Texas Register Preamble
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council adopts new §884.4, relating to Special Requirements for Complaints Alleging Violations Related to Court Ordered Therapy or Parenting Facilitator Services. Section 884.4 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 1, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 6502) and will not be republished.
The new rule is intended to address the procedural requirements for the filing and adjudication of complaints relating to court-ordered therapy or parenting facilitator services. Under this rule, a complainant must wait to bring a complaint to the agency until the licensee's appointment has expired or been terminated. This ensures that complaints are not used as a litigation tactic and that the agency does not interfere or conflict with a court's inherent power to regulate its own proceedings. Additionally, the new rule expressly preserves a complainant's right to file a complaint once a licensee is no longer under appointment even if the general limitations period has expired.
List of interested groups or associations against the rule.
Summary of comments against the rule.
List of interested groups or associations for the rule.
Summary of comments for the rule.
A commenter generally supports the rule and opined that as written it will help more situation that it will hurt. But the commenter believes the rule leave the door open for abuse by some unethical practitioners, because if a judge or the attorneys for a case do not take action or know to take action regarding unethical conduct by a licensee then those licensees may be able to abuse the system and their clients for a long time. The commenter recommended amending the rule to limit the individual, or individual's agents, receiving the court order services from filing a complaint while the court appointment is still active. The commenter's goal in this proposed change was to allow other licensees to file a complaint while the court appointment is still active because other licensees will be more aware of the standards being violated and they could possibly address unethical abuse better.
The agency declines to amend the rule as requested but appreciates the supportive comment. One of the purposes of this new rule is to define the jurisdiction of this agency. The Executive Council has no authority to intervene in a court case, such as a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. The Executive Council does not have the authority to order or influence a court as to whether it can or cannot use a particular person's services. This agency has no authority to make determinations in matters pending before a County or District Court. When a complaint is being processed regarding a matter pending in a court, this agency's determination in such a matter could be the usurping of the judicial branch of government's power. Far too often have complaints used this agency's complaint process as a litigation tactic to disqualify or have removed a licensee from a case by merely filing a complaint. The same complaint can be brought before the court which can make its own determination as to whether the licensee should be removed from the case or not.
The rule is adopted under Tex. Occ. Code, Title 3, Subtitle I, Chapter 507, which provides the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council with the authority to make all rules, not inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of this State, which are reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and regulations of proceedings before it.
Additionally, the Executive Council adopts this rule pursuant to the authority found in §507.152 of the Tex. Occ. Code which vests the Executive Council with the authority to adopt rules necessary to perform its duties and implement Chapter 507 of the Tex. Occ. Code.
The Executive Council also adopts this rule under the authority found in §2001.004 of the Tex. Gov't Code which requires state agencies to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.
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