SB 1185

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Criminal Procedure
Open Records

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Royce West

Bill Caption

Relating to criminal history record information obtained or disseminated by certain private entities; providing a civil penalty. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify some of the rules relating to companies that compile and disseminate criminal history record information. Under current law, companies can disseminate information that they purchase or otherwise obtain if it originated from a government agency, and if within the 90 days preceding the date of dissemination they verify that the record information is up to date. If this bill passes, that 90-day requirement would be reduced to 60 days. 

If this bill passes, they would also have to send a notice to the recipients stating that the information is from at least 60 days prior to the date this information is provided, and may not reflect the current status of the criminal history. This bill establishes a process for individuals to dispute the information on their criminal history records, as provided by these companies, and would require the companies to remove the information if the charges have been ordered to be non-disclosed, or if the convictions were expunged. If the private entity disseminates some incorrect or incomplete information they could be liable for damages caused to the person who is the subject of the bad information. 

This bill would also require these firms to disclose the name of the entity and the contact information to the state no later than the 30th day of doing business in the state. Failure to do so could result in a $500 fine for each day not registered. This bill would also impose a responsibility on people who access, purchase, or receive the criminal history record information. If the criminal history record information was used as the basis for an adverse decision, they would be required to disclose to the individual who was adversely affected, the name and contact information of the entity that they received the criminal history record information from.

Vote Recommendation Notes

We support increasing the accuracy standards for criminal history record keeping. Since these firms store and disseminate information about criminal backgrounds, and since Texas has established procedures for both orders of non-disclosure and expunction, these regulations would help to ensure that the non-disclosure process and the expunction process work as they were intended. For this reason, we support SB 1185. 

Organizations Supporting

Texas Public Policy Foundation

Organizations Opposed

Texas Probation Association