Evictions are easy, right? I often hear that from landlords who balk at hiring an experienced Plano eviction attorney. You know the type. The salty dog landlord who has been renting properties since Nixon was in office. I like asking this type of landlord if he filed his Affidavit of Non-Military Service. “Of course!” he responds. You see – you have to file this affidavit. But then I follow up with another question. “Which form did you pull down from the U.S. Department of Defense’s database in support of your affidavit?” Their response is typically a blank stare. Some will deny this is necessary. But it is. How does the landlord really know his tenant isn’t in the military? He doesn’t. He guessed. More than that, he committed perjury. Don’t be that guy….
It kills me that these landlords presume to understand everything there is to know about the complex procedural, statutory, and case laws that comprises the Texas eviction. I have a doctorate in Texas law and I still have to study this stuff every day!
Handling an eviction without an attorney is foolish. And using an attorney who is unfamiliar with Texas eviction law is just as foolish. You need an experienced Plano eviction attorney.
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Don’t be that salty dog landlord!!
Why an EXPERIENCED Plano Eviction Attorney Make a BIG Difference
It’s a little known fact, but it’s true: virtually no law schools include substantive training on evictions. So your cousin’s nephew… The one who graduated from law school last year? Yeah – using that guy would be really bad idea! Just because an attorney is qualified to handle your eviction, doesn’t mean he will be good at it!
I know a lot of great attorneys. But I don’t know of any who know eviction as well as me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not bragging. Those other attorneys are experts in their fields. They do what they do a lot. Likewise, I do a lot of eviction. If one of those other really good attorneys I know showed up in a Plano eviction court, I would probably run circles around them. I have the home field advantage. They’re in my house! They’re going to be strangers to the Judge. And those other attorneys likely won’t be familiar with the different procedural rules in eviction court.
Never hire a family lawyer to do an eviction. That’s like hiring a foot doctor when you need brain surgery! You need an eviction attorney. And you don’t need just any eviction attorney. You need a Plano eviction attorney.
The Skinny on the Plano Eviction Process
The Texas eviction process is designed to be speedy. It’s also designed to be uncomplicated. Unfortunately, the Texas Legislature’s best efforts to make evictions uncomplicated appears to have all but backfired. Some evictions are uncomplicated. Not most. Some. Let’s look at the eviction process. This is a very high-level view of what you’re in for.
The Notice to Vacate
Your eviction will need to start with sending a notice to vacate. Be careful, though! There are lawful ways to send a notice to vacate, and there are unlawful ways to send a notice to vacate. Here’s the crazy part – there are lawful ways to send notices to vacate that you can’t prove in court! Those delivery methods are completely useless!! You can learn more about notices to vacate here.
After your notice to vacate period ends, you can file your petition. But be careful here, too! You can easily paint yourself into a corner. You want to make sure that even if your tenant pays rent after you sue, you can still proceed with the eviction.
When you file your petition, the Court Clerk will schedule an eviction trial a few weeks out. In the meantime, the Constable will serve eviction papers on your tenant.
The Boy Scouts were right: you need to be prepared! This means, you need to have admissible evidence ready for the Judge to review. You need to have the correct number of copies of your documents. If you need photographic evidence, you need to have some way of proving when those photos were taken. You need to have all of your pleadings filed. This includes at least one notice and one affidavit.
If you’re going to insist on representing yourself, your Justice of the Peace won’t expect you to know everything a Plano eviction attorney knows. But your Judge will expect you to properly prove up your case. He will also expect you to comply with Texas law. So, it will be your responsibility to find that law and interpret it properly.
After the Trial
Following trial, and assuming you win a judgment against your tenant, you will need to wait a specified period of time before applying for a writ. After the writ issues, you will need to coordinate with the Constable for the forcible removal. The Constable supervises the move; he won’t actually do the moving. There are some reasons as to why you should use professional movers. And there are movers with experience with this sort of thing.
Whew! That’s going to be one heck of a cram session if you do it on your own…. If you would like more detail on the eviction process, check out my TOTALLY FREE book, The 10 Biggest Mistakes Texas Landlords Make in Eviction Court. This book was written by me – a Plano eviction attorney! Not some family attorney who does evictions “on the side.” Oh – and by “totally free,” I mean that I will even pay your postage!
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What Makes Plano Evictions Unique
Every court is different. Every Judge is different. I know of one Judge who won’t allow a 24 hour notice to vacate. Notices to Vacate with 24 hour waiting periods are perfectly legal in some situations, but this Judge doesn’t care! Another Judge I know requires the lender to be included on an eviction law suit in some situations. I don’t know of any other Judge who agrees with this, but that’s what this one Judge requires. Point being – you need to know your Judge.
If your rental property is in western or central Plano, your case will likely be heard by one of the two Justices of the Peace in Collin County, Precinct 3. For portions of East Plano that are also in Collin County, your case will be heard by the Justice of the Peace in Precinct 4. For the portions of far East Plano that are in Denton County, cases will be heard in either Denton County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 (North) or Precinct 6 (South). There is a process for looking up your rental property in its respective County to determine the correct Justice of the Peace.
When Collin County tenants appeal from the Justice of the Peace, the appeal will be heard by one of the seven Collin County Courts at Law. Denton appeals are all heard by the Denton County Court at Law No. 2.
Experience Makes a Big Difference
Having a familiar face and a familiar name is helpful. But a Judge who knows that your Plano eviction attorney knows eviction law cold is where the payoff really begins! Texas eviction law has experienced a lot of change since late 2013. The appeals process was changed in early 2016. And Judges are struggling with these changes. Evictions have a reputation for being easy. That’s because tenants often fail to appear. But what happens when your tenant does appear? Worse, what happens when your tenant appeals after not appearing before the Justice of the Peace? You’re going to end up in a County Court. The Texas rules of evidence apply in these Courts. That means you have to dodge hearsay exceptions, and admit evidence exactly the way attorneys do.
Never risk having your eviction dragged on for months because you hired an estates and trusts attorney!
Give me a call right now for a Free Consultation!
Call right now for a Free Consultation!
Leonard Marc-Charles Girling, SBN 24074283, is the attorney responsible for the contents of this website.
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