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Small Claims Court - Jursidiction by AJ (Texas) on November 10, 2017 @11:36

                              
I have filed a small claims case against my former tenants for breach of lease. The tenants signed a 12 month lease and ended up leaving after 4 months with no notice except for an email on the day they were leaving. The rental property that they executed the lease on is located in Collin county, Texas. I have been able to trace the tenants to another state (TN) and got them served by the local county sherrifs office. The tenant responded back to the court requesting a motion for dismissal as they are now residents of Tennessee.

I wanted to find out if their motion has any legal grounds in Texas. I researched the statutes and found the one I believe applies to this situation. Civil Practice & Remedies code Chapter 15, Sec. 15.0115 states 'LANDLORD-TENANT. (a) Except as provided by another statute prescribing mandatory venue, a suit between a landlord and a tenant arising under a lease shall be brought in the county in which all or a part of the real property is located.
(b) In this section, "lease" means any written or oral agreement between a landlord and a tenant that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, or other provisions relating to the use and occupancy of the real property that is the subject of the agreement.' Does this statute give me enough grounds in small claims court to not only deny their motion but also get a judgement if they don't show up? Thank you for your assistance!
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Re: Small Claims Court - Jursidiction by Kf (TX) on November 10, 2017 @12:49 [ Reply ]
I believe so. Most contracts state that the court of jurisdiction will be in the county that the contract was written for, so any court case will happen where your property is. It should not relieve them of their duty to appear in court, and I don't see a judge dismissing for that reason.
Re: Small Claims Court - Jursidiction by Carla on November 10, 2017 @16:01 [ Reply ]
You state that you have filed a small claims case against your former tenants. Did you get a judgement for possession? Were your tenants personally served while they were in Texas? Did you get a judgement for both possession and damages? Did you just get a default judgement for possession because the tenants failed to show up in court?

If you only got a judgement for possession, then when you had them served in Tennessee, without a judgement for damages, they could have the case dismissed. If you had them served to collect damages in Tennessee, you may not have any standing to file and that is why they filed a motion to dismiss. This may well require an attorney to pursue. Just why and how much are you hoping to get from the former tenants?

Please update us, as we are interested in what happens.
Re: Small Claims Court - Jursidiction by Mark on November 11, 2017 @08:15 [ Reply ]
"Civil Practice & Remedies code Chapter 15, Sec. 15.0115 states 'LANDLORD-TENANT. (a) Except as provided by another statute prescribing mandatory venue, a suit between a landlord and a tenant arising under a lease shall be brought in the county in which all or a part of the real property is located"

This does not apply in your case. It references that home court county, where the property is located. This is so that if the property is located in Collin County and either the landlord are extenants live in Tarrant County, The courts have jurisdiction. If not everyone could just file where ever they wanted.

Not sure if you have filed in Collin County Texas or in Tennessee when you said you filed a small claims case.

If the tenants had moved out, how did you serve notice, which has to be in Collin County, Texas?

Another question, if you filed in Collin County, what was the outcome of the court case? Were you awarded possession? Without personal service upon the former tenants (which must be in Texas), courts do not award money damages.

If all you have is a judgement awarding possession and you file in Tennessee for money damages, then that is perhaps why the former tenants filed for a dismissal.

Have you rerented the rental property? Do you believe that the tenants owe for the remaining eight months? Just what do you hope the outcome will be?

The bottom line is that to take the former tenants to court for money damages is to legally serve them while they are in Texas.


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