33rd Emergency Order
COVID 19 OPERATING PLAN
Pursuant to the Supreme Court's Thirty-Third Emergency Order viewable here, in-person jury service is canceled for all Brazos County Justice of the Peace Courts through April 1, 2021. Please check an individual court’s page (using the drop-down menu above) for further information.
Also in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Twenty-Ninth and Thirty-Third Emergency Orders, dockets in the Brazos County Justice Courts will be conducted virtually. If a party is unable to appear remotely (via Zoom), the party must notify the court for alternatives or a determination to arrangements in-person. Any proceedings conducted in-person will be conducted in compliance with the Emergency Orders issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and according to the guidance issued by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size, and other restrictions and precautions.
UPDATE ON EVICTION CASES (as of January 1, 2021)
Sworn Petitions for Residential Eviction
In accordance with the Supreme Court’s Thirty-Second Emergency Order (viewable here) for any RESIDENTIAL eviction proceeding filed from January 1, 2021 through January 31, 2021, the sworn petition for eviction must state whether or not:
Furthermore, under the Supreme Court’s Thirty-First Emergency Order (viewable here) for any RESIDENTIAL eviction based in whole or part on the nonpayment of rent, filed from December 22, 2020 through March 15, 2021, the sworn petition for eviction must state that the plaintiff has reviewed the information about the Texas Eviction Diversion Program available at www.txcourts.gov/eviction-diversion/.
The required statements can be included in the original sworn petition for eviction, in an amended or supplemental sworn petition, or in a separate affidavit. Click here for a sample affidavit, or click here for an updated Petition for Eviction Based on Nonpayment of Rent.
In order to invoke the CDC’s temporary halt in residential nonpayment of rent evictions, a tenant who otherwise qualifies as a covered person must provide a sworn statement or declaration signed under penalty of perjury to the tenant’s landlord, owner of the residential property in which the tenant resides, or other person who has the right to have the tenant evicted or removed. Click here for a Declaration form to submit to your landlord. The National Low Income Housing Coalition also provides the Declaration form in 13 languages (including Spanish and Vietnamese) available here.
If you are submitting the Declaration after an eviction suit has been filed against you, you must also submit the Declaration to the Court in which your eviction case is pending.
A tenant can submit a Declaration form if the following are true:
Following the filing of a Declaration in a residential eviction case based on nonpayment of rent, the Court will abate the eviction matter until at least February 1, 2021. However, note that a landlord does have the ability to contest the Declaration under the Supreme Court’s Order, and if the Declaration is held to be invalid, the eviction case can and will proceed. Also note that all rent and fee obligations continue to accrue during the abatement period.
Furthermore, be aware that under the CDC’s order, there are serious consequences against landlords who proceed with a nonpayment of rent eviction against a covered person after receiving a declaration. Likewise, a tenant availing himself of the moratorium protection does so under penalty of criminal prosecution for perjury.