2023 Legislation: Court Proceedings and Juvenile Records

HB 422 (Authors: VanDeaver; Burns; Cain; Leo-Wilson | Sponsor: Perry), Relating to remotely conducting detention hearings in juvenile cases. HB 422 allows a detention hearing for children to be conducted as a remote proceeding, meaning one or more participants uses technology like teleconferencing or videoconferencing. A remote detention hearing can be ordered without the consent of the parties unless consent is required by the U.S. or Texas Constitution. A juvenile court may allow or require a party, attorney, witness, court reporter, or any other individual to participate in the hearing. The judge of a juvenile court must submit a plan for conducting a remote detention hearing to the Texas Judicial System’s Office of Court Administration; the plan must: include protocols for handling physical evidence, and require an unobstructed view of any party or witness who provides testimony from a remote location. Effective on 6/13/23 

SB 1585 (Authors: Sparks; Perry | Sponsors: Ann Johnson; Wu), Relating to certain proceedings in juvenile court for children with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. SB 1585 simplifies juvenile court proceedings involving children with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. This bill, among other things, clarifies how to identify these children, creates comprehensive criteria for court-ordered inpatient or outpatient mental health services, makes a transfer to a criminal court on a child’s 18th birthday discretionary versus mandatory if the child has a mental illness or intellectual disability, and gives juvenile probation departments more flexibility to work with various treatment and service providers to provide competency restoration. Effective on 9/1/23 

SB 1725 (Author: Hughes | Sponsor: Leo-Wilson), Relating to the expunction of certain convictions or arrests of a minor for certain alcohol-related offenses. SB 1725 pertains to a minor child’s eligibility for expunction if they have been arrested for more than one alcohol-related violation. The bill states that if an event leading to the violation included multiple violations, all are eligible for expungement. Applicants for expunction must swear in the application that they were not arrested for a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Code other than the one they seek to expunge. The bill applies to the expunction records of a conviction or arrest made before, on, or after the bill’s effective date. Effective on 9/1/23 

During the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity tracked around 40 youth and adult justice bills that made it to the Governor's desk. You can find links to all of our analyses in our 2023 Bill Analysis Guide.