Attorney Ad Litem’s Duty
Re: Whether a telephone interview satisfies an attorney ad litem’s duty under Texas Family Code section 107.004(d) to meet with the child before each court hearing or, if the child is under 4 years of age, with the individual with whom the child ordinarily resides; whether a court has meaningful discretion to determine that the attorney ad litem has shown good cause for not complying with this section (RQ-0387-GA).
Submitted by: Jane Nelson
Chair, Committee on Health and Human Services
Texas State Senate
Chair, Committee on Human Services
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA-406: Texas Family Code section 107.004(d) requires an attorney ad litem appointed for chapter 262 or chapter 263 purposes to meet in person with a child before each court hearing or, if the child is under 4 years of age, with the adult with whom the child ordinarily resides. This statutory duty may not be satisfied by conducting a telephone interview. A court has discretion to determine that an attorney ad litem has established good cause for noncompliance with that section if the court finds that compliance was impracticable, not capable of being done or was not in the best interest of the child.
Hotel Occupancy Tax
Re: Authority of a municipality with a population of fewer than 35,000 to impose a hotel occupancy tax in its extraterritorial jurisdiction when the combined rate of state, county, and municipal hotel occupancy taxes would exceed 15 percent (RQ-0390-GA).
Submitted by Ronald D. Hankins
Somervell County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-408: Section 351.0025(b) of the Tax Code prohibits a municipality with a population of fewer than 35,000 from adopting and imposing a hotel occupancy tax in its extraterritorial jurisdiction when the combined rate of state, county, and municipal taxes would exceed 15 percent. The section does not, however, prohibit a municipality from imposing its tax if the combined rate did not exceed 15 percent when the municipality adopted its tax but exceeds that rate after the county adopts a county tax.
Re: Voting procedures for Board of Managers of Harris County Hospital District (RQ-0395-GA)
Submitted by Mike Stafford
Harris County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-412: The Board of Managers of the Harris County Hospital District has adopted Robert’s Rules of Order to govern its meetings. Pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, the Board must approve an action by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting where a quorum is present. Abstentions are not counted in determining the outcome of the vote.
Fines and Fees/Community Supervision
Re: Payment of uncollected fines, fees and court costs by defendants who have been administratively released from community supervision (RQ-0396-GA).
Submitted by Carl Reynolds
Office of Court Administration
Summary, Opinion No. GA-413: Article 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides specific procedures that, if followed, would continue the court’s jurisdiction and allow for the collection of owed fines, fees and court costs even after the community supervision period has expired. If, however, those procedures are not followed, then a probation defendant is not subject to the conditions of community supervision, including the payment of fines, fees and court costs, after the date the period of community supervision expires.