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TEXAS RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
PART I - GENERAL RULES
RULE 1. OBJECTIVE OF RULES
The proper objective of rules of civil procedure is to obtain a just, fair, equitable and impartial
adjudication of the rights of litigants under established principles of substantive law. To the end that
this objective may be attained with as great expedition and dispatch and at the least expense both to
the litigants and to the state as may be practicable, these rules shall be given a liberal construction.
RULE 2. SCOPE OF RULES
These rules shall govern the procedure in the justice, county, and district courts of the State of Texas
in all actions of a civil nature, with such exceptions as may be hereinafter stated. Where any statute
in effect immediately prior to September 1, 1941, prescribed a rule of procedure in lunacy,
guardianship, or estates of decedents, or any other probate proceedings in the county court differing
from these Rules, and not included in the "List of Repealed Statutes," such statute shall apply; and
where any statute in effect immediately prior to September 1, 1941, and not included in the "List of
Repealed Statutes," prescribed a rule of procedure in any special statutory proceeding differing from
these rules, such statute shall apply. All statutes in effect immediately prior to September 1, 1941,
prescribing rules of procedure in bond or recognizance forfeitures in criminal cases are hereby
continued in effect as rules of procedure governing such cases, but where such statutes prescribed
no rules of procedure in such cases, these rules shall apply. All statutes in effect immediately prior
to September 1, 1941, prescribing rules of procedure in tax suits are hereby continued in effect as
rules of procedure governing such cases, but where such statutes prescribed no rules of procedure
in such cases, these rules shall apply; provided, however, that Rule 117a shall control with respect
to citation in tax suits.
RULE 3. CONSTRUCTION OF RULES
Unless otherwise expressly provided, the past, present or future tense shall each include the other;
the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender shall each include the other; and the singular and plural
number shall each include the other.
RULE 3a. LOCAL RULES
Each administrative judicial region, district court, county court, county court at law, and probate
court, may make and amend local rules governing practice before such courts, provided:
(1) that any proposed rule or amendment shall not be inconsistent with these rules or
with any rule of the administrative judicial region in which the court is located;
(2) no time period provided by these rules may be altered by local rules;
(3) any proposed local rule or amendment shall not become effective until it is submitted
and approved by the Supreme Court of Texas;
(4) any proposed local rule or amendment shall not become effective until at least thirty
days after its publication in a manner reasonably calculated to bring it to the attention
of attorneys practicing before the court or courts for which it is made;
(5) all local rules or amendments adopted and approved in accordance herewith are made
available upon request to members of the bar;
(6) no local rule, order, or practice of any court, other than local rules and amendments
which fully comply with all requirements of this Rule 3a, shall ever be applied to
determine the merits of any matter.
RULE 4. COMPUTATION OF TIME
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order of court, or by any
applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time
begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless
it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day
which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be
counted for any purpose in any time period of five days or less in these rules, except that Saturdays,
Sundays and legal holidays shall be counted for purpose of the three-day periods in Rules 21 and
21a, extending other periods by three days when service is made by registered or certified mail or
by telephonic document transfer, and for purposes of the five-day periods provided for under Rules
748, 749, 749a, 749b, and 749c.
RULE 5. ENLARGEMENT OF TIME
When by these rules or by a notice given thereunder or by order of court an act is required or allowed
to be done at or within a specified time, the court for cause shown may, at any time in its discretion
(a) with or without motion or notice, order the period enlarged if application therefor is made before
the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order; or (b) upon
motion permit the act to be done after the expiration of the specified period where good cause is
shown for the failure to act. The court may not enlarge the period for taking any action under the
rules relating to new trials except as stated in these rules.
If any document is sent to the proper clerk by first-class United States mail in an envelope or wrapper
properly addressed and stamped and is deposited in the mail on or before the last day for filing same,
the same, if received by the clerk not more than ten days tardily, shall be filed by the clerk and be
deemed filed in time. A legible postmark affixed by the United States Postal Service shall be prima
facie evidence of the date of mailing.
RULE 6. SUITS COMMENCED ON SUNDAY
No civil suit shall be commenced nor process issued or served on Sunday, except in cases of
injunction, attachment, garnishment, sequestration, or distress proceedings; provided that citation
by publication published on Sunday shall be valid.
RULE 7. MAY APPEAR BY ATTORNEY
Any party to a suit may appear and prosecute or defend his rights therein, either in person or by an
attorney of the court.
RULE 8. ATTORNEY IN CHARGE
On the occasion of a party's first appearance through counsel, the attorney whose signature first
appears on the initial pleadings for any party shall be the attorney in charge, unless another attorney
is specifically designated therein. Thereafter, until such designation is changed by written notice to
the court and all other parties in accordance with Rule 21a, said attorney in charge shall be
responsible for the suit as to such party.
All communications from the court or other counsel with respect to a suit shall be sent to the attorney
in charge.
RULE 9. NUMBER OF COUNSEL HEARD
Not more than two counsel on each side shall be heard on any question or on the trial, except in
important cases, and upon special leave of the court.
RULE 10. WITHDRAWAL OF ATTORNEY
An attorney may withdraw from representing a party only upon written motion for good cause
shown. If another attorney is to be substituted as attorney for the party, the motion shall state: the
name, address, telephone number, telecopier number, if any, and State Bar of Texas identification
number of the substitute attorney; that the party approves the substitution; and that the withdrawal
is not sought for delay only. If another attorney is not to be substituted as attorney for the party, the
motion shall state: that a copy of the motion has been delivered to the party; that the party has been
notified in writing of his right to object to the motion; whether the party consents to the motion; the
party's last known address and all pending settings and deadlines. If the motion is granted, the
withdrawing attorney shall immediately notify the party in writing of any additional settings or
deadlines of which the attorney has knowledge at the time of the withdrawal and has not already
notified the party. The Court may impose further conditions upon granting leave to withdraw. Notice
or delivery to a party shall be either made to the party in person or mailed to the party's last known
address by both certified and regular first class mail. If the attorney in charge withdraws and another
attorney remains or becomes substituted, another attorney in charge must be designated of record
with notice to all other parties in accordance with Rule 21a.
RULE 11. AGREEMENTS TO BE IN WRITING
Unless otherwise provided in these rules, no agreement between attorneys or parties touching any
suit pending will be enforced unless it be in writing, signed and filed with the papers as part of the
record, or unless it be made in open court and entered of record.
RULE 12. ATTORNEY TO SHOW AUTHORITY
A party in a suit or proceeding pending in a court of this state may, by sworn written motion stating
that he believes the suit or proceeding is being prosecuted or defended without authority, cause the
attorney to be cited to appear before the court and show his authority to act. The notice of the motion
shall be served upon the challenged attorney at least ten days before the hearing on the motion. At
the hearing on the motion, the burden of proof shall be upon the challenged attorney to show
sufficient authority to prosecute or defend the suit on behalf of the other party. Upon his failure to
show such authority, the court shall refuse to permit the attorney to appear in the cause, and shall
strike the pleadings if no person who is authorized to prosecute or defend appears. The motion may
be heard and determined at any time before the parties have announced ready for trial, but the trial
shall not be unnecessarily continued or delayed for the hearing.
RULE 13. EFFECT OF SIGNING PLEADINGS, MOTIONS AND OTHER PAPERS;
SANCTIONS
The signatures of attorneys or parties constitute a certificate by them that they have read the pleading,
motion, or other paper; that to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief formed after
reasonable inquiry the instrument is not groundless and brought in bad faith or groundless and
brought for the purpose of harassment. Attorneys or parties who shall bring a fictitious suit as an
experiment to get an opinion of the court, or who shall file any fictitious pleading in a cause for such
a purpose, or shall make statements in pleading which they know to be groundless and false, for the
purpose of securing a delay of the trial of the cause, shall be held guilty of a contempt. If a pleading,
motion or other paper is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own
initiative, after notice and hearing, shall impose an appropriate sanction available under Rule 215-2b,
upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both.
Courts shall presume that pleadings, motions, and other papers are filed in good faith. No sanctions
under this rule may be imposed except for good cause, the particulars of which must be stated in the
sanction order. "Groundless" for purposes of this rule means no basis in law or fact and not
warranted by good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law. A
general denial does not constitute a violation of this rule. The amount requested for damages does
not constitute a violation of this rule.
RULE 14. AFFIDAVIT BY AGENT
Whenever it may be necessary or proper for any party to a civil suit or proceeding to make an
affidavit, it may be made by either the party or his agent or his attorney.
RULE 14b. RETURN OR OTHER DISPOSITION OF EXHIBITS
The clerk of the court in which the exhibits are filed shall retain and dispose of the same as
directed by the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Order Relating to Retention and Disposition of Exhibits
In compliance with the provisions of Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 14b, the
Supreme Court hereby directs that exhibits offered or admitted into evidence shall
be retained and disposed of by the clerk of the court in which the exhibits are filed
upon the following basis.
The order shall apply only to: (1) those cases in which judgment has been
rendered on service of process by publication and in which no motion for new trial
was filed within two years after judgment was signed; and (2) all other cases in which
judgment has been signed for one year and in which no appeal was perfected or in
which a perfected appeal was dismissed or concluded by a final judgment as to all
parties and the issuance of the appellate court's mandate such that the case is no
longer pending on appeal or in the trial court.
The party who offered an exhibit may withdraw it from the clerk’s office
within thirty days of the later of (1) a case becoming subject to this order, or (2) the
effective date of this order. The clerk, unless otherwise directed by the court, may
dispose of any exhibits remaining after such time period.
RULE 14c. DEPOSIT IN LIEU OF SURETY BOND
Wherever these rules provide for the filing of a surety bond, the party may in lieu of filing the bond
deposit cash or other negotiable obligation of the government of the United States of America or any
agency thereof, or with leave of court, deposit a negotiable obligation of any bank or savings and
loan association chartered by the government of the United States of America or any state thereof
that is insured by the government of the United States of America or any agency thereof, in the
amount fixed for the surety bond, conditioned in the same manner as would be a surety bond for the
protection of other parties. Any interest thereon shall constitute a part of the deposit

General Rules Rules of Practice in District and County Courts p.1 Rules of Practice in District and County Courts p.2 Rules of Practice in District and County Courts p.3
Rules of Practice in Justice Courts Rules Relating to Ancillary Proceedings Rules Relating to Special Proceedings Closing Rules