Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed SB 1458, a bill that sought to standardize protective order applications. Senate Bill 1458 was passed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session. In vetoing SB 1458, a gubernatorial proclamation was issued in which the governor noted, in pertinent part:

“Senate Bill 1458’s goal of having model forms for protective orders, orders for emergency protection, and temporary ex parte orders is a sound one, but this is already allowed. The Office of Court Administration can, and is encouraged to, create model forms to help achieve the commendable goals behind Senate Bill 1458. But the bill would go farther and impose categorical mandates that courts use standardized forms, without addressing what happens if a court deviates from the prescribed form and without allowing flexibility for unique cases. I vetoed similar legislation last session because, without appropriate safeguards, mandating the use of standardized forms in criminal cases sets a trap for courts whose orders may be challenged as void for deviating from the form and creates loopholes for opportunistic litigants to pursue needless challenges.”

This is intended to clarify our prior article, published by Texas Lawyer on July 14, 2021, titled “Revisions to the Texas Family Code that Every Attorney Should Know.” The Office of Court Administration has issued a kit that attempts to standardize protective applications. Each attorney filing protective order applications will need to assess which form best suits their client’s needs, in keeping with the recommendations of the Office of Court Administration.