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Relating to establishing a protective order registry and the duties of courts in regard to the registry.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 325, Committee
Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of $350,000 through the biennium ending
August 31, 2021.
The Office of Court Administration is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the
legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate
money specifically for that purpose, the Office of Court Administration may, but is not required to,
implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of
funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
SB 325 would require the Department of Public Safety to establish a Protective Order Registry that contains the records of protective orders filed and issued in this state. Municipal and county case systems would need to be easily able to interface with the registry. The registry must also be easily accessible to the public.
Texas Action opposes SB 325 because it violates the principle of limited government. While we support an efficient procedure for informing law enforcement agencies about active protective orders, this bill creates some cause for concern. As written, there is no mechanism for ensuring that names are removed from the registry once the protective order has been vacated or expired. We would suggest an amendment putting this safeguard in place, as well as restricting access from the public.
As a reminder, the issuance of a protective order does not mean a person has been charged or found guilty of a crime. Creating a public registry to shame people subject to a protective order will surely lead to negative unintended consequences, including loss of employment and social status, some of whom will inevitably be innocent.