Governor Abbott Signs Court Security Bill

May 27, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release | Legislative | Legislative - Signature Statement

Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 42, which increases security for judges by expanding security reporting requirements and creating a judicial security division, among other measures. The bill is named in honor of state District Judge Julie Kocurek, who survived an attempted assassination outside her home in 2015. Judge Kocurek and her family attended today’s signing by the Governor.

"The craven attack against Judge Julie Kocurek is deeply troubling, and Texas must be committed to protecting those who uphold the rule of law in this state," said Governor Abbott.

With this new law, judges will have the proper security that creates a safe environment in which they can perform their duties. I would like to thank Senator Zaffirini and Representative Smithee for their work on such an important piece of legislation.

Senate Bill 42 provides the following changes to judicial security:

  • Expands security incident reporting requirements for court buildings.
  • Requires the Office of Court Administration to create a judicial security division to serve as a central resource for security best practices.
  • Requires presiding municipal and administrative judges to create a court security committee for all courts served by that judge.
  • Requires court security officers to receive specialized court security training in their first year.
  • Allows DPS, at their discretion, to provide personal security to a state judge who has been threatened or attacked.
  • Further restricts release of personal information of current and former judges, and tasks the Office of Court Administration with ensuring compliance

This law will go into effect September 1, 2017.