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Round-up of state orders, new rules related to COVID-19; JP Court jurisdiction limits rising September 1

Synopsis

In response to rising coronavirus infections in the state, Gov. Greg Abbott rolled back some of the “reopening” steps taken previously. The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation has also delayed implementation of  new boiler rules it adopted. Meanwhile, the jurisdiction limit for justice of the peace courts will rise in September based on legislation enacted during the last legislative session.


Key takeaways

  • In late June, Gov. Greg Abbott pressed pause on the state’s reopening plans, and reinstated some previously eased restrictions in response to rising coronavirus infections in the state. For example, pools must return to no more than 50 percent capacity.
  • Meanwhile, the jurisdiction limit for justice of the peace courts is increasing from $10,000 to $20,000, effective September 1. This is a result of legislation passed during the last legislative session.
  • Finally, the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation postponed implementation of new boiler rules for new construction and remodels from June 1 until September 1.

On June 26 Gov. Greg Abbott reinstated some previously eased restrictions for certain businesses in response to reports of rising coronavirus infections in the state.

The governor’s new Executive Order shut down bars and commercial rafting and tubing services that day, reduced restaurant capacity back to 50 percent of occupancy effective June 29, and also reduced occupancy for some other businesses and facilities, like swimming pools, to 50 percent.

JP court limits going up September 1

Meanwhile, the jurisdiction limits for justice of the peace courts is increasing on September 1 from $10,000 to $20,000. This is a result of legislation (SB 2342) passed during the last legislative session that increased several court jurisdictional limits.

The Texas Supreme Court has proposed amendments to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure to reflect this change. Public comments are currently being accepted through August 30.

Review the proposed amendments to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, beginning on page 4116.

TDLR postpones implementation of new boiler rules

The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR), which adopted new rules related to boilers (for new construction or remodels only) at its meeting on May 19, delayed the effective date of those rules from June 1, 2020, to September 1.

Under the new rules, any boiler rooms with new installations/reinstallations of one or more boilers must be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector with a manual reset.

The new TDLR rules also require that:

  1. The carbon monoxide detector and boiler(s) shall be interlocked to disable the burners when the measured level of CO rises above 50 ppm.
  2. The carbon monoxide detector shall disable the burners upon loss of power to the detector.
  3. The carbon monoxide detector shall be calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations or every 18 months after installation of the detector. A record of calibration shall be posted at or near the boiler, or be readily accessible to an inspector.

To review the new rules, see the Subchapter N language on page 4331 in the Texas Register here. 

Visit TDLR’s website for continually updated information on these and other rules.

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