HB 240

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

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Ana Hernandez


Joan Huffman

Bill Caption

Relating to evidence in a suit to abate certain common nuisances. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify the Civil Practice and Remedies Code related to the evidence needed to abate common nuisances. If this bill passes, and if the defendant is a business, or owner of a business, that provides massage therapy or other massage services in violation of the rules regulating massage therapists, proof that those services occurred would be prima facie evidence that the defendant knowingly tolerated the activity. It would also be prima facie evidence that the place in which the business provides those services is habitually used for the activity.

In addition, this bill would require landlords to provide contact information of the business, or the owner of the business, within 7 days of receiving the request. This requirement would only apply to suits intended to abate common nuisances involving massage therapy or other massage services.  

Vote Recommendation Notes

While most businesses that provide massage services are upstanding and operate well within the law, some such businesses operate as a front for illegal sexually oriented businesses which often exploit trafficked individuals. Under this legislation any violation of Chapter 455, Occupations Code, would constitute prima facie evidence that a defendant in a civil suit knowingly tolerated the activity. For most possible violations of that chapter, we have no objection. However, subsections dealing with timely license renewal and proper display of a license should be excluded from the provisions of this legislation so that the legislature does not open the door for these minor violations to be used as a technicality on which to hang a suit for abatement of a common nuisance. These minor violations could easily be the result of an oversight which would be easily correctable.

Should an amendment be adopted exempting subsections 455.204, 455.160, and 455.161 we would withdraw our objection to HB 240.

Organizations Supporting

Texas Municipal League