Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code
Title 5. Government Liability
Chapter 110. Religious Freedom
TRFRA Section 110.004 Defense
This short section makes clear that the religious freedom limits on government action can be raised as a defense in any suit whether the government is a party or not. This means that in a SAPCR between fit parents, you can raise religious freedom as a defense to prevent the action. Remember, even in a SAPCR between fit parents that is a civil suit between individuals, the judge is a government official exercising government power according to state statutes. It is the judge’s power that this statute limits, not the other parent’s. The judge can cry all he or she wants that this is a civil suit between private individuals. Your answer is I don’t care about that your honor, this statute says that you cannot issue any order that infringes upon my religious freedom or my child’s religious freedom. TRFRA Section 110.003 limits judicial power to issue any order, make any decision, or take any other government action that limits religious freedom. It does not matter at all, in any way, that another parent is asking the judge to exercise state power. The state power is specifically and directly limited by TRFRA Section 110.003 and this section 110.004 says that this chapter can be used as a defense against judicial action.
In our latest sample petition, we incorporate this chapter and inform the judge that their authority is limited by this chapter. While the trial judge may get arrogant and ignore this limit, the appellate courts will have just cause to overturn any substantial burden on religious freedom. As always, we suggest you prepare for appeal from day one and ensure that you have everything you need in the trial court record, in writing, to prevail on appeal. Judges will not easily give up their absolute power over your lives. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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 educating how we would use this statute if it was our own 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 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:
This is the text of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 110.004:
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
Title 5. Governmental Liability
Chapter 110. Religious Freedom
Sec. 110.004. Defense.
A person whose free exercise of religion has been substantially burdened in violation of Section 110.003 may assert that violation as a defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding without regard to whether the proceeding is brought in the name of the state or by any other person.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.