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  S.B. No. 1179
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to sexually violent predators and the prosecution of
  certain offenses involving prohibited items at correctional or
  civil commitment facilities; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 20.02(c), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (c)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor,
  except that the offense is:
               (1)  a state jail felony if the person restrained was a
  child younger than 17 years of age;
               (2)  a felony of the third degree if:
                     (A)  the actor recklessly exposes the victim to a
  substantial risk of serious bodily injury;
                     (B)  the actor restrains an individual the actor
  knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully
  discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on account of an
  exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a
  public servant; or
                     (C)  the actor, while in custody or committed to a
  civil commitment facility, restrains any other person; or
               (3)  notwithstanding Subdivision (2)(B), a felony of
  the second degree if the actor restrains an individual the actor
  knows is a peace officer or judge while the officer or judge is
  lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on
  account of an exercise of official power or performance of an
  official duty as a peace officer or judge.
         SECTION 2.  Section 21.07(b), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor,
  except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the actor
  is civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under Chapter
  841, Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 3.  Section 21.08(b), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor,
  except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the actor
  is civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under Chapter
  841, Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 4.  Section 22.01(b-1), Penal Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b-1)  Notwithstanding Subsections [Subsection] (b) and (c),
  an offense under Subsection (a) [(a)(1)] is a felony of the third
  degree if the offense is committed:
               (1)  by an [while the] actor who is committed to a civil
  commitment facility; and
               (2)  against:
                     (A)  a person the actor knows is an officer or
  employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Office:
                           (i)  while the officer or employee is
  lawfully discharging an official duty [at a civil commitment
  facility]; or
                           (ii)  in retaliation for or on account of an
  exercise of official power or performance of an official duty by the
  officer or employee; or
                     (B)  a person the actor knows is contracting [who
  contracts] with the state to perform a service in a civil commitment
  facility or an employee of that person:
                           (i)  while the person or employee is engaged
  in performing a service within the scope of the contract[, if the
  actor knows the person or employee is authorized by the state to
  provide the service]; or
                           (ii)  in retaliation for or on account of the
  person's or employee's performance of a service within the scope of
  the contract.
         SECTION 5.  Section 38.11, Penal Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (d), and (k) and adding Subsection (j-1)
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A person commits an offense if the person provides, or
  possesses with the intent to provide:
               (1)  an alcoholic beverage, controlled substance, or
  dangerous drug to a person in the custody of a correctional facility
  or residing in a civil commitment facility, except on the
  prescription of a practitioner;
               (2)  a deadly weapon to a person in the custody of a
  correctional facility or residing in a civil commitment facility;
               (3)  a cellular telephone or other wireless
  communications device or a component of one of those devices to a
  person in the custody of a correctional facility;
               (4)  money to a person confined in a correctional
  facility; or
               (5)  a cigarette or tobacco product to a person
  confined in a correctional facility, except that if the facility is
  a local jail regulated by the Commission on Jail Standards, the
  person commits an offense only if providing the cigarette or
  tobacco product violates a rule or regulation adopted by the
  sheriff or jail administrator that:
                     (A)  prohibits the possession of a cigarette or
  tobacco product by a person confined in the jail; or
                     (B)  places restrictions on:
                           (i)  the possession of a cigarette or
  tobacco product by a person confined in the jail; or
                           (ii)  the manner in which a cigarette or
  tobacco product may be provided to a person confined in the jail.
         (d)  A person commits an offense if the person:
               (1)  possesses an alcoholic beverage, [a] controlled
  substance, or dangerous drug while in a correctional facility or
  civil commitment facility or on property owned, used, or controlled
  by a correctional facility or civil commitment facility; or
               (2)  possesses a deadly weapon while in a correctional
  facility or civil commitment facility.
         (j-1)  A person commits an offense if the person, while
  residing in a civil commitment facility, possesses a cellular
  telephone or other wireless communications device or a component of
  one of those devices unless the device or component is authorized by
  the Texas Civil Commitment Office. 
         (k)  A person commits an offense if, with the intent to
  provide to or make a cellular telephone or other wireless
  communications device or a component of one of those devices
  available for use by a person in the custody of a correctional
  facility or residing in a civil commitment facility, the person:
               (1)  acquires a cellular telephone or other wireless
  communications device or a component of one of those devices to be
  delivered to the person in custody or residing in the facility;
               (2)  provides a cellular telephone or other wireless
  communications device or a component of one of those devices to
  another person for delivery to the person in custody or residing in
  the facility; or
               (3)  makes a payment to a communication common carrier,
  as defined by Article 18A.001, Code of Criminal Procedure, or to any
  communication service that provides to its users the ability to
  send or receive wire or electronic communications.
         SECTION 6.  Chapter 39, Penal Code, is amended by adding
  Section 39.041 to read as follows:
         Sec. 39.041.  IMPROPER SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITH COMMITTED
  PERSON. (a)  In this section, "deviate sexual intercourse,"
  "sexual contact," and "sexual intercourse" have the meanings
  assigned by Section 21.01.
         (b)  An officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment
  Office, a person who contracts with this state to perform a service
  in a civil commitment facility or an employee of that person, or a
  volunteer at a civil commitment facility commits an offense if the
  person intentionally engages in deviate sexual intercourse, sexual
  contact, or sexual intercourse with a person committed to a civil
  commitment facility.
         (c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third
  degree.
         (d)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this
  section that, at the time of the offense, the actor was the spouse
  of the person committed to the civil commitment facility.
         (e)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
  section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor
  may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
         SECTION 7.  Article 13.315, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 13.315.  FELONY OFFENSE COMMITTED BY CIVILLY COMMITTED 
  [FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH] SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR [CIVIL
  COMMITMENT REQUIREMENT].  A felony [An] offense committed by a
  person civilly committed under Chapter 841 [Section 841.085],
  Health and Safety Code, may be prosecuted in the county in which any
  element of the offense occurs or in the court that retains
  jurisdiction over the civil commitment proceeding under Section
  841.082, Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 8.  Article 62.005(j), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (j)  The department, for law enforcement purposes or for
  supervision and treatment purposes, shall release all relevant
  information described by Subsection (a), including information
  that is not public information under Subsection (b), to a peace
  officer, an employee of a local law enforcement authority, the
  Texas Civil Commitment Office, or the attorney general on the
  request of the applicable person or entity.
         SECTION 9.  Article 62.051, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsections (b), (e), and (f) and adding
  Subsection (e-1) to read as follows:
         (b)  The department shall provide the Texas Department of
  Criminal Justice, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, the Texas
  Civil Commitment Office, and each local law enforcement authority,
  authority for campus security, county jail, and court with a form
  for registering persons required by this chapter to register.
         (e)  Not later than the third day after the registration of a
  person [a person's registering], the local law enforcement
  authority with whom the person is registered shall send a copy of
  the registration form to the department and, if the person resides
  on the campus of a public or private institution of higher
  education, to any authority for campus security for that
  institution.
         (e-1)  The Texas Civil Commitment Office shall register with
  the applicable local law enforcement authority on behalf of a
  person who is civilly committed as a sexually violent predator
  under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, and required to reside in
  a civil commitment center. A person for whom registration is
  completed under this subsection is not required to verify the
  registration until the person is authorized to reside outside of
  the civil commitment center.
         (f)  Not later than the seventh day after the date on which
  the person is released or, for a person who is civilly committed as
  a sexually violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety
  Code, authorized to reside outside of the civil commitment center
  a person for whom registration is completed under this chapter
  shall report to the applicable local law enforcement authority to
  verify the information in the registration form received by the
  authority under this chapter. The authority shall require the
  person to produce proof of the person's identity and residence
  before the authority gives the registration form to the person for
  verification.  If the information in the registration form is
  complete and accurate, the person shall verify registration by
  signing the form.  If the information is not complete or not
  accurate, the person shall make any necessary additions or
  corrections before signing the form.
         SECTION 10.  Subtitle A, Title 2, Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code, is amended by adding Chapter 14A to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 14A.  LITIGATION BY CIVILLY COMMITTED INDIVIDUAL
  SUBCHAPTER A.  GENERAL PROVISIONS
         Sec. 14A.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Civilly committed individual" means a sexually
  violent predator as described by Section 841.003, Health and Safety
  Code, who has been committed to a facility operated by or under
  contract with the office.
               (2)  "Claim" means a cause of action governed by this
  chapter.
               (3)  "Office" means the Texas Civil Commitment Office.
               (4)  "Trust account" means a civilly committed
  individual's trust account administered by the office or by a
  facility under contract with the office.
               (5)  "Unsworn declaration" means a document executed in
  accordance with Chapter 132.
         Sec. 14A.002.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER. (a) This chapter applies
  only to an action, including an appeal or original proceeding,
  brought by a civilly committed individual in a district, county, or
  justice court or an appellate court, including the supreme court or
  the court of criminal appeals, in which an affidavit or unsworn
  declaration of inability to pay costs is filed by the civilly
  committed individual.
         (b)  This chapter does not apply to an action brought under
  the Family Code.
  SUBCHAPTER B.  DISMISSAL OF AND REQUIREMENTS FOR CLAIM
         Sec. 14A.051.  DISMISSAL OF FALSE, FRIVOLOUS, OR MALICIOUS
  CLAIM.  (a) A court may dismiss a claim, either before or after
  service of process, if the court finds that:
               (1)  the allegation of poverty in the affidavit or
  unsworn declaration is false;
               (2)  the claim is frivolous or malicious; or
               (3)  the civilly committed individual filed an
  affidavit or unsworn declaration required by this chapter that the
  individual knew was false.
         (b)  In determining whether a claim is frivolous or
  malicious, the court may consider whether:
               (1)  the claim's realistic chance of ultimate success
  is slight;
               (2)  the claim has no arguable basis in law or in fact;
               (3)  it is clear that the civilly committed individual
  cannot prove the facts in support of the claim; or
               (4)  the claim is substantially similar to a previous
  claim filed by the civilly committed individual because the claim
  arises from the same operative facts.
         (c)  In determining whether Subsection (a) applies, the
  court may hold a hearing. The hearing may be held before or after
  service of process, and it may be held on motion of the court, a
  party, or the court clerk.
         (d)  On the filing of a motion under Subsection (c), the
  court shall suspend discovery relating to the claim pending the
  hearing.
         (e)  A court that dismisses a claim brought by a civilly
  committed individual housed in a facility operated by or under
  contract with the office may notify the office of the dismissal and,
  on the court's own motion or the motion of any party or the court
  clerk, may advise the office that a mental health evaluation of the
  individual may be appropriate.
         Sec. 14A.052.  AFFIDAVIT RELATING TO PREVIOUS FILINGS. (a)
  A civilly committed individual who files an affidavit or unsworn
  declaration of inability to pay costs shall file a separate
  affidavit or declaration:
               (1)  identifying the court that ordered the
  individual's civil commitment under Chapter 841, Health and Safety
  Code;
               (2)  indicating whether any cause of action or
  allegation contained in the petition has previously been filed in
  any other court, and if so, stating the cause of action or
  allegation previously filed and complying with Subdivision (6) and
  Subsection (b);
               (3)  identifying each action, other than an action
  under the Family Code, previously brought by the individual in
  which the individual was not represented by an attorney, without
  regard to whether the individual was civilly committed at the time
  the action was brought;
               (4)  certifying that all grievance processes
  applicable to the matter that is the basis of the claim, if any,
  have been exhausted;
               (5)  certifying that no court has found the individual
  to be a vexatious litigant under Chapter 11; and
               (6)  describing each action that was previously brought
  by:
                     (A)  stating the operative facts for which relief
  was sought;
                     (B)  listing the case name, the cause number, and
  the court in which the action was brought;
                     (C)  identifying each party named in the action;
  and
                     (D)  stating the result of the action, including
  whether the action or a claim that was a basis for the action was
  dismissed as frivolous or malicious under Section 13.001, 14.003,
  or 14A.051 or otherwise.
         (b)  If the affidavit or unsworn declaration filed under this
  section states that a previous action or claim was dismissed as
  frivolous or malicious, the affidavit or unsworn declaration must
  state the date of the final order affirming the dismissal.
         (c)  The affidavit or unsworn declaration must be
  accompanied by the certified copy of the trust account statement
  required by Section 14A.054(f).
         Sec. 14A.053.  GRIEVANCE SYSTEM DECISION; EXHAUSTION OF
  ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES. (a) A civilly committed individual who
  files a claim that is subject to a grievance system established by
  the office or a facility under contract with the office shall file
  with the court:
               (1)  an affidavit or unsworn declaration stating the
  date that the grievance was filed and the date the written decision
  was received by the individual; and
               (2)  a copy of the written decision from the grievance
  system.
         (b)  A court shall dismiss a claim if the civilly committed
  individual fails to file the claim before the 31st day after the
  date the individual receives the written decision from the
  grievance system.
         (c)  If a claim is filed before the grievance system
  procedure is complete, the court shall stay the proceeding with
  respect to the claim for a period not to exceed 180 days to permit
  completion of the grievance system procedure.
         Sec. 14A.054.  COURT FEES, COURT COSTS, OTHER COSTS. (a) A
  court may order a civilly committed individual who has filed a claim
  to pay court fees, court costs, and other costs in accordance with
  this section and Section 14A.055. The court clerk shall mail a copy
  of the court's order and a certified bill of costs to the office or
  facility under contract with the office, as appropriate.
         (b)  On the court's order, the civilly committed individual
  shall pay an amount equal to the lesser of:
               (1)  20 percent of the preceding six months' deposits to
  the individual's trust account; or
               (2)  the total amount of court fees, court costs, and
  other costs.
         (c)  In each month following the month in which payment is
  made under Subsection (b), the civilly committed individual shall
  pay an amount equal to the lesser of:
               (1)  10 percent of that month's deposits to the trust
  account; or
               (2)  the total amount of court fees, court costs, and
  other costs that remains unpaid.
         (d)  Payments under Subsection (c) shall continue until the
  total amount of court fees, court costs, and other costs are paid or
  until the civilly committed individual is released from
  confinement.
         (e)  On receipt of a copy of an order issued under Subsection
  (a), the office or facility under contract with the office shall
  withdraw money from the trust account in accordance with
  Subsections (b), (c), and (d). The office or facility shall hold the
  money in a separate account and shall forward the money to the court
  clerk on the earlier of the following dates:
               (1)  the date the total amount to be forwarded equals
  the total amount of court fees, court costs, and other costs that
  remains unpaid; or
               (2)  the date the civilly committed individual is
  released.
         (f)  The civilly committed individual shall file a certified
  copy of the individual's trust account statement with the court.
  The statement must reflect the balance of the account at the time
  the claim is filed and activity in the account during the six months
  preceding the date on which the claim is filed. The court may
  request the office to provide the information required under this
  subsection.
         (g)  A civilly committed individual may authorize payment in
  addition to that required by this section.
         (h)  The court may dismiss a claim if the civilly committed
  individual fails to pay fees and costs assessed under this section.
         (i)  A civilly committed individual may not avoid the fees
  and costs assessed under this section by nonsuiting a party or by
  voluntarily dismissing the action.
         Sec. 14A.055.  OTHER COSTS. (a) An order under Section
  14A.054(a) must include the costs described by Subsection (b) if
  the court finds that:
               (1)  the civilly committed individual has previously
  filed an action to which this chapter or Chapter 14 applies; and
               (2)  a final order has been issued that affirms that the
  action was dismissed as frivolous or malicious under Section
  13.001, 14.003, or 14A.051 or otherwise.
         (b)  If Subsection (a) applies, costs of court must include
  expenses incurred by the court or by the office or facility under
  contract with the office, in connection with the claim and not
  otherwise charged to the civilly committed individual under Section
  14A.054, including:
               (1)  expenses of service of process;
               (2)  postage; and
               (3)  transportation, housing, or medical care incurred
  in connection with the appearance of the individual in the court for
  any proceeding.
         Sec. 14A.056.  HEARING. (a) The court may hold a hearing
  under this chapter at a facility operated by or under contract with
  the office or may conduct the hearing with video communications
  technology that permits the court to see and hear the civilly
  committed individual and that permits the individual to see and
  hear the court and any other witness.
         (b)  A hearing conducted under this section by video
  communications technology shall be recorded on videotape or by
  other electronic means. The recording is sufficient to serve as a
  permanent record of the hearing.
         Sec. 14A.057.  SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE. (a) The court may
  request a person with an admissible document or admissible
  testimony relevant to the subject matter of the hearing to submit a
  copy of the document or written statement stating the substance of
  the testimony.
         (b)  A written statement submitted under this section must be
  made under oath or made as an unsworn declaration under Section
  132.001.
         (c)  A copy of a document submitted under this section must
  be accompanied by a certification executed under oath by an
  appropriate custodian of the record stating that the copy is
  correct and any other matter relating to the admissibility of the
  document that the court requires.
         (d)  A person submitting a written statement or document
  under this section is not required to appear at the hearing.
         (e)  The court shall require that the civilly committed
  individual be provided with a copy of each written statement or
  document not later than the 14th day before the date on which the
  hearing is to begin.
         Sec. 14A.058.  DISMISSAL OF CLAIM. (a) The court may enter
  an order dismissing the entire claim or a portion of the claim under
  this chapter.
         (b)  If a portion of the claim is dismissed, the court shall
  designate the issues and defendants on which the claim may proceed,
  subject to Sections 14A.054 and 14A.055.
         (c)  An order under this section is not subject to
  interlocutory appeal by the civilly committed individual.
         Sec. 14A.059.  EFFECT ON OTHER CLAIMS. (a) Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), on receipt of an order assessing fees
  and costs under Section 14A.054 that indicates that the court made
  the finding described by Section 14A.055(a), a court clerk may not
  accept for filing another claim by the civilly committed individual
  until the fees and costs assessed under Section 14A.054 are paid.
         (b)  A court may allow a civilly committed individual who has
  not paid the fees and costs assessed against the individual to file
  a claim for injunctive relief seeking to enjoin an act or failure to
  act that creates a substantial threat of irreparable injury or
  serious physical harm to the individual.
         Sec. 14A.060.  QUESTIONNAIRE. To implement this chapter, a
  court may develop, for use in that court, a questionnaire to be
  filed by the civilly committed individual.
         Sec. 14A.061.  REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION BY MAGISTRATES.
  (a) The supreme court shall, by rule, adopt a system under which a
  court may refer a suit governed by this chapter to a magistrate for
  review and recommendation.
         (b)  The system adopted under Subsection (a) may be funded
  from money appropriated to the supreme court or from money received
  by the supreme court through interagency contract or contracts.
         (c)  For the purposes of Section 14A.062, the adoption of a
  system by rule under Subsection (a) does not constitute a
  modification or repeal of a provision of this chapter.
         Sec. 14A.062.  CONFLICT WITH TEXAS RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.
  Notwithstanding Section 22.004, Government Code, this chapter may
  not be modified or repealed by a rule adopted by the supreme court.
         SECTION 11.  Title 4, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 78B to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 78B. LIMITED LIABILITY FOR FIRST RESPONDER WELLNESS CHECK
  AT CIVIL COMMITMENT FACILITY
         Sec. 78B.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "First responder" means a law enforcement, fire
  protection, or emergency medical services employee, volunteer, or
  agency, including:
                     (A)  a peace officer, as defined by Article 2.12,
  Code of Criminal Procedure;
                     (B)  fire protection personnel, as defined by
  Section 419.021, Government Code;
                     (C)  a volunteer firefighter who is:
                           (i)  certified by the Texas Commission on
  Fire Protection or by the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals'
  Association of Texas; or
                           (ii)  a member of an organized volunteer
  firefighting unit that provides firefighting services without
  compensation and conducts a minimum of two drills each month, each
  two hours long;
                     (D)  an individual certified as emergency medical
  services personnel by the Department of State Health Services; and
                     (E)  an agency of this state or a political
  subdivision of this state authorized by law to employ or supervise
  personnel described by Paragraphs (A)-(D).
               (2)  "Wellness check" means a request by any person for
  a first responder to visit a civil commitment facility and
  determine the current condition of a sexually violent predator who
  is civilly committed under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code.
         Sec. 78B.002.  CONSTRUCTION OF CHAPTER. This chapter may
  not be construed to prohibit a first responder from performing a
  wellness check.
         Sec. 78B.003.  LIMITED LIABILITY FOR REFUSAL TO PROVIDE
  WELLNESS CHECK. (a)  A first responder is not required to perform a
  wellness check.
         (b)  A first responder is not liable for damages incurred
  from the first responder's refusal to perform a wellness check.
         (c)  A court shall immediately dismiss any action asserting a
  claim described by Subsection (b).
         Sec. 78B.004.  REFERRAL TO TEXAS CIVIL COMMITMENT OFFICE. A
  first responder may refer a person requesting a wellness check to
  the Texas Civil Commitment Office, which may provide the person
  with information regarding the current condition of the civilly
  committed sexually violent predator if authorized under federal and
  state law.
         SECTION 12.  Subchapter A, Chapter 411, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 411.0092 to read as follows:
         Sec. 411.0092.  PRIMARY JURISDICTION. The sex offender
  compliance unit described by Section 411.0091 has primary
  jurisdiction to investigate a felony offense committed by a
  sexually violent predator civilly committed under Chapter 841,
  Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 13.  Section 420A.008, Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 420A.008.  STAFF.  The office may select and employ a
  general counsel, staff attorneys, a family liaison officer
  described by Section 420A.012, and other staff necessary to perform
  the office's functions.
         SECTION 14.  Chapter 420A, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Sections 420A.012 and 420A.013 to read as follows:
         Sec. 420A.012.  FAMILY LIAISON OFFICER. (a) The office may
  designate an employee to serve as a family liaison officer.  The
  family liaison officer may, as the office determines appropriate:
               (1)  facilitate the continuation and maintenance of
  ties between a civilly committed sex offender and the offender's
  family members who are supportive of the offender's participation
  in the treatment and supervision program; 
               (2)  notify an offender regarding emergencies
  concerning the offender's family and provide the offender with
  other necessary information related to the offender's family; and 
               (3)  assist in resolving problems that may affect
  permitted contact with an offender.
         (b)  Before each required quarterly meeting of the board, a
  family liaison officer designated under this section may provide an
  update to the board regarding the officer's activities. 
         (c)  This section does not:
               (1)  require the office to designate a family liaison
  officer; or
               (2)  guarantee to a civilly committed sex offender or
  family member of an offender any additional right or privilege that
  is not already required by state or federal law. 
         (d)  In implementing this section, the office may adopt any
  policy or impose any limitation the office considers necessary.
         Sec. 420A.013.  FAMILY UNITY AND PARTICIPATION. (a)  The
  office may adopt and implement policies that encourage family unity
  during a civilly committed sex offender's commitment. In adopting
  the policies, the office may consider the impact of a telephone,
  mail, and in-person visitation policy on a family member's ability
  to provide support to the offender through ongoing, appropriate
  contact with the offender while the offender participates in the
  treatment and supervision program.
         (b)  This section does not guarantee to a civilly committed
  sex offender or family member of an offender any additional right or
  privilege that is not already required by state or federal law.
         (c)  In implementing this section, the office may adopt any
  policy or impose any limitation the office considers necessary.
         SECTION 15.  Subchapter C, Chapter 552, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 552.1345 to read as follows:
         Sec. 552.1345.  EXCEPTION: CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN
  INFORMATION RELATING TO CIVILLY COMMITTED SEXUALLY VIOLENT
  PREDATORS. (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), information
  obtained or maintained by the Texas Civil Commitment Office is
  excepted from the requirements of Section 552.021 if it is
  information about a person who is civilly committed as a sexually
  violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to statistical or other
  aggregated information relating to persons civilly committed to one
  or more facilities operated by or under a contract with the office.
         SECTION 16.  Subchapter I, Chapter 2001, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2001.227 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2001.227.  TEXAS CIVIL COMMITMENT OFFICE. This chapter
  does not apply to a rule or internal procedure of the Texas Civil
  Commitment Office that applies to a person who is civilly committed
  as a sexually violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety
  Code, or to an action taken under that rule or procedure.
         SECTION 17.  Section 2155.144(a), Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  This section applies only to the Health and Human
  Services Commission, each health and human services agency, [and]
  the Department of Family and Protective Services, and agencies
  administratively attached to the Health and Human Services
  Commission.  For the purposes of this section, the Department of
  Family and Protective Services or an agency administratively
  attached to the Health and Human Services Commission is considered
  a health and human services agency.
         SECTION 18.  Section 109.051(b), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  Notwithstanding Subtitle B, Title 3, of this code or
  Chapter 611, Health and Safety Code, a person described by
  Subsection (a), on request or in the normal course of business,
  shall release information concerning the treatment of a sex
  offender to:
               (1)  another person described by Subsection (a);
               (2)  a criminal justice agency; [or]
               (3)  a local law enforcement authority; or
               (4)  the Texas Civil Commitment Office.
         SECTION 19.  Section 109.052, Occupations Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 109.052.  RELEASE BY CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCY. A
  criminal justice agency, on request or in the normal course of
  official business, shall release information concerning the
  treatment of a sex offender to:
               (1)  another criminal justice agency;
               (2)  a local law enforcement authority; [or]
               (3)  a person described by Section 109.051(a); or
               (4)  the Texas Civil Commitment Office.
         SECTION 20.  Section 109.053, Occupations Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 109.053.  RELEASE BY LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY.
  A local law enforcement authority, on request or in the normal
  course of official business, shall release information concerning
  the treatment of a sex offender to:
               (1)  another local law enforcement authority;
               (2)  a criminal justice agency; [or]
               (3)  a person described by Section 109.051(a); or
               (4)  the Texas Civil Commitment Office.
         SECTION 21.  Sections 841.002(1) and (8), Health and Safety
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
               (1)  "Attorney representing the state" means a district
  attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney with
  felony criminal jurisdiction who represents the state in a [civil
  commitment] proceeding under this chapter.
               (8)  "Sexually violent offense" means:
                     (A)  an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11(a)(1),
  22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code;
                     (B)  an offense under Section 20.04(a)(4), Penal
  Code, if the person committed the offense with the intent to violate
  or abuse the victim sexually;
                     (C)  an offense under Section 30.02, Penal Code,
  if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section
  and the person entered the habitation [committed the offense] with
  the intent to commit an offense listed in Paragraph (A) or (B) or
  committed or attempted to commit an offense listed in Paragraph (A)
  or (B);
                     (D)  an offense under Section 19.02 or 19.03,
  Penal Code, that, during the guilt or innocence phase or the
  punishment phase for the offense, during the adjudication or
  disposition of delinquent conduct constituting the offense, or
  subsequently during a civil commitment proceeding under Subchapter
  D, is determined beyond a reasonable doubt to have been based on
  sexually motivated conduct;
                     (E)  an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation, as
  defined by Chapter 15, Penal Code, to commit an offense listed in
  Paragraph (A), (B), (C), or (D);
                     (F)  an offense under prior state law that
  contains elements substantially similar to the elements of an
  offense listed in Paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E); or
                     (G)  an offense under the law of another state,
  federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that contains
  elements substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed
  in Paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E).
         SECTION 22.  Section 841.042, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 841.042.  ASSISTANCE FROM SPECIAL PROSECUTION UNIT. On
  request of the attorney representing the state, the special
  prosecution unit shall provide legal, financial, and technical
  assistance to the attorney for a [civil commitment] proceeding
  conducted under this chapter.
         SECTION 23.  Section 841.0834, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 841.0834.  MOVEMENT BETWEEN PROGRAMMING TIERS. (a)  
  The office shall transfer between programming tiers a committed
  person required to reside in a total confinement facility [to less
  restrictive housing and supervision] if the transfer is in the best
  interests of the person and conditions can be imposed that
  adequately protect the community.
         (b)  Without the office's approval, a committed person may
  file a petition with the court for transfer to the next less
  restrictive tier [housing and supervision].  The court shall deny
  the transfer if the petition is filed before the 180th day after the
  date an order was entered under Subchapter D, F, or G or a previous
  order was entered under this section.  The court shall grant the
  transfer if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence
  that the transfer is in the best interests of the person and that
  the office can impose conditions [can be imposed] that adequately
  protect the community.
         (c)  A committed person who files a petition under Subsection
  (b) [this subsection] shall serve a copy of the petition on the
  office and the attorney representing the state.
         (d) [(c)]  The office shall transfer [return] a committed
  person who is not required to reside in a total confinement facility
  back [has been transferred to less restrictive housing and
  supervision] to a more restrictive setting in a total confinement
  facility if the office considers the transfer necessary to further
  treatment and to protect the community. The decision to transfer
  the person must be based on the person's behavior or progress in
  treatment.
         (e) [(d)]  Not later than the 90th day after the date a
  committed person is returned to a more restrictive setting in a
  total confinement facility under Subsection (d) [(c)], the
  committing court shall hold a hearing via videoconference to review
  the office's determination.  The court shall order the office to
  transfer the person to a less restrictive tier [housing and
  supervision] only if the court determines by clear and convincing
  evidence that the office's determination was not made in accordance
  with Subsection (d) [(c)].  The committed person may waive the right
  to a hearing under this subsection.
         SECTION 24.  Section 841.0838, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 841.0838.  USE OF RESTRAINTS.  (a)  An employee of the
  office, or a person who contracts with the office or an employee of
  that person, may use mechanical [or chemical] restraints on a
  committed person residing in a civil commitment center or while
  transporting a committed person who resides at the center only if:
               (1)  the employee or person completes a training
  program approved by the office on the use of mechanical restraints
  that:
                     (A)  includes instruction on the office's
  approved mechanical restraint techniques and devices and the
  office's verbal de-escalation policies, procedures, and practices;
  and
                     (B)  requires the employee or person to
  demonstrate competency in the use of the mechanical restraint
  techniques and devices; and
               (2)  the mechanical restraint is:
                     (A)  considered necessary to maintain the safety
  and security of the center or staff [used as a last resort];
                     (B)  considered necessary to maintain the safety
  of the public [necessary to stop or prevent:
                           [(i)  imminent physical injury to the
  committed person or another;
                           [(ii)  threatening behavior by the committed
  person while the person is using or exhibiting a weapon;
                           [(iii)  a disturbance by a group of
  committed persons; or
                           [(iv)  an absconsion from the center]; and
                     (C)  the least restrictive restraint necessary,
  used for the minimum duration necessary[, to prevent the injury,
  property damage, or absconsion].
         (b)  An employee of the office, or a person who contracts
  with the office or an employee of that person, may use chemical
  restraints on a committed person residing in a civil commitment
  center or while transporting a committed person who resides at the
  center only if:
               (1)  the employee or person completes a training
  program approved by the office on the use of chemical restraints
  that:
                     (A)  includes instruction on the office's
  approved chemical restraint techniques and devices and the office's
  verbal de-escalation policies, procedures, and practices; and
                     (B)  requires the employee or person to
  demonstrate competency in the use of chemical restraint techniques
  and devices; and
               (2)  the chemical restraint is:
                     (A)  used as a last resort;
                     (B)  necessary to prevent or stop:
                           (i)  physical injury to the committed person
  or another;
                           (ii)  threatening behavior by the committed
  person;
                           (iii)  a disturbance by a group of committed
  persons; or 
                           (iv)  an absconsion from the center; and
                     (C)  the least restrictive restraint necessary,
  used for the minimum duration necessary, to prevent injury,
  property damage, or absconsion.
         (c)  The office shall develop procedures governing the use of
  mechanical or chemical restraints on committed persons.
         SECTION 25.  Section 841.102(c), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The judge shall set a hearing if the judge determines by
  a preponderance of the evidence at the biennial review that:
               (1)  a requirement imposed on the person under this
  chapter should be modified; or
               (2)  [probable cause exists to believe that] the
  person's behavioral abnormality has changed to the extent that the
  person is no longer likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual
  violence.
         SECTION 26.  Sections 841.123(a), (c), and (d), Health and
  Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  If the committed person files a petition for release
  without the office's authorization, the person shall serve the
  petition on the court, [and] the attorney representing the state,
  and the office.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), the judge shall
  deny without a hearing a petition for release filed without the
  office's authorization if [the petition is frivolous or if]:
               (1)  the judge determines by a preponderance of the
  evidence that [petitioner previously filed without the office's
  authorization another petition for release; and
               [(2)  the judge determined on review of the previous
  petition or following a hearing that:
                     [(A)  the petition was frivolous; or
                     [(B)]  the petitioner's behavioral abnormality
  has [had] not changed to the extent that the petitioner is [was] no
  longer likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence; or
               
               (2)  the petitioner has filed the petition for release
  before the 180th day after the date an order was entered under
  Subchapter D or F or a previous order was entered under this
  section.
         
         (d)  The judge is not required to deny a petition under
  Subsection (c)(2) if the judge determines by a preponderance of the
  evidence [probable cause exists to believe] that the petitioner's
  behavioral abnormality has changed to the extent that the
  petitioner is no longer likely to engage in a predatory act of
  sexual violence.
         SECTION 27.  Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter I to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER I. ADMINISTRATION OF CERTAIN MEDICATION TO CERTAIN
  SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS
         Sec. 841.201.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Capacity" means a committed person's ability to:
                     (A)  understand the nature and consequences of a
  proposed treatment, including the benefits, risks, and
  alternatives to the proposed treatment; and
                     (B)  make a decision whether to undergo the
  proposed treatment.
               (2)  "Medication-related emergency" means a situation
  in which it is immediately necessary to administer medication to a
  committed person to prevent:
                     (A)  imminent probable death or substantial
  bodily harm to the committed person because the committed person:
                           (i)  overtly or continually is threatening
  or attempting to commit suicide or serious bodily harm; or
                           (ii)  is behaving in a manner that indicates
  that the committed person is unable to satisfy the committed
  person's need for nourishment, essential medical care, or
  self-protection; or
                     (B)  imminent physical or emotional harm to
  another because of threats, attempted acts, or acts the committed
  person overtly or continually makes or commits.
               (3)  "Psychoactive medication" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 574.101.
         Sec. 841.202.  ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION TO COMMITTED
  PERSON. A person may not administer a psychoactive medication to a
  committed person who refuses to take the medication voluntarily
  unless:
               (1)  the committed person is having a
  medication-related emergency; or
               (2)  the committed person is under an order issued
  under Section 841.205 authorizing the administration of medication
  regardless of the committed person's refusal.
         Sec. 841.203.  PHYSICIAN'S APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO
  AUTHORIZE PSYCHOACTIVE MEDICATION; DATE OF HEARING. (a) A
  physician who is treating a committed person may, on behalf of the
  state, file an application in a probate court or a court with
  probate jurisdiction for an order to authorize the administration
  of a psychoactive medication regardless of the committed person's
  refusal if:
               (1)  the physician believes that the committed person
  lacks the capacity to make a decision regarding the administration
  of the psychoactive medication;
               (2)  the physician determines that the medication is
  the proper course of treatment for the committed person;
               (3)  the committed person is receiving mental health
  services under Section 841.0835 or other law; and
               (4)  the committed person, verbally or by other
  indication, refuses to take the medication voluntarily.
         (b)  An application filed under this section must state:
               (1)  that the physician believes that the committed
  person lacks the capacity to make a decision regarding
  administration of the psychoactive medication and the reasons for
  that belief;
               (2)  each medication the physician wants the court to
  compel the committed person to take;
               (3)  whether the committed person is receiving mental
  health services under Section 841.0835 or other law;
               (4)  the physician's diagnosis of the committed person;
  and
               (5)  the proposed method for administering the
  medication and, if the method is not customary, an explanation
  justifying the departure from the customary methods.
         (c)  An application filed under this section is separate from
  an application for court-ordered mental health services.
         (d)  A hearing on the application must be held not later than
  the 30th day after the date the application was filed. If the
  committed person is transferred to a mental health facility in
  another county, the court may transfer the application to the
  county where the committed person has been transferred.
         (e)  Subject to the requirement in Subsection (d) that the
  hearing be held not later than the 30th day after the date the
  application was filed, the court may grant one continuance on a
  party's motion and for good cause shown. The court may grant more
  than one continuance only with the agreement of the parties.
         Sec. 841.204.  RIGHTS OF COMMITTED PERSON. A committed
  person for whom an application under Section 841.203 is filed is
  entitled to:
               (1)  representation by a court-appointed attorney who
  is knowledgeable about issues to be adjudicated at the hearing;
               (2)  meet with that attorney as soon as is practicable
  to prepare for the hearing and to discuss any of the committed
  person's questions or concerns;
               (3)  receive, immediately after the time of the hearing
  is set, a copy of the application and written notice of the time,
  place, and date of the hearing;
               (4)  be told, at the time personal notice of the hearing
  is given, of the committed person's right to a hearing and right to
  the assistance of an attorney to prepare for the hearing and to
  answer any questions or concerns;
               (5)  be present at the hearing;
               (6)  request from the court an independent expert; and
               (7)  be notified orally, at the conclusion of the
  hearing, of the court's determinations of the committed person's
  capacity and best interests.
         Sec. 841.205.  HEARING AND ORDER AUTHORIZING PSYCHOACTIVE
  MEDICATION. (a) The court may issue an order authorizing the
  administration of one or more classes of psychoactive medication to
  a committed person who is receiving mental health services under
  Section 841.0835 or other law.
         (b)  The court may issue an order under this section only if
  the court finds by clear and convincing evidence after a hearing
  that the committed person:
               (1)  lacks the capacity to make a decision regarding
  the administration of the proposed medication and treatment with
  the proposed medication is in the best interest of the committed
  person; or
               (2)  as determined under Section 841.206, presents a
  danger to the committed person or others in the civil commitment
  center in which the committed person is being treated.
         (c)  In making the finding that treatment with the proposed
  medication is in the best interest of the committed person, the
  court shall consider:
               (1)  the committed person's expressed preferences
  regarding treatment with psychoactive medication;
               (2)  the committed person's religious beliefs;
               (3)  the risks and benefits, from the perspective of
  the committed person, of taking psychoactive medication;
               (4)  the consequences to the committed person if the
  psychoactive medication is not administered;
               (5)  the prognosis for the committed person if the
  committed person is treated with psychoactive medication;
               (6)  alternative, less intrusive treatments that are
  likely to produce the same results as treatment with psychoactive
  medication; and
               (7)  less intrusive treatments likely to secure the
  committed person's agreement to take the psychoactive medication.
         (d)  A hearing under this subchapter shall be conducted on
  the record by the probate judge or judge with probate jurisdiction,
  except as provided by Subsection (e).
         (e)  A judge may refer a hearing to a magistrate or
  court-appointed associate judge who has training regarding
  psychoactive medications. The magistrate or associate judge may
  provide the notice, set hearing dates, and appoint attorneys as
  required by this subchapter. A record is not required if the
  hearing is held by a magistrate or court-appointed associate judge.
         (f)  A party is entitled to a hearing de novo by the judge if
  an appeal of the magistrate's or associate judge's report is filed
  with the court not later than the third day after the date the
  report is issued. The hearing de novo must be held not later than
  the 30th day after the date the application under Section 841.203
  was filed.
         (g)  If a hearing or an appeal of a magistrate's or associate
  judge's report is to be held in a county court in which the judge is
  not a licensed attorney, the committed person or the committed
  person's attorney may request that the proceeding be transferred to
  a court with a judge who is licensed to practice law in this state.
  The county judge shall transfer the case after receiving the
  request, and the receiving court shall hear the case as if it had
  been originally filed in that court.
         (h)  As soon as practicable after the conclusion of the
  hearing, the committed person is entitled to have provided to the
  committed person and the committed person's attorney written
  notification of the court's determinations under this section. The
  notification must include a statement of the evidence on which the
  court relied and the reasons for the court's determinations.
         (i)  An order issued under this section shall authorize the
  administration to a committed person, regardless of the committed
  person's refusal, of one or more classes of psychoactive
  medications specified in the application and consistent with the
  committed person's diagnosis. The order shall permit an increase
  or decrease in a medication's dosage, continuation of medication
  authorized but discontinued during the period the order is valid,
  or the substitution of a medication within the same class.
         (j)  The classes of psychoactive medications in the order
  must conform to classes determined by the Health and Human Services
  Commission.
         (k)  An order issued under this section may be reauthorized
  or modified on the petition of a party. The order remains in effect
  pending action on a petition for reauthorization or modification.
  For the purpose of this subsection, "modification" means a change
  of a class of medication authorized in the order.
         Sec. 841.206.  FINDING THAT COMMITTED PERSON PRESENTS A
  DANGER. In making a finding under Section 841.205(b)(2) that the
  committed person presents a danger to the committed person or
  others in the civil commitment center in which the committed person
  is being treated, the court shall consider:
               (1)  an assessment of the committed person's present
  mental condition;
               (2)  whether the committed person has inflicted,
  attempted to inflict, or made a serious threat of inflicting
  substantial physical or emotional harm to the committed person's
  self or to another while in the center; and
               (3)  whether the committed person, in the 180-day
  period preceding the date the committed person was placed in the
  center, has inflicted, attempted to inflict, or made a serious
  threat of inflicting substantial physical or emotional harm to
  another.
         Sec. 841.207.  COSTS. (a) The court shall order the payment
  of reasonable compensation to attorneys, physicians, language
  interpreters, sign interpreters, and associate judges appointed
  under this subchapter. The compensation paid shall be assessed as
  court costs.
         (b)  The agency responsible for services under Section
  841.0835(a) shall pay as provided by Subsection (a) the costs of a
  hearing held under Section 841.205 regarding an order for the
  administration of psychoactive medication to a committed person.
         Sec. 841.208.  APPEAL. (a) An appeal from an order issued
  under Section 841.205, or from a renewal or modification of an
  order, must be filed in the court of appeals for the county in which
  the order is issued.
         (b)  Notice of appeal must be filed not later than the 10th
  day after the date on which the order is issued.
         (c)  When an appeal is filed, the clerk shall immediately
  send a certified transcript of the proceedings to the court of
  appeals.
         (d)  An order issued under Section 841.205 is effective
  pending an appeal of the order.
         (e)  The court of appeals and supreme court shall give an
  appeal under this section preference over all other cases and shall
  advance the appeal on the docket. The courts may suspend all rules
  relating to the time for filing briefs and docketing cases.
         Sec. 841.209.  EXPIRATION OF ORDER. An order issued under
  Section 841.205 expires on the first anniversary of the date the
  order was issued.
         SECTION 28.  The changes in law made by this Act in amending
  Sections 20.02, 21.07, 21.08, 22.01, and 38.11, Penal Code, apply
  only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this
  Act.  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.  For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 29.  Chapter 14A, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
  as added by this Act, applies only to an action filed on or after the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 30.  Chapter 78B, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
  as added by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues
  on or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 31.  Subchapter I, Chapter 841, Health and Safety
  Code, as added by this Act, applies to a hearing ordering the
  administration of psychoactive medication to a committed person
  under that chapter that occurs on or after the effective date of
  this Act, regardless of whether the applicable conduct of the
  committed person being evaluated for that purpose occurred before,
  on, or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 32.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1179 passed the Senate on
  April 20, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1179 passed the House on
  May 17, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 2, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor