Top 5 TRCP and TRE Amendments from 2016.

Top 5 TRCP and TRE Amendments from 2016.

While our calendars have turned to 2017, it is a good time to look back at the 2016 Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Texas Rules of Evidence amendments that made a significant impact on your Texas civil practice. Are you on top of these rule changes?

TRCP 126

TRCP 126 was amended to require that, when a party requesting service of process in a county other than the county of suit has filed a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs, the clerk indicate on the document to be served that the party has made such a filing. TRCP 126 was also amended to require a sheriff or constable to execute service without demanding payment when a Statement has been filed. These changes took effect September 1, 2016. Tex.Sup.Ct. Order, Misc. Docket No. 16-9122 (eff. Sept. 1, 2016).

TRCP 145

TRCP 145 was amended to change the procedure for a party claiming that she cannot afford to pay court costs. The amendments require, among other things, the party to file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs instead of an affidavit of indigence. Amended TRCP 145 does not permit the clerk or a party to challenge a claim of inability to afford costs without sworn evidence that the claim is false or that there has been a change in the filing party’s circumstances that makes the claim no longer true. These changes took effect September 1, 2016. Tex.Sup.Ct. Order, Misc. Docket No. 16-9122 (eff. Sept. 1, 2016).

TRCP 502.3

TRCP 502.3 was amended to require a party making a claim of inability to afford court costs in justice court to file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs. If the Statement is accompanied by the certificate of a legal-aid provider meeting certain requirements, the Statement cannot be contested. These changes took effect September 1, 2016. Tex.Sup.Ct. Order, Misc. Docket No. 16-9122 (eff. Sept. 1, 2016).

TRE 509 & 510

TRE 509(e)(1) and 510(d)(1) were amended to allow disclosure of physician-patient communications or communications between a patient and a mental-health professional if relevant to a claim or defense. Before the amendment, the rules stated that the exception applied only if the communication was relevant to a physician’s or professional’s claim or defense. TRE 509(e)(6) was amended by the same order to correspond with 2015 legislative changes. These changes took effect June 14, 2016. Tex.Sup.Ct. Order, Misc. Docket No. 16-9094 (eff. June 14, 2016).

 

For full analysis of these amended rules and how they will affect your practice, make O’Connor’s Texas Rules * Civil Trials your first source for the law. O’Connor’s Texas Rules * Civil Trials 2017  is now in stock—visit our online store to order your copy!

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