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House Committee on Judiciary - 70th R.S. (1987)

Committee Members
Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Chair
Mike Toomey, Chair
Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Vice Chair
Robert Eckels
Chris Harris
James Hury
Nicolas Perez
Curtis Seidlits
Hugh D. Shine
Dalton Smith
Larry Warner
Charges
• To monitor all activities and have budget oversight responsibilities for those agencies, boards, and commissions as listed in Rule 3, Section 20.
• To study the development of a state Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QUADRO) program comparable to the federal plan.
• To study problems associated with protective orders, review existing visitation and domicile laws, comparing Texas statutes with those of other states.
• To study the problem of AFDC Title IV payments in relation to the state's responsibilities regarding child support collections and the interaction with the federal government, and ways of improving the collection and enforcement of child support. (Joint study with Appropriations Committee).
• To study Texas law and procedure relating to the preparation of a uniform law providing for direct payment of pension benefits to certain qualified nonemployee spouses patterned after the Retirement Equity Act of 1984.
• To study Texas law and procedures relating to the issuance of marriage licenses.
• To study such other matters as may be deemed significant by the Committee in the area of family law and procedure.
• Study the feasibility of developing a computer system within the office of the Secretary of State to facilitate the expansion of jury pools.
• Study Texas law and procedure relating to the following matters:
(1) access to state computer records to locate those persons who have failed to appear in court on enforcement action for nonpayment of child support;
(2) revision of criminal nonsupport laws in response to court cases declaring the current law unconstitutional;
(3) study the possible implementation of a "friend of the court" system for the monitoring of child support as currently used in Michigan and in at least one district court in Dallas, Texas; special emphasis should be given to possible coordination of such effort through local domestic relations offices;
(4) study regarding the opening of satellite child collection offices in major metropolitan counties and also the operation of child support collection offices to provide for evening hours and weekend hours for the payment of child support;
(5) establishing of a toll-free hot line for employers so that questions may be answered regarding wage withholding;
(6) comparison of child support guidelines in this state with those of the other 49 states to see that the Texas Child Support Guidelines reflect the current thinking in other jurisdictions;
(7) adoption of standardized forms for enforcement actions for the collection of support including petitions for enforcement, writs of commitment, writs of attachment and capias such as are now prepared by the attorney general for wage withholding and writs of income withholding;
(8) any other matters that would assist in the collection of child support in this state; and
(9) changes in law to provide for financial support from divorced parents to assist in the education of children beyond high school and especially for young persons attending college in this state.

Note:
The House Committee on Judiciary met with the Senate Jurisprudence Committee as the House-Senate Joint Interim Committee on Protective Orders and State Employee Pension Plans to consider the charges on protective orders and state employee pension plans and health insurance.
The House Committee on Judiciary and the Senate Jurisprudence Committee met together as the Joint Committee on Child Support to consider issues related to child support as directed by HCR 18, 70th Legislature, 2nd Called Session.
Harold Dutton promoted from vice chair to chair in February 1988. Dalton Smith (Member) appointed June 1, 1988. (Press Release, Speaker of the House Gibson D. (Gib) Lewis, February 12, 1988. Letter from Gibson D. (Gib) Lewis, Speaker of the House, June 1, 1988. See House Speaker Lewis Appointments, L1801.1 P926a 1985-92 2.)
Mike Toomey (Chair) resigned 1/6/1988.

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