Eviction Suits: What Rules Apply?
Eviction cases are lawsuits brought to recover possession of real property under Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code, often by a landlord against a tenant. While eviction cases are technically lawsuits, they have very limited scope (possession of property and past rent owed), and certain requirements that distinguish them from other types of suits.
The unique nature of eviction cases often causes confusion about which rules govern.
As cases that MUST be brought in the Justice Courts (in the precinct and county where the rental premises are located), eviction suits are governed by Rules 500-507 and 510 of Part V of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. In fact, Texas law provides that in eviction cases, the “other” Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence do not apply except in the following limited circumstances:
(1) when the judge hearing the case determines that a particular rule must be followed to ensure that the proceedings are fair to all parties; or
(2) when otherwise specifically provided by law or these rules.
To the extent of any conflict between Rule 510 and the rest of Part V, Rule 510 applies.