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Relating to remotely conducting depositions, hearings, and other proceedings in juvenile cases.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 890 would permit a juvenile court to conduct a proceeding remotely and allow a participant to participate remotely. The court would not have to obtain permission from the parties to do so, unless required by the United States or Texas Constitutions. The Office of Court Administration would be required to provide guidance to a juvenile court proceeding involving a jury. If enacted, a juvenile court judge would have to submit a plan to the Office for conducting proceedings remotely if they choose to do so.
Texas Action supports HB 890 as it stands because it would advance limited government. Conducting juvenile proceedings remotely, especially those that are less consequential, would increase efficiency and lower the cost of the proceedings. HB 890 should be amended, however, to explicitly require the consent of the parties for proceedings in which physical presence is an important due process consideration, such as a jury trial. The current language requiring consent only when required constitutionally is not strong enough to fully protect the due process rights of juveniles.