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Denton County Website

Justice of the Peace Pct. #4

 

Justice Court Cases

Attention: New Civil Fees Take Effect January 1, 2014


New Rules of Civil Procedure

Justice Court Case Types

Other Hearing Types

Representing Yourself

 

Fee Schedule

Forms

Disclaimer

   


TO THE CITIZENS OF PRECINCT NO. 4:

Justice Court is here for your benefit and we will help you in any way possible. However, rules of Judicial ethics prohibit this office from giving legal advice; telling either party how to present their case; or expressing opinions of the law.

 We can only answer questions of a general nature, about procedures of the court, or concerning court costs. As always, we recommend that you seek some form of sound legal advice.

 In addition, please remember that we must remain impartial. We cannot hear any part of a case, or discuss the merits of any case, unless all parties are present.

Please do not ask us to violate these rules.

 Thank you,

 J W Hand
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4

 

Judge JW Hand
  County Seal
 
Justice of the Peace Pct.4

 


New rules of civil procedure took effect August 31, 2013.† The changes were made as the result of laws passed in 2011 and 2013, creating an informal hearing “with the sole objective being to dispense speedy justice between the parties” [the Act of June 29, 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, §§ 5.02, 5.07 (HB 79) and the Act of April 2, 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S. (HB 1263)]. These rules,
Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure PDF, are available online PDF or at the court.

 

Any pending case that was filed prior to August 31, 2013, will be treated as valid. Where citation or other process was issued or served prior to August 31, 2013, in compliance with any previously applicable procedure, the party served has the time provided for under the previously applicable procedure to answer or otherwise respond. The new Rules of Civil Procedure 500-510 will govern cases filed prior to August 31, 2013, except to the extent that in the opinion of the court their application would not be feasible or would work injustice.

Small Claims

A small claims case is a lawsuit brought for the recovery of money damages, civil penalties, personal property, or other relief allowed by law. The claim can be for no more than $10,000, excluding statutory interest and court costs but including attorney fees, if any. Small Claims cases are governed by Rules 500-507 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure PDF.

Debt Claim

A debt claim case is a lawsuit brought to recover a debt by an assignee of a claim, a debt collector or collection agency, a financial institution, or a person or entity primarily engaged in the business of lending money at interest. The claim can be for no more than $10,000, excluding statutory interest and court costs but including attorney fees, if any. Debt Claim cases in justice court are governed by Rules 500-507 and 508 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure PDF.

Eviction

An eviction case is a lawsuit brought to recover possession of real property, often by a landlord against a tenant. A claim for rent may be joined with an eviction case if the amount of rent due and unpaid is not more than $10,000, excluding statutory interest and court costs but including attorney fees, if any. Eviction cases are governed by Rules 500-507 and 510 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure PDF (and Property Code Chapters 24, 92 and 94).

Repair and Remedy

A repair and remedy case is a lawsuit filed by a residential tenant under Chapter 92, Subchapter B of the Texas Property Code to enforce the landlordís duty to repair or remedy a condition materially affecting the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. The relief sought can be for no more than $10,000, excluding statutory interest and court costs but including attorney fees, if any. Repair and Remedy cases are governed by Rules 500-507 and 509 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure PDF (and Property Code Section 92.0563).

Some of the other matters heard in the justice court include:

Rights of Owners and Operators of Stored or Booted Vehicles (Texas Towing and Booting Act),

Residential Tenantís Right of Reentry after Unlawful Lockout (Property Code §92.0090),

Residential Tenantís Right of Restoration after Unlawful Utility Disconnection (Property Code §92.0091).

Enforcement of Deed Restrictions (Government Code § 27.034) — Suit may be filed in district court or justice court; however, a justice court cannot grant injunctive relief.


Individuals have the right to be represented by an attorney, or to represent themselves. If you decide to represent yourself, please read
Representing Yourself in Court PDF at the Texas Court Help website. In addition, be aware of the following:

Civil Case Information Sheet Required:

A completed Justice Court Civil Case Information Sheet must be submitted when filing suit (Rule of Civil Procedure 502). This sheet is used only for statistical purposes.

Plaintiff Must Provide Copies

When filing a new suit, you must provide enough copies to be served on each defendant, or pay the court for the cost of making the copies. You do not need to provide extra copies of the Civil Case Information Sheet.

Finding the Registered Agent of a Corporation

To sue a corporation, you must find the name and address of the Registered Agent, President, or Vice President of the corporation. When you file your suit, you will be filing against the corporation and serving the citation on one of the above-mentioned officers of the corporation. To obtain this information, contact the Secretary of Stateís Public Information Department at 512-463-5555, or email corpinfo@sos.texas.gov.

Out-of-County Service

To sue a defendant outside Denton County, you must provide the name and address of the Constable or Sheriff for service of citation and a separate money order for that agencyís fee (contact appropriate agency for payment amount and information).

Discovery

Any requests for pretrial discovery must be presented to the court for approval.

Answer

Small claim and debt claim cases:† Defendant has fourteen days following the day of service of citation to file a written answer with the court. If the 14th day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the answer is due by the end of the first day following the 14th day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. A default judgment may be taken against a defendant who fails to answer. For service by publication, see Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Plaintiff Must Request Default Judgment

In most cases, if the defendant does not answer a small claims or debt claims case after being served with citation, the plaintiff must request a hearing for a default judgment (see Rule 503.1 for more information). First go to Judicial Records Search on the Denton County website to find out if the citation has been served in your case. Keep in mind that the constable must personally serve the defendant, and this may take several weeks.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Affidavit

A Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Affidavit must be submitted prior to obtaining a default judgment against a person. To find out if the defendant is a servicemember, go to the official Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Website.

Process
Court Fees
Denton Co. Service Fee
Total
Appeal
$10.00
 
$10.00
Filing Fee
$41.00
$70.00
$111.00
 2 defendants
$41.00
$140.00
$181.00
Abstract of Judgment
$5.00
 
$5.00
Copy (first page)
$1.00
 
 
Copy (per additional)
$0.25
Certified Copy (first page)
$2.00
 
 
Certified Copy (per additional)
$0.25
 
 
Jury Request
$22.00
 
$22.00
Subpoena1
$0.00
$70.00
$70.001
Writ of Execution
$5.00
$150.00
$155.00
Writ of Garnishment
$46.00
$85.00
$131.00
Writ of Possession2
$5.00
$100.00
$105.002
Writ of Reentry
$46.00
$100.00
$146.00
Writ of Restoration of Utilities
$46.00
$100.00
$146.00
Writ of Sequestration
$5.00
$150.00
$155.00
 
1.        You must submit $10.00 in cash to be attached to the subpoena (witness fee).
2.        Additional service fees may apply for a writ of possession.
 

 

Judicial Records Search

Denton County Records Search

Finding a Lawyer:

Denton County Bar Association — Find a Lawyer

State Bar of Texas — Find a Lawyer

State Bar of Texas — Canít Afford a Lawyer?

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

Legal Hotline for Texans (age 60 and older or Medicare recipients)

State Bar of Texas — Legal Information/Resources

Landlord/Tenant:

Texas Property Code

Rules of Civil Procedure Part V PDF

Tenant Rights — Attorney General of Texas

Landlord-Tenant Legal Resources — Texas Law Help

Tenantís Rights Handbook — Texas State Bar

Housing — Texas Law Help

Facing Foreclosure — Texas State Bar PDF

Small Claims and Debt Claims:

Rules of Civil Procedure Part V PDF

Rules of Administration — Denton County Justices of the Peace PDF

Civil Practice and Remedies Code

How to Sue in Small Claims Court — Texas State Bar

Consumer Law — Texas Law Help

Denton County Records Search

Denton County Law Library

Texas State Law Library

Understanding the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act — Attorney General of Texas PDF

Military and Veteran Issues:

Other Military and Veteran Issues — Texas Law Help

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act — Texas Law help

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act — Official Website

Rights of Owners and Operators of Stored or Booted Vehicles

Occupations Code, Subchapter J (Texas Towing and Booting Act)

The information provided on this website is not intended as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for further information, legal advice, or answers to legal questions. Laws change constantly and at times the information on this website may not be current. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided at any of the links listed here. The court does not assume liability for any consequences resulting from your reliance on the forms or information provided herein.

Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader To view PDF files, first-time users will need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
 
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