HBA-NRS H.B. 1952 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1952 By: Grusendorf Civil Practices 3/27/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE School districts and school teachers have become the targets of frivolous lawsuits. School districts may spend large amounts of money paying attorneys to defend the district or district employees against such lawsuits. Frivolous lawsuits have also made it more difficult for teachers to appropriately discipline students for fear of facing a suit. House Bill 1952 requires a court in a civil suit to award attorney's fees to the prevailing party in a lawsuit against school districts or teachers involving school-related matters. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 1952 amends the Education Code to require a court in a civil suit brought against an independent school district or a teacher employed by an independent school district for damages arising from a schoolrelated act or omission by the district or the teacher to award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party. The bill provides that such an award does not apply to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The bill provides that to the extent that a frivolous lawsuit or any other law may result in more than one authorization for the court to award reasonable attorney's fees, the court is not authorized to increase the award over the amount of reasonable attorney's fees. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.