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Rule 534. Issuance and Form of Citation (2012)


(a) Issuance. When a claim or demand is lodged with a justice for suit, the clerk when requested shall forthwith issue a citation and deliver the citation as directed by the requesting party. The party requesting citation shall be responsible for obtaining service of the citation and a copy of the petition if any is filed. Upon request, separate or additional citations shall be issued by the clerk. The clerk must retain a copy of the citation in the court's file.

b. Form. The citation shall (1) be styled "The State of Texas", (2) be signed by the clerk under seal of court or by the Justice of the Peace, (3) contain name and location of the court, (4) show date of filing of the petition if any is filed, (5) show date of issuance of citation, (6) show file number and names of parties, (7) state the nature of plaintiff's demand, (8) be directed to the defendant, (9) show name and address of attorney for plaintiff, otherwise the address of plaintiff, (10) contain the time within which these rules require defendant to file a written answer with the clerk who issued citation, (11) contain address of the clerk, and (12) shall notify defendant that in case of failure of defendant to file an answer, judgment by default may be rendered for the relief demanded in the petition. The citation shall direct defendant to file a written answer to plaintiff's petition on or before 10:00 a. m. on the Monday next after the expiration of ten days after the date of service thereof. The requirement of subsections 10 and 12 of this rule shall be in the form set forth in section c of this rule.

c. Notice. The citation shall include the following notice to defendant: "You have been sued. You may employ an attorney. If you or your attorney do not file a written answer with the clerk who issued this citation by 10:00 a. m. on the Monday next following the expiration of ten days after you were served this citation and petition, a default judgment may be taken against you."

d. Copies. The party filing any pleading upon which citation is to be issued and served shall furnish the clerk with a sufficient number of copies thereof for use in serving the parties to be served, and when copies are so furnished the clerk shall make no charge for the copies.

Amended by order of Dec 12, 2011, eff. Jan. 1, 2012

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941 Repealed by order of April 15, 2013, eff. Aug. 31, 2013.
Aug. 18, 1947, eff. Dec. 31, 1947  
April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990  


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).