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H.B. 2329

H.B. No. 2329

AN ACT

relating to the confidentiality of certain information regarding
victims of trafficking of persons and to the issuance and
enforcement of protective orders to protect victims of trafficking
of persons; providing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Title 1, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended
by adding Chapter 7B to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7B. PROTECTIVE ORDER FOR VICTIM OF TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS
Art. 7B.01. APPLICATION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER. (a) A person
who is the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code, a
parent or guardian acting on behalf of a person younger than 18
years of age who is the victim of such an offense, or a prosecuting
attorney acting on behalf of the person may file an application for
a protective order under this chapter without regard to the
relationship between the applicant and the offender or alleged
offender.
(b) An application for a protective order under this chapter
may be filed in a district court, juvenile court having the
jurisdiction of a district court, statutory county court, or
constitutional county court in:
(1) the county in which the applicant resides; or
(2) the county in which the offender or alleged
offender resides.
Art. 7B.02. TEMPORARY EX PARTE ORDER. If the court finds
from the information contained in an application for a protective
order that there is a clear and present danger that the alleged
offender will traffic the applicant in a manner that constitutes an
offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code, or that the victim will
otherwise suffer harm described by that section, the court, without
further notice to the offender or alleged offender and without a
hearing, may enter a temporary ex parte order for the protection of
the applicant or any other member of the applicant’s family or
household.
Art. 7B.03. REQUIRED FINDINGS; ISSUANCE OF TEMPORARY
PRETRIAL PROTECTIVE ORDER. (a) At the close of a hearing on an
application for a protective order under this chapter, the court
shall find whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the
applicant is the victim of an offense for which the subject of the
protective order has been charged under Section 20A.02, Penal Code,
and:
(1) is younger than 18 years of age; or
(2) regardless of age, is the subject of a threat that
reasonably places the applicant in fear of further harm from the
alleged offender.
(b) If the court finds reasonable grounds to believe that
the applicant is the victim of an offense for which the subject of
the protective order has been charged under Section 20A.02, Penal
Code, and is younger than 18 years of age, or regardless of age, the
subject of a threat that reasonably places the applicant in fear of
further harm from the alleged offender, the court shall issue a
temporary protective order that includes a statement of the
required findings, to be effective until the date the alleged
offender is convicted or acquitted, or until the date on which the
case involving the offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code, is
finally disposed.
Art. 7B.04. REQUIRED FINDINGS; ISSUANCE OF POST-TRIAL
PROTECTIVE ORDER. (a) At the close of a hearing on an application
for a protective order under this chapter, the court shall find
whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant
is the victim of an offense for which the subject of the protective
order has been convicted under Section 20A.02, Penal Code, and:
(1) is younger than 18 years of age; or
(2) regardless of age, is the subject of a threat that
reasonably places the applicant in fear of further harm from the
alleged offender.
(b) If the court finds reasonable grounds to believe that
the applicant is the victim of an offense for which the subject of
the protective order has been convicted under Section 20A.02, Penal
Code, and is younger than 18 years of age, or regardless of age, the
subject of a threat that reasonably places the applicant in fear of
further harm from the offender, the court shall issue a protective
order that includes a statement of the required findings.
Art. 7B.05. APPLICATION OF OTHER LAW. To the extent
applicable, except as otherwise provided by this chapter, Title 4,
Family Code, applies to a protective order issued under this
chapter.
Art. 7B.06. CONDITIONS SPECIFIED BY ORDER. (a) In a
protective order issued under this chapter, the court may:
(1) order the offender or alleged offender to take
action as specified by the court that the court determines is
necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of
future harm to the applicant or a member of the applicant’s family
or household; or
(2) prohibit the offender or alleged offender from:
(A) communicating directly or indirectly with
the applicant or any member of the applicant’s family or household
in a threatening or harassing manner;
(B) going to or near the residence, place of
employment or business, or child-care facility or school of the
applicant or any member of the applicant’s family or household;
(C) engaging in conduct directed specifically
toward the applicant or any member of the applicant’s family or
household, including following the person, that is reasonably
likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the
person; and
(D) possessing a firearm, unless the alleged
offender is a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code,
actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee
of a state agency or political subdivision.
(b) In an order under Subsection (a)(2)(B), the court shall
specifically describe each prohibited location and the minimum
distance from the location, if any, that the offender or alleged
offender must maintain. This subsection does not apply to an order
with respect to which the court has received a request to maintain
confidentiality of information revealing the locations.
(c) In a protective order, the court may suspend a license
to carry a concealed handgun issued under Section 411.177,
Government Code, that is held by the offender or alleged offender.
Art. 7B.07. WARNING ON PROTECTIVE ORDER. (a) Each
protective order issued under this chapter, including a temporary
ex parte order, must contain the following prominently displayed
statements in boldfaced type, capital letters, or underlined:
“A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ORDER MAY BE PUNISHED FOR
CONTEMPT OF COURT BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS $500 OR BY CONFINEMENT IN
JAIL FOR AS LONG AS SIX MONTHS, OR BOTH.”
“NO PERSON, INCLUDING A PERSON WHO IS PROTECTED BY THIS
ORDER, MAY GIVE PERMISSION TO ANYONE TO IGNORE OR VIOLATE ANY
PROVISION OF THIS ORDER. DURING THE TIME IN WHICH THIS ORDER IS
VALID, EVERY PROVISION OF THIS ORDER IS IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT
UNLESS A COURT CHANGES THE ORDER.”
“IT MAY BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN A PEACE
OFFICER, AS DEFINED BY SECTION 1.07, PENAL CODE, ACTIVELY ENGAGED
IN EMPLOYMENT AS A SWORN, FULL-TIME PAID EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY
OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION, WHO IS SUBJECT TO A PROTECTIVE ORDER TO
POSSESS A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION.”
(b) Each protective order issued under this chapter, except
for a temporary ex parte order, must contain the following
prominently displayed statement in boldfaced type, capital
letters, or underlined:
“A VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER BY COMMISSION OF AN ACT PROHIBITED
BY THE ORDER MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS $4,000 OR BY
CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR AS LONG AS ONE YEAR, OR BOTH. AN ACT THAT
RESULTS IN A SEPARATE OFFENSE MAY BE PROSECUTED AS A SEPARATE
OFFENSE IN ADDITION TO A VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER.”
Art. 7B.08. DURATION OF POST-TRIAL PROTECTIVE ORDER. (a) A
protective order issued under Article 7B.04 may be effective for
the duration of the lives of the offender and victim as provided by
Subsection (b), or for any shorter period stated in the order. If a
period is not stated in the order, the order is effective until the
second anniversary of the date the order was issued.
(b) A protective order issued under Article 7B.04 may be
effective for the duration of the lives of the offender and victim
only if the court finds reasonable cause to believe that the victim
is the subject of a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear
of further harm from the alleged offender.
(c) A victim who is 18 years of age or older or a parent or
guardian acting on behalf of a victim who is younger than 18 years
of age may file at any time an application with the court to rescind
the protective order.
(d) To the extent of any conflict with Section 85.025,
Family Code, this article prevails.
SECTION 2. Title 1, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended
by adding Chapter 57D to read as follows:
CHAPTER 57D. CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF VICTIMS
OF TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS
Art. 57D.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) “Name” means the legal name of a person.
(2) “Pseudonym” means a set of initials or a
fictitious name chosen by a victim to designate the victim in all
public files and records concerning the offense, including police
summary reports, press releases, and records of judicial
proceedings.
(3) “Public servant” has the meaning assigned by
Section 1.07(a), Penal Code.
(4) “Victim” means a person who is the subject of:
(A) an offense under Section 20A.02, Penal Code;
or
(B) an offense that is part of the same criminal
episode, as defined by Section 3.01, Penal Code, as an offense under
Section 20A.02, Penal Code.
Art. 57D.02. CONFIDENTIALITY OF FILES AND RECORDS. (a) The
office of the attorney general shall develop and distribute to all
law enforcement agencies of the state a pseudonym form to record the
name, address, telephone number, and pseudonym of a victim.
(b) A victim may choose a pseudonym to be used instead of the
victim’s name to designate the victim in all public files and
records concerning the offense, including police summary reports,
press releases, and records of judicial proceedings. A victim who
elects to use a pseudonym as provided by this article must complete
a pseudonym form developed under this article and return the form to
the law enforcement agency investigating the offense.
(c) A victim who completes and returns a pseudonym form to
the law enforcement agency investigating the offense may not be
required to disclose the victim’s name, address, and telephone
number in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the
offense.
(d) A completed and returned pseudonym form is confidential
and may not be disclosed to any person other than a defendant in the
case or the defendant’s attorney, except on an order of a court of
competent jurisdiction. The court finding required by Subsection
(g) is not required to disclose the confidential pseudonym form to
the defendant in the case or to the defendant’s attorney.
(e) If a victim completes and returns a pseudonym form to a
law enforcement agency under this article, the law enforcement
agency receiving the form shall:
(1) remove the victim’s name and substitute the
pseudonym for the name on all reports, files, and records in the
agency’s possession;
(2) notify the attorney for the state of the pseudonym
and that the victim has elected to be designated by the pseudonym;
and
(3) maintain the form in a manner that protects the
confidentiality of the information contained on the form.
(f) An attorney for the state who receives notice that a
victim has elected to be designated by a pseudonym shall ensure that
the victim is designated by the pseudonym in all legal proceedings
concerning the offense.
(g) A court of competent jurisdiction may order the
disclosure of a victim’s name, address, and telephone number only
if the court finds that the information is essential in the trial of
the defendant for the offense or the identity of the victim is in
issue.
(h) Except as required or permitted by other law or by court
order, a public servant or other person who has access to or obtains
the name, address, telephone number, or other identifying
information of a victim younger than 18 years of age may not release
or disclose the identifying information to any person who is not
assisting in the investigation, prosecution, or defense of the
case. This subsection does not apply to the release or disclosure
of a victim’s identifying information by:
(1) the victim; or
(2) the victim’s parent, conservator, or guardian,
unless the victim’s parent, conservator, or guardian allegedly
committed the offense described by Article 57D.01(4).
Art. 57D.03. OFFENSE. (a) A public servant with access to
the name, address, or telephone number of a victim 18 years of age
or older who has chosen a pseudonym under this chapter commits an
offense if the public servant knowingly discloses the name,
address, or telephone number of the victim to any person who is not
assisting in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or to
any person other than the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or
the person specified in the order of a court of competent
jurisdiction.
(b) Unless the disclosure is required or permitted by other
law, a public servant or other person commits an offense if the
person:
(1) has access to or obtains the name, address, or
telephone number of a victim younger than 18 years of age; and
(2) knowingly discloses the name, address, or
telephone number of the victim to any person who is not assisting in
the investigation or prosecution of the offense or to any person
other than the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or a person
specified in an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
Subsection (b) that the actor is:
(1) the victim; or
(2) the victim’s parent, conservator, or guardian,
unless the victim’s parent, conservator, or guardian allegedly
committed the offense described by Article 57D.01(4).
(d) An offense under this article is a Class C misdemeanor.
SECTION 3. Section 25.026, Tax Code, is amended to read as
follows:
Sec. 25.026. CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN [VIOLENCE] SHELTER
CENTER AND SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAM ADDRESS INFORMATION. (a) In
this section:
(1) “Family violence shelter center” has the meaning
assigned by Section 51.002, Human Resources Code.
(2) “Sexual assault program” has the meaning assigned
by Section 420.003, Government Code.
(3) “Victims of trafficking shelter center” means a
program that:
(A) is operated by a public or private nonprofit
organization; and
(B) provides comprehensive residential and
nonresidential services to victims of trafficking of persons under
Section 20A.02, Penal Code.
(b) Information in appraisal records under Section 25.02 is
confidential and is available only for the official use of the
appraisal district, this state, the comptroller, and taxing units
and political subdivisions of this state if the information
identifies the address of a family violence shelter center, [or] a
sexual assault program, or a victims of trafficking shelter center.
SECTION 4. Not later than October 1, 2011, the office of the
attorney general shall develop and distribute to all law
enforcement agencies of the state a pseudonym form to record the
name, address, telephone number, and pseudonym of a victim as
required by Article 57D.02, Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by
this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 2329 was passed by the House on May 6,
2011, by the following vote: Yeas 129, Nays 1, 2 present, not
voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
No. 2329 on May 27, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 139, Nays 0,
2 present, not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 2329 was passed by the Senate, with
amendments, on May 24, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays
0
.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate
APPROVED: __________________
Date

__________________
Governor

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