1-1     By:  Ellis                                             S.B. No. 318

 1-2           (In the Senate - Filed January 28, 1997; January 30, 1997,

 1-3     read first time and referred to Committee on Jurisprudence;

 1-4     April 7, 1997, reported adversely, with favorable Committee

 1-5     Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 6, Nays 0; April 7, 1997,

 1-6     sent to printer.)

 1-7     COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 318                    By:  Ellis

 1-8                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-9                                   AN ACT

1-10     relating to the liability of and bonds required of guardians of the

1-11     person of certain wards.


1-13           SECTION 1.  Subsection (b), Section 702, Texas Probate Code,

1-14     is amended to read as follows:

1-15           (b)  A bond is not required to be given by a guardian that

1-16     is:

1-17                 (1)  a corporate fiduciary, as defined by Section

1-18     601(5) of this code; or

1-19                 (2)  a guardianship program operated by a county [with

1-20     a population of more than 2.5 million, according to the most recent

1-21     federal decennial census].

1-22           SECTION 2.  Subpart B, Part 3, Chapter XIII, Texas Probate

1-23     Code, is amended by adding Section 702A to read as follows:


1-25     PERSON.  (a)  This section applies only to a bond required to be

1-26     posted by a guardian of the person of a ward when there is no

1-27     guardian of the ward's estate.

1-28           (b)  To ensure the performance of the guardian's duties, the

1-29     court may accept only:

1-30                 (1)  a corporate surety bond;

1-31                 (2)  a personal surety bond;

1-32                 (3)  a deposit of money instead of a surety bond; or

1-33                 (4)  a personal bond.

1-34           (c)  In determining the appropriate type and amount of bond

1-35     to set for the guardian, the court shall consider:

1-36                 (1)  the familial relationship of the guardian to the

1-37     ward;

1-38                 (2)  the guardian's ties to the community;

1-39                 (3)  the guardian's financial condition;

1-40                 (4)  the guardian's past history of compliance with the

1-41     court; and

1-42                 (5)  the reason the guardian may have previously been

1-43     denied a corporate surety bond.

1-44           SECTION 3.  Section 102.002, Civil Practice and Remedies

1-45     Code, is amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection

1-46     (e) to read as follows:

1-47           (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a [A] local

1-48     government may not pay damages awarded against an employee that:

1-49                 (1)  arise from a cause of action for official

1-50     misconduct; or

1-51                 (2)  arise from a cause of action involving a wilful or

1-52     wrongful act or omission or an act or omission constituting gross

1-53     negligence.

1-54           (e)  A local government that does not give a bond under

1-55     Section 702(b), Texas Probate Code, shall pay damages awarded

1-56     against an employee of the local government arising from a cause of

1-57     action described by Subsection (c) if the liability results from

1-58     the employee's appointment as guardian of the person or estate of a

1-59     ward under the Texas Probate Code and the action or omission for

1-60     which the employee was found liable was in the course and scope of

1-61     the person's employment with the local government.

1-62           SECTION 4.  Section 102.003, Civil Practice and Remedies

1-63     Code, is amended to read as follows:

1-64           Sec. 102.003.  MAXIMUM PAYMENTS.  Payments under this chapter

 2-1     by a local government may not exceed:

 2-2                 (1)  $100,000 to any one person or $300,000 for any

 2-3     single occurrence in the case of personal injury or death; or

 2-4                 (2)  $10,000 for a single occurrence of property

 2-5     damage, unless the local government is liable in the local

 2-6     government's capacity as guardian under the Texas Probate Code and

 2-7     does not give a bond under Section 702(b), Texas Probate Code, in

 2-8     which event payments may not exceed the amount of the actual

 2-9     property damages.

2-10           SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997, and

2-11     applies only to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian that

2-12     is instituted on or after that date.  A proceeding for the

2-13     appointment of a guardian that is instituted before the effective

2-14     date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date on

2-15     which the proceeding was instituted, and the former law is

2-16     continued in effect for that purpose.

2-17           SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-18     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-19     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-20     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-21     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

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