Justice Court Cases

Attention: Congress reinstated and permanently authorized the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, effective June 23, 2018.

Para obtener información y formularios en español, visite https://www.tjctc.org/SRL/SRL-Spanish-Forms.html.

Electronic Filing

Justice Court Case Types

Other Hearing Types

Representing Yourself

Fee Schedule

Forms

Resources

Disclaimer 


Electronic Filing

EFILETEXAS selfhelp logoIf you are representing yourself in court, you can now create and file many court forms using the eFileTexas Self-Help website. Like popular tax preparation software, you will be guided through a series of questions. Your answers will help automatically prepare your court forms. Evictions and Small Claims may be filed online with the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4. Occupational Driver License and Repair and Remedy petitions are available for printing.

Attorneys and others may electronically file court documents with eFileTexas.gov (e-filing service provider required).


Justice Court Case Types

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.

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 .

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  (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 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 (and Property Code Section 92.0563).


Other Hearing Types

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 Tenant’s Right of Reentry after Unlawful Lockout (Property Code §92.0090),

Residential Tenant’s 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.


Representing Yourself

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 Adobe Acrobat PDF at the Texas Court Help website. In addition, be aware of the following:

Help for Self-Represented Litigants

Please visit the Texas Office of Court Administration Self-Represented Litigants webpage , the Texas Justice Court Training Center webpage, and the Texas Law Library website for assistance. You may file Evictions and Small Claims online using eFile Texas Self-Help, where you will also find forms available for printing to file Occupational Driver License and Repair and Remedy cases in person or by mail.

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 State’s Public Information Department at (512) 463-5555, or e-mail to 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 agency’s 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 it may take several weeks to serve the defendant.


Fees

Denton County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4

Civil Fees

Appeal

$10

Filing Fee

$46

Jury Fee

$22

Denton County Citation Service Fee

$75

Please contact the court for additional fee information.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Please make checks payable to Denton County.

For service of citation outside of Denton County, provide a separate check or money order as well as the name and address of the serving agency.


Forms

Small Claim and Debt Claim:
Answer Adobe Acrobat PDF
Debt Claim Petition Adobe Acrobat PDF
Default Hearing Request Adobe Acrobat PDF
Small Claim or Debt Claim Appeal — Cash Adobe Acrobat PDF
Small Claim or Debt Claim Appeal — Surety Adobe Acrobat PDF
Small Claim Petition Adobe Acrobat PDF

Eviction
Eviction Appeal — Cash Adobe Acrobat PDF
Eviction Appeal — Surety Adobe Acrobat PDF
Eviction Petition Adobe Acrobat PDF
Writ of Possession Request Adobe Acrobat PDF

Repair & Remedy:
Repair & Remedy Petition Adobe Acrobat PDF

Other Forms:
Abstract Request Adobe Acrobat PDF
Deed Restriction Petition Adobe Acrobat PDF
Jury Trial Request Adobe Acrobat PDF
Notice of Nonsuit Adobe Acrobat PDF 
Postponement Request Adobe Acrobat PDF
Reentry Complaint Adobe Acrobat PDF
Release of Judgment Adobe Acrobat PDF
Restoration of Utilities Complaint Adobe Acrobat PDF
Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs or an Appeal Bond Adobe Acrobat PDF
Writ of Execution Request Adobe Acrobat PDF

Para obtener información y formularios en español, visite https://www.tjctc.org/SRL/SRL-Spanish-Forms.html.


Resources

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 – Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas 
Legal Hotline for Texans (age 60 and older or Medicare recipients

Landlord/Tenant:

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act
Texas Property Code
Rules of Civil Procedure Part V
Landlord-Tenant Legal Resources – Texas Law Help
Tenant’s Rights Handbook – Texas State Bar
Housing – Texas Law Help
Facing Foreclosure – Texas State Bar    

Small Claims and Debt Claims:

Rules of Civil Procedure Part V Adobe Acrobat PDF
Rules of Administration – Denton County Justices of the Peace Adobe Acrobat PDF
Civil Practice and Remedies Code
How to Sue in Justice Court – Texas State Bar
Consumer Law – Texas Law Help
Denton County Records Search
Denton County Law Library
Texas State Law Library

Military and Veteran Issues:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act – Texas Law Help

Rights of Owners and Operators of Stored or Booted Vehicles:

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

Self-Representation:

 

OCA:  Self-Represented Litigants

Texas Justice Court Training Center:  Self-Represented Litigants

Texas Law Library

eFile Texas Self-Help


Disclaimer

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.