Update on Eviction Default Judgment Case

Dear Judges:

This is an update of our post on The Docket on November 27, 2019 concerning the decision by the 68th District Court in Dallas County holding that default money judgments for back rent in an eviction case, where the citation was served by posting and mailing to the premises, are unconstitutional as a violation of due process.

The district court entered a final judgment in the case on December 20, 2019, which may be viewed here: Simmons v Jones.   An appeal filed by the Attorney General relating to jurisdictional issues is pending in the Fifth Court of Appeals.

The question you may have is whether you are legally required to follow the District Court’s decision and refuse to enter a default judgment for back rent in an eviction case where the citation was served by alternative service by posting and mailing. We believe the answer to this question is no. The 68th District Court’s decision is only binding with respect to the single plaintiff in that case and the court did not enter any injunctive relief directed to any justice court. We therefore believe you should continue to follow the existing law and procedure with respect to alternative service by posting and mailing as set forth in Rule 510.4(c) and Property Code § 24.0051(a).

We will continue to monitor these issues and keep you informed of any further developments.

Very truly yours,

TJCTC

Fees and Costs Clarification

Many courts have expressed confusion about the changes to the State Traffic Fine and when it goes into effect. The $20 increase (from $30 to $50) should be applied to all offenses that occur on or after September 1, 2019. It is important to make sure that any update to the software system that your court uses is implementing this change correctly.

You can find more details on the TJCTC Fees & Costs Cheat Sheet.

Also note that there was a typo on the first version of the Cheat Sheet that was emailed out, regarding the effective date of the Time Payment Reimbursement Fee changes. The most updated version can be found at the link below.

TJCTC Legal Department

Click here to download the Fees and Costs Cheat Sheet

or visit our Legislative Update webpage for more information.

 

Newly Certified Clerks – Galveston Seminar

The Justice Court Clerk Certification Program allows experienced justice court clerks to demonstrate their knowledge of statutes, procedures, and ethical guidelines applicable to Texas justice courts. Justice court clerks who pass an examination receive certification as a Certified Clerk or a Master Certified Clerk.

The following clerks attended the Galveston seminar in February 2019 and passed their certification exams:


  • Master Certified Clerks
    • Nikki Ashley – Johson County
    • Evelyn Butler – Montgomery County
    • Hailey Clark – Harris County
    • Kristy Goodspeed – Hill County
    • Catalina Mainheit – Fort Bend County
    • Roxana Pantoja – Collin County
    • Kacey Wymack – Fort Bend County

  • Level 1 Certified Clerks – Criminal
    • Erica Baird – Fort Bend County
    • Taylor Christian – Brazoria County
    • Sandra Fails – Polk County
    • Rosa Gallegos – El Paso County
    • Melanie Guzman – Hidalgo County
    • Angie Ibarra – Waller County
    • Christi Johnson – Bandera County
    • Vicky Page – Chambers County
    • Sharon Patterson – Polk County
    • Evie Perez – Harris County
    • Melissa Ringo – Montgomery County
    • Claudia Sanchez Costillo – Kaufman County
    • Roxana Sifuentes – Galveston County
    • Teri Stout – Parker County
    • Valeria Villacorta – Harris County
    • Brooke Moore Wiggins – Collin County
    • Sharon Williams – Brazoria County

  • Level 1 Certified Clerk – Civil
    • Justin Bonds – Hill County
    • Katherine Bouse – Jefferson County
    • Loren Donaldson – Brazoria County
    • Jessica Mosqueda – Harris County
    • Tatiana Raya – Montgomery County
    • Stephanie Solis – Medina County
    • Melanie White – Johnson County

Congratulations to all of our newly certified clerks!!!

Newly Certified Clerks – San Marcos Fall Seminar

The Justice Court Clerk Certification Program allows experienced justice court clerks to demonstrate their knowledge of statutes, procedures, and ethical guidelines applicable to Texas justice courts. Justice court clerks who pass an examination receive certification as a Certified Clerk or a Master Certified Clerk.

The following clerks attended the San Marcos seminar in November 2018 and passed their certification exams:


  • Master Certified Clerks
    • Kelly Kinsinger – Travis County
    • Eva Romero – Maverick County
    • Brandy Wood – Johnson County

  • Level 1 Certified Clerks – Criminal
    • Stacy Allen – Denton County
    • Donna Busse – Grimes County
    • Lorraine Camacho-Rodriguez – Travis County
    • Tracy Casiano – Bexar County
    • Leticia Gonzales Lopez – Karnes County
    • Sandi Hollinger – Nueces County
    • Lakeisha Lowe – Dallas County
    • Vanessa Thompson – Bowie County

  • Level 1 Certified Clerks – Civil
    • Kristine Bode – Guadalupe County
    • Shelbie Carwile – Guadalupe County
    • Kristy Gonzalez – Bexar County
    • Kimberly Moya – Bexar County
    • Jacqueline Parchem – Waller County
    • Cassie Wise – Bandera County

Congratulations to all of our newly certified clerks!!!