CPSAT Legislative Agenda for the 84th Texas Legislature

HB 1806 relating to service of process
CPSAT Position...

Introduction to Members
Reasons to Support HB 1806
The Any Disinterested Adult (ADA) Standard
Existing Regulations Inherent to the Service of Process
Frequently Asked Questions
HB 1806 Text Only
HB 1806 Filed Version
Link to Texas Laws, Codes, and Statutes

QUESTIONS?  Contact Tod Pendergrass, CPSAT Director, (512) 447-2300;  or admin@texasprocesswatch.com

Thank you for all your calls and
emails in support of
HB 1806.

Click here to view the 5-5-15
hearing on HB 1806.
(HB1806 testimony starts at 1:51:25)
Process Server Statistics

The 84th Texas Legislature has come to a close.  There were several bills of interest to our industry, none of
which passed.  The two bills of most concern were:

HOUSE BILL 1806-  The "Any Disinterested Adult" bill would have removed the need for a written
order from the court to become authorized to serve Texas citations and other specific types of writs.

HB 1806 did not get its first hearing until May 5, 2015, which is considered very late in the game.  The bill failed
because it was not voted out of committee before the deadline.  Leaders of another Texas association, The
Texas Process Servers Association (TPSA) joined forces with the Justices of the Peace and Constables’
Association to oppose this bill.  The bill’s failure simply means nothing changes.  However, even if the bill had
become law, it would not have addressed the legal and ethical concerns that remain with the Judicial Branch
Certification Commission (JBCC,) the Process Server Certification Advisory Board (PSCAB,) and the new
process server certification program.  More info. on HB 1806 is below.

SENATE BILL 1022-  SB 1022 filed by Sen. Uresti, also failed to pass.  It was designed to remove the
need for certified servers to put their date of birth on returns.  This bill was sponsored by the TPSA and was,
unfortunately, very poorly written.  Very early on, we convinced Sen. Uresti’s staff to accept our amendment to
this bill, but, TPSA leaders rejected it.  This bill was a waste of time and money, and as written, failed to
address the real problem.  Our amendment was to simply utilize the format currently used for federal returns
with a single sentence that reads, “I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true.”  This simple fix
would have removed the need for the server’s home address and date of birth, and the need for notarization,
and it complies with current Texas statute regarding returns... [CPRC 17.030(c) A person certified by the
supreme court as a process server...
shall sign the return of service under penalty of perjury...]

The reason TPSA leaders rejected this amendment is because this simple perjury statement would have
applied to all process servers, not just those who are certified.  Also, the amendment removed all references to
“JBCC” and “certified servers” instead referring to all servers as “authorized persons.”  There was no logical
reason to create this benefit and have it apply only to certified servers.  All persons who are authorized should
be able to use the perjury statement; and Sen. Uresti’s staff agreed.  In fact, they loved it and thought it was
brilliant.  Unfortunately, common sense was overridden by the TPSA leaders’ desires to get "certification"
placed in as many statutes as possible.  Too bad.  I know a lot of PI’s were concerned about this issue.  I did
not testify against the bill.  It died on its own because it was so poorly written.

Think about  this...

The return for federal process is very simple.  There is no reason returns for Texas citations can't be just as
simple.  Texas subpoenas also have a very simple return.  (Heck, if you get the witness to sign for the
subpoena, you don't even need a return from the server.)  So, why are we playing this game with citation
returns?  How has it come to this?

Two sessions ago, Rep. Hartnett filed a bill that would have fixed the problem.  The return of service statute
created by his bill (CPRC 17.030) only requires that returns for citations & writs "
be signed under penalty of
."  However, the statute also requires the Supreme Court to adopt rules relating to the return of service.  
That's where things did not go as planned.  When the SC amended TRCP, Rule 107 (the return rule,) they
decided to utilize the unsworn declarations statute.  We believe this was an unnecessary mistake and the
reason home addresses and dates of birth ever got mixed into the requirements.

The Supreme Court should amend Rules 107 & 501.3 to comply with CPRC 17.030(c).  We don't need a
legislative fix; it's already there.  Correspondence with the Court on this issue is

More info. on HB 1806: