S.B. No. 318

BONDS OF GUARDIANS OF THE PERSON

Effective Date: September 1, 1997

AN ACT

relating to the liability of and bonds required of guardians of the person of certain wards.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Subsection (b), Section 702, Texas Probate Code, is amended to read as follows:

(b)  A bond is not required to be given by a guardian that is:

(1)  a corporate fiduciary, as defined by Section 601(5) of this code; or

(2)  a guardianship program operated by a county [with a population of more than 2.5 million, according to the most recent federal decennial census].

SECTION 2.  Subpart B, Part 3, Chapter XIII, Texas Probate Code, is amended by adding Section 702A to read as follows:

Sec. 702A.  TYPES OF BONDS ACCEPTABLE FOR GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON. (a)  This section applies only to a bond required to be posted by a guardian of the person of a ward when there is no guardian of the ward's estate.

(b)  To ensure the performance of the guardian's duties, the court may accept only:

(1)  a corporate surety bond;

(2)  a personal surety bond;

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

(4)  a personal bond.

(c)  In determining the appropriate type and amount of bond to set for the guardian, the court shall consider:

(1)  the familial relationship of the guardian to the ward;

(2)  the guardian's ties to the community;

(3)  the guardian's financial condition;

(4)  the guardian's past history of compliance with the court; and

(5)  the reason the guardian may have previously been denied a corporate surety bond.

SECTION 3.  Section 102.002, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a [A] local government may not pay damages awarded against an employee that:

(1)  arise from a cause of action for official misconduct; or

(2)  arise from a cause of action involving a wilful or wrongful act or omission or an act or omission constituting gross negligence.

(e)  A local government that does not give a bond under Section 702(b), Texas Probate Code, shall pay damages awarded against an employee of the local government arising from a cause of action described by Subsection (c) if the liability results from the employee's appointment as guardian of the person or estate of a ward under the Texas Probate Code and the action or omission for which the employee was found liable was in the course and scope of the person's employment with the local government.

SECTION 4.  Section 102.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 102.003.  MAXIMUM PAYMENTS. Payments under this chapter by a local government may not exceed:

(1)  $100,000 to any one person or $300,000 for any single occurrence in the case of personal injury or death; or

(2)  $10,000 for a single occurrence of property damage, unless the local government is liable in the local government's capacity as guardian under the Texas Probate Code and does not give a bond under Section 702(b), Texas Probate Code, in which event payments may not exceed the amount of the actual property damages.

SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997, and applies only to a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian that is instituted on or after that date. A proceeding for the appointment of a guardian that is instituted before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date on which the proceeding was instituted, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.


Courtesy of Glenn M. Karisch, Ikard & Golden, P. C., Austin, Texas. This page was last revised on May 27, 1997.