Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from May 11, 2018 through June 10, 2018.

Opinion No. KP-0206 (Emergency Detention Warrant): A magistrate may direct an emergency detention warrant issued pursuant to Subsection 573.012(d) of the Health and Safety Code to any on-duty peace officer listed in Article 2.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, regardless of the location within the county of the person who is the subject of the warrant. A peace officer executing an emergency detention warrant has a duty to ensure the transport of a person subject to the warrant to an appropriate facility pursuant to Subsection 573.012(e). Subsection 573.012(d) contains no jurisdictional element that would determine whether municipal or county law enforcement bears the responsibility for transporting a person to an appropriate facility pursuant to subsection 573.012(e). A peace officer refusing to transport a person to an appropriate facility pursuant to Subsection 573.012(e) is liable for contempt. Such an action for contempt could likely be brought by a court having specific jurisdiction over mental health proceedings.

Opinion No. KP-0203 (Collections): Article 103.003(b-1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a county commissioners court to collect amounts payable under Title 2 of the Code independently of the officials listed in Article 103.003(a). A court would likely conclude that Article 103 .003(b-1) authorizes a commissioners court to create a county department to assist the commissioners court to collect such payables.

A court would likely conclude that a commissioners court may contract with a collections firm, permitting the firm to collect payables into its own account, retain the additional collections fee, and deposit county money with the county treasurer, provided that the firm does so within the time permitted by statute.