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Rule 534. Citation (1947)


When a claim or demand is lodged with a justice for suit, he shall issue forthwith citations for the defendant or defendants. The citation shall require the defendant to appear and answer plaintiff's suit at or before 10 :00 o’clock a.m. on the Monday next after the expiration of ten days from the date of service thereof, and shall state the place of holding the court. It shall state the number of the suit, the names of all the parties to the suit, and the nature of plaintiff's demand, and shall be dated and signed by the justice of the peace. The citation shall further direct that if it is not served within 90 days after date of its issuance, it shall be returned unserved.

Source: Art. 2401.

Change: The citation is directed to the party upon whom it is to be served, instead of to the officer of a named county.

Amended by order of Aug. 18, 1947, eff. Dec. 31, 1947: The time to be required for appearance and answer has been changed and additional wording has been added as to other requisites of the citation. There is also some minor textual change.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941 April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990
Dec. 12, 2011, eff. Jan. 1, 2012
Repealed by order of April 15, 2013, eff. Aug. 31, 2013.


Question: In the Justice Court under Rules 533, 534, 535 and 537, if a personal citation is served on appearance day, or on the day subsequent, of the term to which it is returnable, would it be good service for a subsequent term?

Answer: No. The above rules were taken from Articles 2400, 2401, 2404 and 2009 of the Revised Statutes. The only change with reference to personal citation was that the citations should be directed to the party rather than to an officer of a named county.

The above statutes relating to the Justice Court procedure did not require ten days service of citation, but Article 2381 provided that the rules governing District Courts should apply in the Justice Court in the issuance and return of citation.

The Supreme Court in adapting the rules took a part of Article 2009, applying to District and County Courts and in Rule 535 applied it to Justice Courts, requiring ten days service citations.

Article 2036 provided that citations shall be served before the return day thereof. The defendant shall not be required to plead at the return term of the Court unless the citation be served at least ten days before the first day of such terms, exclusive of the days of service and return, but when a citation is served before the return day thereof and less than ten days before the first day of such term, exclusive of service and returns, such service shall compel the defendant to plead at the next succeeding term.

Article 2036 was repealed by the rules and was not carried into the new rules.

In view of the above it is the opinion of the committee that to be effective at all, the citation must be served at least ten days before the appearance day stated therein, and unless this is done the defendant is not required to answer at any time before a new citation is served on him.

10 Tex. B.J. 109 (1947).