Justice of the Peace 5-1

General Procedures for Filing an Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent

East Dallas Government Center – 3443 St. Francis Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75228
(214) 943-6980 Main • (214) 943-2871 Fax
Office E-mail: JP51Court@dallascounty.org
Hours of Operation 8:00am - 4:00pm, Monday - Friday
Se Habla Español

NEW CIVIL COURT COST EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013

HB 2302 imposes a new $10 fee on all civil action or proceedings including counterclaims, cross-action, interpleader, and appeals. Most court costs/fees go into effect on January 1 the next year, but there is hidden language in this bill which states that 51.607 of the Government Code does NOT apply to this fee, and therefore, it shall be collected starting on the effective date of the bill, which is September 1, 2013.


  1. The tenant must have already failed to pay the rent as agreed. Landlord cannot refuse to accept rent and thereafter claim rent was not paid.
  2. The landlord must deliver a written "Notice to Vacate" or "Demand for Possession" naming each occupant the landlord seeks to evict from the premises. The notice must give the reason for demanding possession. The written notice must give the tenant time to vacate voluntarily. The time to vacate in the notice must be at least three (3) days, unless the landlord and tenant have agreed to a greater or lesser than three day time period in a written lease or agreement.
  3. Delivery of the notice must be done by one of the following methods:
    1. Handed to a tenant in person. (Or anyone living at the premises who is at least 16 years old.)
    2. Mailed to the tenant. (If mailed the landlord must wait an additional two (2) days to allow for the mail to be delivered before filing the eviction.)
    3. Attached to the inside of the main entry door.
  4. After the notice is delivered, wait until after the notice period expires, then go the Justice of the Peace Court in the precinct where the property is located to file a written "sworn complaint" for eviction. The court will determine who has a greater right to possession of your rented property. Forms for filing are available online.

(Sample wording of the "Notice to Vacate for Non-payment of Rent.")


Dear ______________, (Name all Tenants)

Today is the _______ day of ______________________, 20___.

The rent has not been paid. I demand possession of my rental property. This is a notice that you vacate the premises by _______________ or I will file an eviction suit with a Justice of the Peace Court.


_________________________,
(Landlord)