All evictions start off at the Justice of Peace level. There is no way around filing in these particular courts because they have exclusive jurisdiction over eviction matters. Typically these Precincts are broken up into two sections. The two sections usually consist of a Place 1 and Place 2. Although, all of the courts have to follow the same Property Code and same set of Civil Case Procedures, each court is different in it’s own way. As an experienced Houston Eviction Attorney, The Rental Boss has had the experience of trying lawsuits in front of all of these Justice of Peace judges. We’ve learned how they like their cases presented and what evidence they prefer.
Within the Justice of Peace court it’s common knowledge that landlords can either represent themselves or have authorized agents represent them. Although this may be seen as beneficial for larger management companies, smaller landlords typically are the ones who sit in court for hours. This is both a loss of time and money for small portfolio landlords and landlords who rent single homes. If you’ve never had to sit through court here is a typical breakdown of how the day goes:
A clerk goes through all of the cases, calling the names of each landlord and tenant. The amount of cases on a docket can range from 25-100.
Once it’s verified who is present in the court and who is not present in the court, the court typically has a recess period for parties to discuss their cases. This is the time when you have to deal with that tenant who may not see you in the best light. It’s also a great opportunity for you to work out a deal with the tenant if you can, if not you will have to try the case in front of the judge.
Once ample time has passed by most judges will take the bench and start to call the cases for the day. Usually default cases are called first. These are the cases where the defendant/tenant fails to appear. Each person still has to plead the facts of their cases in front of the judge. This can be tedious and you must answer questions correctly.
Once the default cases are called and the judge hears all of those cases, the judge will move unto the contested cases. These cases typically are difficult because tenants will have an opportunity to tell their side of the case. Although it seems straight forward, many tenants warp stories and can end up confusing you and the judge.
If you succeed in your case you will get a judgment, if the tenant succeeds the case will be dismissed. This entire process can take anywhere from an hour to four hours. This time varies depending on the amount of cases and the judge’s style of calling cases.
Although I advise most people to experience this, it is not something that all landlords want to experience. As a Houston Eviction Attorney, we can save you time and only charge you a reasonable flat rate. Avoid the headache, allows the Rental Boss, to represent you in the Justice of Court for a flat fee. No billable hours, know what you are paying before your actual hearing. We handle non-payment of rent evictions, non-monetary evictions (evictions for conduct), and jury trials.
JURY TRIALS – The above mentioned day and life does not discuss jury trials. Often times, tenants will threatened to have a jury trial in order to scare you into not evicting them. You don’t have to be a victim of these threats. The Rental Bosses have handled many tenants who have request jury trials and have been successful. If you need a Houston Eviction Attorney to represent your property rights during a Harris County eviction, call The Rental Boss.