Call of the Week: Minor in Possession of Tobacco

By Benjamin Gibbs As public opinion on tobacco has shifted, so, too, has the law on underage possession. In the 88th legislature, there are bills introduced which would criminalize selling “alternative nicotine products” and certain flavors of tobacco to minors. See e.g., 88th legislature, SB 920, HB 4481. These bills would punish sellers, not underageContinue reading “Call of the Week: Minor in Possession of Tobacco”

Remote Possibilities: Post-Emergency Zoom Hearings

On January 27, 2023, the Supreme Court of Texas issued the Final General Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. The Final Order renewed and amended the Fifty-Ninth Emergency Order and granted special rules pursuant to Governor Abbott’s declared state of disaster. The Final Order was effective February 1, 2023, and expired March 1,Continue reading “Remote Possibilities: Post-Emergency Zoom Hearings”

TMCEC’s 2023 Prosecutor Seminar is Approaching!

A well-informed prosecutor that stays apprised of changes to the law and follows established best practices improves the efficiency of justice. TMCEC is hosting the first of two AY23 Prosecutors Seminars February 22-24, 2023 at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk in San Antonio. Since 1992, TMCEC has offered specialized continuing legal education to prosecuting attorneys whoContinue reading “TMCEC’s 2023 Prosecutor Seminar is Approaching!”

The Supreme Court Issues 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order

On December 30, 2022, The Supreme Court Issued the 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order. The order goes into effect on January 1, 2023 and expires February 1, 2023. Of note, all courts in Texas may allow or require a participant to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means. Municipal courts may not requireContinue reading “The Supreme Court Issues 59th COVID-19 Emergency Order”

Financial Responsibility Through Auto Insurance

Whether it be for the purposes of a Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (FMFR) charge or to determine eligibility for a driving safety course (DSC), municipal courts in Texas are frequently presented with paperwork that a defendant believes shows their financial responsibility through motor vehicle liability insurance. At the TMCEC Central Texas Regional Judges andContinue reading “Financial Responsibility Through Auto Insurance”

TMCEC Welcomes Thomas Velez as Program Attorney!

Mark Goodner sat down with Thomas Velez to discuss Velez joining the TMCEC team. MG: Well, we are approaching the end of week one with you as a member of our team here at TMCEC. Let me again reiterate how thrilled we are to have you onboard. How is everything going so far and what’sContinue reading “TMCEC Welcomes Thomas Velez as Program Attorney!”

Poker Clubs and Municipal Court

In Texas, gambling is illegal. Gambling is so illegal, in fact, that allowing charitable raffles at rodeos required Texas to amend its Constitution. See, Tex. Const. Art 3, Sec. 47 (d-1), Proposition No. 1, Nov. 2, 2021. Chapter 47 of the Penal Code clearly sets out a prohibition on, effectively, all gambling. Tex. Pen. CodeContinue reading “Poker Clubs and Municipal Court”

C3 (Councils, Courts, and Cities) Turns Five

Mark Goodner sat down with Ryan Turner to discuss C3 and the upcoming Fines and Fees Exposition and Showcase. Eligible participants at the event can receive reimbursement for travel and meals consistent with TMCEC’s grant terms. Mark Goodner: Ryan, can you believe it’s been five years since our public information and education campaign C3 (Councils,Continue reading “C3 (Councils, Courts, and Cities) Turns Five”

New Rules—Do They Apply?

On November 1, 2022, the Office of Court Administration (OCA) announced via email that the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals approved amendments to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP), Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure (TRAP), and Texas Rules of Judicial Administration (TRJA). These changes, among other things, relate to certainContinue reading New Rules—Do They Apply?

Texas Supreme Court Issues 57th Emergency Order

On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court of Texas issued the 57th Emergency Order, which is effective immediately and renews the 55th Emergency Order through 2022. The 57th Emergency Order makes no substantive changes to the 55th Emergency Order. Notably, Texas courts are still, subject to constitutional limitations, permitted to conduct virtual proceedings without participants’Continue reading “Texas Supreme Court Issues 57th Emergency Order”