Texas Laws - Property Code
PROPERTY CODE
TITLE 3. PUBLIC RECORDS

(6) agree with other officials of a state, a political subdivision of a state, or the United States on procedures or processes to facilitate the electronic satisfaction of prior approvals and conditions precedent to recording and the electronic payment of fees and taxes. (1280)

(c) A county clerk who accepts electronic documents for recording shall: (1281)

(1) continue to accept paper documents; and (1282)

(2) place entries for paper documents and electronic documents in the same index. (1283)

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 699 (S.B. 335), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (1284)

Sec. 15.006. UNIFORM STANDARDS. (1285)(1-click HTML)

(a) The Texas State Library and Archives Commission by rule shall adopt standards to implement this chapter. (1286)

(b) To keep the standards and practices of county clerks in this state in harmony with the standards and practices of recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact a law that is substantially similar to this chapter and to keep the technology used by county clerks in this state compatible with technology used by recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact a law that is substantially similar to this chapter, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, so far as is consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this chapter, in adopting, amending, and repealing standards shall consider: (1287)

(1) standards and practices of other jurisdictions; (1288)

(2) the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association; (1289)

(3) the views of interested persons and governmental officials and entities; and (1290)

(4) the needs of counties of varying size, population, and resources. (1291)

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 699 (S.B. 335), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (1292)

Sec. 15.007. RELATION TO ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN GLOBAL AND NATIONAL COMMERCE ACT. (1293)(1-click HTML)

This chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c)) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b)). (1294)

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 699 (S.B. 335), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (1295)

Sec. 15.008. CONSTRUCTION WITH OTHER LAW. (1296)(1-click HTML)

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, Chapter 195, Local Government Code, and the rules adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under that chapter apply to electronic documents filed in accordance with this chapter. (1297)

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 699 (S.B. 335), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (1298)

TITLE 4. ACTIONS AND REMEDIES (1299)(1-click HTML)

CHAPTER 21. EMINENT DOMAIN (1300)(1-click HTML)

SUBCHAPTER A. JURISDICTION (1301)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 21.001. CONCURRENT JURISDICTION. (1302)(1-click HTML)

District courts and county courts at law have concurrent jurisdiction in eminent domain cases. A county court has no jurisdiction in eminent domain cases. (1303)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3498, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1304)

Sec. 21.002. TRANSFER OF CASES. (1305)(1-click HTML)

If an eminent domain case is pending in a county court at law and the court determines that the case involves an issue of title or any other matter that cannot be fully adjudicated in that court, the judge shall transfer the case to a district court. (1306)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3498, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1307)

Sec. 21.003. DISTRICT COURT AUTHORITY. (1308)(1-click HTML)

A district court may determine all issues, including the authority to condemn property and the assessment of damages, in any suit: (1309)

(1) in which this state, a political subdivision of this state, a person, an association of persons, or a corporation is a party; and (1310)

(2) that involves a claim for property or for damages to property occupied by the party under the party's eminent domain authority or for an injunction to prevent the party from entering or using the property under the party's eminent domain authority. (1311)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3498, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1312)

SUBCHAPTER B. PROCEDURE (1313)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 21.011. STANDARD PROCEDURE. (1314)(1-click HTML)

Exercise of the eminent domain authority in all cases is governed by Sections 21.012 through 21.016 of this code. (1315)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3498, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1316)

Sec. 21.0111. DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION REQUIRED; INITIAL OFFER. (1317)(1-click HTML)

(a) An entity with eminent domain authority that wants to acquire real property for a public use shall, by certified mail, return receipt requested, disclose to the property owner at the time an offer to purchase or lease the property is made any and all appraisal reports produced or acquired by the entity relating specifically to the owner's property and prepared in the 10 years preceding the date of the offer. (1318)

(b) A property owner shall disclose to the entity seeking to acquire the property any and all current and existing appraisal reports produced or acquired by the property owner relating specifically to the owner's property and used in determining the owner's opinion of value. Such disclosure shall take place not later than the earlier of: (1319)

(1) the 10th day after the date of receipt of an appraisal report; or (1320)

(2) the third business day before the date of a special commissioner's hearing if an appraisal report is to be used at the hearing. (1321)

(c) An entity seeking to acquire property that the entity is authorized to obtain through the use of eminent domain may not include a confidentiality provision in an offer or agreement to acquire the property. The entity shall inform the owner of the property that the owner has the right to: (1322)

(1) discuss any offer or agreement regarding the entity's acquisition of the property with others; or (1323)

(2) keep the offer or agreement confidential, unless the offer or agreement is subject to Chapter 552, Government Code. (1324)

(d) A subsequent bona fide purchaser for value from the acquiring entity may conclusively presume that the requirement of this section has been met. This section does not apply to acquisitions of real property for which an entity does not have eminent domain authority. (1325)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 566, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. (1326)

Amended by: (1327)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2011. (1328)

Sec. 21.0112. PROVISION OF LANDOWNER'S BILL OF RIGHTS STATEMENT REQUIRED. (1329)(1-click HTML)

(a) Not later than the seventh day before the date a governmental or private entity with eminent domain authority makes a final offer to a property owner to acquire real property, the entity must send by first-class mail or otherwise provide a landowner's bill of rights statement provided by Section 402.031, Government Code, to the last known address of the person in whose name the property is listed on the most recent tax roll of any appropriate taxing unit authorized by law to levy property taxes against the property. In addition to the other requirements of this subsection, an entity with eminent domain authority shall provide a copy of the landowner's bill of rights statement to a landowner before or at the same time as the entity first represents in any manner to the landowner that the entity possesses eminent domain authority. (1330)

(b) The statement must be: (1331)

(1) printed in an easily readable font and type size; and (1332)

(2) if the entity is a governmental entity, made available on the Internet website of the entity if technologically feasible. (1333)

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1201 (H.B. 1495), Sec. 3, eff. February 1, 2008. (1334)

Amended by: (1335)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1145 (H.B. 2685), Sec. 1, eff. January 15, 2010. (1336)

Sec. 21.0113. BONA FIDE OFFER REQUIRED. (1337)(1-click HTML)

(a) An entity with eminent domain authority that wants to acquire real property for a public use must make a bona fide offer to acquire the property from the property owner voluntarily. (1338)

(b) An entity with eminent domain authority has made a bona fide offer if: (1339)

(1) an initial offer is made in writing to a property owner; (1340)

(2) a final offer is made in writing to the property owner; (1341)

(3) the final offer is made on or after the 30th day after the date on which the entity makes a written initial offer to the property owner; (1342)

(4) before making a final offer, the entity obtains a written appraisal from a certified appraiser of the value of the property being acquired and the damages, if any, to any of the property owner's remaining property; (1343)

(5) the final offer is equal to or greater than the amount of the written appraisal obtained by the entity; (1344)

(6) the following items are included with the final offer or have been previously provided to the owner by the entity: (1345)

(A) a copy of the written appraisal; (1346)

(B) a copy of the deed, easement, or other instrument conveying the property sought to be acquired; and (1347)

(C) the landowner's bill of rights statement prescribed by Section 21.0112; and (1348)

(7) the entity provides the property owner with at least 14 days to respond to the final offer and the property owner does not agree to the terms of the final offer within that period. (1349)

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011. (1350)

Sec. 21.012. CONDEMNATION PETITION. (1351)(1-click HTML)

(a) If an entity with eminent domain authority wants to acquire real property for public use but is unable to agree with the owner of the property on the amount of damages, the entity may begin a condemnation proceeding by filing a petition in the proper court. (1352)

(b) The petition must: (1353)

(1) describe the property to be condemned; (1354)

(2) state with specificity the public use for which the entity intends to acquire the property; (1355)

(3) state the name of the owner of the property if the owner is known; (1356)

(4) state that the entity and the property owner are unable to agree on the damages; (1357)

(5) if applicable, state that the entity provided the property owner with the landowner's bill of rights statement in accordance with Section 21.0112; and (1358)

(6) state that the entity made a bona fide offer to acquire the property from the property owner voluntarily as provided by Section 21.0113. (1359)

(c) An entity that files a petition under this section must provide a copy of the petition to the property owner by certified mail, return receipt requested. (1360)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3498, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1361)

Amended by: (1362)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1201 (H.B. 1495), Sec. 4, eff. February 1, 2008. (1363)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2011. (1364)

Sec. 21.0121. CONDEMNATION TO ACQUIRE WATER RIGHTS. (1365)(1-click HTML)

(a) In addition to the contents prescribed by Section 21.012(b), a condemnation petition filed by a political subdivision of this state for the purpose of acquiring rights to groundwater or surface water must state that the facts to be proven are that the political subdivision has: (1366)

(1) prepared a drought contingency plan; (1367)

(2) developed and implemented a water conservation plan that will result in the highest practicable levels of water conservation and efficiency achievable in the political subdivision's jurisdiction; (1368)

(3) made a bona fide good faith effort to obtain practicable alternative water supplies to the water rights the political subdivision proposes to condemn; (1369)

(4) made a bona fide good faith effort to acquire the rights to the water the political subdivision proposes to condemn by voluntary purchase or lease; and (1370)

(5) made a showing that the political subdivision needs the water rights to provide for the domestic needs of the political subdivision within the next 10-year period. (1371)

(b) A court shall deny the right to condemn unless the political subdivision proves to the court that the political subdivision has met the requirements of Subsection (a). (1372)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1032, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (1373)

Sec. 21.013. VENUE; FEES AND PROCESSING FOR SUIT FILED IN DISTRICT COURT. (1374)(1-click HTML)

(a) The venue of a condemnation proceeding is the county in which the owner of the property being condemned resides if the owner resides in a county in which part of the property is located. Otherwise, the venue of a condemnation proceeding is any county in which at least part of the property is located. (1375)

(b) Except where otherwise provided by law, a party initiating a condemnation proceeding in a county in which there is one or more county courts at law with jurisdiction shall file the petition with any clerk authorized to handle such filings for that court or courts. (1376)

(c) A party initiating a condemnation proceeding in a county in which there is not a county court at law must file the condemnation petition with the district clerk. The filing fee shall be due at the time of filing in accordance with Section 51.317, Government Code. (1377)

(d) District and county clerks shall assign an equal number of eminent domain cases in rotation to each court with jurisdiction that the clerk serves. (1378)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3499, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 760, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 756, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999. (1379)

Sec. 21.014. SPECIAL COMMISSIONERS. (1380)(1-click HTML)

(a) The judge of a court in which a condemnation petition is filed or to which an eminent domain case is assigned shall appoint three disinterested real property owners who reside in the county as special commissioners to assess the damages of the owner of the property being condemned. The judge appointing the special commissioners shall give preference to persons agreed on by the parties. The judge shall provide each party a reasonable period to strike one of the three commissioners appointed by the judge. If a person fails to serve as a commissioner or is struck by a party to the suit, the judge shall appoint a replacement. (1381)

(b) The special commissioners shall swear to assess damages fairly, impartially, and according to the law. (1382)

(c) Special commissioners may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of testimony, administer oaths, and punish for contempt in the same manner as a county judge. (1383)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3499, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1384)

Amended by: (1385)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2011. (1386)

Sec. 21.015. HEARING. (1387)(1-click HTML)

(a) The special commissioners in an eminent domain proceeding shall promptly schedule a hearing for the parties at the earliest practical time but may not schedule a hearing to assess damages before the 20th day after the date the special commissioners were appointed. The special commissioners shall schedule a hearing for the parties at a place that is as near as practical to the property being condemned or at the county seat of the county in which the proceeding is being held. (1388)

(b) After notice of the hearing has been served, the special commissioners shall hear the parties at the scheduled time and place or at any other time or place to which they may adjourn the hearing. (1389)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3500, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1390)

Amended by: (1391)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2011. (1392)

Sec. 21.016. NOTICE. (1393)(1-click HTML)

(a) Each party in an eminent domain proceeding is entitled to written notice issued by the special commissioners informing the party of the time and place of the hearing. (1394)

(b) Notice of the hearing must be served on a party not later than the 20th day before the day set for the hearing. A person competent to testify may serve the notice. (1395)

(c) A person who serves a notice shall return the original notice to the special commissioners on or before the day set for hearing. The person shall write a return of service on the notice that states how and when it was served. (1396)

(d) Notice may be served: (1397)

(1) by delivering a copy of the notice to the party or to the party's agent or attorney; (1398)

(2) if the property being condemned belongs to a deceased's estate or to a minor or other legally disabled person and the person or estate has a legal representative, by delivering a copy of the notice to the legal representative; or (1399)

(3) if the property being condemned belongs to a nonresident of this state and there has been no personal service on the owner, if the identity or the residence of the property owner is unknown, or if the property owner avoids service of notice by hiding, by publication in the same manner as service of citation by publication in other civil cases in the district courts or county courts at law. (1400)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3500, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1401)

Amended by: (1402)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2011. (1403)

Sec. 21.017. ALTERNATIVE PLEADINGS. (1404)(1-click HTML)

(a) This state, a political subdivision of this state, a person, an association of persons, or a corporation that is a party to a suit covered by Section 21.003 of this code by petition, cross-bill, or plea of intervention may assert a claim to the property or, alternatively, seek to condemn the property. (1405)

(b) A plea under this section is not an admission of an adverse party's title to the property in controversy. (1406)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3501, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1407)

Sec. 21.018. APPEAL FROM COMMISSIONERS' FINDINGS. (1408)(1-click HTML)

(a) A party to a condemnation proceeding may object to the findings of the special commissioners by filing a written statement of the objections and their grounds with the court that has jurisdiction of the proceeding. The statement must be filed on or before the first Monday following the 20th day after the day the commissioners file their findings with the court. (1409)

(b) If a party files an objection to the findings of the special commissioners, the court shall cite the adverse party and try the case in the same manner as other civil causes. (1410)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3501 ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1411)

Sec. 21.019. DISMISSAL OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS. (1412)(1-click HTML)

(a) A party that files a condemnation petition may move to dismiss the proceedings, and the court shall conduct a hearing on the motion. However, after the special commissioners have made an award, in an effort to obtain a lower award a condemnor may not dismiss the condemnation proceedings merely to institute new proceedings that involve substantially the same condemnation against the same property owner. (1413)

(b) A court that hears and grants a motion to dismiss a condemnation proceeding made by a condemnor under Subsection (a) shall make an allowance to the property owner for reasonable and necessary fees for attorneys, appraisers, and photographers and for the other expenses incurred by the property owner to the date of the hearing. (1414)

(c) A court that hears and grants a motion to dismiss a condemnation proceeding made by a property owner seeking a judicial denial of the right to condemn or that otherwise renders a judgment denying the right to condemn may make an allowance to the property owner for reasonable and necessary fees for attorneys, appraisers, and photographers and for the other expenses incurred by the property owner to the date of the hearing or judgment. (1415)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3501, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 483, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987. (1416)

Sec. 21.0195. DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS; TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. (1417)(1-click HTML)

(a) This section applies only to the dismissal of a condemnation proceeding that involves the Texas Department of Transportation. (1418)

(b) The department may move to dismiss a proceeding it files, and the court shall conduct a hearing on the motion. The court may grant the motion only if the court determines that the property owner's interest will not be materially affected by the dismissal. The department may not dismiss the condemnation proceedings merely to institute new proceedings that involve substantially the same condemnation against the same property owner solely to obtain a lower condemnation award. (1419)

(c) If a court dismisses a condemnation proceeding on the motion of the department or as a result of the failure of the department to bring the proceeding properly, the court shall make an allowance to the property owner for the value of the department's use of the property while in possession of the property, any damage that the condemnation has caused to the property owner, and any expenses the property owner has incurred in connection with the condemnation, including reasonable and necessary fees for attorneys. (1420)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.46(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (1421)

Sec. 21.020. REINSTATEMENT OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS. (1422)(1-click HTML)

If a condemnor moves to dismiss a condemnation proceeding and subsequently files a petition to condemn substantially the same property interest from the same property owner, the court may not appoint new special commissioners but shall enter the award of the special commissioners in the first proceeding as the award in the second. The court shall award the property owner triple the amount of the expenses that were allowed the property owner prior to the dismissal of the first proceeding. (1423)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3502, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1424)

Sec. 21.021. POSSESSION PENDING LITIGATION. (1425)(1-click HTML)

(a) After the special commissioners have made an award in a condemnation proceeding, except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section, the condemnor may take possession of the condemned property pending the results of further litigation if the condemnor: (1426)

(1) pays to the property owner the amount of damages and costs awarded by the special commissioners or deposits that amount of money with the court subject to the order of the property owner; (1427)

(2) deposits with the court either the amount of money awarded by the special commissioners as damages or a surety bond in the same amount issued by a surety company qualified to do business in this state, conditioned to secure the payment of an award of damages by the court in excess of the award of the special commissioners; and (1428)

(3) executes a bond that has two or more good and solvent sureties approved by the judge of the court in which the proceeding is pending and conditioned to secure the payment of additional costs that may be awarded to the property owner by the trial court or on appeal. (1429)

(b) A court shall hold money or a bond deposited under Subdivision (1) or (2) of Subsection (a) to secure the payment of the damages that have been or that may be awarded against the condemnor. (1430)

(c) This state, a county, or a municipal corporation or an irrigation, water improvement, or water power control district created under legal authority is not required to deposit a bond or the amount equal to the award of damages under Subdivisions (2) and (3) of Subsection (a). (1431)

(d) If a condemnor deposits money with a court under Subdivision (2) of Subsection (a), the condemnor may instruct the court to deposit or invest the money in any account with or certificate or security issued by a state or national bank in this state. The court shall pay the interest that accrues from the deposit or investment to the condemnor. (1432)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3502, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 18, Sec. 1(b), eff. Oct. 2, 1984. (1433)

Sec. 21.0211. PAYMENT OF AD VALOREM TAXES. (1434)(1-click HTML)

(a) A court may not authorize withdrawal of any money deposited under Section 21.021 unless the petitioner for the money files with the court: (1435)

(1) a tax certificate issued under Section 31.08, Tax Code, by the tax collector for each taxing unit that imposes ad valorem taxes on the condemned property showing that there are no delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, or costs owing on the condemned property or on any larger tract of which the condemned property forms a part; and (1436)

(2) in the case of a whole taking that occurs after the date the ad valorem tax bill for taxes imposed by a taxing unit on the property is sent, a tax receipt issued under Section 31.075, Tax Code, by the tax collector of the taxing unit that imposes ad valorem taxes showing that the taxes on the condemned property for the current tax year, prorated under Section 26.11, Tax Code, have been paid. (1437)

(b) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), a "case of a whole taking" means a case in which the location, size, and boundaries of the property assessed for ad valorem taxes are identical to that of the condemned property. (1438)

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1126 (H.B. 2491), Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2005. (1439)

Sec. 21.022. AUTHORITY OF COURTS. (1440)(1-click HTML)

Laws that formerly governed the performance of functions by county clerks and judges in eminent domain proceedings are applicable to the clerks and judges of district courts and county courts at law. (1441)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3503, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1442)

Sec. 21.023. DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION REQUIRED AT TIME OF ACQUISITION. (1443)(1-click HTML)

An entity with eminent domain authority shall disclose in writing to the property owner, at the time of acquisition of the property through eminent domain, that: (1444)

(1) the owner or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns may be entitled to: (1445)

(A) repurchase the property under Subchapter E; or (1446)

(B) request from the entity certain information relating to the use of the property and any actual progress made toward that use; and (1447)

(2) the repurchase price is the price paid to the owner by the entity at the time the entity acquired the property through eminent domain. (1448)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1307, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004. (1449)

Amended by: (1450)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2011. (1451)

Sec. 21.025. PRODUCTION OF INFORMATION BY CERTAIN ENTITIES. (1452)(1-click HTML)

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an entity that is not subject to Chapter 552, Government Code, and is authorized by law to acquire private property through the use of eminent domain is required to produce information as provided by this section if the information is: (1453)

(1) requested by a person who owns property that is the subject of a proposed or existing eminent domain proceeding; and (1454)

(2) related to the taking of the person's private property by the entity through the use of eminent domain. (1455)

(b) An entity described by Subsection (a) is required under this section only to produce information relating to the condemnation of the specific property owned by the requestor as described in the request. A request under this section must contain sufficient details to allow the entity to identify the specific tract of land in relation to which the information is sought. (1456)

(c) The entity shall respond to a request in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure as if the request was made in a matter pending before a state district court. (1457)

(d) Exceptions to disclosure provided by this chapter and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure apply to the disclosure of information under this section. (1458)

(e) Jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section resides in: (1459)

(1) the court in which the condemnation was initiated; or (1460)

(2) if the condemnation proceeding has not been initiated: (1461)

(A) a court that would have jurisdiction over a proceeding to condemn the requestor's property; or (1462)

(B) a court with eminent domain jurisdiction in the county in which the entity has its principal place of business. (1463)

(f) If the entity refuses to produce information requested in accordance with this section and the court determines that the refusal violates this section, the court may award the requestor's reasonable attorney's fees incurred to compel the production of the information. (1464)

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2011. (1465)

SUBCHAPTER C. DAMAGES AND COSTS (1466)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 21.041. EVIDENCE. (1467)(1-click HTML)

As the basis for assessing actual damages to a property owner from a condemnation, the special commissioners shall admit evidence on: (1468)

(1) the value of the property being condemned; (1469)

(2) the injury to the property owner; (1470)

(3) the benefit to the property owner's remaining property; and (1471)

(4) the use of the property for the purpose of the condemnation. (1472)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3504, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1473)

Sec. 21.042. ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES. (1474)(1-click HTML)

(a) The special commissioners shall assess damages in a condemnation proceeding according to the evidence presented at the hearing. (1475)

(b) If an entire tract or parcel of real property is condemned, the damage to the property owner is the local market value of the property at the time of the special commissioners' hearing. (1476)

(c) If a portion of a tract or parcel of real property is condemned, the special commissioners shall determine the damage to the property owner after estimating the extent of the injury and benefit to the property owner, including the effect of the condemnation on the value of the property owner's remaining property. (1477)

(d) In estimating injury or benefit under Subsection (c), the special commissioners shall consider an injury or benefit that is peculiar to the property owner and that relates to the property owner's ownership, use, or enjoyment of the particular parcel of real property, including a material impairment of direct access on or off the remaining property that affects the market value of the remaining property, but they may not consider an injury or benefit that the property owner experiences in common with the general community, including circuity of travel and diversion of traffic. In this subsection, "direct access" means ingress and egress on or off a public road, street, or highway at a location where the remaining property adjoins that road, street, or highway. (1478)

(e) If a portion of a tract or parcel of real property is condemned for the use, construction, operation, or maintenance of the state highway system or of a county toll project described by Chapter 284, Transportation Code, that is eligible for designation as part of the state highway system, or for the use, construction, development, operation, or maintenance of an improvement or project by a metropolitan rapid transit authority created before January 1, 1980, with a principal municipality having a population of less than 1.9 million and established under Chapter 451, Transportation Code, the special commissioners shall determine the damage to the property owner regardless of whether the property owner makes a claim for damages to the remaining property. In awarding compensation or assessing the damages, the special commissioners shall consider any special and direct benefits that arise from the highway improvement or the transit authority improvement or project that are peculiar to the property owner and that relate to the property owner's ownership, use, or enjoyment of the particular parcel of remaining real property. (1479)

(f) In awarding compensation or assessing damages for a condemnation by an institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code, the special commissioners may not include in the compensation or damages any amount that compensates for, or is based on the present value of, an exemption from ad valorem taxation applicable to the property before its condemnation. (1480)

(g) Notwithstanding Subsection (d), if a portion of a tract or parcel of real property that, for the then current tax year was appraised for ad valorem tax purposes under a law enacted under Section 1-d or 1-d-1, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, and is outside the municipal limits or the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality with a population of 5,000 or more is condemned for state highway purposes, the special commissioners shall consider the loss of reasonable access to or from the remaining property in determining the damage to the property owner. (1481)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3504, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 29, Sec. 1, eff. Oct. 2, 1984; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 734, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.244, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 117, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1266, Sec. 1.15, eff. June 20, 2003. (1482)

Amended by: (1483)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 2.94, eff. June 14, 2005. (1484)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2011. (1485)

Sec. 21.0421. ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES: GROUNDWATER RIGHTS. (1486)(1-click HTML)

(a) In a condemnation proceeding initiated by a political subdivision under this chapter, the special commissioners or court shall admit evidence relating to the market value of groundwater rights as property apart from the land in addition to the local market value of the real property if: (1487)

(1) the political subdivision proposes to condemn the fee title of real property; and (1488)

(2) the special commissioners or court finds, based on evidence submitted at the hearing, that the real property may be used by the political subdivision to develop or use the rights to groundwater for a public purpose. (1489)

(b) The evidence submitted under Subsection (a) on the market value of the groundwater rights as property apart from the land shall be based on generally accepted appraisal methods and techniques, including the methods of appraisal under Subchapter A, Chapter 23, Tax Code. (1490)

(c) If the special commissioners or court finds that the real property may be used by the political subdivision to develop or use the rights to groundwater for a public purpose, the special commissioners or court may assess damages to the property owner based on: (1491)

(1) the local market value of the real property, excluding the value of the groundwater in place, at the time of the hearing; and (1492)

(2) the market value of the groundwater rights as property apart from the land at the time of the hearing. (1493)

(d) In assessing damages based on the market value of groundwater rights under Subsection (c)(2), the special commissioners or court shall consider: (1494)

(1) the amount of groundwater the political subdivision can reasonably be expected to produce from the property on an annual basis; (1495)

(2) the number of years the political subdivision can reasonably be expected to produce groundwater from the property; (1496)

(3) the quality of the groundwater; (1497)

(4) the location of the real property in relation to the political subdivision for conveyance purposes; (1498)

(5) any potential environmental impact of producing groundwater from the real property; (1499)

(6) whether or not the real property is located within the boundaries of a political subdivision that can regulate the production of groundwater from the real property; (1500)

(7) the cost of alternative water supplies to the political subdivision; and (1501)

(8) any other reasonable factor that affects the market value of a groundwater right. (1502)

(e) This section does not: (1503)

(1) authorize groundwater rights appraised separately from the real property under this section to be appraised separately from real property for property tax appraisal purposes; or (1504)

(2) subject real property condemned for the purpose described by Subsection (a) to an additional tax as provided by Section 23.46 or 23.55, Tax Code. (1505)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1032, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (1506)

Sec. 21.043. DISPLACEMENT FROM DWELLING OR PLACE OF BUSINESS. (1507)(1-click HTML)

(a) A property owner who is permanently physically displaced from the property owner's dwelling or place of business and who is not entitled to reimbursement for moving expenses under another law may recover, in addition to the property owner's other damages, the reasonable expenses of moving the property owner's personal property from the dwelling or place of business. (1508)

(b) A recovery under this section may not exceed the market value of the property being moved. The maximum distance of movement to be considered is 50 miles. (1509)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3504, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1510)

Sec. 21.044. DAMAGES FROM TEMPORARY POSSESSION. (1511)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a court finally determines that a condemnor who has taken possession of property pending litigation did not have the right to condemn the property, the court may award to the property owner the damages that resulted from the temporary possession. (1512)

(b) The court may order the payment of damages awarded under this section from the award or other money deposited with the court. However, if the award paid to or appropriated by the property owner exceeds the court's final determination of the value of the property, the court shall order the property owner to return the excess to the condemnor. (1513)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3505, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1514)

Sec. 21.045. TITLE ACQUIRED. (1515)(1-click HTML)

Except where otherwise expressly provided by law, the interest acquired by a condemnor under this chapter does not include the fee simple title to real property, either public or private. An interest acquired by a condemnor is not lost by the forfeiture or expiration of the condemnor's charter and is subject to an extension of the charter or the grant of a new charter without a new condemnation. (1516)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3505, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1517)

Sec. 21.046. RELOCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. (1518)(1-click HTML)

(a) A department, agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of this state shall provide a relocation advisory service for an individual, a family, a business concern, a farming or ranching operation, or a nonprofit organization that is compatible with the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C.A. 4601, et seq. (1519)

(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state shall, as a cost of acquiring real property, pay moving expenses and rental supplements, make relocation payments, provide financial assistance to acquire replacement housing, and compensate for expenses incidental to the transfer of the property if an individual, a family, the personal property of a business, a farming or ranching operation, or a nonprofit organization is displaced in connection with the acquisition. (1520)

(c) A department, agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of this state that initiates a program under Subsection (b) shall adopt rules relating to the administration of the program. (1521)

(d) Neither this state nor a political subdivision of this state may authorize expenditures under Subsection (b) that exceed payments authorized under the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C.A. 4601, et seq. (1522)

(e) If a person moves or discontinues the person's business, moves personal property, or moves from the person's dwelling as a direct result of code enforcement, rehabilitation, or a demolition program, the person is considered to be displaced because of the acquisition of real property. (1523)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3505, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1524)

Amended by: (1525)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2011. (1526)

Sec. 21.047. ASSESSMENT OF COSTS AND FEES. (1527)(1-click HTML)

(a) Special commissioners may adjudge the costs of an eminent domain proceeding against any party. If the commissioners award greater damages than the condemnor offered to pay before the proceedings began or if the decision of the commissioners is appealed and a court awards greater damages than the commissioners awarded, the condemnor shall pay all costs. If the commissioners' award or the court's determination of the damages is less than or equal to the amount the condemnor offered before proceedings began, the property owner shall pay the costs. (1528)

(b) A condemnor shall pay the initial cost of serving a property owner with notice of a condemnation proceeding. If the property owner is ordered to pay the costs of the proceeding, the condemnor may recover the expense of notice from the property owner as part of the costs. (1529)

(c) A court that has jurisdiction of an eminent domain proceeding may tax $10 or more as a reasonable fee for each special commissioner as part of the court costs of the proceeding. (1530)

(d) If a court hearing a suit under this chapter determines that a condemnor did not make a bona fide offer to acquire the property from the property owner voluntarily as required by Section 21.0113, the court shall abate the suit, order the condemnor to make a bona fide offer, and order the condemnor to pay: (1531)

(1) all costs as provided by Subsection (a); and (1532)

(2) any reasonable attorney's fees and other professional fees incurred by the property owner that are directly related to the violation. (1533)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3506, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1534)

Amended by: (1535)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2011. (1536)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2011. (1537)

Sec. 21.048. STATEMENT OF DAMAGES AND COSTS. (1538)(1-click HTML)

After the special commissioners in an eminent domain proceeding have assessed the damages, they shall: (1539)

(1) make a written statement of their decision stating the damages, date it, sign it, and file it and all other papers connected with the proceeding with the court on the day the decision is made or on the next working day after the day the decision is made; and (1540)

(2) make and sign a written statement of the accrued costs of the proceeding, naming the party against whom the costs are adjudged, and file the statement with the court. (1541)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3507, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 18, Sec. 1(c), eff. Oct. 2, 1984. (1542)

Sec. 21.049. NOTICE OF DECISION OF SPECIAL COMMISSIONERS. (1543)(1-click HTML)

The judge of a court hearing a proceeding under this chapter shall inform the clerk of the court as to a decision by the special commissioners on the day the decision is filed or on the next working day after the day the decision is filed. Not later than the next working day after the day the decision is filed, the clerk shall send notice of the decision by certified or registered United States mail, return receipt requested, to the parties in the proceeding, or to their attorneys of record, at their addresses of record. (1544)

Added by Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 18, Sec. 1(d), eff. Oct. 2, 1984. (1545)

SUBCHAPTER D. JUDGMENT (1546)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 21.061. JUDGMENT ON COMMISSIONERS' FINDINGS. (1547)(1-click HTML)

If no party in a condemnation proceeding files timely objections to the findings of the special commissioners, the judge of the court that has jurisdiction of the proceeding shall adopt the commissioners' findings as the judgment of the court, record the judgment in the minutes of the court, and issue the process necessary to enforce the judgment. (1548)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3507, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1549)

Sec. 21.062. WRIT OF POSSESSION. (1550)(1-click HTML)

If a condemnor in a condemnation proceeding has taken possession of property pending litigation and the court finally decides that the condemnor does not have the right to condemn the property, the court shall order the condemnor to surrender possession of the property and issue a writ of possession to the property owner. (1551)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3507, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1552)

Sec. 21.063. APPEAL. (1553)(1-click HTML)

(a) The appeal of a judgment in a condemnation proceeding is as in other civil cases. (1554)

(b) A court hearing an appeal from the decision of a trial court in a condemnation proceeding may not suspend the judgment of the trial court pending the appeal. (1555)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3507, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1556)

Sec. 21.064. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. (1557)(1-click HTML)

(a) A court hearing a suit covered by Section 21.003 of this code may grant injunctive relief under the rules of equity. (1558)

(b) Instead of granting an injunction under this section, a court may require a condemnor to provide security adequate to compensate the property owner for damages that might result from the condemnation. (1559)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3508, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1560)

Sec. 21.065. VESTED INTEREST. (1561)(1-click HTML)

A judgment of a court under this chapter vests a right granted to a condemnor. (1562)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3508, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1563)

SUBCHAPTER E. REPURCHASE OF REAL PROPERTY FROM CONDEMNING ENTITY (1564)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 21.101. RIGHT OF REPURCHASE. (1565)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person from whom a real property interest is acquired by an entity through eminent domain for a public use, or that person's heirs, successors, or assigns, is entitled to repurchase the property as provided by this subchapter if: (1566)

(1) the public use for which the property was acquired through eminent domain is canceled before the property is used for that public use; (1567)

(2) no actual progress is made toward the public use for which the property was acquired between the date of acquisition and the 10th anniversary of that date; or (1568)

(3) the property becomes unnecessary for the public use for which the property was acquired, or a substantially similar public use, before the 10th anniversary of the date of acquisition. (1569)

(b) In this section, "actual progress" means the completion of two or more of the following actions: (1570)

(1) the performance of a significant amount of labor to develop the property or other property acquired for the same public use project for which the property owner's property was acquired; (1571)

(2) the provision of a significant amount of materials to develop the property or other property acquired for the same public use project for which the property owner's property was acquired; (1572)

(3) the hiring of and performance of a significant amount of work by an architect, engineer, or surveyor to prepare a plan or plat that includes the property or other property acquired for the same public use project for which the property owner's property was acquired; (1573)

(4) application for state or federal funds to develop the property or other property acquired for the same public use project for which the property owner's property was acquired; (1574)

(5) application for a state or federal permit to develop the property or other property acquired for the same public use project for which the property owner's property was acquired; (1575)

(6) the acquisition of a tract or parcel of real property adjacent to the property for the same public use project for which the owner's property was acquired; or (1576)

(7) for a governmental entity, the adoption by a majority of the entity's governing body at a public hearing of a development plan for a public use project that indicates that the entity will not complete more than one action described by Subdivisions (1)-(6) before the 10th anniversary of the date of acquisition of the property. (1577)

(c) A district court may determine all issues in any suit regarding the repurchase of a real property interest acquired through eminent domain by the former property owner or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns. (1578)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1307, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004. (1579)

Amended by: (1580)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011. (1581)

Sec. 21.102. NOTICE TO PREVIOUS PROPERTY OWNER REQUIRED. (1582)(1-click HTML)

Not later than the 180th day after the date an entity that acquired a real property interest through eminent domain determines that the former property owner is entitled to repurchase the property under Section 21.101, the entity shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns a notice containing: (1583)

(1) an identification, which is not required to be a legal description, of the property that was acquired; (1584)

(2) an identification of the public use for which the property had been acquired and a statement that: (1585)

(A) the public use was canceled before the property was used for the public use; (1586)

(B) no actual progress was made toward the public use; or (1587)

(C) the property became unnecessary for the public use, or a substantially similar public use, before the 10th anniversary of the date of acquisition; and (1588)

(3) a description of the person's right under this subchapter to repurchase the property. (1589)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1307, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004. (1590)

Amended by: (1591)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011. (1592)

Sec. 21.1021. REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION REGARDING CONDEMNED PROPERTY. (1593)(1-click HTML)

(a) On or after the 10th anniversary of the date on which real property was acquired by an entity through eminent domain, a property owner or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns may request that the condemning entity make a determination and provide a statement and other relevant information regarding: (1594)

(1) whether the public use for which the property was acquired was canceled before the property was used for the public use; (1595)

(2) whether any actual progress was made toward the public use between the date of acquisition and the 10th anniversary of that date, including an itemized description of the progress made, if applicable; and (1596)

(3) whether the property became unnecessary for the public use, or a substantially similar public use, before the 10th anniversary of the date of acquisition. (1597)

(b) A request under this section must contain sufficient detail to allow the entity to identify the specific tract of land in relation to which the information is sought. (1598)

(c) Not later than the 90th day following the date of receipt of the request for information, the entity shall send a written response by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the requestor. (1599)

Amended by: (1600)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011. (1601)

Sec. 21.1022. LIMITATIONS PERIOD FOR REPURCHASE RIGHT. (1602)(1-click HTML)

Notwithstanding Section 21.103, the right to repurchase provided by this subchapter is extinguished on the first anniversary of the expiration of the period for an entity to provide notice under Section 21.102 if the entity: (1603)

(1) is required to provide notice under Section 21.102; (1604)

(2) makes a good faith effort to locate and provide notice to each person entitled to notice before the expiration of the deadline for providing notice under that section; and (1605)

(3) does not receive a response to any notice provided under that section in the period for response prescribed by Section 21.103. (1606)

Amended by: (1607)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011. (1608)

Sec. 21.103. RESALE OF PROPERTY; PRICE. (1609)(1-click HTML)

(a) Not later than the 180th day after the date of the postmark on a notice sent under Section 21.102 or a response to a request made under Section 21.1021 that indicates that the property owner, or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns, is entitled to repurchase the property interest in accordance with Section 21.101, the property owner or the owner's heirs, successors, or assigns must notify the entity of the person's intent to repurchase the property interest under this subchapter. (1610)

(b) As soon as practicable after receipt of a notice of intent to repurchase under Subsection (a), the entity shall offer to sell the property interest to the person for the price paid to the owner by the entity at the time the entity acquired the property through eminent domain. The person's right to repurchase the property expires on the 90th day after the date on which the entity makes the offer. (1611)

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1307, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004. (1612)

Amended by: (1613)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011. (1614)

CHAPTER 22. TRESPASS TO TRY TITLE (1615)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 22.001. TRESPASS TO TRY TITLE. (1616)(1-click HTML)

(a) A trespass to try title action is the method of determining title to lands, tenements, or other real property. (1617)

(b) The action of ejectment is not available in this state. (1618)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3509, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1619)

Sec. 22.002. TITLE SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN ACTION. (1620)(1-click HTML)

A headright certificate, land scrip, bounty warrant, or other evidence of legal right to located and surveyed land is sufficient title to maintain a trespass to try title action. (1621)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3509, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1622)

Sec. 22.003. FINAL JUDGMENT CONCLUSIVE. (1623)(1-click HTML)

A final judgment that establishes title or right to possession in an action to recover real property is conclusive against the party from whom the property is recovered and against a person claiming the property through that party by a title that arises after the action is initiated. (1624)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3509, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1625)

Sec. 22.004. EFFECT OF FORMER LAW. (1626)(1-click HTML)

This chapter does not affect rights that existed before the introduction of the common law in this state. Those rights are defined by the principles of the law in effect at the time the rights accrued. (1627)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3509, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1628)

SUBCHAPTER B. JUDGMENT AND DAMAGES (1629)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 22.021. CLAIM FOR IMPROVEMENTS. (1630)(1-click HTML)

(a) A defendant in a trespass to try title action who is not the rightful owner of the property, but who has possessed the property in good faith and made permanent and valuable improvements to it, is either: (1631)

(1) entitled to recover the amount by which the estimated value of the defendant's improvements exceeds the estimated value of the defendant's use and occupation of and waste or other injury to the property; or (1632)

(2) liable for the amount by which the value of the use and occupation of and waste and other injury to the property exceeds the value of the improvements and for costs. (1633)

(b) In estimating values of improvements or of use and occupation: (1634)

(1) improvements are valued at the time of trial, but only to the extent that the improvements increased the value of the property; and (1635)

(2) use and occupation is valued for the time before the date the action was filed that the defendant was in possession of the property, but excluding the value resulting from the improvements made by the defendant or those under whom the defendant claims. (1636)

(c) The defendant who makes a claim for improvements must plead: (1637)

(1) that the defendant and those under whom the defendant claims have had good faith adverse possession of the property in controversy for at least one year before the date the action began; (1638)

(2) that they or the defendant made permanent and valuable improvements to the property while in possession; (1639)

(3) the grounds for the claim; (1640)

(4) the identity of the improvements; and (1641)

(5) the value of each improvement. (1642)

(d) The defendant is not liable for damages under this section for injuries or for the value of the use and occupation more than two years before the date the action was filed, and the defendant is not liable for damages or for the value of the use and occupation in excess of the value of the improvements. (1643)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3509, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1644)

Sec. 22.022. WRIT OF POSSESSION. (1645)(1-click HTML)

If in a trespass to try title action the plaintiff obtains a judgment for the contested property, but the defendant obtains a judgment for the value of the defendant's improvements in excess of the defendant's liability for use, occupation, and damages, the court may not issue a writ of possession until the first anniversary of the judgment unless the plaintiff pays to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the defendant the amount of the judgment in favor of the defendant plus interest. (1646)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3510, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1647)

Sec. 22.023. FAILURE TO PAY. (1648)(1-click HTML)

(a) If after a trespass to try title action a plaintiff does not pay a judgment awarded to a defendant, plus accrued interest, before the first anniversary of the judgment and if the defendant, before the sixth month after the first anniversary of the judgment, pays the value of the property, less the value of the defendant's improvements, to the clerk of the court for the benefit of the plaintiff, the plaintiff may not obtain a writ of possession or maintain any proceeding against the defendant or the defendant's heirs or assigns for the property awarded to the plaintiff in the trespass to try title action. (1649)

(b) If an eligible defendant does not exercise the option under this section, a plaintiff may apply for a writ of possession as in other cases. (1650)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3511, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1651)

Sec. 22.024. PAYMENTS INTO COURT. (1652)(1-click HTML)

If a party in a trespass to try title action makes a payment to the clerk of a court under this subchapter, the clerk shall enter a dated memorandum of the payment on the page of the record on which the judgment was entered. The clerk shall pay the money on demand to the person entitled to the payment, who shall indicate receipt of the payment by dating and signing the record on the same page on which the judgment was entered. (1653)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3511, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1654)

SUBCHAPTER C. REMOVAL OF IMPROVEMENTS (1655)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 22.041. PLEA FOR REMOVAL OF IMPROVEMENTS. (1656)(1-click HTML)

(a) A defendant in a trespass to try title action who is not the rightful owner of the property in controversy may remove improvements made to the property if: (1657)

(1) the defendant, and those under whom the defendant claims, possessed the property, and made permanent and valuable improvements to it, without intent to defraud; and (1658)

(2) the improvements can be removed without substantial and permanent damage to the property. (1659)

(b) The pleadings of a defendant who seeks to remove improvements must contain: (1660)

(1) a statement that the defendant, and those under whom the defendant claims, adversely possessed the property, and made permanent and valuable improvements to it, without intent to defraud; (1661)

(2) a statement identifying the improvements; and (1662)

(3) an offer to provide a surety bond in an amount and conditioned as required by this section. (1663)

(c) Before removing the improvements, the defendant must post a surety bond in an amount determined by the court, conditioned on the removal of the improvements in a manner that substantially restores the property to the condition it was in before the improvements were made. (1664)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3511, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1665)

Sec. 22.042. REFEREE. (1666)(1-click HTML)

A court that authorizes a defendant in a trespass to try title action to remove improvements shall appoint a referee to supervise the removal. The court may require the referee to make reports to the court concerning the removal. (1667)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3512, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1668)

Sec. 22.043. RETAINED JURISDICTION. (1669)(1-click HTML)

A court that authorizes a defendant in a trespass to try title action to remove improvements retains jurisdiction of the action until the court makes a final disposition of the case and a final determination of the rights, duties, and liabilities of the parties and sureties. (1670)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3512, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1671)

Sec. 22.044. CONDITION FOR REMOVAL. (1672)(1-click HTML)

Before a court in a trespass to try title action authorizes a defendant to remove improvements, the court may require the defendant to satisfy a money judgment in favor of the plaintiff that arises out of a claim of the plaintiff in the action. (1673)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3512, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1674)

Sec. 22.045. CUMULATIVE REMEDIES. (1675)(1-click HTML)

The remedy of removing improvements may be pleaded as an alternative to all other remedies at law or in equity. (1676)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3513, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1677)

CHAPTER 23. PARTITION (1678)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 23.001. PARTITION. (1679)(1-click HTML)

A joint owner or claimant of real property or an interest in real property or a joint owner of personal property may compel a partition of the interest or the property among the joint owners or claimants under this chapter and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. (1680)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3513, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1681)

Sec. 23.002. VENUE AND JURISDICTION. (1682)(1-click HTML)

(a) A joint owner or a claimant of real property or an interest in real property may bring an action to partition the property or interest in a district court of a county in which any part of the property is located. (1683)

(b) A joint owner of personal property must bring an action to partition the property in a court that has jurisdiction over the value of the property. (1684)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3513, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1685)

Sec. 23.003. EFFECT ON FUTURE INTERESTS. (1686)(1-click HTML)

A partition of real property involving an owner of a life estate or an estate for years and other owners of equal or greater estate does not prejudice the rights of an owner of a reversion or remainder interest. (1687)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3513, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1688)

Sec. 23.004. EFFECT OF PARTITION. (1689)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person allotted a share of or an interest in real property in a partition action holds the property or interest in severalty under the conditions and covenants that applied to the property prior to the partition. (1690)

(b) A court decree confirming a report of commissioners in partition of real property gives a recipient of an interest in the property a title equivalent to a conveyance of the interest by a warranty deed from the other parties in the action. (1691)

(c) Except as provided by this chapter, a partition of real property does not affect a right in the property. (1692)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3513, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (1693)

Sec. 23.005. FEES. (1694)(1-click HTML)

The judge of a court that hears an action to partition real property shall examine the report of the commissioners appointed to partition the property and shall determine from the report and from evidence submitted by the parties the complexity and difficulty of making the partition. The court shall then award the commissioners, and any surveyor appointed by the court or retained by the commissioners, a reasonable fee for the services rendered. The fees awarded shall be taxed and collected as costs of court in the same manner as the other costs in the action. (1695)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3514, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 443, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. (1696)

Sec. 23.006. ACCESS EASEMENT FOR PARTITIONED PROPERTY. (1697)(1-click HTML)

(a) Unless waived by the parties in an action to partition property under this chapter, the commissioners appointed to partition property shall grant a nonexclusive access easement on a tract of partitioned property for the purpose of providing reasonable ingress to and egress from an adjoining partitioned tract that does not have a means of access through a public road or an existing easement appurtenant to the tract. The order granting the access easement shall contain a legal description of the easement. (1698)

(b) Unless waived by the parties in writing in a private partition agreement, the property owner of a partitioned tract that has a means of access through a public road or an existing easement appurtenant to the tract shall grant in the private partition agreement a nonexclusive access easement on the owner's partitioned tract for the purpose of providing reasonable ingress to and egress from an adjoining partitioned tract that does not have a means of access through a public road or an existing easement appurtenant to the tract. (1699)

(c) The access easement may not be a width greater than a width prescribed by a municipality or county for a right-of-way on a street or road. The access easement route must be the shortest route to the adjoining tract that: (1700)

(1) causes the least amount of damage to the tract subject to the easement; and (1701)

(2) is located the greatest reasonable distance from the primary residence and related improvements located on the tract subject to the easement. (1702)

(d) The adjoining tract owner who is granted an access easement under this section shall maintain the easement and keep the easement open for public use. (1703)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 647, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (1704)

CHAPTER 23A. UNIFORM PARTITION OF HEIRS' PROPERTY ACT (1705)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 23A.001. SHORT TITLE. (1706)(1-click HTML)

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Partition of Heirs' Property Act. (1707)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1708)

Sec. 23A.002. DEFINITIONS. (1709)(1-click HTML)

In this chapter: (1710)

(1) "Ascendant" means an individual who precedes another individual in lineage, in the direct line of ascent from the other individual. (1711)

(2) "Collateral" means an individual who is related to another individual under the law of intestate succession of this state but who is not the other individual's ascendant or descendant. (1712)

(3) "Descendant" means an individual who follows another individual in lineage, in the direct line of descent from the other individual. (1713)

(4) "Determination of value" means a court order determining the fair market value of heirs' property under Section 23A.006 or 23A.010 or adopting the valuation of the property agreed to by all cotenants. (1714)

(5) "Heirs' property" means real property held in tenancy in common that satisfies all of the following requirements as of the filing of a partition action: (1715)

(A) there is no agreement in a record binding all the cotenants that governs the partition of the property; (1716)

(B) one or more of the cotenants acquired title from a relative, whether living or deceased; and (1717)

(C) any of the following applies: (1718)

(i) 20 percent or more of the interests are held by cotenants who are relatives; (1719)

(ii) 20 percent or more of the interests are held by an individual who acquired title from a relative, whether living or deceased; or (1720)

(iii) 20 percent or more of the cotenants are relatives. (1721)

(6) "Partition by sale" means a court-ordered sale of the entire heirs' property, whether by open-market sale, sealed bids, or auction conducted under Section 23A.010. (1722)

(7) "Partition in kind" means the division of heirs' property into physically distinct and separately titled parcels. (1723)

(8) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. (1724)

(9) "Relative" means an ascendant, descendant, or collateral or an individual otherwise related to another individual by blood, marriage, adoption, or law of this state other than this chapter. (1725)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1726)

Sec. 23A.003. APPLICABILITY; RELATION TO OTHER LAW. (1727)(1-click HTML)

(a) In an action to partition real property under Chapter 23, the court shall determine whether the property is heirs' property. If the court determines that the property is heirs' property, the property must be partitioned under this chapter unless all of the cotenants otherwise agree in a record. (1728)

(b) This chapter supplements Chapter 23 and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governing partition of real property. If an action is governed by this chapter, this chapter supersedes provisions of Chapter 23 and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governing partition of real property that are inconsistent with this chapter. (1729)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1730)

Sec. 23A.004. SERVICE; NOTICE BY POSTING. (1731)(1-click HTML)

(a) This chapter does not limit or affect the method by which service of a petition in a partition action may be made. (1732)

(b) If the plaintiff in a partition action seeks citation by publication and the court determines that the property may be heirs' property, the plaintiff, not later than the 10th day after the date the determination is made, shall post, and maintain while the action is pending, a conspicuous sign on the property that is the subject of the action. The sign must state that the action has commenced and identify the name and address of the court and the common designation by which the property is known. The court may require the plaintiff to publish on the sign the name of the plaintiff and the known defendants. (1733)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1734)

Sec. 23A.005. COMMISSIONERS. (1735)(1-click HTML)

If the court appoints commissioners under Rule 761, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, each commissioner, in addition to the requirements and disqualifications applicable to commissioners under that rule, must be impartial and may not be a party to or a participant in the action. (1736)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1737)

Sec. 23A.006. DETERMINATION OF VALUE. (1738)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) or (c), if the court determines that the property that is the subject of a partition action is heirs' property, the court shall determine the fair market value of the property by ordering an appraisal under Subsection (d). (1739)

(b) If all cotenants have agreed to the value of the property or to another method of valuation, the court shall adopt that value or the value produced by the agreed method of valuation. (1740)

(c) If the court determines that the evidentiary value of an appraisal is outweighed by the cost of the appraisal, the court, after an evidentiary hearing, shall determine the fair market value of the property and send notice to the parties of the value. (1741)

(d) If the court orders an appraisal, the court shall appoint a disinterested real estate appraiser to determine the fair market value of the property assuming sole ownership of the fee simple estate. On completion of the appraisal, the appraiser shall file a sworn or verified appraisal with the court. (1742)

(e) If an appraisal is conducted under Subsection (d), not later than the 10th day after the date the appraisal is filed, the court shall send notice to each party with a known address, stating: (1743)

(1) the appraised fair market value of the property; (1744)

(2) that the appraisal is available at the clerk's office; and (1745)

(3) that a party may file with the court an objection to the appraisal not later than the 30th day after the date notice is sent, stating the grounds for the objection. (1746)

(f) If an appraisal is filed with the court under Subsection (d), the court shall conduct a hearing to determine the fair market value of the property not earlier than the 30th day after the date a copy of the notice of the appraisal is sent to each party under Subsection (e), whether or not an objection to the appraisal is filed under Subsection (e)(3). In addition to the court-ordered appraisal, the court may consider any other evidence of value offered by a party. (1747)

(g) After a hearing under Subsection (f), but before considering the merits of the partition action, the court shall determine the fair market value of the property and send notice to the parties of the value. (1748)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1749)

Sec. 23A.007. COTENANT BUYOUT. (1750)(1-click HTML)

(a) If any cotenant requested partition by sale, after the determination of value under Section 23A.006, the court shall send notice to the parties that any cotenant except a cotenant that requested partition by sale may buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale. (1751)

(b) Not later than the 45th day after the date notice is sent under Subsection (a), any cotenant except a cotenant that requested partition by sale may give notice to the court that the cotenant elects to buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale. (1752)

(c) The purchase price for each of the interests of a cotenant that requested partition by sale is the value of the entire parcel determined under Section 23A.006 multiplied by the cotenant's fractional ownership of the entire parcel. (1753)

(d) After the period provided by Subsection (b) expires: (1754)

(1) if only one cotenant elects to buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale, the court shall notify all the parties of that fact; (1755)

(2) if more than one cotenant elects to buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale, the court shall: (1756)

(A) allocate the right to buy those interests among the electing cotenants based on each electing cotenant's existing fractional ownership of the entire parcel divided by the total existing fractional ownership of all cotenants electing to buy; and (1757)

(B) send notice to all the parties of that fact and of the price to be paid by each electing cotenant; or (1758)

(3) if no cotenant elects to buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale, the court shall: (1759)

(A) send notice to all the parties of that fact; and (1760)

(B) resolve the partition action under Section 23A.008(a) or (b). (1761)

(e) If the court sends notice to the parties under Subsection (d)(1) or (2), the court shall set a date, not earlier than the 60th day after the date notice was sent, by which an electing cotenant must pay the cotenant's apportioned price into the court. After that date: (1762)

(1) if all electing cotenants timely pay their apportioned price into court, the court shall: (1763)

(A) issue an order reallocating all the interests of the cotenants; and (1764)

(B) disburse the amounts held by the court to the persons entitled to them; (1765)

(2) if no electing cotenant timely pays its apportioned price, the court shall resolve the partition action under Section 23A.008(a) or (b) as if the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale were not purchased; or (1766)

(3) if one or more but not all of the electing cotenants fail to pay their apportioned price on time, the court shall give notice to the electing cotenants that paid their apportioned price of the interest remaining and the price for all that interest. (1767)

(f) Not later than the 20th day after the date the court gives notice under Subsection (e)(3), any cotenant that paid may elect to purchase all of the remaining interest by paying the entire price into the court. After that period expires: (1768)

(1) if only one cotenant pays the entire price for the remaining interest, the court shall: (1769)

(A) issue an order reallocating the remaining interest to that cotenant; (1770)

(B) promptly issue an order reallocating the interests of all of the cotenants; and (1771)

(C) disburse the amounts held by the court to the persons entitled to the amounts; (1772)

(2) if no cotenant pays the entire price for the remaining interest, the court shall resolve the partition action under Section 23A.008(a) or (b) as if the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale were not purchased; or (1773)

(3) if more than one cotenant pays the entire price for the remaining interest, the court shall: (1774)

(A) reapportion the remaining interest among those paying cotenants, based on each paying cotenant's original fractional ownership of the entire parcel divided by the total original fractional ownership of all cotenants that paid the entire price for the remaining interest; (1775)

(B) promptly issue an order reallocating all of the cotenants' interests; (1776)

(C) disburse the amounts held by the court to the persons entitled to the amounts; and (1777)

(D) promptly refund any excess payment held by the court. (1778)

(g) Not later than the 45th day after the date the court sends notice to the parties under Subsection (a), any cotenant entitled to buy an interest under this section may request the court to authorize the sale as part of the pending action of the interests of cotenants named as defendants and served with the complaint but that did not appear in the action. (1779)

(h) If the court receives a timely request under Subsection (g), the court, after hearing, may deny the request or authorize the requested additional sale on such terms as the court determines are fair and reasonable, subject to the following limitations: (1780)

(1) a sale authorized under this subsection may occur only after the purchase prices for all interests subject to sale under Subsections (a) through (f) have been paid into court and those interests have been reallocated among the cotenants as provided in those subsections; and (1781)

(2) the purchase price for the interest of a nonappearing cotenant is based on the court's determination of value under Section 23A.006. (1782)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1783)

Sec. 23A.008. PARTITION ALTERNATIVES. (1784)(1-click HTML)

(a) If all the interests of all cotenants that requested partition by sale are not purchased by other cotenants under Section 23A.007, or if after conclusion of the buyout under Section 23A.007 a cotenant remains that has requested partition in kind, the court shall order partition in kind unless the court, after consideration of the factors listed in Section 23A.009, finds that partition in kind will result in substantial prejudice to the cotenants as a group. In considering whether to order partition in kind, the court shall approve a request by two or more parties to have the requesting parties' individual interests aggregated. (1785)

(b) If the court does not order partition in kind under Subsection (a), the court shall order partition by sale under Section 23A.010 or, if no cotenant requested partition by sale, the court shall dismiss the action. (1786)

(c) If the court orders partition in kind under Subsection (a), the court may require that one or more cotenants pay one or more other cotenants amounts so that the payments, taken together with the value of the in-kind distributions to the cotenants, will make the partition in kind just and proportionate in value to the fractional interests held. (1787)

(d) If the court orders partition in kind, the court shall allocate to the cotenants that are unknown, unlocatable, or the subject of a default judgment, if those cotenants' interests were not bought out under Section 23A.007, a part of the property representing the combined interests of those cotenants as determined by the court, and that part of the property shall remain undivided. (1788)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1789)

Sec. 23A.009. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARTITION IN KIND. (1790)(1-click HTML)

(a) In determining under Section 23A.008(a) whether partition in kind would result in substantial prejudice to the cotenants as a group, the court shall consider the following: (1791)

(1) whether the heirs' property practicably can be divided among the cotenants; (1792)

(2) whether partition in kind would apportion the property in such a way that the aggregate fair market value of the parcels resulting from the division would be materially less than the value of the property if the property were sold as a whole, taking into account the condition under which a court-ordered sale likely would occur; (1793)

(3) evidence of the collective duration of ownership or possession of the property by a cotenant and one or more predecessors in title or predecessors in possession to the cotenant who are or were relatives of the cotenant or each other; (1794)

(4) a cotenant's sentimental attachment to the property, including any attachment arising because the property has ancestral or other unique or special value to the cotenant; (1795)

(5) the lawful use being made of the property by a cotenant and the degree to which the cotenant would be harmed if the cotenant could not continue the same use of the property; (1796)

(6) the degree to which the cotenants have contributed the cotenants' pro rata share of the property taxes, insurance, and other expenses associated with maintaining ownership of the property or have contributed to the physical improvement, maintenance, or upkeep of the property; and (1797)

(7) any other relevant factor. (1798)

(b) The court may not consider any one factor under Subsection (a) to be dispositive without weighing the totality of all relevant factors and circumstances. (1799)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1800)

Sec. 23A.010. OPEN-MARKET SALE, SEALED BIDS, OR AUCTION. (1801)(1-click HTML)

(a) If the court orders a sale of heirs' property, the sale must be an open-market sale unless the court finds that a sale by sealed bids or at an auction would be more economically advantageous and in the best interest of the cotenants as a group. (1802)

(b) If the court orders an open-market sale and the parties, not later than the 10th day after the date the order is entered, agree on a real estate broker to offer the property for sale, the court shall appoint the broker and establish a reasonable commission. If the parties do not agree on a broker, the court shall appoint a disinterested real estate broker to offer the property for sale and shall establish a reasonable commission. The broker shall offer the property for sale in a commercially reasonable manner at a price no lower than the determination of value and on the terms and conditions established by the court. (1803)

(c) If the broker appointed under Subsection (b) obtains within a reasonable time an offer to purchase the property for at least the determination of value: (1804)

(1) the broker shall comply with the reporting requirements of Section 23A.011; and (1805)

(2) the sale may be completed in accordance with state law other than this chapter. (1806)

(d) If the broker appointed under Subsection (b) does not obtain within a reasonable time an offer to purchase the property for at least the determination of value, the court, after hearing, may: (1807)

(1) approve the highest outstanding offer, if any; (1808)

(2) redetermine the value of the property and order that the property continue to be offered for an additional time; or (1809)

(3) order that the property be sold by sealed bids or at an auction. (1810)

(e) If the court orders a sale by sealed bids or at an auction, the court shall set terms and conditions of the sale. If the court orders an auction, the auction must be conducted in the manner provided by law for a sale made under execution. (1811)

(f) If a purchaser is entitled to a share of the proceeds of the sale, the purchaser is entitled to a credit against the price in an amount equal to the purchaser's share of the proceeds. (1812)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1813)

Sec. 23A.011. REPORT OF OPEN-MARKET SALE. (1814)(1-click HTML)

(a) Unless required to do so earlier by other law governing the partition of real property, a broker appointed under Section 23A.010(b) to offer heirs' property for open-market sale shall file a report with the court not later than the seventh day after the date an offer is received to purchase the property for at least the value determined under Section 23A.006 or 23A.010. (1815)

(b) The report required by Subsection (a) must contain the following information: (1816)

(1) a description of the property to be sold to each buyer; (1817)

(2) the name of each buyer; (1818)

(3) the proposed purchase price; (1819)

(4) the terms and conditions of the proposed sale, including the terms of any owner financing; (1820)

(5) the amounts to be paid to lienholders; (1821)

(6) a statement of contractual or other arrangements or conditions of the broker's commission; and (1822)

(7) other material facts relevant to the sale. (1823)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1824)

Sec. 23A.012. UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION. (1825)(1-click HTML)

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to the subject matter of this chapter among states that enact a law based on the uniform act on which this chapter is based. (1826)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1827)

Sec. 23A.013. RELATION TO ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN GLOBAL AND NATIONAL COMMERCE ACT. (1828)(1-click HTML)

This chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c)) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act (15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b)). (1829)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 297 (S.B. 499), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (1830)

CHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (1831)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 24.001. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER. (1832)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person commits a forcible entry and detainer if the person enters the real property of another without legal authority or by force and refuses to surrender possession on demand. (1833)

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, a forcible entry is: (1834)

(1) an entry without the consent of the person in actual possession of the property; (1835)

(2) an entry without the consent of a tenant at will or by sufferance; or (1836)

(3) an entry without the consent of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry. (1837)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3514, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. (1838)

Sec. 24.002. FORCIBLE DETAINER. (1839)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person who refuses to surrender possession of real property on demand commits a forcible detainer if the person: (1840)

(1) is a tenant or a subtenant wilfully and without force holding over after the termination of the tenant's right of possession; (1841)

(2) is a tenant at will or by sufferance, including an occupant at the time of foreclosure of a lien superior to the tenant's lease; or (1842)

(3) is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry. (1843)

(b) The demand for possession must be made in writing by a person entitled to possession of the property and must comply with the requirements for notice to vacate under Section 24.005. (1844)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3514, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 200, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. (1845)

Sec. 24.003. SUBSTITUTION OF PARTIES. (1846)(1-click HTML)

If a tenancy for a term expires while the tenant's suit for forcible entry is pending, the landlord may prosecute the suit in the tenant's name for the landlord's benefit and at the landlord's expense. It is immaterial whether the tenant received possession from the landlord or became a tenant after obtaining possession of the property. (1847)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. (1848)

Sec. 24.004. JURISDICTION; DISMISSAL. (1849)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a justice court in the precinct in which the real property is located has jurisdiction in eviction suits. Eviction suits include forcible entry and detainer and forcible detainer suits. A justice court has jurisdiction to issue a writ of possession under Sections 24.0054(a), (a-2), and (a-3). (1850)

(b) A justice court does not have jurisdiction in a forcible entry and detainer or forcible detainer suit and shall dismiss the suit if the defendant files a sworn statement alleging the suit is based on a deed executed in violation of Chapter 21A, Business & Commerce Code. (1851)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (1852)

Amended by: (1853)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 958 (H.B. 1111), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012. (1854)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1242 (S.B. 1320), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (1855)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 22.002(28), eff. September 1, 2013. (1856)

Sec. 24.005. NOTICE TO VACATE PRIOR TO FILING EVICTION SUIT. (1857)(1-click HTML)

(a) If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults or holds over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period at least three days' written notice to vacate the premises before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit, unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. A landlord who files a forcible detainer suit on grounds that the tenant is holding over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period must also comply with the tenancy termination requirements of Section 91.001. (1858)

(b) If the occupant is a tenant at will or by sufferance, the landlord must give the tenant at least three days' written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. If a building is purchased at a tax foreclosure sale or a trustee's foreclosure sale under a lien superior to the tenant's lease and the tenant timely pays rent and is not otherwise in default under the tenant's lease after foreclosure, the purchaser must give a residential tenant of the building at least 30 days' written notice to vacate if the purchaser chooses not to continue the lease. The tenant is considered to timely pay the rent under this subsection if, during the month of the foreclosure sale, the tenant pays the rent for that month to the landlord before receiving any notice that a foreclosure sale is scheduled during the month or pays the rent for that month to the foreclosing lienholder or the purchaser at foreclosure not later than the fifth day after the date of receipt of a written notice of the name and address of the purchaser that requests payment. Before a foreclosure sale, a foreclosing lienholder may give written notice to a tenant stating that a foreclosure notice has been given to the landlord or owner of the property and specifying the date of the foreclosure. (1859)

(c) If the occupant is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry, the landlord must give the person at least three days' written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit. (1860)

(d) In all situations in which the entry by the occupant was a forcible entry under Section 24.001, the person entitled to possession must give the occupant oral or written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible entry and detainer suit. The notice to vacate under this subsection may be to vacate immediately or by a specified deadline. (1861)

(e) If the lease or applicable law requires the landlord to give a tenant an opportunity to respond to a notice of proposed eviction, a notice to vacate may not be given until the period provided for the tenant to respond to the eviction notice has expired. (1862)

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (f-1), the notice to vacate shall be given in person or by mail at the premises in question. Notice in person may be by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older or personal delivery to the premises and affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be by regular mail, by registered mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question. (1863)

(f-1) As an alternative to the procedures of Subsection (f), a landlord may deliver the notice to vacate by securely affixing to the outside of the main entry door a sealed envelope that contains the notice and on which is written the tenant's name, address, and in all capital letters, the words "IMPORTANT DOCUMENT" or substantially similar language and, not later than 5 p.m. of the same day, depositing in the mail in the same county in which the premises in question is located a copy of the notice to the tenant if: (1864)

(1) the premises has no mailbox and has a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that prevents the landlord from entering the premises to affix the notice to vacate to the inside of the main entry door; or (1865)

(2) the landlord reasonably believes that harm to any person would result from personal delivery to the tenant or a person residing at the premises or from personal delivery to the premises by affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. (1866)

(f-2) Notice to vacate under Subsection (f-1) is considered delivered on the date the envelope is affixed to the outside of the door and is deposited in the mail, regardless of the date the notice is received. (1867)

(g) The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered. (1868)

(h) A notice to vacate shall be considered a demand for possession for purposes of Subsection (b) of Section 24.002. (1869)

(i) If before the notice to vacate is given as required by this section the landlord has given a written notice or reminder to the tenant that rent is due and unpaid, the landlord may include in the notice to vacate required by this section a demand that the tenant pay the delinquent rent or vacate the premises by the date and time stated in the notice. (1870)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (1871)

Amended by: (1872)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1198 (S.B. 1367), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2016. (1873)

Sec. 24.0051. PROCEDURES APPLICABLE IN SUIT TO EVICT AND RECOVER UNPAID RENT. (1874)(1-click HTML)

(a) In a suit filed in justice court in which the landlord files a sworn statement seeking judgment against a tenant for possession of the premises and unpaid rent, personal service on the tenant or service on the tenant under Rule 742a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, is procedurally sufficient to support a default judgment for possession of the premises and unpaid rent. (1875)

(b) A landlord may recover unpaid rent under this section regardless of whether the tenant vacated the premises after the date the landlord filed the sworn statement and before the date the court renders judgment. (1876)

(c) In a suit to recover possession of the premises, whether or not unpaid rent is claimed, the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant: (1877)

FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL MAY RESULT IN A DEFAULT JUDGMENT BEING ENTERED AGAINST YOU. (1878)

(d) In a suit described by Subsection (c), the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant on the first page of the citation in English and Spanish and in conspicuous bold print: (1879)

SUIT TO EVICT (1880)

THIS SUIT TO EVICT INVOLVES IMMEDIATE DEADLINES. A TENANT WHO IS SERVING ON ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY MAY HAVE SPECIAL RIGHTS OR RELIEF RELATED TO THIS SUIT UNDER FEDERAL LAW, INCLUDING THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (50 U.S.C. APP. SECTION 501 ET SEQ.), OR STATE LAW, INCLUDING SECTION 92.017, TEXAS PROPERTY CODE. CALL THE STATE BAR OF TEXAS TOLL-FREE AT 1-877-9TEXBAR IF YOU NEED HELP LOCATING AN ATTORNEY. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR LOW-COST LEGAL ASSISTANCE. (1881)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1464, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (1882)

Amended by: (1883)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 712 (S.B. 439), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (1884)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 812 (S.B. 1483), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. (1885)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 252 (H.B. 1127), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012. (1886)

Sec. 24.00511. APPEAL BOND FOR CERTAIN EVICTION SUITS. (1887)(1-click HTML)

(a) In a residential eviction suit for nonpayment of rent, the justice court shall state in the court's judgment the amount of the appeal bond, taking into consideration the money required to be paid into the court registry under Section 24.0053. (1888)

(b) In addition to meeting all other requirements of law, the bond must require the surety to provide the surety's contact information, including an address, phone number, and e-mail address, if any. If any of the contact information changes, the surety shall inform the court of the surety's new contact information. (1889)

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027 (H.B. 1334), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2016. (1890)

Sec. 24.00512. CONTEST OF CERTAIN APPEAL BONDS. (1891)(1-click HTML)

(a) This section does not apply to an appeal bond issued by a corporate surety authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance to engage in business in this state. (1892)

(b) If a party appeals the judgment of a justice court in a residential eviction suit for nonpayment of rent by filing an appeal bond, the opposing party may contest the bond amount, form of the bond, or financial ability of a surety to pay the bond by filing a written notice with the justice court contesting the appeal bond on or before the fifth day after the date the appeal bond is filed and serving a copy on the other party. After the notice is filed, the justice court shall notify the other party and the surety of the contest. (1893)

(c) Not later than the fifth day after the date the contest is filed, the justice court shall hold a hearing to hear evidence to determine whether to approve or disapprove the amount or form of the bond or the surety. (1894)

(d) If a party contests the amount or form of the bond, the contesting party has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the amount or form of the bond, as applicable, is insufficient. If a party contests the financial ability of a surety to pay the bond, the party filing the bond must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the surety has sufficient nonexempt assets to pay the appeal bond. If the justice court determines that the amount or form of the bond is insufficient or the surety does not have sufficient nonexempt assets to pay the appeal bond, the justice court must disapprove the bond. If the surety fails to appear at the contest hearing, the failure to appear is prima facie evidence that the bond should be disapproved. (1895)

(e) Not later than the fifth day after the date the justice court disapproves an appeal bond, the party appealing may make a cash deposit, file a sworn statement of inability to pay with the justice court, or appeal the decision disapproving the appeal bond to the county court. If the party appealing fails to make a cash deposit, file a sworn statement of inability to pay, or appeal the decision disapproving the appeal bond, the judgment of the justice court becomes final and a writ of possession and other processes to enforce the judgment must be issued on the payment of the required fee. (1896)

(f) If an appeal is filed, the justice court shall transmit to the county court the contest to the appeal bond and all relevant documents. The county court shall docket the appeal, schedule a hearing to be held not later than the fifth day after the date the appeal is docketed, notify the parties and the surety of the hearing time and date, and hear the contest de novo. The failure of the county court to hold a timely hearing is not grounds for approval or denial of the appeal. A writ of possession may not be issued before the county court issues a final decision on the appeal bond. (1897)

(g) After the contest is heard by the county court, the county clerk shall transmit the transcript and records of the case to the justice court. If the county court disapproves the appeal bond, the party may, not later than the fifth day after the date the court disapproves the appeal bond, perfect the appeal of the judgment on the eviction suit by making a cash deposit in the justice court in an amount determined by the county court or by filing a sworn statement of inability to pay with the justice court pursuant to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. If the tenant is the appealing party and a cash deposit in the required amount is not timely made or a sworn statement of inability to pay is not timely filed, the judgment of the justice court becomes final and a writ of possession and other processes to enforce the judgment must be issued on the payment of the required fee. If the landlord is the appealing party and a cash deposit is not timely made or a sworn statement of inability to pay is not timely filed, the judgment of the justice court becomes final. If the appeal bond is approved by the county court, the court shall transmit the transcript and other records of the case to the justice court, and the justice court shall proceed as if the appeal bond was originally approved. (1898)

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027 (H.B. 1334), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2016. (1899)

Sec. 24.0052. TENANT APPEAL ON PAUPER'S AFFIDAVIT. (1900)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a tenant in a residential eviction suit is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the tenant may appeal the judgment of the justice court by filing with the justice court, not later than the fifth day after the date the judgment is signed, a pauper's affidavit sworn before the clerk of the justice court or a notary public that states that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond. The affidavit must contain the following information: (1901)

(1) the tenant's identity; (1902)

  

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