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Darrell A. Apffel
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 5
2516 Texas Avenue
Texas CIty, TX 77590
(409) 770-5818 
 
1. When you are sued and served with a citation from the Justice Court, you must file a WRITTEN answer on or before the MONDAY which follows the TENTH day from the date of service. You must answer in WRITING and advise the Court if you wish to contest the suit and have a trial by Judge or Jury, or if you wish the Plaintiff to recover a consent judgment.
 
2 If you wish to contest the suit and desire a TRIAL BY JURY, you must request same and pay a five jury fee. This shall be done NOT LESS THAN ONE DAY in advance of the date the case is set for trial.
 
3 You may represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you.
 
4 If you do not desire to contest the suit and you agree that the Plaintiff recover the full amount he is seeking, you may request (WRITTEN) the court to enter a CONSENT JUDGMENT against you.
 
5 You should prepare a proper defense if you go to trial even though the burden is on the Plaintiff to prove his allegation against you.
 
6 You should remember that hearsay evidence may be inadmissible and cannot be used if objected to by the Plaintiff. Examples of hearsay evidence might include notarized statements or affidavits, garage estimates, police reports, and oral statements made outside of court.
 
7 After the plaintiff presents his/her case at the trial as to his right to recover, you are then allowed to present your defense as to why he should not recover.
 
8 If witnesses are required, you may subpoena them to court by asking for the subpoena and paying the required fee. The subpoena would be requested several days prior to the trial.
 
9 When the plaintiff and you have both rested your case, the Court will enter a judgment and the plaintiff recovers from you all, part, or nothing.
 
10 If a judgment is rendered against you, you may appeal the ruling of this court to the County Court within ten (10) days by posting a proper bond.
 
11 Should the court rule the plaintiff recover nothing from you, the plaintiff must appeal within ten (10) days or his right to recover from you is forever lost.
 
12 Should the plaintiff recover a judgment from you and you do not appeal it, the plaintiff may take further legal action against you to collect the amount of judgment plus court cost.
 
13. The plaintiff may ask that an Execution be issued to the Constable or the Sheriff to collect the judgment from you by levying on certain belongings that you own.
 
14 The plaintiff may obtain an abstract of judgment from the court and file it with the County Clerk. This creates a lien against real property that you may own.
 
15 The plaintiff may have a garnishment suit filed to garnish money, equipment or assets belonging to you which are being held by a third party.
 
16 Every notice and every pleading, plea (answer), motion or the form of request required to be served under RULE 21 other than the citation to be served upon filing of a cause of action MAY BE SERVED BY DELIVERING A COPY TO THE PARTY TO BE SERVED, OR THE PARTY’S DULY AUTHORIZED AGENT OR BY ATTORNEY OF RECORD, AS THE CASE MAY BE, EITHER IN PERSON OR BY AGENT OR BY COURIER RECEIPT UNDER DELIVERY OR BY
CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED MAIL, TO THE PARTY’S LAST KNOWN ADDRESS OR BY FAX TO THE RECIPIENT’S CURRENT FAX NUMBER, OR BY SUCH OTHER MANNER AS THE COURT IN IT’S DISCRETION MAY DIRECT.
 
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THIS CITATION, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE.

LEGAL QUESTIONS WILL NOT BE ANSWERED BYTHIS OFFICE. IF YOU HAVE A LEGAL QUESTION CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. THE JUDGE WILL NOT DISCUSS THE FACTS OF THE CASE WITH EITHER RARTY BEFORE THE TRIAL DATE.

Answer to Civil Complaints (PDF form)         

 

 

            

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