Justice Court Suits
About the Justice Court
Creation and Jurisdiction
The Justice Courts in Texas are created under Chapter 27 of the Texas
Government Code. Justice Courts have jurisdiction of civil matters in
which the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000, exclusive of
interest.Before September 1, 2007, the jurisdiction of the Justice Court was limited to claims up to $5,000.00. Justice courts also have jurisdiction of suits relating to enforcement
of a deed restriction of a residential subdivision that does not concern
a structural change to a dwelling.
The Justice Court also has jurisdiction of Eviction Cases.
Justice Courts do not have jurisdiction of suits for divorce, suits to
recover damages for slander or defamation, suits for title to land, or
suits to enforce a lien on land.
Jurisdiction is the power of the court to entertain an action, consider
the merits, and render a valid judgment.
Rules of Procedure and Evidence
Rules 523, et seq of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure govern procedures
in the Justice Courts. All rules governing the district and county courts
also govern the Justice Courts insofar as they can be applied, except
where otherwise specifically provided by law. Rule 523, Texas Rules of
The Texas Rules of Evidence govern civil proceedings in the Justice Courts.
Rule 101, Texas Rules of Evidence.
If you are representing yourself in the Justice Court, you will be required
to follow the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and the Texas Rules of Evidence.
Designation of Parties
In legal terms, the party bringing the action is called the "Plaintiff."
The one against whom the action is brought is called the "Defendant."
A corporation need not be represented by an attorney in the Justice Court in an action filed in the Justice Court on or after September 1, 2007.
Information about Justice Court Suits
This information is furnished to you to provide basic information
relative to the law governing procedures for civil cases in the Harris
County Justice Courts.
The Harris County Justices of the Peace and the Clerks of
the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice.
You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney
of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.
You have the right to a trial by a jury and to be represented
by an attorney of your choice, or to represent yourself.
Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may
be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This
information is provided for general informational purposes only and is
not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive
treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.