Policy Number: 147
Handling Legal Processes
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
The Office of Legal Affairs (“Legal Affairs”) is the university office authorized to handle the processing of all legal documents and instruments, including, but not limited to, service and/or receipt of legal process and requests for public information.
A. Inquiries from Governmental and Other Official Investigators
All inquiries from governmental and other official investigators should be immediately referred to a legal officer in Legal Affairs.
B. Claims or Possible Claims Arising Under the Texas Tort Claims Act
Possible claims against the university that may arise under the Texas Tort Claims Act should be reported to Legal Affairs. Examples of claims that may arise under the Texas Tort Claims Act are property damage, personal injury and death proximately caused by the wrongful act or omission or the negligence of an employee acting within the scope of his/her employment. Legal Affairs is responsible for reporting information as required by The University of Texas System.
C. Receipt of Legal Process
For the purposes of this policy, “legal process” is defined as any citation or notice of suit, subpoena to appear and/or for records, demand for payment, and/or notice of claim, whether received at work or at an employee’s personal residence or elsewhere, and whether received via mail, facsimile, e-mail, or through contact or delivery by a process server, constable, deputy, or other law enforcement officer or private person.
If an employee receives an oral or written request for documents or information related to University of Texas business (including a legal process), the employee must refer the requestor to and forward the request immediately to Legal Affairs (“Attention: Legal Officer”).
The recipient of a legal process must make immediate telephone contact with Legal Affairs for an assessment of the legal implications of the process. Failure to respond promptly to legal process may adversely affect the university, its officials and employees. If for any reason the recipient of a legal process fails to make immediate telephone contact with Legal Affairs regarding the legal process, the individual must forward the documents to Legal Affairs, within 24 hours of receipt. If a legal process document does not indicate upon whom and on what date the document was served, the recipient of the legal process must write this information clearly on the face of the document prior to forwarding; for example: "Served on me personally, John Doe, 8/25/98." In the case where multiple documents have been requested, the receiver should make a log of all requested documents.
Legal Affairs is responsible for forwarding any applicable legal process to The University of Texas System Office of General Counsel.
D. Other Requests for Information
All employees are responsible for complying with the university's policy on release of public information. Refer to HOOP Policy 132 Handling Records Requests. Failure to comply with policies related to public information requests may seriously compromise the position of the university in pending litigation and may constitute grounds for disciplinary action. No employee shall disclose confidential information gained by reason of his or her official position, nor shall the employee otherwise use such information for his or her personal gain or benefit.
|Office of Legal Affairs||713-500-3268|