The 82nd Legislature, 2011, passed H.B. 79, which was a court reorganization bill. As part of that legislation, small claims courts were to be abolished as of May 1, 2013, and replaced by new justice court rules promulgated by the Texas Supreme Court.
Over the past two years, the Texas Supreme Court has developed rules to define what constitutes a small claims case and rules of civil procedure to guide these cases through the court process. Due to the limited time between when the rules are finalized and when small claims courts are to be abolished, justices of the peace asked for additional time to transition to the new rules and train their clerks, constables, and other staff.
As a result in the 83rd Legislature, 2013, H.B. 1263 passed delaying the abolishment of the small claims courts and implementation of the new justice court rules from May 1, 2013, until August 31, 2013.
At the end of this month the new rules published by the Supreme Court of Texas go into effect. The new rules address a multitude of previously covered areas by Texas’ small claims courts, including evictions. To view the new rules from the Supreme Court click here: http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/MiscDocket/13/13902300.pdf.
For the rules on evictions scroll down to page 44 under new Rule 510.
Remember when evicting a tenant who is leasing a lot in a manufactured home community there are also provisions in Chapter 94, Texas Property Code, that must be followed, such as a 10-day Notice to Cure if the eviction grounds is for non-payment of rent.