Eviction Defense
An eviction (technically known as a "forcible detainer action") is the lawsuit a landlord files in order to ask a court to remove a person or people from the landlord's property. In 2013, more than 8,500 eviction lawsuits were filed in Travis County alone. All eviction cases must be filed initially in the Justice of the Peace Court, and the landlord is required to obtain court approval (in the form of a judgment for possession) before actually removing the tenant (though what is known as a "writ of possession").

Because a forcible detainer action is meant to be a streamlined procedure for determining who is entitled to possession, other claims by the landlord and counterclaims by the tenant are generally not allowed. The two exceptions to this rule are (a) that the landlord is allowed to join a claim for rent and (b) that either party can sometimes recover some of their litigation costs (such as attorney fees) if they win. For more information on eviction case procedure, see Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 510.1 through 510.13. The Texas Tenant Advisor website also provides a good overview of procedure, though some portions of that website are out of date.

Contact