Truancy FAQ


The views expressed in the answers to the following FAQs are solely those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the TMCEC Board of Directors or of TMCEC staff members.


Can a school district: (1) refer a student to truancy court for truant conduct; and (2) file a complaint against the student’s parent for the criminal offense of parent contributing to nonattendance?

What is the meaning of “last absence” for purposes of when a petition may be filed under Section 65.055 of the Family Code?

Must a prosecutor decline to file a petition if the student is receiving special education services under Subchapter A of Section 29 of the Transportation Code?

What options does a court have if the student fails to show up at the hearing in a truant conduct case?  Can a writ of attachment be issued to have the student picked up and taken before the truancy court?

Can the truancy court remedial order contain a condition that the child submit to drug testing?

Can the truancy court remedial order contain a condition that the child wear a GPS monitor?

What options does a truancy court have to collect the $50 court cost and any fine (of up to $100) that can be assessed for contempt of court?

Is Section 3 of the bill regarding expunction rendered ineffective by the effective date language in Section 42?

Can constables charge a service fee for serving a summons in a truancy case?

Do truancy documents need to be e-file in Dallas County?

Are unpaid fines and court costs still owed in failure-to-attend-school cases that have been expunged?

Who makes the determination as to whether a school district’s truancy prevention measures are working?

Upon receiving a referral for truant conduct from a school district, is a truancy court supposed to pass every single referral on the prosecutor?  Or is the court allowed to “weed out” defective referrals and never even pass them on to the prosecutor?

May the truancy court prepare a petition for the prosecutor to sign?  This would be done in the interest of lightening the load of the prosecutor.

Should a truancy court open a file on every referral the court receives from a school district?  Or should the court wait to open a file until the prosecutor files a petition?

If truancy courts simply pass on school district referrals to prosecutors, then why don’t school districts just file their referrals directly with the prosecutors?

May multiple county courts in one county designate one county court to hear truancy cases, alleviating the requirement to adopt “uniform truancy policies?”

Must all open, pending, unadjudicated failure-to-attend-school cases be expunged by the court on September 1st?

When must the cases be expunged by?

Must all failure-to-attend-school cases that are supposed to be expunged be expunged on September 1st?  Can there be any expunctions before September 1st?  Can there be any expunctions after September 1st?

Does a person convicted of failure-to-attend-school need to present a motion to the court in order to get the case expunged?

What about FTAS cases that have not been dismissed and where no conviction has been entered? 

What if the defendant in a case eligible for automatic expunction still owes a fine/costs or hasn’t complied with a condition of the court order?

Can an expunction order cover more than one case?  Or does each case need to have its own expunction order?

What are a court’s options with regard to existing failure-to-attend-school cases that have not resulted in convictions and that have not been dismissed?  In other words, what are a court’s options in regard to unadjudicated failure-to-attend-school cases?

What if the child was served with the summons, but the parent was not timely served.  Can the hearing go forward?  In other words, is service of the summons on the parent required before the hearing can proceed?

Why does Family Code, Section 65.202 not allow parents access to the child’s records, unless under (7) with leave of the truancy court?

On what date can the $50 court cost first be assessed?

Do we expunge Parent Contributing to Nonattendance cases?