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Administrative Procedure Act – Texas

Texas Administrative Procedures Act is found in Title 10, chapter 2001 of Texas Government Code.  According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.001, the purposes of the Act are:

  • to provide minimum standards of uniform practice and procedure for state agencies,
  • to provide for public participation in the rulemaking process, and
  • to restate the law of judicial review of state agency action.

As per Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.004, a state agency should adopt rules of practice and make available rules, written statements of policy, final orders, decisions, and opinions for public inspection.

Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.021 provides that an interested person by petition to a state agency may request the adoption of a rule.  Within sixty days of submission of a petition, a state agency may deny the petition in writing, stating its reasons for the denial or initiate a rulemaking proceeding.  As per Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.022, if a state agency determines that a proposed rule may affect a local economy, the agency should prepare a local employment impact statement for the proposed rule.

According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.023, prior to adoption of a rule state agencies should give at least thirty days’ notice of its intention to adopt a rule.  Further, state agencies should file notice of the proposed rule with the secretary of state for publication in the Texas Register.  Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.029 provides that before adopting a rule, a state agency should give all interested persons a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing.  A state agency should also grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a substantive rule.  Further, a state agency should consider fully all written and oral submissions about a proposed rule.

As per Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.030, on adoption of a rule, a state agency should issue a concise statement of the principal reasons for and against its adoption.  Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.031 requires an agency to use an informal conference or consultation to obtain the opinions and advice of interested persons about contemplated rulemaking.  A state agency may also appoint committees of experts or interested persons or representatives of the public to advise the agency about contemplated rulemaking.

According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.032, each house of the legislature should refer each proposed state agency rule to the appropriate standing committee for review before the rule is adopted.  Also, a state agency should deliver to the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives a copy of the notice of a proposed rule when the agency files notice with the secretary of state.

According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.034, if an agency finds that an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare requires adoption of a rule upon fewer than 30 days’ notice and states in writing its reasons for that finding, it may proceed to adopt an emergency rule.  Such rule is effective for a period of not longer than 120 days.

Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.038 requires an agency to issue a declaratory judgment with respect to the validity or applicability of a rule, if the rule or its application interferes with or impairs a legal right or privilege of the plaintiff.

Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.051 provides that in a contested case, each party is entitled to an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice and to respond and to present evidence and argument on each issue.  Further, Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.053 provides that each party in a contested case is entitled to the assistance of counsel.

As per Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.062, in a contested case, if a majority of the state agency officials who are to render a final decision have not heard the case or read the record, the decision may not be made until a proposal for decision is served on each party and an opportunity is given to each adversely affected party to file exceptions and present briefs.

Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.082 provides that in a contested case, evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious should be excluded.  Similarly, Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.087 provides that in a contested case, a party may conduct cross-examination required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.141, a final decision or order should be in writing or stated in the record.  Final decision or order should also include findings of fact and conclusions of law.

As per Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.171, a person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within a state agency and who is aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case is entitled to judicial review.  Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.176 provides that a person may initiate a judicial review in a contested case by filing a petition in a Travis County district court.  According to Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.901, a party may appeal a final district court judgment in the manner provided for civil actions generally.

Inside Administrative Procedure Act – Texas