Please read this packet
and review the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Part V
before filing your suit. A link may be found on our
The following procedural
instructions are the only information you will receive
from this office. This information is not offered
as legal advice. Legal advice can only be
obtained from an attorney. It is not
comprehensive, and there may be other remedies and
procedures not in this packet. Court Clerks will
assist with procedure only, and are prohibited from
giving any legal advice.
By Statute, A JUSTICE
COURT CIVIL CASE INFORMATION SHEET
must be completed and submitted when an original
petition is filed to initiate a new suit.
Completion of the sheet indicates the case type being
The four case types are:
Debt Claim, Rules 500-507 & 508
Eviction, Rules 500-507 & 510
Repair and Remedy, Rules 500-507 & 509
Small Claim, Rules 500-507
Debt Claim Case Rules
500-507 & 508: 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. To the extent of any
conflict between Rule 508 and the rest of Part v, Rule
500-507 & 510: An eviction case is a lawsuit
brought to recover possession of real property under
Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code, 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.
To the extent of any conflict between rule 510 and the
rest of Part V, Rule 510 applies.
Repair and Remedy Rules
500-507 & 509: 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
landlord’s 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.
To the extent of any conflict between Rule 509 and the
rest of Part V, Rule 509 applies.
Small Claim Rules
500-507: 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
PARTIES TO THE SUIT
PLAINTIFF: Is a party who
sues, including a defendant who files a counterclaim.
DEFENDANT: Is a party who is
sued, including a plaintiff against whom a counterclaim
As an Individual: Sue the Defendant individually in the
following two situations: (1) you believe the Defendant
is personally responsible to you for damages he/she may
have caused you, or (2) the Defendant as an individual
operating a proprietorship or partnership and you
believe he/she is personally responsible to you for
damages he/she may have caused.
As a Proprietorship or Partnership: A proprietorship or
partnership is a business that is not incorporated, but
has filed an “Assumed Name” with the County Clerk.
For example, “John Smith, d/b/a Smith Plumbing Company.”
To determine whether a company or an individual has an
assumed name you must contact the County Clerk’s office
in the County where the company is located.
As a Corporation: If the business you are suing is
incorporated, you must contact the State Comptroller’s
Office at www.ecpa.cpa.state.tx.us, or (800) 252-1386,
or the Secretary of State at (512) 463-5555. Ask for
the name and address for service to the Registered Agent
(the President or Vice-President will also work).
This is the person who has been authorized to receive
information regarding lawsuits filed against this
SERVICE OF CITATION:
Rule 501, Each Defendant must be served
personally, usually by a Constable or Sheriff, in the
County where the Defendant is located. Fees for
service vary by County. For citations to be served
in a county other than Denton County, the Constable or
Sheriff of that County should be contacted for the
amount of the service fee and location for forwarding
the citation. If the Defendant is to be served in
a state other than Texas, call the County Courthouse for
the County where the Defendant will be served for
information. The Court will issue and forward the
Citation to the Constable or Sheriff’s office you have
indicated for service on the Defendant. The
Citation will leave this Court promptly, however it may
take several weeks or more for the Citation to be
personally served. Check periodically by telephone
with the Constable or Sheriff’s office directly.
It is your responsibility to insure service of your
COSTS OF COURT:
Filing Fee is $41.00
Plus service fee for each defendant
(see Service of Citation)
Make checks payable to Denton County.
A separate check is required for service fees to other
– WHERE A LAWSUIT MAY BE BROUGHT: Rule 502.4
Rule 504, If you desire a trial by jury you must
submit a written request for a jury trial, and pay a fee
of $22.00, 14 days prior to trial. Jury trials often
last several hours longer than a trial heard by the
Judge so plan your schedule accordingly.
DATE FOR TRIAL:
Rule 503.3, If the Defendant files a written
answer the case may be set for trial. You will
receive written notice of your Court date no less than
45 days before the trial date. Parties who are not
represented by an attorney should prepare carefully for
Rule 502.5, After the Citation has been served
the Defendant must file a written answer to the suit by
the end of the 14th day after the day he/she
DEFENDANT FAILS TO ANSWER:
MOTIONS FOR POSTPONING
Rule 503.3, All Motions for Continuance, or
requests to reset the court date, must be in writing and
be received by the Court no later than 48 hours prior to
the court hearing. The Plaintiff and the Defendant
are each entitled to request one reset, and all other
reset requests must be made by agreement of both
500.8, You are responsible to bring your witnesses to
Court. If there are witnesses who will not come to
Court voluntarily, you may request that a Subpoena be
prepared and served to secure their presence in Court.
This should be done at least three weeks before trial in
order to allow for service of the Subpoena. The
Court does not guarantee that service will be obtained.
Successful service of witness subpoenas is your
responsibility. Contact the Clerk of the Court for
Rule 506, Either party has 21 days in which to
appeal the Judge’s decision. An appeal bond must
be filed with the Court within 21 days after the date of
Judgment. Appeals filed after the deadline will be
Contact the Court and find out the amount of the appeal
Prepare a Notice of Appeal, file it with the Court and
mail it to the opposing party.
File the Appeal Bond and pay the Appeal Filing Fee of
The Court will then prepare a Transcript of the events
on file in your case and send it to the County Court
Clerk. ALL Court contact from that point on will
be with the Denton County Court at Law #2, by contacting
the County Clerk’s office at 940-349-2016.
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT:
Rule 505.2, If you receive a Judgment against the
Defendant and the Defendant does not file a Motion for
New Trial, file an Appeal, or does not pay the Judgment,
you may seek other remedies to collect your Judgment.
The Justice Court cannot assist you in collection of
your Judgment. Below are listed some
remedies that are available to you, and that may assist
you in the collection of the Judgment. Once the
judgment is paid in full, notify the court in writing by
making a request to release the Judgment.
Abstract of Judgment: You may obtain an Abstract of
Judgment after the appeal time expires. A fee of $5.00
per Abstract is paid to the Court. The Abstract
may then be filed in the office of the County Clerk in
any County where you may think the Judgment Debtor may
own real property.
Writ of Execution: You may obtain a Writ of Execution
any time after the 30th day from the date of
Judgment. Contact the Constable’s office to
determine if this would be effective for your case.
TRIAL PREPARATION TOOL
This is not a script; it
is a tool to assist a non-lawyer in making an orderly
presentation. The following is information only.
For legal counsel contact a licensed attorney.
Neither the Judge nor the Clerks of the Court are able
to give any legal advice.
The Justice of the Peace
Court is a Court of Law and of Fact. It is not a
Court of personal opinion or hearsay. Comments
regarding an individual’s character will not be
tolerated. Everyone will be treated with respect.
Court will begin promptly.
Organize your documents
and what you want to say before coming to Court.
You will have about 10 minutes to present your case.
The Judge will give you the opportunity to respond to
the evidence, if any, and the Judge may ask questions of
Justice of the Peace
Courts are not “courts of record.” There is no
court reporter, and recording devices are not permitted.
BE PREPARED TO:
State the nature of your claim in one sentence.
State the pertinent dates.
State the details of any agreements.
State the details of damages (damages means sum of
State the details of how you calculated your damages
(sum of money)
Produce the documents that support your claim.
Produce a Service members Civil Relief Act Affidavit
Produce proof of the defendant’s status with the