New Court Appointment Procedures and Reporting
Requirements Enacted by the 84
Senate Bill 1876 and Senate Bill 1369
By Mena Ramon
Texas Legislature passed two bills providing new
procedures and reporting requirements for court appointments.
Senate Bill 1876
enacted new procedures for courts to
follow when appointing attorneys ad litem, guardians ad
litem, guardians and mediators. Senate Bill 1369
new reporting requirements regarding the appointment and payment of
persons covered under Senate Bill 1876 and competency evaluators.
On September 21, 2015, Representative Harold V. Dutton, Jr., filed
a request for an attorney general opinion (RQ-0060-KP)
the constitutionality of SB 1876. Chairman Dutton asks whether the
requirements of the Act violate the doctrine of separation of powers because it deprives judges of
their discretion in making court appointments and “improperly interferes with how a court manages
its docket” and whether it is unconstitutionally vague because it requires judges to add persons to
their appointment lists who are “qualified” but does not provide the standards a judge should use
to determine whether a person is qualified. This article is intended to provide general information
about the law and suggestions for how to comply. It does not address the merits of the arguments
posed in Chairman Dutton’s attorney general opinion request.
Senate Bill 1876 - Court
SB 1876 added Chapter 37 to
the Government Code effective
September 1, 2015. Chapter 37
provides new procedures for the
appointment of attorneys ad litem,
guardians ad litem, mediators
and guardians in counties with a
population of 25,000 or more. It
applies to any court created by the
Texas Constitution or by statute or
that is authorized by statute.
The most significant change to
practices in effect before September
1, 2015, is the requirement that a
court, when required to appoint an
attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem
or guardian, appoint the person
whose name appears first on a list to be maintained by the court pursuant to Government Code Sec.
Courts are also required to follow this appointment process when appointing mediators
in cases when the parties cannot agree on one.
Once a person from one of the lists is appointed,
The new law
guidance on how
if a person is