Procedures Applicable In Suit To Evict And Recover Unpaid Rent
(a) In a suit filed in justice court in which the landlord files a sworn statement seeking judgment against a tenant for possession of the premises and unpaid rent, personal service on the tenant or service on the tenant under Rule 742a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, is procedurally sufficient to support a default judgment for possession of the premises and unpaid rent.
A landlord may recover unpaid rent under this section regardless of whether the tenant vacated the premises after the date the landlord filed the sworn statement and before the date the court renders judgment.
In a suit to recover possession of the premises, whether or not unpaid rent is claimed, the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant:
In a suit described by Subsection (c), the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant on the first page of the citation in English and Spanish and in conspicuous bold print:
THIS SUIT TO EVICT INVOLVES IMMEDIATE DEADLINES. A TENANT WHO IS SERVING ON ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY MAY HAVE SPECIAL RIGHTS OR RELIEF RELATED TO THIS SUIT UNDER FEDERAL LAW, INCLUDING THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (50 U.S.C. APP. SECTION 501 ET SEQ.), OR STATE LAW, INCLUDING SECTION 92.017, TEXAS PROPERTY CODE. CALL THE STATE BAR OF TEXAS TOLL-FREE AT 1-877-9TEXBAR IF YOU NEED HELP LOCATING AN ATTORNEY. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR LOW-COST LEGAL ASSISTANCE.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1464, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 712, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 812, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 252, Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012.
Sec. 24.0052. TENANT APPEAL ON PAUPER'S AFFIDAVIT. (a) If a tenant in a residential eviction suit is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the tenant may appeal the judgment of the justice court by filing with the justice court, not later than the fifth day after the date the judgment is signed, a pauper's affidavit sworn before the clerk of the justice court or a notary public that states that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond. The affidavit must contain the following information:
the tenant's identity;
the nature and amount of the tenant's employment income;
the income of the tenant's spouse, if applicable and available to the tenant;
the nature and amount of any governmental entitlement income of the tenant;
all other income of the tenant;
the amount of available cash and funds available in savings or checking accounts of the tenant;
real and personal property owned by the tenant, other than household furnishings, clothes, tools of a trade, or personal effects;
the tenant's debts and monthly expenses; and
the number and age of the tenant's dependents and where those dependents reside.
The justice court shall make available an affidavit form that a person may use to comply with the requirements of Subsection (a).
The justice court shall promptly notify the landlord if a pauper's affidavit is filed by the tenant.
A landlord may contest a pauper's affidavit on or before the fifth day after the date the affidavit is filed. If the landlord contests the affidavit, the justice court shall notify the parties and hold a hearing to determine whether the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond. The hearing shall be held not later than the fifth day after the date the landlord notifies the court clerk of the landlord's contest. At the hearing, the tenant has the burden to prove by competent evidence, including documents or credible testimony of the tenant or others, that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond.
If the justice court approves the pauper's affidavit of a tenant, the tenant is not required to pay the county court filing fee or file an additional affidavit in the county court under Subsection (a).
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1185, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.