Rep. Cason Files Bill to Bring “Miranda Rights” to Non-Emergency CPS Investigations

March 15, 2021
Rep. Cason Files Bill to Bring “Miranda Rights” to Non-Emergency CPS Investigations

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Representative Jeff Cason announced today his filing of House Bill 2298, the Miranda Rights for CPS Investigations Act. This bill would require Child Protective Services to inform parents of their legal rights before proceeding with an initial non-emergency investigation.

“Every parent or guardian in the state deserves to know their rights, especially when it involves their children,” Rep Cason said. “For 55 years, Miranda rights have stood as a pillar of civil rights in this country. Unfortunately, current statute provides little in the way of giving parents the information they deserve regarding investigations initiated by CPS regarding their children.”

The ten rights outlined by the bill are the rights to:

  1. Not speak to any investigator.
  2. A court-appointed attorney if the person is indigent.
  3. Record any interaction with investigators.
  4. Refuse any investigator to enter the household or interview the children without legal counsel present.
  5. Refuse to consent to the release of any medical or mental health records.
  6. Withhold consent to any medical or psychological examination.
  7. Refuse to submit to a drug test.
  8. Consult with legal counsel prior to agreeing to any proposed voluntary safety plan.
  9. Be notified of and attend any court hearings related to or arising from the investigation;
  10. Have an interpreter if the parent or guardian does not speak English

Rep. Cason’s bill is similar to House Bill 2737, filed by Representative Ina Minjarez (D) of House District 124, and Senate Bill 647, filed by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R) of Senate District 18. Rep. Cason’s bill contains two additional rights – numbers 9 and 10 listed above – that are not included in these other bills. It has been referred to the House Committee on Human Services, chaired by Rep. James Frank (R) of District 69.