Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
Title 5. Governmental Liability
Chapter 110. Religious Freedom
TRFRA Section 110.006 Notice; Right to Accommodate
This is the section that describes what must go into the notice letter, when the notice letter isn’t required, and how the offending official may remedy the burden on religious freedom. This section contains some important legal concepts such as least restrictive means and narrow tailoring and says when each is required and when it is not. The judge may make an attempt to remedy the burden on your rights and claim they have complied with the law. Will you know if they are correct or not? Will you know how to challenge them effectively? Will your attorney?
This is where our expertise works to your benefit. We understand the constitutional arguments in ways most attorneys do not. We understand how officials have tried to weasel out of complying with constitutional requirements to a degree most attorneys are unfamiliar with. Keep in mind, your attorney has to be a generalist in many areas. They have to continuously address client issues to maintain their office and their business. There is little time for scholarly pursuit of constitutional principles or the finer points of its application. This, however, is our primary business. This is what we do. Our every waking moment is spent devising ways to compel family law courts to comply with the constitution. With our expertise backing your attorney’s presentation you will have the maximum opportunity for success and to claim compensatory damages of $10,000.
Under part (a) of this section, the legislature explains that a party must first give the offending official a specific opportunity to correct the burden on religious freedom before being eligible for relief under this chapter. The way you must provide this opportunity is through a formal letter delivered in a specific way that contains very specific descriptions of the substantial burdens. If you do not list all of the burdens here, you will not have an opportunity for relief of the burdens you do not list. Do you know all the ways to articulate your religious freedom? Have you given serious thought to all the ways that your religious freedom is exercised by you that you do not normally think of? Do you know how to articulate your religious freedom in terms that support your claim to equal time and rights with your children? We have thought these issues through and have arguments that will give you opportunity to win the equal time and rights with your child that you so desperately desire and deserve.
When your judge implements half measures, or attempts to argue that your rights were not substantially burdened, we have answers to show that their half measures do not measure up. We have answers to demonstrate how and why your religious freedom was substantially burdened that are backed up by federal court precedent from the United States Supreme Court and the federal appellate court in your district. We will show you in another section of this code why the court must follow these federal precedents.
There is a way in this section that you can bring suit under this chapter without providing this notice but doing so waives your right to collect the compensatory damages of $10,000.
This section provides the terms under which the judge can repair the burden which seems to remove the least restrictive means condition but that adds a narrow tailoring requirement. Do you understand the technical differences between these two terms? Do you understand where and how they are the same thing? Does your attorney understand these nuances to the degree you need them to in order to maximize your rights with your children? We specifically study these issues and can cite the federal precedent cases that have in just the last few years clarified how these terms must be met. The federal courts have provided us a wealth of information on how to hold the state courts to these terms, but one must understand the finer points and back them up with proper citation to succeed.
This section tells us that if the substantial burden is cured that you cannot proceed with this suit. But, think for a minute what this means. If you stated your religious burdens properly, this means that you will have equal rights and time with your children or very nearly equal. This is a major win for most parents who are suffering in family courts. I don’t know about you but I spent way more than $10,000 fighting for my child and my current wife’s children. I would gladly forego the $10,000 in compensatory damages to have my full and equal rights protected by the family court. If you did the smart thing and articulated the burdens on your religious freedom properly and your judge does the right thing and corrects those burdens then you win big. You get your rights and your child back and you get them back within 60 days.
This is the win we are all looking for. This is the best possible outcome in my book. However, most judges are unlikely to do the right thing. Their egos are at stake and they would have to admit their mistakes to do the right thing. This code is the club that will force them to do the right thing and compensate you for their pride keeping you from your child.
Subsequent posts on this topic will continue to explain the power of this statute and how it applies to parents in SAPCR proceedings. You will also find that we have created a package of training and assistance with education on how we might have used this statute in our case and how you might be able to adapt to your case. Soon you will learn that using this statute you may get your attorney’s fees and costs paid for by the state of Texas. You may even get compensatory damages for the harm the court did to you and your child up to a maximum of $10,000. So, keep reading and when you have completed the free materials, inquire about the FFC Texas Religious Freedom Package (TRFRA) that provides tools and shortcuts that you and your attorney can use to win your equal rights to your children back and to avoid costly mistakes that could prevent you from receiving the protection of this statute.
TRFRA Section 110.001 Definitions:
TRFRA Section 110.002 Application:
TRFRA Section 110.003 Religious Freedom Protected:
TRFRA Section 110.004 Defense:
TRFRA Section 110.005 Remedies:
TRFRA Section 110.006 Notice; Right to Accommodate:
TRFRA Section 110.007 One-Year Limitations Period:
TRFRA Section 110.008 Sovereign Immunity Waived:
Below is the full text of Section 110.006 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
Title 5. Governmental Liability
Chapter 110. Religious Freedom
Section 110.006 Notice; Right to Accommodate
(a) A person may not bring an action to assert a claim under this chapter unless, 60 days before bringing the action, the person gives written notice to the government agency by certified mail, return receipt requested:
(1) that the person’s free exercise of religion is substantially burdened by an exercise of the government agency’s governmental authority;
(2) of the particular act or refusal to act that is burdened; and
(3) of the manner in which the exercise of governmental authority burdens the act or refusal to act.
(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a claimant may, within the 60-day period established by Subsection (a), bring an action for declaratory or injunctive relief and associated attorney’s fees, court costs, and other reasonable expenses, if:
(1) the exercise of governmental authority that threatens to substantially burden the person’s free exercise of religion is imminent; and
(2) the person was not informed and did not otherwise have knowledge of the exercise of the governmental authority in time to reasonably provide the notice.
(c) A government agency that receives a notice under Subsection (a) may remedy the substantial burden on the person’s free exercise of religion.
(d) A remedy implemented by a government agency under this section:
(1) may be designed to reasonably remove the substantial burden on the person’s free exercise of religion;
(2) need not be implemented in a manner that results in an exercise of governmental authority that is the least restrictive means of furthering the governmental interest, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter; and
(3) must be narrowly tailored to remove the particular burden for which the remedy is implemented.
(e) A person with respect to whom a substantial burden on the person’s free exercise of religion has been cured by a remedy implemented under this section may not bring an action under Section 110.005.
(f) A person who complies with an inmate grievance system as required under Section 501.008, Government Code, is not required to provide a separate written notice under Subsection (a). In conjunction with the inmate grievance system, the government agency may remedy a substantial burden on the person’s free exercise of religion in the manner described by, and subject to, Subsections (c), (d), and (e).
(g) In dealing with a claim that a person’s free exercise of religion has been substantially burdened in violation of this chapter, an inmate grievance system, including an inmate grievance system required under Section 501.008, Government Code, must provide to the person making the claim a statement of the government agency’s rationale for imposing the burden, if any exists, in connection with any adverse determination made in connection with the claim.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.
* The authors of this post are NOT attorneys, we do not practice law, and cannot give you legal advice. What we offer is education on the laws and how they affect you and your children. We help you become better consumers of legal services from attorneys and we help you get better outcomes from the legal system by increasing your knowledge and understanding of how the system works for and against you and your constitutional rights.