Seth Topek
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Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending the Rights of the Accused and the Incarcerated
Posted on Aug 09, 2013

House Bill 869 will take effect September 1 and as a result the incarcerated will no longer be able to get married.  Texas law used to be less strict for those seeking proxy marriages.  A proxy marriage is a wedding where either the bride or groom are not physically present during the ceremony.  A person who is unable to be physically present at the ceremony will no longer be able to have someone stand in there proxy unless they are serving in the military and are stationed out of the country.  Texas Department of Criminal Justice policies prohibit weddings from being conducted inside prisons.  Therefore there are no available means for an offender to get married.  TDCJ has stated that the new rules on proxy marriages will not impact their policies.

    The bill was passed to stop people from seeking a marriage license without the other person knowing in order to receive insurance or other benefits.  Advocates for inmates believe that building relationships can help offenders improve behavior in TDCJ, have a clear goal, and motivate them to be successful on parole.