The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 42 during the 85th Legislative Session. Known as the “Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act of 2017,” the bill makes changes to the law that are designed to improve the security of judges at all levels, both in their courthouses and at their homes.
The changes include:
- Establishing a Court Security Division at OCA;
- Requiring municipal judges and local administrative judges to establish a court security committee;
- Requirements related to the certification of court security personnel;
- Changes to statutes impacting judges' and their spouses' personal security and privacy; and
- Authorizes any commissioned police officer in the state to provide personal security to a judge.
Court Security Division
OCA's Court Security Division will:
- Support the establishment of court security committees through training and technical assistance;
- Assist courts with conducting and reviewing security and emergency preparedness assessments and developing improvement plans; and
- Support the implementation of privacy protections for judges by facilitating the restriction of public access to the residence address of a judge or judge's spouse.