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No significant fiscal implication to the State.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of not more than $4,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year, or both. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both. Costs associated with enforcement, prosecution, and confinement could likely be absorbed with existing resources. Revenue from fines imposed and collected is not anticipated to have a significant fiscal impact.
This bill addresses the issue of delayed birth certificates, when parents do not file for a certificate within one year of a child's birth and must apply for a delayed certificate. HB 2794 would amend the Health and Safety Code to change the venue in which a person is authorized to file a petition for an order establishing a record of the person's date of birth, place of birth, and parentage from the county probate court of the county in which the birth occurred to the district court with jurisdiction over the county in which the birth occurred or to the district court with jurisdiction over the county in which the person resides.
The bill would require the
petition to include 1) the name and place of residence of the petitioner, 2)
whether the petitioner has been the subject of a final felony conviction, 3) whether
the petitioner is required to register as a sex offender, 3) and a legible and
complete set of the petitioner's fingerprints on a fingerprint card format
acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of
The bill would authorize the court to appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the person seeking the delayed birth certificate. The bill would require the parent of a person who is seeking the delayed birth certificate to sign an affidavit of personal knowledge acknowledging that the individual is the parent of the person seeking the delayed birth certificate if the parent's affidavit of personal knowledge is necessary for the delayed birth certificate due to lack of alternative documentary evidence. The bill would create a Class B misdemeanor if the parent fails to sign an affidavit of personal knowledge by the deadline, if the request for the signed affidavit is made on or after the fourth anniversary of the date of birth but before the 15th anniversary of the date of birth. The bill would create a Class A misdemeanor for the parent to fail to sign the affidavit by the deadline if the request is made on or after the 15th anniversary of the date of birth.
No changes were made. The second chamber sponsor is Senator Zaffirini.
First chamber recommendation:
This bill affirms the principle of personal responsibility. It is important for an individual to possess a birth certificate, since a birth certificate is necessary for specific procedures in the legal world and in life, for example, the process of applying for a U.S. passport. If a parent failed in their responsibility to provide a birth certificate for their child then the parent should not be able to prevent one from being issued by refusing to acknowledge personal knowledge of the child's birth. This bill makes it easier for individuals to obtain a delayed birth certificate. For this reason, we support HB 2794.