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SUBCHAPTER G.

SUBCHAPTER G. CONTESTED CASES: JUDICIAL REVIEW

Sec. 2001.171. JUDICIAL REVIEW. A person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within a state agency and who is aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case is entitled to judicial review under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.172. SCOPE OF JUDICIAL REVIEW. The scope of judicial review of a state agency decision in a contested case is as provided by the law under which review is sought.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.173. TRIAL DE NOVO REVIEW. (a) If the manner of review authorized by law for the decision in a contested case that is the subject of complaint is by trial de novo, the reviewing court shall try each issue of fact and law in the manner that applies to other civil suits in this state as though there had not been an intervening agency action or decision but may not admit in evidence the fact of prior state agency action or the nature of that action except to the limited extent necessary to show compliance with statutory provisions that vest jurisdiction in the court.

(b) On demand, a party to a trial de novo review may have a jury determination of each issue of fact on which a jury determination could be obtained in other civil suits in this state.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.174. REVIEW UNDER SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE RULE OR UNDEFINED SCOPE OF REVIEW. If the law authorizes review of a decision in a contested case under the substantial evidence rule or if the law does not define the scope of judicial review, a court may not substitute its judgment for the judgment of the state agency on the weight of the evidence on questions committed to agency discretion but:

(1) may affirm the agency decision in whole or in part; and

(2) shall reverse or remand the case for further proceedings if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because the administrative findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:

(A) in violation of a constitutional or statutory provision;

(B) in excess of the agency’s statutory authority;

(C) made through unlawful procedure;

(D) affected by other error of law;

(E) not reasonably supported by substantial evidence considering the reliable and probative evidence in the record as a whole; or

(F) arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.175. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW UNDER SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE RULE OR UNDEFINED SCOPE OF REVIEW. (a) The procedures of this section apply if the manner of review authorized by law for the decision in a contested case that is the subject of complaint is other than by trial de novo.

(b) After service of the petition on a state agency and within the time permitted for filing an answer or within additional time allowed by the court, the agency shall send to the reviewing court the original or a certified copy of the entire record of the proceeding under review. The record shall be filed with the clerk of the court. The record may be shortened by stipulation of all parties to the review proceedings. The court may assess additional costs against a party who unreasonably refuses to stipulate to limit the record, unless the party is subject to a rule adopted under Section 2001.177 requiring payment of all costs of record preparation. The court may require or permit later corrections or additions to the record.

(c) A party may apply to the court to present additional evidence. If the court is satisfied that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for the failure to present it in the proceeding before the state agency, the court may order that the additional evidence be taken before the agency on conditions determined by the court. The agency may change its findings and decision by reason of the additional evidence and shall file the additional evidence and any changes, new findings, or decisions with the reviewing court.

(d) The party seeking judicial review shall offer, and the reviewing court shall admit, the state agency record into evidence as an exhibit.

(e) A court shall conduct the review sitting without a jury and is confined to the agency record, except that the court may receive evidence of procedural irregularities alleged to have occurred before the agency that are not reflected in the record.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.176. PETITION INITIATING JUDICIAL REVIEW. (a) A person initiates judicial review in a contested case by filing a petition not later than the 30th day after the date the decision or order that is the subject of complaint is final and appealable. In a contested case in which a motion for rehearing is a prerequisite for seeking judicial review, a prematurely filed petition is effective to initiate judicial review and is considered to be filed:

(1) on the date the last timely motion for rehearing is overruled; and

(2) after the motion is overruled.

(b) Unless otherwise provided by statute:

(1) the petition must be filed in a Travis County district court;

(2) a copy of the petition must be served on the state agency and each party of record in the proceedings before the agency; and

(3) the filing of the petition vacates a state agency decision for which trial de novo is the manner of review authorized by law but does not affect the enforcement of an agency decision for which another manner of review is authorized.

(c) A Travis County district court in which an action is brought under this section, on its own motion or on motion of any party, may request transfer of the action to the Court of Appeals for the Third Court of Appeals District if the district court finds that the public interest requires a prompt, authoritative determination of the legal issues in the case and the case would ordinarily be appealed. After filing of the district court’s request with the court of appeals, transfer of the action may be granted by the court of appeals if it agrees with the findings of the district court concerning the application of the statutory standards to the action. On entry of an order by the court of appeals granting transfer, the action is transferred to the court of appeals for decision, and the agency decision in the contested case is subject to judicial review by the court of appeals. The administrative record and the district court record shall be filed by the district clerk with the clerk of the court of appeals. The court of appeals may direct the district court to conduct any necessary evidentiary hearings in connection with the action.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 894, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 625 (S.B. 1267), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 2001.177. COST OF PREPARING AGENCY RECORD. (a) A state agency by rule may require a party who appeals a final decision in a contested case to pay all or a part of the cost of preparation of the original or a certified copy of the record of the agency proceeding that is required to be sent to the reviewing court.

(b) A charge imposed under this section is a court cost and may be assessed by the court in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 2001.1775. MODIFICATION OF AGENCY FINDINGS OR DECISION. Except as provided by Section 2001.175(c), an agency may not modify its findings or decision in a contested case after proceedings for judicial review of the case have been instituted under Section 2001.176 and during the time that the case is under judicial review.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.21(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 2001.178. CUMULATIVE EFFECT. This subchapter is cumulative of other means of redress provided by statute.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

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