This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  S.B. No. 1129
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to guardianships, alternatives to guardianship, and
  supports and services for incapacitated persons.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 1023.005, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.005.  COURT ACTION. (a) On hearing an application
  or motion under Section 1023.003, if [good cause is not shown to
  deny the transfer and] it appears that transfer of the guardianship
  is in the best interests of the ward and either the ward has resided
  in the county to which the guardianship is to be transferred for at
  least six months or good cause is not otherwise shown to deny the
  transfer, the court shall enter an order:
               (1)  authorizing the transfer on payment on behalf of
  the estate of all accrued costs; [and]
               (2)  requiring that any existing bond of the guardian
  must remain in effect until a new bond has been given or a rider has
  been filed in accordance with Section 1023.010; and
               (3)  certifying that the guardianship is in compliance
  with this code at the time of transfer.
         (b)  In making a determination that the transfer is in the
  best interests of the ward under Subsection (a), the court may
  consider:
               (1)  the interests of justice;
               (2)  the convenience of the parties; and
               (3)  the preference of the ward, if the ward is 12 years
  of age or older.
         (c)  On receipt of an order described by Subsection (a), the
  county shall accept the transfer of the guardianship.
         SECTION 2.  Section 1023.008, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.008.  CONTINUATION OF GUARDIANSHIP. (a) When a
  guardianship is transferred from one county to another in
  accordance with this chapter:
               (1)  [,] the guardianship proceeds in the court to
  which it was transferred as if it had been originally commenced in
  that court;
               (2)  the court to which the guardianship is transferred
  becomes the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction;
               (3)  a proceeding relating to the guardianship that is
  commenced in the court ordering the transfer continues in the court
  to which the guardianship is transferred as if the proceeding
  commenced in the receiving court;
               (4)  a judgment or order entered in the guardianship
  before the transfer has the same effect and must be enforced as a
  judgment or order entered by the court to which the guardianship is
  transferred; and
               (5)  the court ordering the transfer does not retain:
                     (A)  jurisdiction of the ward who is the subject
  of the guardianship; and
                     (B)  the authority to enforce an order entered for
  a violation of this title that occurred before or after the
  transfer.
         (b)  It is not necessary to record in the receiving court any
  of the papers in the case that were recorded in the court from which
  the case was transferred.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 1023, Estates Code, is amended by adding
  Section 1023.011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1023.011.  NO LIABILITY OF JUDGE. (a) When a
  guardianship is transferred from one county to another in
  accordance with this chapter, a judge of the court from which the
  guardianship is transferred may not be held civilly liable for any
  injury, damage, or loss to the ward or the ward's estate that occurs
  after the transfer.
         (b)  A judge of the court to which a guardianship is
  transferred as described by Subsection (a) may not be held civilly
  liable for any injury, damage, or loss to the ward or the ward's
  estate that occurred before the transfer.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter D, Chapter 1055, Estates Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D.  MEDIATION
         Sec. 1055.151.  MEDIATION OF CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIP
  PROCEEDING. (a) Subject to Subsection (b), on [On] the written
  agreement of the parties or on the court's own motion, the court may
  refer a contested guardianship proceeding to mediation.
         (b)  If the court refers to mediation a proceeding under
  Subsection (a) regarding the appointment of a guardian for a
  proposed ward:
               (1)  a determination of incapacity of the proposed ward
  may be an issue to be mediated, but the applicant for guardianship
  must still prove to the court that the proposed ward is an
  incapacitated person in accordance with the requirements of Chapter
  1101; and
               (2)  all parties to the proceeding shall evaluate
  during the mediation alternatives to guardianship and supports and
  services available to the proposed ward, including whether the
  supports and services and alternatives to guardianship would be
  feasible to avoid the need for appointment of a guardian.
         (c)  The cost of mediation shall be paid by the parties to the
  proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court. If the parties
  are unable to pay the cost of mediation, the court may refer the
  parties to a local alternative dispute resolution center providing
  services as part of a system for resolution of disputes established
  under Section 152.002, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, if a
  system has been established in the county, and the local center may
  waive mediation costs as appropriate.
         Sec. 1055.152.  MEDIATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS. (a)  A
  mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if the
  agreement:
               (1)  provides, in a prominently displayed statement
  that is in boldfaced type, in capital letters, or underlined, that
  the agreement is not subject to revocation by the parties;
               (2)  is signed by each party to the agreement; and
               (3)  is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is
  present at the time the agreement is signed.
         (b) [(c)]  If a mediated settlement agreement meets the
  requirements of this section, a party is entitled to judgment on the
  mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules
  of Civil Procedure, or another rule or law.
         (c) [(d)]  Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b) [and
  (c)], a court may decline to enter a judgment on a mediated
  settlement agreement if the court finds that the agreement is not in
  the ward's or proposed ward's best interests.
         SECTION 5.  Chapter 155, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter G to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER G. GUARDIANSHIP MEDIATION TRAINING
         Sec. 155.301.  TRAINING. (a) The office by rule shall
  establish a training course with at least 24 hours of training for
  persons facilitating mediations under Title 3, Estates Code, that
  may be provided by a mediation training provider approved by the
  office. A mediation training provider shall adhere to the
  established curriculum in providing the training course.
         (b)  This section does not require a mediator facilitating a
  mediation under Title 3, Estates Code, to attend or be certified
  under a training course established under Subsection (a).
         SECTION 6.  The changes in law made by this Act apply to a
  guardianship created before, on, or after the effective date of
  this Act.
         SECTION 7.  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas
  Judicial System is required to implement a provision of this Act
  only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that
  purpose.  If the legislature does not appropriate money
  specifically for that purpose, the Office of Court Administration
  of the Texas Judicial System may, but is not required to, implement
  a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1129 passed the Senate on
  April 19, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1129 passed the House on
  May 20, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor