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S. 1029 (116th): Courthouse Dogs Act

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About the bill

Who let the dogs out? A bipartisan group of senators.


At least eight states allow dogs in courtrooms, to ease witnesses while on the stand, particularly during the recounting of traumatic testimony such as child abuse or sexual abuse.

But not everyone agrees with the practice. In a first, a New York state lawyer in 2011 appealed his client’s rape conviction on the grounds that the alleged victim was accompanied by a comfort dog while giving her testimony, biasing the jury. The court ultimately disagreed, upholding the original decision, but the issue was thrust into the spotlight.

What the legislation does

The Courthouse Dogs Act would clarify that federal courts can allow licensed therapy dogs or “certified facility dogs” on the premises.

The dog must be accompanied by ...

Sponsor and status

John Cornyn

Sponsor. Senator for Texas. Republican.

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Last Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Length: 4 pages
Apr 4, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the Senate on December 19, 2019 but was never passed by the House.



Apr 4, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Dec 19, 2019
Passed Senate (House next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the Senate. It goes to the House next. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

S. 1029 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 1029. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“S. 1029 — 116th Congress: Courthouse Dogs Act.” 2019. January 27, 2021 <>

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