OCCUPATIONS CODE


TITLE 3. HEALTH PROFESSIONS


SUBTITLE I. REGULATION OF PSYCHOLOGY AND COUNSELING


CHAPTER 502. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 502.001. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be cited as the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists.

(2) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of state health services.

(3) "Department" means the Department of State Health Services.

(4) "Licensed marriage and family therapist" means a person who offers marriage and family therapy for compensation.

(5) "Licensed marriage and family therapist associate" means an individual who offers to provide marriage and family therapy for compensation under the supervision of a board-approved supervisor.

(6) "Marriage and family therapy" means providing professional therapy services to individuals, families, or married couples, alone or in groups, that involve applying family systems theories and techniques. The term includes the evaluation and remediation of cognitive, affective, behavioral, or relational dysfunction in the context of marriage or family systems.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.252(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.003. APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2017.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.004. APPLICATION OF CHAPTER. This chapter does not apply to:

(1) the activities, within the scope of a person's employment, of a person employed to perform marriage and family therapy by a federal, state, county, or municipal agency or, except as provided by Section 21.003(b), Education Code, by a public or private educational institution;

(2) the activities of a student, intern, or trainee in marriage and family therapy in a recognized course of study in marriage and family therapy at an accredited institution of higher education or other training institution, if:

(A) the activities constitute a part of the course of study; and

(B) the person is called a "marriage and family therapist intern" or similar title;

(3) the activities and services of a person licensed to practice another profession, including a physician, attorney, registered nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker, or licensed professional counselor; or

(4) the activities and services of a recognized religious practitioner, including a pastoral counselor or Christian Science practitioner recognized by the Church of Christ Scientist as registered and published in the Christian Science Journal, if the practitioner practices marriage and family therapy in a manner consistent with the laws of this state.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 892, Sec. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 1386), Sec. 6, eff. June 17, 2011.

SUBCHAPTER B. BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS


Sec. 502.051. BOARD; MEMBERSHIP. (a) The Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists consists of nine members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate as follows:

(1) five marriage and family therapist members; and

(2) four members who represent the public.

(b) Appointments to the board shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointee.

(c) In making appointments under Subsection (a)(1), the governor shall consider recommendations made by recognized professional associations of marriage and family therapists in this state.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.052. MEMBERSHIP; RESTRICTIONS. (a) A board member appointed under Section 502.051(a)(1) must:

(1) be eligible for a license under this chapter; and

(2) have been engaged in the practice or education of marriage and family therapy for at least five years or have 5,000 hours of clinical experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy.

(b) One member appointed under Section 502.051(a)(1) must be a professional educator in marriage and family therapy.

(c) A person is not eligible for appointment as a public member of the board under Section 502.051(a)(2) if:

(1) the person is registered, certified, or licensed by an occupational regulatory agency in the field of health care;

(2) the person's spouse is registered, certified, or licensed by an occupational regulatory agency in the field of mental health; or

(3) the person or the person's spouse:

(A) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization regulated by the board or receiving funds from the board;

(B) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization regulated by or receiving funds from the board; or

(C) uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or funds from the board, other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for board membership, attendance, or expenses.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.053. MEMBERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE RESTRICTIONS. (a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined statewide association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b) A person may not be a member of the board and may not be a department employee employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) if:

(1) the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health services; or

(2) the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of mental health.

(c) A person may not be a member of the board or act as general counsel to the board or the department if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the board.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.054. TERMS; VACANCY. (a) Members of the board serve staggered six-year terms. The terms of three members expire on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(b) If a vacancy occurs during a member's term, the governor shall appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired term.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.055. OFFICERS. (a) The governor shall designate a board member as the presiding officer. The presiding officer serves in that capacity at the will of the governor.

(b) At the meeting of the board held closest to August 31 of each year, the board shall elect one of its members as the assistant presiding officer. The assistant presiding officer serves as provided by board rule.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.056. GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL. (a) It is a ground for removal from the board that a member:

(1) does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Section 502.052;

(2) does not maintain during service on the board the qualifications required by Section 502.052;

(3) is ineligible for membership under Section 502.052(c) or 502.053;

(4) cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term;

(5) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the board; or

(6) violates a prohibition established by Section 502.159.

(b) The validity of an action of the board is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

(c) If the executive director has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the board of the potential ground. The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the board, who shall then notify the governor and attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.057. COMPENSATION; REIMBURSEMENT. (a) A board member may not receive compensation for service on the board.

(b) A board member is entitled to reimbursement for expenses as provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.058. MEETINGS. (a) The board shall meet at least twice during each year.

(b) The board may meet at other times at the call of the presiding officer or as provided by board rule.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.059. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS. (a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the board may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the board until the person completes a training program that complies with this section.

(b) The training program must provide the person with information regarding:

(1) this chapter;

(2) the programs operated by the board;

(3) the role and functions of the board;

(4) the rules of the board, with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;

(5) the current budget for the board;

(6) the results of the most recent formal audit of the board;

(7) the requirements of laws relating to open meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and conflict of interest; and

(8) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the board or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c) A person appointed to the board is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2005.

SUBCHAPTER C. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND OTHER BOARD PERSONNEL


Sec. 502.101. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. After consulting with the board's members, the commissioner shall appoint an executive director for the board. The executive director must be an employee of the department.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.102. POWERS AND DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. The executive director shall administer the licensing activities under this chapter as directed by the board or the commissioner.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.103. PERSONNEL. (a) The commissioner shall designate and make available to the board personnel and facilities necessary for the efficient administration of the board's duties.

(b) The department shall:

(1) enter into agreements to obtain necessary services; and

(2) provide compensation for the services provided.

(c) The department may employ and compensate professional consultants, technical assistants, and employees on a full-time or part-time basis as necessary to administer this chapter.

(d) Salaries and reimbursements paid by the department under this chapter shall be comparable to the salaries and reimbursements provided for in the General Appropriations Act for persons holding comparable positions.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.104. DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES. The board shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policy-making responsibilities of the board and the management responsibilities of the executive director and the staff of the department.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.105. QUALIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT INFORMATION. The board shall provide, as often as necessary, to its members and employees information regarding their:

(1) qualifications for office or employment under this chapter; and

(2) responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers or employees.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER D. BOARD POWERS AND DUTIES


Sec. 502.151. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARD. The board shall:

(1) determine the qualifications and fitness of a license applicant under this chapter; and

(2) adopt a code of professional ethics for license holders.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.152. RULES REGARDING BOARD PROCEDURES. The board may adopt rules establishing the board's procedures.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.153. FEES. (a) The board by rule shall set fees in amounts reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of administering this chapter.

(b) The board may not set a fee that existed on September 1, 1993, in an amount that is less than the amount of the fee on that date.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.154. EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS. The general rules of the General Appropriations Act apply to the expenditure of funds under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.155. POWERS AND DUTIES REGARDING EXAMINATION. The board shall:

(1) determine the times and places for licensing examinations;

(2) offer examinations at least semiannually; and

(3) give reasonable public notice of the examinations in the manner provided by board rules.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.156. RULES RESTRICTING ADVERTISING OR COMPETITIVE BIDDING. (a) The board may not adopt rules restricting advertising or competitive bidding by a person regulated by the board except to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices by the person.

(b) The board may not include in its rules to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices by a person regulated by the board a rule that:

(1) restricts the person's use of any advertising medium;

(2) restricts the person's personal appearance or the use of the person's voice in an advertisement;

(3) relates to the size or duration of an advertisement used by the person; or

(4) restricts the use of a trade name in advertising by the person.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.1565. RULES ON CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION. (a) The board shall adopt rules necessary to comply with Chapter 53.

(b) In its rules under this section, the board shall list the specific offenses for which a conviction would constitute grounds for the board to take action under Section 53.021.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.157. ANNUAL REGISTRY. (a) The board shall annually prepare a registry of all license holders.

(b) The board shall make the registry available to the public, license holders, and other state agencies.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.158. BOARD DUTIES REGARDING COMPLAINTS. (a) The board by rule shall:

(1) adopt a form to standardize information concerning complaints made to the board; and

(2) prescribe information to be provided to a person when the person files a complaint with the board.

(b) The board shall provide reasonable assistance to a person who wishes to file a complaint with the board.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.159. EX PARTE COMMUNICATION PROHIBITED. A board member or department employee who performs functions for the board and who is assigned to make a decision, a finding of fact, or a conclusion of law in a proceeding pending before the board may not directly or indirectly communicate with a party to the proceeding or the party's representative unless notice and an opportunity to participate are given to each party to the proceeding.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.161. BOARD COMMITTEES. (a) The board may appoint committees to assist the board with its functions under this chapter.

(b) Only a member of the board may serve as a member of a board committee.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.162. USE OF TECHNOLOGY. The board shall implement a policy requiring the board to use appropriate technological solutions to improve the board's ability to perform its functions. The policy must ensure that the public is able to interact with the board on the Internet.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.163. NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY. (a) The board shall develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of:

(1) negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government Code, for the adoption of board rules; and

(2) appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures under Chapter 2009, Government Code, to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under the board's jurisdiction.

(b) The board's procedures relating to alternative dispute resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any model guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state agencies.

(c) The board shall designate a trained person to:

(1) coordinate the implementation of the policy adopted under Subsection (a);

(2) serve as a resource for any training needed to implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative dispute resolution; and

(3) collect data concerning the effectiveness of those procedures, as implemented by the board.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2005.

SUBCHAPTER E. PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURES


Sec. 502.201. PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION. (a) The board shall prepare information of public interest describing the functions of the board and the procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the board.

(b) The board shall make the information available to the public and to appropriate state agencies.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.202. COMPLAINTS. (a) The board by rule shall establish methods by which consumers and service recipients are notified of the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the board for the purpose of directing complaints to the board. The board may provide for that notice:

(1) on each registration form, application, or written contract for services of a person regulated by the board;

(2) on a sign prominently displayed in the place of business of each person regulated by the board; or

(3) in a bill for service provided by a person regulated by the board.

(b) The board shall list with its regular telephone number any toll-free telephone number established under other state law that may be called to present a complaint about a health professional.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.203. RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS. (a) The board shall keep an information file about each complaint filed with the board. The information file shall be kept current and must contain a record for each complaint of:

(1) each person contacted in relation to the complaint;

(2) a summary of findings made at each step of the complaint process;

(3) an explanation of the legal basis and reason for a complaint that is dismissed;

(4) the schedule required under Section 502.204 and a notation of any change in the schedule; and

(5) other relevant information.

(b) If a written complaint is filed with the board that the board has authority to resolve, the board, at least quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the parties to the complaint of the status of the complaint unless notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.204. GENERAL RULES REGARDING COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION AND DISPOSITION. (a) The board shall adopt rules concerning the investigation of a complaint filed with the board. The rules adopted under this subsection must:

(1) distinguish between categories of complaints;

(2) ensure that complaints are not dismissed without appropriate consideration;

(3) require that the board be advised of a complaint that is dismissed and that a letter be sent to the person who filed the complaint explaining the action taken on the dismissed complaint;

(4) ensure that the person who filed the complaint has an opportunity to explain the allegations made in the complaint; and

(5) prescribe guidelines concerning the categories of complaints that require the use of a private investigator and the procedures for the board to obtain the services of a private investigator.

(b) The board shall:

(1) dispose of all complaints in a timely manner; and

(2) establish a schedule for conducting each phase of a complaint that is under the control of the board not later than the 30th day after the date the board receives the complaint.

(c) Each party shall be notified of the projected schedule for the complaint.

(d) Each party to the complaint must be notified of a change in the schedule for the complaint not later than the seventh day after the date the change is made.

(e) The executive director of the board shall notify the board of a complaint that is unresolved after the time prescribed by the board for resolving the complaint so that the board may take necessary action on the complaint.

(f) The board shall maintain a system to promptly and efficiently act on complaints filed with the board. The board shall maintain information about parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint, a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint, and its disposition.

(g) The board shall make information available describing its procedures for complaint investigation and resolution.

(h) The board shall periodically notify the complaint parties of the status of the complaint until final disposition.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.2041. COMPLAINT COMMITTEE. The board shall appoint at least one public member to any board committee established to review a complaint filed with the board or review an enforcement action against a license holder related to a complaint filed with the board.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.2045. SUBPOENAS. (a) In an investigation of a complaint filed with the board, the board may request that the commissioner or the commissioner's designee approve the issuance of a subpoena. If the request is approved, the board may issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of a relevant witness or the production, for inspection or copying, of relevant evidence that is in this state.

(b) A subpoena may be served personally or by certified mail.

(c) If a person fails to comply with a subpoena, the board, acting through the attorney general, may file suit to enforce the subpoena in a district court in Travis County or in the county in which a hearing conducted by the board may be held.

(d) On finding that good cause exists for issuing the subpoena, the court shall order the person to comply with the subpoena. The court may punish a person who fails to obey the court order.

(e) The board may delegate the authority granted under Subsection (a) to the executive director of the board.

(f) The board shall pay a reasonable fee for photocopies subpoenaed under this section in an amount not to exceed the amount the board may charge for copies of its records.

(g) The reimbursement of the expenses of a witness whose attendance is compelled under this section is governed by Section 2001.103, Government Code.

(h) All information and materials subpoenaed or compiled by the board in connection with a complaint and investigation are confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and not subject to disclosure, discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for their release to anyone other than the board or its employees or agents involved in discipline of the holder of a license, except that this information may be disclosed to:

(1) persons involved with the board in a disciplinary action against the holder of a license;

(2) marriage and family therapist licensing or disciplinary boards in other jurisdictions;

(3) peer assistance programs approved by the board under Chapter 467, Health and Safety Code;

(4) law enforcement agencies; and

(5) persons engaged in bona fide research, if all individual-identifying information has been deleted.

(i) The filing of formal charges by the board against a holder of a license, the nature of those charges, disciplinary proceedings of the board, and final disciplinary actions, including warnings and reprimands, by the board are not confidential and are subject to disclosure in accordance with Chapter 552, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.253(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 502.205. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. (a) The board shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the board and to speak on any issue under the board's jurisdiction.

(b) The board shall prepare and maintain a written plan that describes how a person who does not speak English may be provided reasonable access to the board's programs.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER F. LICENSE REQUIREMENTS AND EXEMPTIONS


Sec. 502.251. LICENSE REQUIRED. (a) A person may not practice as a marriage and family therapist unless the person holds a license under this chapter or is exempt under Section 502.004.

(b) A person may not use the title "licensed marriage and family therapist" or "licensed marriage and family therapist associate," as appropriate, unless the person is licensed under this chapter.

(c) A person may not use a title that implies that the person is licensed or certified in marriage and family therapy unless the person is:

(1) licensed under this chapter; or

(2) authorized to perform marriage and family therapy in the course and scope of another license issued under a law of this state.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.254(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 502.252. LICENSE APPLICATION. (a) An applicant for a license must:

(1) file a written application with the board on a form prescribed by the board; and

(2) pay the appropriate application fee.

(b) To qualify for a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, a person must:

(1) be at least 18 years of age;

(2) have completed a graduate internship in marriage and family therapy, or an equivalent internship, as approved by the board;

(3) pass the license examination and jurisprudence examination determined by the board;

(4) hold a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or in a related mental health field with coursework and training determined by the board to be substantially equivalent to a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or an institution of higher education approved by the board;

(5) be of good moral character;

(6) have not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude;

(7) not use drugs or alcohol to an extent that affects the applicant's professional competency;

(8) not have had a license or certification revoked by a licensing agency or by a certifying professional organization; and

(9) not have engaged in fraud or deceit in applying for a license under this chapter.

(c) An applicant is eligible to apply for a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist if the person:

(1) meets the requirements of Subsection (b);

(2) after receipt of a degree described by Subsection (b)(4), has completed two years of work experience in marriage and family therapist services that includes at least 3,000 hours of clinical practice of which:

(A) at least 1,500 hours consist of direct clinical services; and

(B) at least 750 hours consist of direct clinical services to couples or families; and

(3) has completed, in a manner acceptable to the board, at least 200 hours of supervised provision of direct clinical services by the applicant, 100 hours of which must be supervised on an individual basis.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.255(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.253. APPLICATION REVIEW; ELIGIBILITY EXAMINATION. (a) The board shall investigate each application and any other information submitted by the applicant.

(b) Not later than the 90th day after the date the board receives the completed application from a person seeking a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, the board shall notify the applicant whether the application has been accepted or rejected.

(c) An applicant for a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate is eligible to take the examination if the applicant:

(1) is enrolled in a graduate internship described by Section 502.252(b)(2) and provides proof to the board that the applicant is a student in good standing in an educational program described by Section 502.252(b)(4); or

(2) has completed the internship described by Subdivision (1).

(d) A notice that an application is rejected must state the reason for the rejection.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.255(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 502.254. LICENSE EXAMINATION. (a) Each applicant for a license under this chapter must pass an examination described by Section 502.252(b)(3).

(b) An applicant for a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate under Section 502.252(b) must:

(1) file an application on a form prescribed by the board not later than the 90th day before the date of the examination; and

(2) pay the examination fee set by the Texas Board of Health.

(c) The examination consists of a written examination.

(d) The board shall have any written portion of an examination validated by an independent testing professional.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.255(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.2541. JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION. (a) The board shall develop and administer at least twice each calendar year a jurisprudence examination to determine an applicant's knowledge of this chapter, board rules, and any other applicable laws of this state affecting the applicant's practice of marriage and family therapy.

(b) The board shall adopt rules to implement this section, including rules related to the development and administration of the examination, examination fees, guidelines for reexamination, grading the examination, and providing notice of examination results.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.2545. WAIVER OF EXAMINATION FOR CERTAIN APPLICANTS. (a) The board may waive the requirement that an applicant for a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist pass the examination required by Section 502.254 if the applicant:

(1) is a provisional license holder under Section 502.259 and the board determines that the applicant possesses sufficient education and professional experience to receive a license without further examination; or

(2) holds a license issued by another licensing agency in a profession related to the practice of marriage and family therapy and the board determines that the applicant possesses sufficient education and professional experience to receive a license without satisfying the examination requirements of this chapter.

(b) The board may adopt rules necessary to administer this section, including rules under Subsection (a)(2) prescribing the professions that are related to the practice of marriage and family therapy.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.256(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 502.255. EXAMINATION RESULTS. (a) The board shall notify each examinee of the results of the examination not later than the 30th day after the date the examination is administered. If an examination is graded or reviewed by a national testing service, the board shall notify each examinee of the results of the examination not later than the 14th day after the date the board receives the results from the testing service.

(b) If the notice of examination results graded or reviewed by a national testing service will be delayed for longer than 90 days after the examination date, the board shall notify each examinee of the reason for the delay before the 90th day.

(c) If requested in writing by a person who fails an examination, the board shall provide to the person an analysis of the person's performance on the examination.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.256. REEXAMINATION. (a) If an applicant fails an examination, the applicant may retake the examination by:

(1) paying an additional examination fee; and

(2) retaking the examination not later than the first anniversary of the date of the unsuccessful examination.

(b) If an applicant fails the examination two or more times, the board may require the applicant to:

(1) complete additional courses of study designated by the board; and

(2) present satisfactory evidence of completion of the required courses.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.257. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE. The board shall issue a license as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate or licensed marriage and family therapist, as appropriate, to an applicant who:

(1) complies with the requirements of this chapter;

(2) passes the licensing examination, unless the board exempts the person from the examination requirement; and

(3) pays the required fees.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.257(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 502.258. TEMPORARY LICENSE. (a) The board by rule may provide for the issuance of a temporary license.

(b) Rules adopted under this section must include a time limit for temporary licenses.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.259. PROVISIONAL LICENSE. (a) The board may grant a provisional license to practice as a marriage and family therapist in this state without examination to an applicant who is licensed or otherwise registered as a marriage and family therapist by another state or jurisdiction if the requirements to be licensed or registered in the other state or jurisdiction were, on the date the person was licensed or registered, substantially equal to the requirements of this chapter.

(b) An applicant for a provisional license must:

(1) be licensed in good standing as a marriage and family therapist in another state or jurisdiction that has licensing requirements that are substantially equal to the requirements of this chapter;

(2) have passed a national or other examination that:

(A) is recognized by the board; and

(B) relates to marriage and family therapy; and

(3) be sponsored by a person licensed by the board with whom the provisional license holder may practice under this section.

(c) An applicant may be excused from the requirement of Subsection (b)(3) if the board determines that compliance with that subsection constitutes a hardship to the applicant.

(d) A provisional license is valid until the date the board approves or denies the provisional license holder's application for a license under Section 502.257. The board shall complete processing of a provisional license holder's application for a license not later than the 180th day after the date the provisional license is issued. The board may extend this period to allow for the receipt and tabulation of pending examination results.

(e) The board shall issue a license under Section 502.257 to a provisional license holder if:

(1) the provisional license holder passes the examination required by Section 502.254;

(2) the board verifies that the provisional license holder satisfies the academic and experience requirements of this chapter; and

(3) the provisional license holder satisfies any other license requirements under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.260. INACTIVE STATUS. (a) The board may place a license holder's license under this chapter on inactive status if the holder is not actively engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy and the holder submits a written request to the board before the expiration of the holder's license.

(b) The board shall maintain a list of each license holder whose license is on inactive status.

(c) A license holder whose license is on inactive status:

(1) is not required to pay an annual renewal fee; and

(2) may not perform an activity regulated under this chapter.

(d) The board shall remove the license holder's license from inactive status if the person:

(1) notifies the board in writing that the person intends to return to active practice;

(2) pays an administrative fee; and

(3) complies with educational or other requirements the board adopts by rule.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.261. DUTIES OF LICENSE HOLDER. (a) A license holder shall display the license holder's license in a conspicuous manner in the person's principal place of practice.

(b) Each license holder shall notify the board of the license holder's current address.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER G. LICENSE RENEWAL


Sec. 502.301. RENEWAL OF LICENSE. (a) A license issued under this chapter is subject to biennial renewal. The board shall adopt a system under which licenses expire on various dates during the year.

(b) The board shall notify each license holder in writing of the pending license expiration not later than the 30th day before the date on which the license expires.

(c) A license holder may renew an unexpired license by paying to the board the required renewal fee before the date the license expires.

(d) A person whose license has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the license by paying to the board a fee that is equal to 1-1/4 times the amount of the renewal fee. If a person's license has been expired for more than 90 days but less than one year, the person may renew the license by paying to the board a fee that is equal to 1-1/2 times the amount of the renewal fee for the license.

(e) A person whose license has been expired for one year or more may not renew the license. The person may obtain a new license by submitting to reexamination and complying with the requirements and procedures for obtaining an original license.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.302. RENEWAL OF EXPIRED LICENSE BY OUT-OF-STATE PRACTITIONER. (a) The board may renew without reexamination an expired license of a person who was licensed in this state, moved to another state, and is currently licensed and has been in practice in the other state for the two years preceding the application.

(b) The person must pay to the board a fee that is equal to the amount of the renewal fee.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.303. CONTINUING EDUCATION. (a) The board shall establish a mandatory continuing education program for license holders.

(b) The board by rule shall establish:

(1) the minimum number of hours of continuing education required to renew a license under this chapter; and

(2) a process to evaluate and approve continuing education courses.

(c) The board may assess the continuing education needs of license holders and require license holders to attend continuing education courses specified by the board.

(d) The board shall identify the key factors for the competent performance by a license holder of the license holder's professional duties. The board shall implement a procedure to assess a license holder's participation in continuing education programs.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER H. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND PROCEDURES


Sec. 502.351. GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS. The board shall reprimand a license holder, place on probation a person whose license has been suspended, refuse to renew a person's license, or suspend or revoke a holder's license if the person:

(1) is convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony;

(2) obtains or attempts to obtain a license by fraud or deception;

(3) uses drugs or alcohol to an extent that affects the license holder's professional competence;

(4) performs professional duties in a grossly negligent manner;

(5) is adjudicated as mentally incompetent by a court;

(6) practices in a manner that is detrimental to the public health or welfare;

(7) advertises in a manner that tends to deceive or defraud the public;

(8) has a license or certification revoked by a licensing agency or a certifying professional organization;

(9) violates this chapter or a rule or code of ethics adopted under this chapter; or

(10) commits an act for which liability exists under Chapter 81, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.352. PROBATION. If a license suspension is probated, the board may require the license holder to:

(1) report regularly to the board on matters that are the basis of the probation;

(2) limit practice to the areas prescribed by the board; or

(3) continue or review continuing professional education until the license holder attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the board in the areas that are the basis for probation.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.353. INFORMAL PROCEEDINGS. (a) The board by rule shall adopt procedures governing:

(1) informal disposition of a contested case under Section 2001.056, Government Code; and

(2) an informal proceeding held in compliance with Section 2001.054, Government Code.

(b) Rules adopted under this section must:

(1) provide the complainant and the license holder with an opportunity to be heard; and

(2) require the presence of a member of the board's legal staff, if the board has a legal staff, or, if the board does not have a legal staff, an attorney employed by the attorney general to advise the board or the board's employees.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.354. HEARING. A license holder is entitled to a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings before a sanction is imposed under this subchapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.355. SANCTIONS. (a) The board by rule shall adopt a broad schedule of sanctions for violations under this chapter.

(b) The State Office of Administrative Hearings shall use the schedule for a sanction imposed as the result of a hearing conducted by that office.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.356. EMERGENCY SUSPENSION. (a) The board or a three-member committee of board members designated by the board shall temporarily suspend the license of a license holder if the board or committee determines from the evidence or information presented to it that continued practice by the license holder would constitute a continuing and imminent threat to the public welfare.

(b) A license may be suspended under this section without notice or hearing on the complaint if:

(1) action is taken to initiate proceedings for a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings simultaneously with the temporary suspension; and

(2) a hearing is held as soon as practicable under this chapter and Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(c) The State Office of Administrative Hearings shall hold a preliminary hearing not later than the 14th day after the date of the temporary suspension to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a continuing and imminent threat to the public welfare still exists. A final hearing on the matter shall be held not later than the 61st day after the date of the temporary suspension.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 502.357. GROUNDS FOR REFUSING RENEWAL. The board may refuse to renew the license of a person who fails to pay an administrative penalty imposed under Subchapter I unless enforcement of the penalty is stayed or a court has ordered that the administrative penalty is not owed.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.358. REFUND. (a) Subject to Subsection (b), the board may order a license holder to pay a refund to a consumer as provided in an agreement resulting from an informal settlement conference instead of or in addition to imposing an administrative penalty under this chapter.

(b) The amount of a refund ordered as provided in an agreement resulting from an informal settlement conference may not exceed the amount the consumer paid to the license holder for a service regulated by this chapter. The board may not require payment of other damages or estimate harm in a refund order.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2005.

SUBCHAPTER I. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY


Sec. 502.401. IMPOSITION OF PENALTY. The commissioner may impose an administrative penalty on a person licensed or regulated under this chapter who violates this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.402. AMOUNT OF PENALTY. (a) The amount of an administrative penalty may not exceed $5,000 for each violation. Each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for purposes of imposing a penalty.

(b) The amount of the penalty shall be based on:

(1) the seriousness of the violation, including:

(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts; and

(B) the hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;

(2) the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;

(3) the history of previous violations;

(4) the amount necessary to deter a future violation;

(5) efforts made to correct the violation; and

(6) any other matter that justice may require.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 502.403. REPORT AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PENALTY. (a) If the commissioner determines that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue to the board a report stating:

(1) the facts on which the determination is based; and

(2) the commissioner's recommendation on the imposition of the administrative penalty, including a recommendation on the amount of the penalty.

(b) Not later than the 14th day after the date the report is issued, the commissioner shall give written notice of the report to the person on whom the penalty may be imposed. The notice may be given by certified mail. The notice must:

(1) include a brief summary of the alleged violation;

(2) state the amount of the recommended penalty; and

(3) inform the person of the person's right to a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.404. PENALTY TO BE PAID OR HEARING REQUESTED. (a) Not later than the 20th day after the date the person receives the notice under Section 502.403, the person, in writing, may:

(1) accept the commissioner's determination and recommended administrative penalty; or

(2) request a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

(b) If the person accepts the commissioner's determination and recommended administrative penalty, the board by order shall approve the determination and impose the recommended penalty.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.405. HEARING. (a) If the person requests a hearing or fails to respond in a timely manner to the notice, the department shall set a hearing and give notice of the hearing to the person.

(b) A hearing examiner designated by the department shall hold the hearing.

(c) The hearing examiner shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and promptly issue to the board a proposal for a decision as to the occurrence of the violation and the amount of a proposed administrative penalty.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.406. DECISION BY BOARD. (a) Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and proposal for decision, the board by order may determine that:

(1) a violation occurred and impose a penalty; or

(2) a violation did not occur.

(b) The notice of the board's order given to the person under Chapter 2001, Government Code, must include a statement of the right of the person to judicial review of the order.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.407. OPTIONS FOLLOWING DECISION: PAY OR APPEAL. (a) Not later than the 30th day after the date the board's order becomes final, the person shall:

(1) pay the penalty;

(2) pay the penalty and file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both; or

(3) without paying the penalty, file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

(b) Within the 30-day period, a person who acts under Subsection (a)(3) may:

(1) stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) paying the penalty to the court for placement in an escrow account; or

(B) giving to the court a supersedeas bond approved by the court for the amount of the penalty that is effective until all judicial review of the board's order is final; or

(2) request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) filing with the court a sworn affidavit of the person stating that the person is financially unable to pay the penalty and is financially unable to give the supersedeas bond; and

(B) giving a copy of the affidavit to the commissioner by certified mail.

(c) If the commissioner receives a copy of an affidavit under Subsection (b)(2), the commissioner may file with the court a contest to the affidavit not later than the fifth day after the date the copy is received.

(d) The court shall hold a hearing on the facts alleged in the affidavit as soon as practicable and shall stay enforcement of the penalty on finding that the alleged facts are true. The person who files an affidavit has the burden of proving that the person is unable to pay the penalty or give a supersedeas bond.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.408. COLLECTION OF PENALTY. If the person does not pay the administrative penalty and the enforcement of the penalty is not stayed, the commissioner may refer the matter to the attorney general for collection.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.409. DETERMINATION BY COURT. (a) If a court sustains the determination that a violation occurred, the court may uphold or reduce the amount of the administrative penalty and order the person to pay the full or reduced penalty.

(b) If a court does not sustain the determination that a violation occurred, the court shall order that an administrative penalty is not owed.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.410. REMITTANCE OF PENALTY AND INTEREST. (a) If, after judicial review, the administrative penalty is reduced or not imposed by the court, the court shall, after the judgment becomes final:

(1) order the appropriate amount, plus accrued interest, be remitted to the person if the person paid the penalty; or

(2) order the release of the bond in full if the penalty is not imposed or order the release of the bond after the person pays the penalty if the person posted a supersedeas bond.

(b) The interest paid under Subsection (a)(1) is the rate charged on loans to depository institutions by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The interest shall be paid for the period beginning on the date the penalty is paid to the court and ending on the date the penalty is remitted.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.411. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE. A proceeding under this subchapter is subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER J. OTHER PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS


Sec. 502.451. INJUNCTION. (a) In addition to any other action authorized by law, the board or department may institute an action to enjoin a violation of this chapter.

(b) An action filed under this section must be filed in Travis County, the county of the defendant's residence, or the county in which any part of the violation occurred.

(c) The attorney general or the appropriate county or district attorney shall represent the board or department in an action under this section.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.452. MONITORING OF LICENSE HOLDER. The board by rule shall develop a system to ensure that a license holder complies with this chapter. Rules adopted under this section must include procedures to:

(1) monitor for compliance a license holder who is ordered by the board to perform certain acts; and

(2) identify and monitor each license holder who represents a risk to the public.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.453. CIVIL PENALTY. (a) A person who violates this chapter or a rule or order adopted by the board under this chapter is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 a day.

(b) At the request of the board or department, the attorney general shall bring an action to recover a civil penalty authorized under this section.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.454. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A person required to hold a license under this chapter commits an offense if the person knowingly acts as a marriage and family therapist without holding a license issued under this chapter.

(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class B misdemeanor.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 502.455. CEASE AND DESIST ORDER. (a) If it appears to the board that a person who is not licensed under this chapter is violating this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or another state statute or rule relating to the practice of marriage and family therapy, the board after notice and opportunity for a hearing may issue a cease and desist order prohibiting the person from engaging in the activity.

(b) A violation of an order under this section constitutes grounds for imposing an administrative penalty under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1061 (H.B. 1413), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2005.