HB 250

86(R) - 2019
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
County Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative


Jessica Farrar

Bill Caption

Relating to attorney’s fees associated with certain court proceedings for cruelly treated animals; authorizing fees and costs.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

HB 250 would allow counties or municipalities with a population of at least 700,000 to order persons found guilty of animal cruelty to pay the county's or municipality's reasonable attorney fees and court costs.   

Vote Recommendation Notes

HB 250 violates the principles of individual liberty and limited government. 

Texas has stiff penalties for animal cruelty. A first time offense is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a punishment of up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Provided certain conditions are met, animal cruelty can be a State Jail Felony which carries a punishment of not less than 180 days and up to two years in state jail, and a fine up to $10,000. Tack on attorney's fees and any other court costs that may apply and the penalty for this crime is significant.

Those who act with cruelty toward animals are not a sympathetic class but they should be treated equally under the law with any other person who comes in contact with the justice system. People, including unsympathetic defendants, are not money wells to be drafted from merely because we find their behavior abhorrent. Punishment should be proportional to the crime without having extrajudicial penalties tacked on for good measure. For these reasons we oppose HB 250