MAY SUE FOR RENT:
The primary issue in an
eviction suit is possession of the property, plus costs of
court. Only two things can be attached to a judgment
A money judgment for unpaid rent, and/or
Attorney's fees (if applicable)
When the reason for eviction is something other than
nonpayment of rent or hold over, or when the plaintiff is a
corporation if the defendant objects, it may be necessary
for the plaintiff to be represented by an attorney.
Ignorance of the law or rules of court is no excuse.
These are formal proceedings. The Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Rules of Discovery and the Rules of Evidence
are in effect. Most landlord-tenant laws are codified
in chapters 24, 91, 92, 94 et al. of the Texas
NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT:
Proper written, unconditional notice to vacate must be given in accordance with the Texas Property Code (available online at
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/statutes.html. As always, if you are unsure of the proper notice to be given, contact the attorney of your choice and seek sound legal advice.
IMPORTANT: Denton County Justice of the Peace have issued a Standing Order Regarding Eviction Suits and Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009.. Under this order a minimum 90 day notice to vacate may be required to a bona fide tenant prior to filing suit for eviction (see Order
Complaint must be filed in the
precinct in which all or part of the property is located.
Possession of the property in question,
Delinquent rent and attorney's fees not
to exceed $10,000.00 plus court costs.
Filing and Service
for filling out your petition rests with you, the plaintiff.
If the information is incorrect or not legible, you may have
to dismiss your case and refile. That requires another
filing fee and service fee.
You should remember that all parties
signing the lease should be filed on and served with a
State the tenant's full address,
including apartment number and building number (if
applicable) and the zip code. State all other known
Give the date the tenant's lease was
signed or the date the tenant moved into the property.
If the grounds for eviction include NONPAYMENT OF RENT,
give the amount of rent due to the date of filing and
the date of the last rental payment received.
If you are suing for HOLD OVER, state
the date of termination of the lease.
If you are suing for some other breach
of the lease, state your reason(s) in the appropriate
State the date and manner in which
WRITTEN NOTICE TO VACATE was delivered to the tenant. If
you are unsure of the proper notice to be given, contact
an attorney or see the Texas Property Code.
Include your mailing address and daytime
telephone number in the space provided at the end of the
The petition must be signed in the
presence of the court clerk or a notary public.
SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT:
Under the terms of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, if
the defendant in a lawsuit does not file a written answer or
appear in court, the plaintiff must file a sworn affidavit
regarding the defendant's military status. If necessary, a
military status affidavit form is available from the court
The affidavit can be filed concurrently with the petition.
In the event you are unable to ascertain the defendant's
military status, you may be required to file a bond in an
amount approved by the court before a default judgment may
Military status records are available from the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center website at
Servicemembers and/or their dependents who are defendants in judicial proceedings such as justice, eviction, and small claims suits may be entitled to certain protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Servicemembers include:
- Servicemembers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
- Commissioned members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Commissioned members of the Public Health Service.
- U.S. citizens serving with the forces of a nation with which the U.S. is allied in the prosecution of the War or Military Action when the service is similar to the Military Service defined in the SCRA.
- National Guard members who are ordered to report for military service in response to a national emergency.
For more information about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, visit the Library of Congress website at
http://thomas.loc.gov/. Select 108th from “Search Multiple, Previous Congresses” and search by bill number
HR 100; or go to the United States government's official web portal at
http://www.usa.gov/ and enter
SCRA in the search field.
MANUFACTURED HOME TENACIES:
of the Texas Property Code contains provisions regarding
manufactured home tenancies, including the following:
A manufactured home community is defined
as “a parcel of land on which four or more lots are
offered for lease for installing and occupying
manufactured homes” [§94.001(4)].
Applies “only to the relationship
between a landlord who leases property in a manufactured
home community and a tenant leasing property in the
manufactured home community for the purpose of situating
a manufactured home or a recreational vehicle on the
Does not apply to “the relationship
between: (1) a landlord who owns a manufactured home and
a tenant who leases the manufactured home from the
landlord …” [§94.002(b)].
Subchapter E governs evictions.
You should read the complete chapter
(available online at
if it applies to your situation.
A petition for eviction specific to
manufactured home tenancies covered by Chapter 94 is
available on this website under
PREPARING YOUR CASE FOR TRIAL:
time you file your case you will be given the court date. If
the court date is changed for any reason the court will
notify you at the telephone number given on the sworn
Please remember that at the time of trial you must be able
to “prove up your lawsuit” even if the defendant does not
Be sure to have your lease, a copy of the vacate notice, and
payment records available for the Judge in the event he asks
to see them.
$10.00 fee (plus county court costs)
Either party has the right to appeal. Appeals must be
processed according to the Rules of Civil Procedure and the
Texas Property Code. The timeframe, generally speaking, is
five (5) days. The amount of the surety bond for appeal will
be set by the Judge.
In the event that the party filing the appeal is unable to
pay the costs of appeal, a pauper's affidavit may be
filed (a form is available from the court).The pauper's
affidavit may be contested by the other party; if so, a
hearing will be held in accordance with Rule 749a of the
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
IMPORTANT: If grounds for the eviction include
nonpayment of rent, a tenant who files any appeal, including
those tenants who file pauper's affidavits, must pay rent
into the court registry.
Appeals go to the County Court at Law #2, where they are
heard de novo (as though they had never been heard before).
After the 5-day period, if no appeal has been filed the
judgment becomes final.
ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT:
may re-appear in this court on the sixth (6th) or subsequent
days following judgment, and apply for an abstract of
judgment which is filed with the County Clerk(s). An
Abstract of Judgment is good for 10 years, and is renewable.
The credit bureaus pick up abstracted judgment information.
An abstract does two things: it attaches to real property
the other party owns and it is reflected on the credit
report of the other party.
WRIT OF POSSESSION:
On the sixth (6th)
day after judgment, if an appeal has not been filed and the
defendant is still in possession of the property, the
plaintiff may request a Writ of Possession. The Constable
will contact the prevailing party and accompany them to the
property so that a formal eviction may take place. The
Constable will execute the Writ no sooner than 24 hours
after posting a written warning. Weather conditions,
workload, etc. could impact this time frame. The Constable's
duty is to see that the Writ is executed in accordance with
the law. The party requesting the Writ is responsible for
the physical removal of all property.
WRIT OF EXECUTION:
may re-appear in this court on the thirty-first (31st) day
following judgment and apply for a Writ of Execution. This
document authorizes the sheriff or constable to seize any
assets classified under the law as non-exempt. Those assets
are then auctioned at public sale and the proceeds are
applied to the judgment. We suggest that you visit with the
proper constable or sheriff before the Writ of Execution is
issued, because exceptions do apply. The Writ of Execution
may be obtained without obtaining an abstract of judgment.
Any other post-judgment procedures are quite complicated. As
always, we recommend that you seek sound legal advice.
It is imperative
that you provide us with your daytime telephone
notify us of any changes in your telephone number or
If your address
changes within the 10-year period following the
judgment, you should notify the court of your new
The court does
not collect the judgment for you, nor can we force
the defendant to pay the judgment.
prevailing party receive any portion of the amount owed
after you have received a judgment, it is necessary for
you to execute a release of
judgment lien or partial release of judgment lien.
answer legal questions, only those procedural in nature.
filing are payable with cash (correct change), check
or money order.
Always keep track
of your case number so you can refer to it when
calling our office.
IF YOU ARE SUED FOR EVICTION:
The citation delivered to you will have the
address of the court and will usually show your trial date
and time. The citation will be attached to a copy of the
lawsuit. If the plaintiff files a bond for possession, the
citation will include rules and procedures regarding the
filing of a counter-bond, demand for trial, etc.
The State Bar of Texas publishes
informative pamphlets on a variety of issues, including
a Tenants' Rights Handbook, available at
or call 1-800-204-2222 ext. 2610.
Landlord-tenant information (including
eviction information) can also be found online at the
Austin Tenant's Council website at
Legal Aid of North West Texas may
be able to provide legal assistance (Note: Applicants
must meet financial eligibility guidelines). The website
The Texas Property Code, the Civil
Practice and Remedies Code and Vernon's Civil Statutes
can also be found online at
The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure can be found online at the Texas Supreme Court website:
This information is not
all-inclusive, nor is it a substitute for legal
Because the law is constantly changing, this
information may not always be current.
The court does not assume liability for any
consequences resulting from your reliance on the
information or forms provided herein.
You are advised to seek legal counsel from a