February 19, 2019


AUSTIN - State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) filed a bill that would help to prevent protective orders from being issued against a parent without clear and convincing evidence. As it currently stands, protective orders may be issued on the basis of credible proof, which often results in heresy and false accusations being taken into account as evidence.

"It is unfair to issue protective orders without distinct and explicit burden of proof," said Guillen. "Such unfair assessment can result in one parent receiving less custody over another without true and just cause," he added.              


A protective order (PO) can be placed on someone accused of stalking if, on one or more occasion, that person causes another individual to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended. The penalty for violating a PO is a criminal offense and can include jail time. The code as it stands has resulted in family law attorneys encouraging clients to wrongly seek protective orders as leverage in custody disputes


"Through HB 1659, we will be able to reduce unnecessary litigation and the exposure of Texas children to custody battles based on false information," Guillen noted. "By raising the burden of proof for protective orders, parents who truly deserve to will maintain their right to custody and children will maintain consistent and frequent contact with both parents," he concluded.


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and