Truancy FAQ

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?

The Court sends every referral from a school district on to the prosecutor.  This is very much intentional and is not a mistake.  

Section 65.051 requires the court to forward the referral if the court is not required to dismiss the referral under Education Code, Section 25.0915.  In Section 25.0915, however, the only thing in there about the court dismissing anything is in subsection (c).  Subsection (c) talks about a court dismissing a prosecutor's petition.  There is nothing in there about the court dismissing a referral from a school district.

So, even though Section 65.051 alludes to a dismissal by the court before sending the referral on to the prosecutor, there is no such dismissal allowed under Section 25.0915.  The bottom line is that all cases referred to a truancy court by a school district are to be forwarded to the prosecutor.

The onus is really on the prosecutors.  Not on the courts.  So all referrals that go to the courts are to be forwarded to the prosecutors.  This is the only duty the court has upon receiving a referral -- forward it on to the prosecutor.  The court should not “weed out” referrals before sending them to the prosecutor. (Ted Wood, Office of Court Administration)