Bill

HB 1463

85(R) - 2017
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
Civil Justice
Civil Remedies
Disabilities

Vote Recommendation

Yes
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive
  • Neutral

Author(s)

John Smithee

Bill Caption

Relating to procedures for asserting claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act; providing a civil penalty.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would pertain to situations when a person, firm, association, corporation, or any other public or private organization allegedly deprives a person of their civil liberties due to their failure to comply with standards meant to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If this bill passes, a claimant would be required to provide a written notification to the respondent no later than the 60th day before they file an action in a civil court. This bill contains the specific requirements for the written notice, including reasonable detail of each alleged violation or failure to comply with standards.

The individual who is being accused of being out of compliance would have a right to correct the problems outlined in the notification. If they do fix the issue for which the claim was filed, the respondent must send a notification back to the claimant describing each correction. If the respondent concludes that the allegations have not occurred the respondent would provide the explanation for their conclusion. Finally, if the claimant establishes by a preponderance of evidence that the respondent has not corrected one or more of the alleged violations, they may file a civil suit.

If the action is filed the respondent may file a plea of abatement and request an evidentiary hearing on the plea. The court would be required to abate the action for a period of no more than 60 days after the date of the hearing if they determine by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent initiated actions to correct the alleged violation, or if the respondent could not complete the correction within that time, or if the corrections will be completed by the end of the abatement period. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill would help to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to seek relief through a civil process, it would also give the respondent sufficient time to correct the alleged violations. This bill upholds our commitment to limited government and personal responsibility by specifying a process for filing certain civil actions which includes an initial notification to the alleged violator, thereby reducing frivolous lawsuits and still allowing those who have been wronged to seek justice. 

Organizations Supporting

AGC-Texas Building Branch
Credit Union Coalition of Texas
Dow Chemical Company
Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Koch Companies
Texans for Lawsuit Reform
Texas Apartment Association
Texas Association of Builders
Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Texas Civil Justice League
Texas Food & Fuel Association
Texas Restaurant Association
Texas Retailers Association

Organizations Opposed

Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
Disability Rights Texas
The Arc of Texas