Senate Bill 6 (Damon Allen Act)
During the Second Special Session in the 2021 Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 6 (known as the Damon Allen Act, after a trooper killed in the line of duty in 2017), which was then signed into law by Gov. Abbott on September 13, 2021.
This bill significantly changes the process for setting bail by giving magistrates better information about a defendant, including their criminal history and any required bond conditions, prohibiting release of a defendant on a personal bond in certain situations, and increasing educational requirements for magistrates.
For all Judges serving on April 1, 2022:
In order to set bail for any offense punishable as a Class B misdemeanor or higher-level offense, a magistrate must be in compliance with educational requirements. These include an eight-hour course on magistrate duties by December 1, 2022 for magistrates in office on April 1, 2022.
For all new Judges:
In order to set bail for any offense punishable as a Class B misdemeanor or higher-level offense, a magistrate must be in compliance with educational requirements. These include an eight-hour course on magistrate duties within 90 days of taking office.
TCJ is offering several ways to meet your educational requirements under SB 6. All magistrates serving on April 1, 2022 must receive 8 hours of magistration training by December 1, 2022.
Virtual Education Options
Judges may satisfy this requirement with virtual education. TCJ is adding a 2-hour webinar on the Damon Allen Act, that could be applied to this requirement. We are also developing an 8 hour course that will be added to our webinars soon.
Requirements for New Judges
All new judges must obtain 8 hours of magistration training within 90 days of taking office.
For newly-appointed judges, TCJ is developing a webinar that may be taken within 90 days of appointment to satisfy this requirement.