Prison, Inmate Fifth Circuit Decision, Opioid Manufacturer Settlement And Two Opinion Requests For Texas AG

Staff Report

The responsibilities, of the Office of the Attorney General, are to serve as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issue legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies, and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.

The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.

Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues. The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls, and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud, and other topics.

To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at

Fifth Circuit Blocks Burdensome Requirements That Harmed Prison’s  Ability to Protect Inmates and Staff from COVID-19

AUSTIN — The Fifth Circuit stayed COVID-19 requirements that could unnecessarily exceed several measures already implemented by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

“The TDCJ works diligently and conscientiously in its efforts to protect inmates from COVID-19 and I am confident they will continue to do so,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This stay lifts the district court’s burdensome, immovable requirements for prisons and grants prison officials the flexibility they need to efficiently support the health of inmates and staff. I commend the Fifth Circuit for staying the district court’s unlawful injunction”

Read a copy of the order here.

Updated Settlement Reached with Opioid Manufacturer Mallinckrodt Following Company Bankruptcy

AUSTIN — Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an update to a global settlement framework agreement between state attorneys general, local subdivisions, and the opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt (MNK), its subsidiaries, and other affiliates.

Under the new settlement, MNK will pay $1.6 billion into a trust. MNK is currently the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the United States.

“This agreement is a significant step toward helping those victimized by one of the worst man-made epidemics in our state’s history,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office has been aggressively working to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their deceptive marketing of highly-addictive pain pills, which spurred an epidemic and left victims and families with unimaginable consequences. My office will continue to do everything it can to protect Texans and help our state heal from this crisis.”

The trust will go toward abating the opioid crisis, including valid claims related to MNK’s role in the opioid crisis raised by non-governmental claimants.

MNK also agreed that its opioid business will be subject to stringent injunctive relief that, among other things, will prevent marketing and ensure systems are in place to prevent drug misuse.

Details about how much each state will receive, how the money will be distributed, and how the trust will be administered are all still being negotiated.

Request for Opinion

Official Request RQ-0381-KP
Whether a driver’s license is required to operate a golf cart on a publicly maintained road, as authorized by sections 551.403 and 551.404 of the Transportation Code

Date Received
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Official Requestor(s)
The Honorable Brett W. Ligon
Montgomery County District Attorney
207 West Phillips, 2nd Floor
Conroe, Texas 77301

The Honorable B.D. Griffin
Montgomery County Attorney
207 West Phillips, 2nd Floor
Conroe, Texas 773011

Request for Opinion

Official Request RQ-0382-KP
Ector County’s compliance with chapter 387 of the Local Government Code, regarding the creation of a county assistance district

Date Received
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Official Requestor
The Honorable Charles Perry
Chair, Senate Committee on Water & Rural Affairs
Texas State Senate
Post Office Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711-2068

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