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Rule 115. Form of Published Citation in Actions Involving Land


In citations by publication involving land, it shall be sufficient in making the brief statement of the claim in such citation to state the kind of suit, the number of acres of land involved in the suit, or the number of the lot and block, or any other plat description that may be of record if the land is situated in a city or town, the survey on which and the county in which the land is situated, and any special pleas which are relied upon in such suit.

Source: Art. 2041, with minor textual change.

Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941.


(No. 38) Question: In tax suits is citation by publication controlled by Rules of Civil Procedure 114-116 or by the Statutes?

Answer: Article 7345b, Section 3 (d) specifically states the requisites of a cita­tion which is to be made by publication in tax suits, and this article of the stat­ute also specifically states the manner in which such a citation shall be served by publication and states that the defendant shall be cited to appear on the first day of the next term of court. By virtue of the last sentence of Rule 2, and also by virtue of Rule 110, this article of the statute is continued in effect; and inas­much as this statute expressly provides for the requisites of such a citation and service differing from the provisions of the Rules it follows that under Rule 110 this statutory procedure for citation by publication in tax suits supersedes the general Rules on the subject of citation by publication. Therefore citations by publication in such cases should be re­turnable to the next term of court and should otherwise conform to the provi­sions of Article 7345b, Section 3(d).

However, we call attention to Section 13 of Article 7345b which states that:

"The provisions of this Act shall be cu­mulative of and in addition to all other rights and remedies to which any taxing unit may be entitled, but as to any particular proceeding brought under this Act, if any part or portion of this Act be in conflict with any part or portion of any law of the State, the terms and provisions of this Act shall govern as to such proceeding. "

It might be held under Subsection 13 that the method of citation by publica­tion provided by Section 3(d) is cumulative of the method provided by Rules 114-116, and that either method is now per­missible. However, this involves a construction of the meaning of the statute rather than a construction of the Rules, and it is not within the province of this Subcommittee to pass on such a matter.

5 Tex. B.J. 171 (1942) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 17 (1945).

(No. 82) Question: Rule 107 provides, in part: "No default judgment shall be granted in any cause until the citation, with the of­ficer's return thereon, shall have been on file with the clerk of the court ten days, exclusive of the filing and the day of judgment." Is this requirement applicable to a citation by publication? Can the court appoint an attorney to represent the defendant before appearance day?

Answer: We are of the opinion that the questions should be answered in the negative. The requisites of a citation by publication are prescribed by Rule 114, the form thereof in actions involving land by Rule 115, the service thereof by Rule 116 and the return by Rule 117. These rules specifically prescribe the procedure with respect to citations by publication and Rule 107 dealing with citations in general is not applicable.

There can be no default judgment when the citation is made by publication. Under Rule 244 "if no answer has been filed nor appearance entered within the prescribed time, the court shall appoint an attorney to defend the suit in behalf of the de­fendant and judgment shall be rendered as in other cases."

We are of the opinion also that no at­torney can be appointed until appearance day which is fixed by Rule 114 (and is required to he set forth in the citation) "at or before 10 o'clock a.m. of the first Monday after the expiration of 42 days from the date of issuance thereof, specify­ing the day of the week, the day of the month, and the time of day the defendant is required to answer."

The sheriff should make his return promptly after the last publication but the court should make certain that the citation has been published once each week for four (4) consecutive weeks "the first publication to be at least twenty-eight (28) days before the return day of the citation" before appointing an attorney to represent the defendant who has not otherwise made an appearance on the days he is required to appear.

6 Tex. B.J. 20 (1943) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 31 (1945).

Question: Where citation by publication is issued under Article 3592 in an action to declare heirship instituted under the provisions of Chapter 23, Title 54, relating to Estates of Decedents, should the citation be published in the manner and for the number of times specified in Rule of Civil Procedure 116, or should the citation be published as provided for in Articles 3310a and 3311 which regulate citations in all probate matters?

Answer: In our opinion a citation by publication in such an action to declare heirship should be published in accordance with the provisions of Articles 3310a and 3311. Rule of Civil Procedure 116 regulating service of citation by publication in ordinary civil suits has no application to probate matters.

Rule 2 expressly provides "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." Articles 3310a, 3311 and Articles 3590­-3592 were not listed as repealed, and therefore under the provisions of Rule 2 said Articles remain in full force and effect and govern the manner in which citation is served in all probate proceedings in the county court.

8 Tex. B.J. 219 (1945).

Questions: In a condemnation suit under Article 3264, where the residence of the defendant is unknown and it is necessary to obtain citation by publication, the following questions are presented:

1. Does Section 8 of Article 3264 authorize service by the posting of the notice or citation, when construed in connection with Article 29 (a), Section 5?

2. Does Rule 647 authorize service of citation in such a proceeding by posting instead of by publication?

3. Do Rules 114 to 117, inclusive, authorize the posting of citation for 28 days in lieu of publication, should there be a refusal on the part of one newspaper in an adjoining county to publish the citation at the statutory rates?

Answers: Question number 1 solely involves a construction of Statutes as distinguished from the Rules of Procedure, and therefore the Sub­committee does not feel that it is within its province to answer said question. Whether Article 3264 is so worded as to invoke the provisions of Article 29 (a) is not a matter over which this Subcommittee should undertake to express an opinion. However, the provisions of Article 3264, Section 8, expressly state that "Such notice may be served by publication in the manner provided for such service of citation by publication in other civil cases in the district or county court," and therefore the Subcommittee is of the opinion that citation by publication may be served in such a situation in the manner provided for by Rules 114 to 117.

In answer to question No.2, the Subcommittee is of the opinion that Rule 647 is not applicable to citation by publication nor to the notice provided for by Article 3264 in condemnation proceedings because such notice is in the nature of a citation. Therefore, we answer the second question in the negative.

We answer Question No.3 in the negative. Rules 114 to 117 provide solely for the service of citation by publication, and they do not make any provision for serving such citation by posting. If one newspaper in an adjoining county refuses to publish the citation at the statutory rates resort should be had to another newspaper to make the publication of the citation.

9 Tex. B.J. 262 (1946).