Suit for possession of property, precinct in which all or part of the property is located. Suit for rent in which all or part of the property is located.
If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults or hold over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period at least THREE DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE TO VACATE THE PREMISESBEFORE THE LANDLORD FILES A forcible Detainer Suit, unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. If you have a written lease see attached statute 24.006.
To recover attorney’s fees in a Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit, the written demand to vacate the premises must state that if the tenant does not vacate before the 11th DAY after the date of receipt of the notice and if the landlord files suit, the landlord may recover attorney’s fees. This notice must be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.
Notice to vacate may be by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is sixteen (16) years of age or older or personal delivery to the premises by affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question.
In an eviction suit, the Court may render judgment for possession of the property in question. The landlord may receive judgment for back rent if the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000.00.
The responsibility for filling out your petition rests with you, the Plaintiff. Court Clerks will assist you if you have procedural questions. List each adult tenant on the lease or in a verbal agreement. State tenant’s full address including apartment number. List any known work address or other address where tenant may be located for service.
Paragraph #3 of the attached petition describes three separate causes of action. The first bland under paragraph #3 being for NON-PAYMENT of RENT. The second blank being for BREACH of LEASE by the tenant.
If neither is chosen, then the last paragraph will cover the cause of action known as OWNER WANTS POSSESSION. Generally, this will require a THIRTY (30) DAY WRITTEN NOTICE TO VACATE.
When filing, the landlord should bring the following:
A. A copy of the lease (if you have one);
B. A copy of the notice to vacate;
C. Please contact this court concerning filing fee and service fee.
Generally, all parties named in the lease should be sued and served with citation in the eviction proceeding. Any judgment granted will run only against those who are specifically named and served.
The Constable will serve each tenant with citation based on the information you give to the Court. The tenant will be informed in the citation the DATE and TIME of the hearing and a DEFAULT JUDGEMENT may be rendered against him if he does not appear at the time designated.
The owner’s agent may file any type of eviction suit and may represent the owner at any default judgment hearing. If the case is contested, an agent may represent either party if the case involves non-payment of rent or holding over.
Always arrive at least the ten (10) minutes prior to trial and check in the clerk and identify yourself by name along with the names of any witnesses that you want sworn to give testimony. BE SURE TO HAVE A COPY OF YOUR LEASE, NOTICE TO VACATE, AND PAYMENT RECORDS or any records pertaining to the case.
IF THE DEFENDANT DOES NOT APPEAR AT HEARING:
A. The plaintiff will present their case to the Judge;
B. If Judge rules in plaintiff’s favor, a DEFAULT judgment will be granted.
IF THE DEFENDANT DOES NOT APPEAR AT HEARING:
A. Judge will hear both sides;
B. Judge will render a decision;
C. If Judge rules in Plaintiff’s favor, defendant will have five (5) days to appeal judgment to County Court or vacate property.
IF THE DEFENDANT DOES NOT MOVE WITHIN FIVE (5) DAYS AFTER JUDGEMENT OR DOES NOT APPEAL TO COUNTY COURT:
A. A Writ of Possession and Restitution may be filed.
B. Cost of Writ is one-hundred and thirty ($130.00)
C. Writ of Possession shall order the officer execution the writ to instruct the tenant to remove or allow the landlord, the landlord’s agent, or persons acting under the officer’s supervision to remove all personal property claimed to be owned by the landlord and place, or have an authorized person place, the removed personal property outside the rental unit at a nearby location, or street and NOT while it is raining, sleeting or snowing.
After you are sworn, present your evidence in sequence from beginning to end;
a. Date lease or rental agreement began and if agreement is still valid on a month to month basis.
b. Terms of lease including rent per month and date rent is due.
c. Amount of pure, lived up, unpaid, back rent owed up to Court date and how it was computed. Late charge, penalties, etc. cannot be pleaded for in eviction suit.
d. Prove that tenant is in violation of lease and why he is in violation.
e. Date that proper written notice to vacate was given to the tenant.
f. In summary, state specifically what you are pleading for:
Example: I am pleading for possession of property and back rent in the amount of $__________________, plus court cost.
NOTE: NEVER ACCEPT FUTURE RENT AFTER THE SUIT IS FILED. IF YOU ACCEPT BACK RENT AFTER THE SUIT IS FILED. BE SURE TENANT IS TOLD THAT YOU ARE PROCEEDING WITH THE EVICTION SUIT.
Evictions may be dismissed ONLY in open court or by written request. We encourage you as agent or landlord to use the MOTION TO DISMISS included in this packet.
If you have additional PROCEDURAL question, please contact this office at (806) 757-2476.
NO LEGAL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED BY THIS OFFICE.
HERMIE ZAPATA – DEPUTY CLERK
SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO:
JUDGE KAREN DAVIS
P.O. BOX 217
ABERNATHY, TEXAS 79311