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Relating to the presence of a qualified facility dog in certain court proceedings.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1071 would permit any party to a proceeding in a court to petition the court to allow a testifying witness to have a qualified facility dog with them. A court would be able to authorize the request if the presence of the dog would assist the witness’ testimony and proof of liability insurance coverage is provided. A handler trained to manage the dog would have to accompany it.
Texas Action supports HB 1071 because it would expand the freedom of witnesses testifying in a court without damaging the integrity of court proceedings. Witnesses who live with facility dogs ought to have access to them during a situation as potentially high-pressure as providing court testimony.