's intention to do so,
  and the correction, clarification, or retraction relied on, must be
  stated in a notice served on the plaintiff on the later of:
               (1)  the 60th day after service of the citation; or
               (2)  the 10th day after the date the correction,
  clarification, or retraction is made.
         (b)  A correction, clarification, or retraction is timely
  and sufficient unless the plaintiff challenges the timeliness or
  sufficiency not later than the 20th day after the date notice under
  Subsection (a) is served. If a plaintiff challenges the timeliness
  or sufficiency, the plaintiff must state the challenge in a motion
  to declare the correction, clarification, or retraction untimely or
  insufficient served not later than the 30th day after the date
  notice under Subsection (a) is served on the plaintiff or the 30th
  day after the date the correction, clarification, or retraction is
  made, whichever is later.
         (c)  If a defendant intends to challenge the sufficiency or
  timeliness of a request for a correction, clarification, or
  retraction, the defendant must state the challenge in a motion to
  declare the request insufficient or untimely served not later than
  the 60th day after the date of service of the citation.
         (d)  Unless there is a reasonable dispute regarding the
  actual contents of the request for correction, clarification, or
  retraction, the sufficiency and timeliness of a request for
  correction, clarification, or retraction is a question of law. At
  the earliest appropriate time before trial, the court shall rule,
  as a matter of law, whether the request for correction,
  clarification, or retraction meets the requirements of this
  subchapter.
         Sec. 73.059.  EFFECT OF CORRECTION, CLARIFICATION, OR
  RETRACTION. If a correction, clarification, or retraction is made
  in accordance with this subchapter, regardless of whether the
  person claiming harm made a request, a person may not recover
  exemplary damages unless the publication was made with actual
  malice.
         Sec. 73.060.  SCOPE OF PROTECTION. A timely and sufficient
  correction, clarification, or retraction made by a person
  responsible for a publication constitutes a correction,
  clarification, or retraction made by all persons responsible for
  that publication but does not extend to an entity that republished
  the information.
         Sec. 73.061.  ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OF CORRECTION,
  CLARIFICATION, OR RETRACTION. (a) A request for a correction,
  clarification, or retraction, the contents of the request, and the
  acceptance or refusal of the request are not admissible evidence at
  a trial.
         (b)  The fact that a correction, clarification, or
  retraction was made and the contents of the correction,
  clarification, or retraction are not admissible in evidence at
  trial except in mitigation of damages under Section 73.003(a)(3).
  If a correction, clarification, or retraction is received into
  evidence, the request for the correction, clarification, or
  retraction may also be received into evidence.
         (c)  The fact that an offer of a correction, clarification,
  or retraction was made and the contents of the offer, and the fact
  that the correction, clarification, or retraction was refused, are
  not admissible in evidence at trial.
         SECTION 3.  This Act applies only to information published
  on or after the effective date of this Act.  Information published
  before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
  effect when the information was published, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.