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Legislation Affecting the Judiciary:

What Judges Need to Know on

September 1, 2015

By Hon. Alfonso Charles


he 84


Texas Legislative

session was a very interesting

session for the Judiciary.

There were several bills filed targeting

or impacting the courts of this state.

This article discusses some of the

major changes that will become law

on September 1, 2015. This is not

a complete list of all bills passed

that will concern the judiciary, but

it covers the major changes that will go

into effect on September 1. A more detailed paper and

discussion will be had at the Annual Judicial Conference

on September 28, 2015. All the new laws are effective

September 1, 2015 unless indicated otherwise.

Family Law Bills

SB 814 by Sen. Rodriguez:

This amends section 6.4035

of the Family Code. Under this new law, digital waivers

on family law cases to remove disability of minor change

name, or suits affecting parent child relationship are not

allowed. Further, the waiver must contain the mailing

address of the individual executing the waiver. This section

does not apply to a person who is incarcerated.

SB 815 by Sen. Rodriguez:

This new law amends

section 6.501 (a) of the Family Code and updates

standard divorce temporary restraining order language

to include technology. Examples include that a party

may not threaten or harass the other party by electronic

messaging, electronic voice messaging or video chat. The

bill further includes references to intellectual property

and social media.

SB 822 by Sen. Rodriguez:

This bill creates Chapter 47

of the Family Code and attempts to provide clarification of

definitions of ad litems, amicus, and guardian ad litems in

family law cases.