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Subject: Can I sue Board Members of my HOA
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Author Messages
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 3:49 PM  
Totally Agree John, and NPS its Mr. Lolo not Ms, but its fine just further proof that people don't read every post and automatically assume their positions.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 4:06 PM  
Thanks. One thing you might want to do is hold back on using the lawyer for now. But if and when you go to small claims court, have the lawyer prepare the case and bring the lawyer with you. The HOA might be surprised to suddenly be up against a lawyer when the HOA appears in court, and it'll be too late for it to prepare anything with its own lawyer.

Two hitches with this: (1) some small claims court complaints require that you list if you're represented by counsel, and (2) the "no-contact" rule prohibits a lawyer from directing your communications with the HOA, if the HOA is represented by counsel, even if your lawyer herself isn't the one who does the speaking.

(Sidenote: I am so used to living in PC-land that I just automatically use "her" instead of "him".)
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 4:30 PM  
Thanks John, all advice well taken. My attorney has sent them an unanswered demand fir records email. So they know i have one. I requested he send them a demand certified letter, and copied me on it. I have no records he did so. So basically an ineffective email note cost me 500.00. Im considering firing him and taking him to small claims. Just frustrating.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 4:40 PM  
Your local bar association may have a mediation system that allows you to challenge lawyer fees. However, I would just ask for a copy of the original demand letter, and if he has not done it, just demand a refund.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 4:44 PM  
Thanks John, as im ONLY prepared for one battle at a time. I really sincerely appreciate all of your sound unbiased advice.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 5:04 PM  
FYI: I have asked several times, and he says it was sent but only offers me the demand email. Which in my opinion doesn't seems sincere.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 5:10 PM  
So your lawyer says he sent a certified letter but can't provide proof? That's not good. Lying is a clear violation of ethics rules.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 5:10 PM  
So your lawyer says he sent a certified letter but can't provide proof? That's not good. Lying is a clear violation of ethics rules.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:476


04/21/2019 5:18 PM  
From Title 11 Chapter 209, if it applies to your community:

"Sec. 209.005.....(n) A member of a property owners' association who is denied access to or copies of association books or records to which the member is entitled under this section may file a petition with the justice of the peace of a justice precinct in which all or part of the property that is governed by the association is located requesting relief in accordance with this subsection. "

The justice of the peace can order access or copies and can award court costs and attorney's fees to you, but there are a number of hoops you have to jump through and if you are not entitled (due to not requesting the exact right thing in the exact right way at the exact right time), then the justice of the peace can order you to pay the association's costs.

This section of the law has a lot more in it that needs to be followed. Hopefully your lawyer is following all of it and not just writing an email. Yes, it mentions certified mail.

Anyway, it may be a lot easier to petition the justice of the peace (whatever that means) for this one thing rather than proving the other lawsuit(s). Gotta start somewhere.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 5:21 PM  
Based on Jeff's post, if your lawyer didn't send a certified letter, then that could amount to malpractice, since not sending a certified letter could result in your noncompliance with the steps needed to get the records. That's serious (to a lawyer) and giving you a refund is the least of your lawyer's concerns in that case.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 6:00 PM  
Thanks John and Jeff, correct i have asked and have email copies of my request for the letter sent, and nothing has been produce. A certified letter would have come with a receipt. He has yet to produce either. So i guess i need to pursue this in small claims court. I paid him 500$.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 6:04 PM  
I would just demand a refund and mention the word malpractice, and mention raising it with the bar association (there is likely a way to ask the bar association to mediate between you both). No need to sue over this- hopefully.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/21/2019 6:05 PM  
May I point out since a HOA is incorporated it has to be represented in court by a lawyer... The HOA can't go to court without one...

Former HOA President
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 6:17 PM  
LoloJ, assertions that HOAs must be represented by lawyers are false because state laws that require that corporations have counsel in court proceedings often exclude small claims court.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/21/2019 6:30 PM  
I can't listen to you any more... I'd have John up for ethics charges if he was my lawyer... He would never be as would have fired him the 1st meeting.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1750


04/21/2019 6:30 PM  
Posted By LoloJ on 04/21/2019 4:30 PM
Thanks John, all advice well taken. My attorney has sent them an unanswered demand fir records email. So they know i have one. I requested he send them a demand certified letter, and copied me on it. I have no records he did so. So basically an ineffective email note cost me 500.00. Im considering firing him and taking him to small claims. Just frustrating.


A competent attorney's /first/ communication with an opposing party on many issues should not be a demand letter. If the email from the attorney remains unanswered, then I expect this attorney will gradually elevate the tone, including sending a hard copy, certified mail.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/21/2019 6:36 PM  
LoloJ, if you’re in Texas, you would sue in “justice court”, which serves as small claims court in Texas. Corporations and other entities do NOT need to have lawyers to represent them in this court. This is consistent with many other states, which expressly do not require corporations and other entities to be represented by counsel in small claims court.

Anyone who says that corporations and other entities have to be represented by counsel in court is either not knowledgeable or is willfully giving wrong guidance, since this rule does not usually apply in small claims courts and you’ve clearly stated that you want to sue in small claims court.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 6:42 PM  
Thanks John,

Well received.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 6:44 PM  
"I can't listen to you any more... I'd have John up for ethics charges if he was my lawyer... He would never be as would have fired him the 1st meeting.'

Does that mean you are finally going away!?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3263


04/21/2019 7:02 PM  

I've been in plenty of situations where I or a client had only good intentions, but the other side saw "Lawyer" and assumed the worst


Well, many unpaid.... HOA volunteers see "lawyer" and think, I'm way over my head and this lawyer obviously knows a heck of a lot more than me about law because I'm not a lawyer. When you dont know what to do, you hire another lawyer to talk to the other lawyer.
AugustinD


Posts:1750


04/21/2019 7:05 PM  
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/21/2019 4:06 PM
Thanks. One thing you might want to do is hold back on using the lawyer for now. But if and when you go to small claims court, have the lawyer prepare the case and bring the lawyer with you. The HOA might be surprised to suddenly be up against a lawyer when the HOA appears in court, and it'll be too late for it to prepare anything with its own lawyer.


I think this counsel is based on too many assumptions to have any value. With $400k+ in reserves, I think it is highly likely that this Texas HOA has insurance. Unless the Board and the HOA manager are fools, the first actions the HOA will take are to notify (1) the HOA attorney and (2) the HOA's insurer. The HOA's insurer will expect that a licensed attorney handle this. Doing anything else makes it less likely the insurer will handle the claim as it proceeds and possibly elevates. This is because insurance contracts require the insured to notify the insurer the instant there is a threat of legal action, precisely so the matter is handled as legally correctly as possible.

I would also not give advice on how to enforce any covenant on records inspections without first reviewing what LoloJ's HOA's covenants say about enforcement. Judges want to see HOA members and boards follow the Declaration. If LoloJ is not following the HOa's covenants on enforcement, then this will prejudice the judge against him. It's incredibly expensive to the taxpayer to take a dispute to court. The judges are obliged to keep people out and can and will throw out a dispute if a HOA member is not following the rules on covenant enforcement.

So far, I am not sure LoloJ even knows what a Declaration of Covenants is. All LoloJ says is that his HOA's, "covenant is the same as others." Covenants on records and enforcement can vary a great deal from one HOA to another.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 7:20 PM  
I am only listening to one person - John.

AugustineD, Although I appreciate you taking the time to comment, I don't appreciate your narcissist , you may move along with Melissa. I have studied every link on our site: The covenant is our By-Laws. Just because I don't indulge into every single comment asked, doesn't mean I am not aware what I am up against.


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AugustinD


Posts:1750


04/21/2019 7:20 PM  
Posted By LoloJ on 04/20/2019 10:11 AM
CI have ask for records , receipts, vendor names etc, and I'm still waiting as they have gone silent.


LoloJ, see https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.209.htm , Section 209.005 . It is the statute that details how HOA members and HOAs are supposed to handle records requests. You have to follow this procedure, and any other details regarding records requests from your HOA's Declaration, exactly. Make a checklist of the steps. Log the date when each step is completed. Document everything. Do not delete emails. If you jump the gun, skipping the statute's steps, and just file in court, then the chances of a judge ordering you to pay the HOA's attorney's fees are good.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/21/2019 7:25 PM  
Who here believes JohnS111 is even a lawyer? Even if he were, he's giving such bad legal advice it raises serious ethic questions. If he has won a case, it sounds like they all have been by default. Meaning the other party probably never responded. Based on a few advice statements, it almost sounds like the HOA had no idea the court case was happening. So he takes that as "Win". That is VERY questionable behavior to me...

I am NOT a lawyer nor do I pretend to be. Yes, I have taken legal courses in college. So I know how the law works. I am not interested in the practice of law. It's why I pay someone to do it for me or my HOA. It's also why know that something doesn't pass the smell test with JohnS111 advice. Too much doesn't follow proper legal processes. Plus if he's not telling his client ramifications of their lawsuit intentions, then they are ethically questionable.

I've hired plenty of lawyers in my time and check for red flags. Red Flag # 1... Intent on a lawsuit and giving no other options. #2... Telling me they will do whatever option I ask them to do. #3 - Not reviewed documentation BEFORE giving advice. I brought our documents to our lawyer for them to review BEFORE we talked options. Plus choose the RIGHT type of lawyer and court needed. A HOA does NOT take a Real Estate lawyer.

From now on I am out of this... Can't take the painful bad legal advice given to an individual sucking it up like candy. There's a point in life you got to go WTH that doesn't sound right? If you haven't thought that yet, then your going to get the "H" in that statement and regret it. Good luck...

Former HOA President
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 7:28 PM  
Thanks AugustineD ,
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 7:29 PM  
I have always heard that 99% of all lawyers ruin it for the 1% of the good ones.

Lolo,
If you only care what your john says take this to a private conversation. I am tired of watching this go round and round.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 7:34 PM  
Another to quick note to ponder. How many good lawyers do you see giving advice on free blog sites? I already know the answer. It ain't many and probably closer to none.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/21/2019 7:35 PM  
But, it would be great to get a summary in a few months of what happened.

Nutty stuff.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 7:45 PM  
My apologies. Let me rephrased my point. JOHN'S answer in regards to the filing in small claims court aligns with my thought process in how i should proceed. Its not the first case i have taken to small claims, but definitely the most serious one which could have a rippling effect. Which is why i came here seeking advice and mostly found comments of anger and disrespect. Being a black man in Anerica I've seen enough. I do appreciate those who produced a well thought out reply. You've given me your time and for that i am grateful. Thanks!
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 7:52 PM  
Lolo,
So now that we are not in agreement with you we are Racists. I think you need to GOGO. We give you free advice and you give us that. If you would have started with that we all could have saved our opinion for someone with an open mind.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 7:59 PM  
Mark...WOW! Where did you pull that from? Thanks to you we now know who is ...
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 8:16 PM  
Gogo,
Did you hear anyone mention race on this thread? I did not till you threw that bomb out. You have gotten over 80 replies. Do you know the race of any of us? I am betting you have no idea. I don't either and to tell you the truth I could care less. I worry more about what you say than who you are. What I hate which is a strong word but I think it fits here is when people try to stop the dialog by using that crap to get their way.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 8:24 PM  
Mark: well now we know that " Black man AMERICA " is your trigger words.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/21/2019 8:27 PM  
Be careful Mark... We will all be going to small claims court with John as his lawyer... Scary... Boo! I am a Lawyer!

Former HOA President
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 8:42 PM  
Melissa,
I was trying to think of something funny to say to this character. It is clear that he only wants to hear what he thinks he already knows. No amount of common sense is going to crack him. I get that but I hate when race is brought into a reasonable discussion without merit.

we need to give him lees of our attention and concentrate on people who are open to hearing our opinions.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 8:54 PM  
Melissa? Wow! They say if you throw a stone in the middle of a pack of running dogs, the one that's hit - will scream! Luckily for me, i saved two stones.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/21/2019 9:02 PM  
You can not save everyone from their own head... It looks like this one will need a kick instead. With Johns great lawyer skills think the court system just might....

Former HOA President
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/21/2019 9:13 PM  
Wow! Melissa u only have the worst to say about us. Enough!!! Let me guess, overweight, DIVORCE, hair shoulders length, two friends but only one true friend, can't remember the last time she's been laid, $2100 in the bank, age 53, hate her job and ex husband, and EVERYONE who doesn't agree with her.

Im done here
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:347


04/21/2019 9:22 PM  
GogoJ,
Seems like the real you is coming out tonight. You forgot to call Melissa a White Racist. I am 59 years old and over my years I have found that when people make generalizations they are usually generally wrong.

I guess since you said you are done here you won't see this. You won't be missed by many and not at all by some.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 2:50 AM  
I have ignored the posts that attack, and posters who attack, but I did catch, out of the corner of my eye, disagreement with my view that HOAs can go to small claims court in Texas without a lawyer.

Anyone who thinks that a HOA must have a lawyer in small claims court in Texas (“justice court”) is welcome to post a statute that says so.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 4:21 AM  
For the Texas statute, please see 27.031(d), which states that a corporation need not be represented by an attorney in justice court:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.27.htm

As one poster above (not Melissa) pointed out, a HOA could run to its lawyer when sued, even in small claims court, but statements that a HOA has to be represented by a lawyer in court are patently false, as per this statute.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


04/22/2019 4:26 AM  
That's not the point... A HOA is going to consult a lawyer anyways. If your suing for 10K it isn't even a small claims case. If your suing in small claims, then your either doing something kind of sneaky or the HOA radar isn't even turned on. The court can ONLY make one WHOLE. There's been no proven damages to be reimbursed for. Just grabbed a number out of the air. Plus individual board members can't be sued in this situation.

So done with this post...

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3263


04/22/2019 4:47 AM  
If your suing for 10K it isn't even a small claims case.


Not every small claims court is the same. Dont forget she is in a different state than you.

Alabama - $6k limit
Texas - $10k limit
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 5:09 AM  
SteveM9 is correct.

It’s so funny how other people in this board make assertions about the law, are shown to be wrong and then try to change their arguments. False statement are false statements, period. I commend the original poster for staying a true gentleman throughout this.
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 6:26 AM  
Posted By LoloJ on 04/21/2019 8:24 PM
Mark: well now we know that " Black man AMERICA " is your trigger words.





ARE


illiterate to boot
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 6:28 AM  
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/22/2019 2:50 AM
I have ignored the posts that attack, and posters who attack, but I did catch, out of the corner of my eye, disagreement with my view that HOAs can go to small claims court in Texas without a lawyer.

Anyone who thinks that a HOA must have a lawyer in small claims court in Texas (“justice court”) is welcome to post a statute that says so.




a corporation needs an attorney

an unincorporated HOA would not
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 6:29 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 04/21/2019 8:42 PM
Melissa,
I was trying to think of something funny to say to this character. It is clear that he only wants to hear what he thinks he already knows. No amount of common sense is going to crack him. I get that but I hate when race is brought into a reasonable discussion without merit.

we need to give him lees of our attention and concentrate on people who are open to hearing our opinions.





above two posts funny enough ?
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 6:31 AM  
RoyalP, in Texas small claims court, a HOA, corporation or not, is not required to be represented by counsel. Please see the Texas statute that I posted. The HOA may decide to bring in counsel anyway, but it's not required to.
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 6:35 AM  
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/22/2019 6:31 AM
RoyalP, in Texas small claims court, a HOA, corporation or not, is not required to be represented by counsel. Please see the Texas statute that I posted. The HOA may decide to bring in counsel anyway, but it's not required to.





my advice is truly worth what i charge

{zero and 00/100 dollars}
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 6:42 AM  
GOVERNMENT CODE


TITLE 2. JUDICIAL BRANCH


SUBTITLE A. COURTS


CHAPTER 27. JUSTICE COURTS



SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



Sec. 27.001. BOND. Each justice of the peace must give a bond payable to the county judge, in an amount of not more than $5,000, and conditioned that the justice will:

(1) faithfully and impartially discharge the duties required by law; and

(2) promptly pay to the entitled party all money that comes into the justice's hands during the term of office.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.002. COMMISSION; NOTARY. Each justice of the peace shall be commissioned as justice of the peace of the applicable precinct and ex officio notary public of the county.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.003. EFFECT OF PRECINCT BOUNDARY CHANGES. A person who has served as justice of the peace of a precinct for 10 or more consecutive years preceding a change in boundaries of the precinct is not ineligible for reelection in the precinct because of residence outside the precinct as long as the justice's residence is within the boundaries of the precinct as they existed before the change.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.004. RECORDS AND OTHER PROPERTY. (a) Each justice shall arrange and safely keep all dockets, books, and papers transmitted to the justice by the justice's predecessors in office, and all papers filed in a case in justice court, subject to the public access requirements prescribed by Rule 12, Rules of Judicial Administration.

(a-1) If a person vacates the office of justice of the peace, the person shall transfer all court records, documents, property, and unfinished business to the person's successor on the date the successor takes office. After the transfer, the business of the office must be completed as if the successor had begun the business.

(b) A person who has possession of dockets, books, or papers belonging to the office of any justice of the peace shall deliver them to the justice on demand. If the person refuses to deliver them, on a motion supported by an affidavit, the person may be attached and imprisoned by the order of the county judge until the person makes delivery. The county judge may issue the order in termtime or vacation. The person against whom the motion is made must be given three days' notice of the motion before the person may be attached.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 711 (S.B. 436), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.




Sec. 27.005. EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS. (a) For purposes of removal under Chapter 87, Local Government Code, "incompetency" in the case of a justice of the peace includes the failure of the justice to successfully complete:

(1) within one year after the date the justice is first elected, an 80-hour course in the performance of the justice's duties; and

(2) each following year, a 20-hour course in the performance of the justice's duties, including not less than 10 hours of instruction regarding substantive, procedural, and evidentiary law in civil matters.

(b) The courses may be completed in an accredited state-supported school of higher education.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 802, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 147, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 5.01(a), eff. January 1, 2012.




Sec. 27.006. COLLECTING DEBT FOR ANOTHER; OFFENSE. (a) A justice commits an offense if the justice:

(1) accepts for collection or undertakes the collection of a claim for a debt for another, unless the justice acts under a law that prescribes the duties of the justice; or

(2) accepts compensation not prescribed by law for accepting for collection or undertaking the collection of a claim for debt for another.

(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $500.

(c) In addition to the fine, the justice may be removed from office.

(d) This section does not prohibit a justice who is authorized by law to act for others in the collection of debts from undertaking to collect a debt for another if the amount of the debt is beyond the jurisdiction of the justice court.


Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.




SUBCHAPTER B. JURISDICTION AND POWERS



Sec. 27.031. JURISDICTION. (a) In addition to the jurisdiction and powers provided by the constitution and other law, the justice court has original jurisdiction of:

(1) civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in the district or county court and in which the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000, exclusive of interest;

(2) cases of forcible entry and detainer;

(3) foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property in cases in which the amount in controversy is otherwise within the justice court's jurisdiction; and

(4) cases arising under Chapter 707, Transportation Code, outside a municipality's territorial limits.

(b) A justice court does not have jurisdiction of:

(1) a suit in behalf of the state to recover a penalty, forfeiture, or escheat;

(2) a suit for divorce;

(3) a suit to recover damages for slander or defamation of character;

(4) a suit for trial of title to land; or

(5) a suit for the enforcement of a lien on land.

(c) A justice court has concurrent jurisdiction with a municipal court in cases that arise in the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction and that arise under an ordinance of the municipality applicable to the extraterritorial jurisdiction under Section 216.902, Local Government Code.

(d) A corporation need not be represented by an attorney in justice court.

(e) A justice court has concurrent jurisdiction with a district court and a municipal court of record over expunction proceedings relating to the arrest of a person for an offense punishable by fine only.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 745, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 776, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 383 (S.B. 618), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612 (H.B. 413), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (S.B. 1119), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.001(18), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 557), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2017.




Sec. 27.032. EXTRAORDINARY REMEDIES. A justice of the peace may issue writs of attachment, garnishment, and sequestration within the justice's jurisdiction in the same manner as judges and clerks of the district and county courts.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.033. OTHER POWERS. A justice of the peace may:

(1) exercise jurisdiction over other matters cognizable before a justice of the peace under any law of this state; and

(2) proceed with all unfinished business of the office as if the business had been originally begun before that justice.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.034. DEED RESTRICTION JURISDICTION. (a) A justice court has jurisdiction of suits relating to enforcement of a deed restriction of a residential subdivision that does not concern a structural change to a dwelling.

(b) The petitioner in a dispute concerning a deed restriction shall present as evidence at the first hearing in the dispute:

(1) a certified copy of the deed or other document that establishes the restriction on the property; and

(2) other documents necessary to demonstrate that the restriction applies to the property in dispute.

(c) In a dispute concerning a deed restriction, a justice of the peace may order any alternative method of dispute resolution provided by Title 7, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(d) The jurisdiction provided by this section is concurrent with the jurisdiction of the district court.

(e) A justice court has jurisdiction of suits under this section regardless of the amount in controversy.

(f) In a dispute concerning a deed restriction, a justice of the peace may consolidate disputes relating to the same issues and parties.

(g) An appeal under this section is by trial de novo.

(h) In this section, "deed restriction" means one or more restrictive covenants contained or incorporated by reference in a properly recorded deed, map, plat, replat, declaration, or other instrument filed in the real property records, map records, or deed records of the county in which the property is located.

(i) In this section, a "dwelling" does not include an external structure such as a carport, fence, storage building, or unattached garage.

(j) Nothing in this section authorizes a justice of the peace to grant a writ of injunction.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. May 19, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 672, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.




SUBCHAPTER C. CONDUCTING COURT AND INQUESTS



Sec. 27.051. TERMS OF COURT; PLACE FOR HOLDING COURT. (a) Each justice shall hold a term of court for civil business once each month and may transact such business out of termtime as is authorized by law.

(b) Each justice shall hold the regular term of court at the justice's office at times prescribed by the commissioners court. The commissioners court shall set the time and place for holding justice court.

(c) A justice may hold court from day to day until all business is disposed of or may adjourn the court or trial of a case to a particular day.

(d) If the regular term does not begin on the day set by law, the court is considered adjourned until its next regular term.

(e) If the justice precinct in which the courthouse is located has more than 75,000 inhabitants, the commissioners court shall provide and furnish a suitable place in the courthouse for the justice of that precinct to hold court.

(f) A justice of the peace of a precinct in a county with a population of less than 30,000 may hold court in the county courthouse or another facility provided under Section 292.002(a), Local Government Code, for that purpose. If requested by the justice, the commissioners court of the county may provide and furnish a suitable place in the courthouse or another facility provided under Section 292.002(a), Local Government Code, for the justice to hold court.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1223, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 825, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.




Sec. 27.052. VACANCY OR ABSENCE. If the office of justice of the peace is vacant in a precinct or if the justice is absent or unable or unwilling to perform his duties, the nearest justice in the county may temporarily perform the duties of the office.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.




Sec. 27.054. EXCHANGE OF BENCHES. (a) A justice of the peace may hold court for any other justice in any county at the request of that justice.

(b) The justices of any county may exchange benches for a period not to exceed five days if they consider it expedient.

(c) A justice who exchanges benches with another justice is not entitled to receive compensation from the commissioners court of the county in which the regular justice serves.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1164 (H.B. 3441), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.




Sec. 27.0545. EXCHANGE OF BENCHES: INQUESTS. (a) If a justice of the peace or the county judge of a county to which Subchapter A, Chapter 49, Code of Criminal Procedure, applies is not available to conduct an inquest into a person's death occurring in the county, the justice of the peace of the precinct in which the death occurred or the county judge may request a justice of the peace of another county to which that subchapter applies to conduct the inquest.

(b) A justice of the peace who on request conducts an inquest under this section shall, not later than the fifth day after the date the inquest is initiated, transfer all information related to the inquest to the justice of the peace of the precinct in which the death occurred for final disposition of the matter.

(c) A justice of the peace who conducts an inquest under this section is not entitled to receive from the commissioners court of the county in which the death occurred any compensation, other than mileage, for conducting the inquest.


Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 84 (H.B. 799), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.




Sec. 27.055. SPECIAL AND TEMPORARY JUSTICES. (a) If a justice of the peace is disqualified from a civil case, is sick, or is absent from the precinct, the parties may agree on a person to try the case. If the parties fail to agree at the first term of the court after service is perfected, the county judge shall, on application of the justice or either party, appoint a qualified person to try the case. The disqualification, absence, or illness of the justice and the selection by agreement or appointment of another person to try the case shall be noted on the docket of the justice.

(b) If a justice is temporarily unable to perform official duties because of absence, recusal, illness, injury, or other disability, the county judge, on the judge's own motion or at the request of the justice of the peace, may appoint a qualified person to serve as temporary justice for the duration of the absence of the justice of the peace from the bench. The commissioners court shall compensate the temporary justice by the day, week, or month in an amount equal to the compensation of the regular justice. A temporary justice has all the rights and powers of the justice of the peace while serving in that capacity but may not make personnel decisions about, or significant changes in, the justice of the peace's office.

(c) In Subsections (b) and (f), "qualified person" means a person who has served as a justice of the peace for not less than 4 1/2 years and who has not been convicted of a criminal offense that involves moral turpitude.

(d) A person appointed under Subsection (b) or (f) may reside in a county other than the county in which the person is appointed as a temporary justice of the peace.

(e) The county judge may appoint any qualified voter under Section 11.002, Election Code, to serve as a temporary justice of the peace if the judge cannot find a qualified person who agrees to serve under Subsection (b) or (f).

(f) In a county that has a population of more than 800,000 and that has not more than five justices of the peace, the county judge may appoint a qualified person to serve as a temporary justice of the peace to hold court when necessary to dispose of accumulated business in the precinct. The county judge may designate the local administrative statutory county court judge to act on behalf of the county judge in making the appointment under this subsection.

(g) This subsection applies to a county with a population of at least 120,000 but not more than 130,000, with territory less than 940 square miles that includes a state park, and with not more than two justice precincts provided that at least one of the precincts contains all or part of a municipality with a population of at least 190,000 but not more than 200,000. The county judge of a county to which this subsection applies may appoint a qualified person to serve as a temporary justice of the peace for the precinct within which a municipality or part of a municipality is located to hold court and perform the duties of the justice when necessary to dispose of accumulated business in the precinct.


Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 716, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1326 (H.B. 3519), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1182 (S.B. 1139), Sec. 7.01, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 236 (H.B. 431), Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 2017.




Sec. 27.056. CLERK. (a) Each justice of the peace may designate one or more persons to serve as clerk of the justice court.

(b) The clerk may administer oaths and affidavits and make certificates and affix the court's seal to those certificates.

(c) The clerk shall:

(1) maintain central docket records for all cases filed in the justice court;

(2) maintain an index of all court judgments for cases arising in the justice court; and

(3) perform the other duties required by law and assist the judge in handling matters before the court.


Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 802, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 96, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.




Sec. 27.057. CITATION. A clerk of a justice court may issue citation in the manner provided for justices of the peace by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.


Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 802, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.




Sec. 27.058. CIVIL DOCKET. Information in the civil docket of a justice of the peace may be processed and stored by the use of electronic data processing equipment, at the discretion of the justice.


Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 776, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.




Sec. 27.059. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE SEAL. (a) The commissioners court shall furnish to each justice of the peace a seal that has a star with five points in the center. The seal must also have "Justice Court, __________ County, Texas" and any applicable precinct number on it.

(b) The seal may be attached to all process other than subpoenas issued out of the justice court and may be used to authenticate the official acts of the justice clerk and the justice of the peace.

(c) The seal may be affixed by a seal press or stamp that embosses or prints the seal.


Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Renumbered from Sec. 27.058 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 14, Sec. 8.01(12), eff. Nov. 12, 1991.




Sec. 27.060. SMALL CLAIMS. (a) A justice court shall conduct proceedings in a small claims case, as that term is defined by the supreme court, in accordance with rules of civil procedure promulgated by the supreme court to ensure the fair, expeditious, and inexpensive resolution of small claims cases.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), rules of the supreme court must provide that:

(1) if both parties appear, the judge shall proceed to hear the case;

(2) formal pleadings other than the statement are not required;

(3) the judge shall hear the testimony of the parties and the witnesses that the parties produce and shall consider the other evidence offered;

(4) the hearing is informal, with the sole objective being to dispense speedy justice between the parties;

(5) discovery is limited to that considered appropriate and permitted by the judge; and

(6) the judge shall develop the facts of the case, and for that purpose may question a witness or party and may summon any party to appear as a witness as the judge considers necessary to a correct judgment and speedy disposition of the case.

(c) The rules of the supreme court must provide specific procedures for an action by:

(1) an assignee of a claim or other person seeking to bring an action on an assigned claim;

(2) a person primarily engaged in the business of lending money at interest; or

(3) a collection agency or collection agent.

(d) The rules adopted by the supreme court may not:

(1) require that a party in a case be represented by an attorney;

(2) be so complex that a reasonable person without legal training would have difficulty understanding or applying the rules; or

(3) require that discovery rules adopted under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence be applied except to the extent the justice of the peace hearing the case determines that the rules must be followed to ensure that the proceeding is fair to all parties.

(e) A committee established by the supreme court to recommend rules to be adopted under this section must include justices of the peace.


Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 5.02, eff. August 31, 2013.




Sec. 27.061. RULES OF ADMINISTRATION. The justices of the peace in each county shall, by majority vote, adopt local rules of administration.


Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 5.03, eff. January 1, 2012.




LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/22/2019 6:44 AM  
@ RoyalP

These are the types of mean spirited attacks, I mentioned above.
My statement ( in which 'Racist Mark' took the wrong way) was that there's enough disrespect flourishing around the country today from the TOP /Down, and I was hopeful that I would n't have to engage in such immature behavior. But now with the next two Racists in the work Melissa and RoyalP I see once again all hope is lost.

RoyalP.

I guarantee I can run circles around you in any field or conversation you'll like to engage. It takes a very small man to take one sentence, to attempt to destroy a persons character, if you notice in that same sentence I accidentally left out another word, my apologies, its difficult to type while sitting in a hot tub with my two girlfriends. And now it should be clear who the intelligent one in this forum - Mr. John, I chose his advice for many reason and yes one being his advice aligned perfectly with what I have been researching to do, and besides he's a true professional, well educated, which is more than I can say about the three of you!
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 6:50 AM  
RoyalP, thanks for posting the full text of the statute that I had mentioned before. Consistent with my post, the text that you highlighted, which I had mentioned, is that a corporation does NOT have to be represented by a lawyer in small claims court.
AugustinD


Posts:1750


04/22/2019 7:09 AM  
Posted By LoloJ on 04/21/2019 9:13 PM
Let me guess, overweight, DIVORCE, hair shoulders length, two friends but only one true friend, can't remember the last time she's been laid.


I think a sexist, hateful comment like this reflects the same small man.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/22/2019 7:15 AM  
C’mon, this is useless and sounds more like a social website.

Recommend drop all, and move on to try and help folks in a positive way regarding supporting a better HOA construct for their neighborhoods.
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/22/2019 7:23 AM  
My apologies, for allowing my frustration(s) to spill over.
AugustinD


Posts:1750


04/22/2019 7:37 AM  
Thank you.
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 11:06 AM  
? who needs a hot-tub ?

round2

! i never pretended to be smart, merely obnoxious !
LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/22/2019 11:41 AM  
LOL....nice try!

There's nothing wrong with wishing...Now send us a real photo!
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/22/2019 1:03 PM  
Posted By LoloJ on 04/22/2019 11:41 AM
LOL....nice try!

There's nothing wrong with wishing...Now send us a real photo!





... 'ya mean i failed in my quest to be obnoxious ?

LoloJ
(Texas)

Posts:49


04/22/2019 1:26 PM  
I'm pretty sure you've failed often - don't beat yourself over the head if your stupid humor went over mine!.
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