INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR FILING SMALL CLAIMS/DEBT CLAIMS CASES IN JUSTICE COURT

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1 JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRECINCT FAX INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR FILING SMALL CLAIMS/DEBT CLAIMS CASES IN JUSTICE COURT PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING THE PETITION 1. The amount of debtor damages or personal property for which may be sued for in a Justice Court is limited to damages that do not exceed $10, In all civil suits, the defendant has the right to be sued in the County and Precinct in which he resides. Below are exceptions to this rule. However, should there be a motion by a defendant to transfer venue, please be advised that after the motion is made, a hearing shall be set 45 days after motion is filed. 3. It is your burden as a plaintiff and it is important that you understand that for any potential judgment you may receive to be valid, it is necessary for you to sue the defendant in their proper legal capacity, of which there are typically three: A. Personally: Where an individual is responsible to you for damage he may have caused you as an individual. B. Proprietor or Partnership: A business that is not incorporated but does have on file with the County Clerk, an assumed name, e.g. John Smith DBA Greenhouse Supplies. It is also possible an incorporated entity to have an assumed name, e.g. Greenhouse, Inc. DBA Greenhouse Supplies. C. Corporation: The business which has allegedly caused you damage is incorporated and therefore it is necessary to know the individual s name who is able to accept service on behalf of the corporation. (The authorized agent for service would be listed with the Secretary of State whose phone number is ) e.g. Greenhouse, Inc., Serve: John Doe. 4. This court will give you a receipt showing your case number and a phone number so you may call in periodically to determine the progress of your case. IT IS OF THE UPMOST IMPORTANCE TO USE YOUR CASE NUMBER WHEN CALLING OR TRANSACTING BUSINESS WITH THIS COURT.

2 5. When you have completed the petition stating the facts and circumstances of your suit, a citation along with a copy of your petition will be served to defendant notifying him/her that a suit has been filed against him/her in this court. 6. The citation will order the defendant to answer by the end of the 14 th day after the day the defendant was served with the citation and petition. If he/she fails to do so, you then become eligible for a default judgment up until the time the answer is filed. 7. If the defendant answers the suit, this court will notify both parties by mail as to the trial date. The trial date will be approximately 45 days from the date the defendant answered the suit. We discourage motion for continuance. However, ANY REQUESTS FOR CONTINUANCE MUST BE IN PROPER FORM AND IN A TIMELY MANNER. File motions at least 5 working days prior to the trial date: to wit: written request supported by an affidavit: YOU MUST PROVIDE US WITH YOUR DAYTIME AND HOME PHONE NUMBER AND ANY CHANGES IN YOUR ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER. 8. If you have witnesses to your suit who will not come to court voluntarily, you may ask this court to subpoena those individuals prior to trial. Allow at least two weeks for service of a subpoena. NOTORIZED STATEMENTS FROM INDIVIDUALS ARE OF LITTLE VALUE. Personal appearance and testimony is much more beneficial. 9. With respect to the trial itself, all legal rules of evidence and procedure apply in Justice Court Suits. With that statement, I suggest that if one party has an attorney, their other party may be well advised to secure one. However, the legislative intent relative to the creation of this court was not only to be one in law, but also to be one in equity. Therefore, the Court will assure both the plaintiff and the defendant that all facts will be solicited and decision rendered to the evidence which is present in the court. Corporation may be represented by an employee, owner, officer or partner of the entity who is not an attorney; or a representation by an attorney. 10. This court does not collect the judgment for you, nor can we force the defendant to pay the judgment. If you receive a judgment for your claim against the defendant, you may request an Abstract of Judgment and/or Writ of Execution to help you in your collection of this judgment. An Abstract of Judgment puts a lien on any real property the defendant my own in particular county where the Abstract is recorded. This can be obtained the same day the judgment has been signed. THE WRIT OF EXECUTION may be obtained thirty days after the judgment has been signed. This document authorizes the Sheriff or Constable to seize any assets belonging to the defendant that are subject to this writ. Those assets are then auctioned at a public sale and those proceeds are applied to the judgment.

3 A WRIT OF GARNISHMENT is also available thirty days after a final judgment has been entered. This Garnishment proceeding is a separate suit wherein you are the plaintiff and the defendant s bank becomes the defendant. You are actually suing the bank in which the original defendant has his/her bank account. You are warning the said bank to freeze the monetary assets of his/her bank account and to appear and make answer to the garnishment suit. An attorney, in my opinion, is required. 11. Please understand that as a Plaintiff, you have the burden of proof to show by the weight of the evidence that the defendant you are suing is the proximate cause of your damages in the capacity which the defendant is sued. All damages and evidence necessary to meet your burden should all be available AT THE TIME OF FILING AND NOT LATER THAN THE DATE OF TRIAL. If you have any other procedural questions, please contact this office and we will try to answer them. NOTE DO NOT ASK TO SPEAK TO THE JUDGE. The judge cannot listen to any portion of your case and then actually hear the case upon trial. Any question should be directed to the clerks and if there is a problem, this will be addressed to the Judge by the clerks. ANY LEGAL QUESTION MAY NOT BE ANSWERED BY THIS COURT.

4 SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR JUSTICE COURT CASES Filing Fees IF the Defendant lives in Matagorda County: Filing Fee $ ***Service Fee $ Total $ ***If the Defendant lives out of Matagorda County the above Service Fee may be different in another county. Please have two Money Orders: One money order made out to JP1 for $41.00 and the other money order made payable to the person who will be serving the citation, in the amount of their civil service fee. Please call that county and get their address and phone number and civil service fee. Other fees that may apply to Justice Court Cases: Jury Fee $ Subpoena $ Abstract of Judgment $ 5.00 Writ of Execution $ Writ of Garnishment $ Writ of Possession $ Appeal Transcript Fee $ Payments accepted: Cash (exact amount) Money order (exact amount) Credit Card (www.certifiedpayments.net, , Bureau #see attached) Rev. 7/2013

5 MATAGORDA COUNTY JUSTICE OF THE PEACE: Jeannette Bell Justice of the Peace, Pct th St. Room 201 Matagorda County Courthouse Bay City, Texas Fax: Mon-Fri 8:00 am 5:00 pm Closed Noon to 1pm Credit Card Bureau Code: Suzan L. Thompson Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 P. O. Box 656 Matagorda, Texas Fax: Mon-Thurs 7:00 am 5:00 pm Closed Fridays Credit Card Bureau Code: Jerry W. Purvis Justice of the Peace, Pct Commerce Street Palacios, Texas Fax: Mon-Thurs: 7:30 am-5:30pm Closed Fridays Credit Card Bureau Code: Mark Finlay Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4 P. O. Box 508 (Next to Community Center) Markham, Texas Fax: Mon-Fri 8:30 am 4:30 pm Credit Card Bureau Code: Ray Taggart Justice of the Peace, Pct FM 457 (Sargent, TX) Bay City, Texas Fax same as above Mon-Thurs: 8:00 am NOON 6:30 pm 7:30 pm Fridays: 11:00 am 3:00 pm Credit Card Bureau Code:

6 PLAINTIFF INFORMATION SMALL CLAIMS OR DEBT CLAIMS CASES IN JUSTICE COURT 1. It is your duty to provide correct address or location where service of citation may be obtained by the Sheriff or Constable. 2. When you are filing in Justice Court, you are only making an allegation that you should recover from the Defendant. 3. You should assume at the time you file that the defendant will contest your allegation. 4. You should properly prepare your case for trial. 5. You should remember that hearsay evidence is inadmissible and cannot be used if objected to by the defendant. Examples of hearsay evidence are affidavits, garage estimate, police reports and what other people orally said. 6. If witnesses are required, you may subpoena them to Court by asking for a subpoena and paying the required fee. The subpoena should be requested several days prior to trial. 7. After you present your case at the trial as to your right to recover, the defendant then presents his defense to your claim and explains why you should not recover. 8. After both plaintiff and defendant have rested their case, the Court will enter a judgment that the plaintiff recovers from the defendant all, or part, or none. 9. If you recover a judgment the defendant has twenty one (21) days in which to appeal to the County Court. 10. Should the Court rule that you recover nothing, you must appeal the ruling within twenty one (21) days or your right to recover is lost forever. 11. If the defendant does not appeal you may file an abstract, execution, or garnishment writ as after judgment remedies. 12. If you obtain final judgment you may file an abstract, execution or garnishment writ as after judgment remedies. 13. An abstract judgment may be issued on the date of the judgment. 14. A Writ of Execution may be issued after thirty days from date of judgment. 15. A Writ of Garnishment suit may be filed after thirty days from date of judgment.

7 PETITION: SMALL CLAIMS CASE CASE NO. In the Justice Court, Precinct, Matagorda County, Texas PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT(S): Defendant(s) address: COMPLAINT: The basis for the claim which entitles the plaintiff to seek relief against the defendant is: RELIEF: Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $, and/or return of personal property as described as follows (be specific):, which has a value of $. Additionally, plaintiff seeks the following: ) SERVICE OF CITATION: Service is requested on defendant(s) by personal service at home or work or by alternative service as allowed by the Texas Justice Court Rules of Court. Other addresses where the defendant(s) may be served are: If you wish to give your consent for the answer and any other motions or pleadings to be sent to your address, please check this box, and provide your valid address: Petitioner s Printed Name Signature of Plaintiff or Attorney Date DEFENDANT(S) INFORMATION (if known) DATE OF BIRTH: *LAST 3 NUMBERS OF DRIVER LICENSE: Address of Plaintiff s Attorney, if any, or Plaintiff if none City State Zip *LAST 3 NUMBERS OF SOCIAL SECURITY: *DEFENDANT S PHONE NUMBER: Phone & Fax No. of Plaintiff s Attorney, if any, or Plaintiff if none Small Claim Petition 7/2013 page 1 of 2

8 SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO be before me this day of,. NOTARY/COURT CLERK/JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PCT. 1, MATAGORDA COUNTY, TEXAS Page 2 of 2

9 PETITION: DEBT CLAIM CASE CASE NO. In the Justice Court, Precinct, Matagorda County, Texas PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT(S): Defendant(s) address: COMPLAINT: The basis for the claim which entitles the plaintiff to seek relief against the defendant is: RELIEF: Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $. SERVICE OF CITATION: Service is requested on defendants by personal service at home or work or by alternative service as allowed by the Rules of Practice in Justice Courts. Other addresses where the defendant(s) may be served are: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (CASE BASED ON CREDIT CARD, REVOLVING ACCOUNT, OR OPEN ACCOUNT): Account/Credit Card Name: Account Number (may be masked): Date of Issue/Origination: Date of Charge-Off/Breach: Amount Owed $ as of. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (CASE BASED ON PROMISSORY NOTE OR OTHER PROMISE TO PAY PERSONAL OR BUSINESS LOAN): Date/Amount of Original Loan:, $ Repayment Accelerated? Date Final Payment Due: Amount Due on Final Payment Date $ Amount Due $ as of. ONGOING INTEREST: Plaintiff does, or does not seek ongoing interest. If so, this interest is based on the following contractual/statutory reason: and should be at %. $ of interest was due as of. ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIM: Plaintiff was, or, was not assigned or otherwise transferred this claim. If so, the original claimant/creditor was, subsequent holders were, and the date the case was assigned/transferred to plaintiff was. If you wish to give your consent for the answer and any other motions or pleadings to be sent to your address, please, check this box, and provide your valid address: Petitioner s Printed Name Signature of Plaintiff or Attorney Date Address of Plaintiff s Attorney, if any, or Plaintiff if none Page 1 of 2

10 DEFENDANT(S) INFORMATION (if known) DATE OF BIRTH: City State Zip *LAST 3 NUMBERS OF DRIVER S LICENSE: *LAST 3 NUMBERS OF SOCIAL SECURITY: Phone & Fax No. of Plaintiff s Attorney, if any, or Plaintiff if none *DEFENDANT S PHONE NUMBER: SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO be before me this day of,. NOTARY/COURT CLERK/JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PCT. 1, MATAGORDA COUNTY, TEXAS Debt Claim Petition 7/2013 page 2 of 2

11 CAUSE # IN THE JUSTICE COURT VS. PRECINCT MATAGORDA COUNTY, TEXAS MOTION AND ORDER FOR SERVICE UNDER RULE 536" NOW COMES, Plaintiff in the above entitled and numbered cause and says that in this suit, it is impractical to secure personal service upon this Defendant, because of the irregularity of the schedule of said Defendant, there is no way for Deputy or Constable to determine such times in order to be able to serve Defendant personally. Plaintiff hereby petitions the Court that service on Defendant be obtained by delivering a copy of the citation to anyone over the age of 16 years at Defendant s usual place of abode at OR Defendant s place of business at OR in any other manner which will be reasonably effective to give the Defendant notice of this suit. Signed this day of,. Plaintiff ORDER MOTION GRANTED this day of,, and SUBSTITUTED SERVICE OF CITATION SO AUTHORIZED AND ORDERED. NOTARY/COURT CLERK/JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PCT., MATAGORDA COUNTY, TEXAS

12 CAUSE NO., Plaintiff vs. ET AL, Defendant In the Justice Court Pct. Matagorda County, Texas NON - MILITARY AFFIDAVIT STATE OF TEXAS COUNTY OF MATAGORDA BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared the undersigned affiant, who, being by me duly sworn, on oath stated: I am the Plaintiff / attorney for plaintiff in the above entitled and numbered cause. I am capable to making this affidavit. The facts stated in this affidavit are within my personal knowledge and are true and correct., Defendant, is not in the military., Plaintiff Signed and sworn to this the day of,. Notary Public Exp. Comm. Or Court Clerk/Justice of the Peace, Pct. Matagorda County, Texas

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