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HB 3994 by Rep. Morrison: Notice and Consent to an abortion for a minor.

This bill dramatically amends

Chapter 33 of the Family Code. A suit for a court order authorizing an abortion of a pregnant minor without

parental notification and consent must be filed in the county where the minor resides, a contiguous county,

or the county where the procedure will be performed.

The petition must include a statement that the minor wishes to proceed to have an abortion without the

notification and consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian. It must contain a statement about

the minor’s current physical address, mailing address, and telephone number. The court “shall” appoint

a guardian ad litem to represent the best interest of the minor. The pregnant minor must appear before

the court in person and cannot appear through video conferencing, telephone conferencing or any other

electronic means.

The court must issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law no later than 5:00 p.m. on the fifth

business day after the petition is filed. The new law deletes the provision that the petition is deemed granted

if the court fails to issue findings in a timely manner. Further, the burden of proof for the court to grant

the application is changed from preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence that the

abortion in child’s best interest. The court can inquire into the reasons why the minor wants the procedure

and why the minor does not want to notify the parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

The clerk of the court is to file a report with

the Office of Court Administration containing the

following information:

1. the case number and style

2. the applicant’s county of residence

3. the Court of Appeals District where the

hearing occurred

4. the date of the filing of the application

5. the date of the disposition of the case

6. the disposition of the case.

The Office of Court Administration is required

to publish a report annually with the figures

from the court of appeals districts and the

dispositions of the cases. The report from the

clerks offices are not public record.

Effective

January 1, 2016.

Civil Law Bills

HB 1403 by Rep. Sheets:

This bill amends

section 74.001 (a) (13) of the Civil Practice and

Remedies Code and clarifies that Labor Code

cases brought against a healthcare facility are

not healthcare liability claims. However, the

legislature did not address slip and fall cases in

a healthcare facility, as HB 956 failed to pass.

SB 735 by Sen. Fraser:

This bill amends

section 41.001 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code by changing when evidence of a party’s

“net worth”

is discoverable. The bill defines net worth as “the total assets of a person minus the total liabilities of the

person on a date determined appropriate by the trial court.”

The new law allows discovery of net worth only if:

“the court finds in a

written order

that the claimant

has demonstrated a

substantial likelihood of success

on the merits of a claim for exemplary damages.”