33rd Emergency Order


Pursuant to the Supreme Court's Thirty-Third Emergency Order viewable here, in-person jury service is canceled for all Brazos County Justice of the Peace Courts through April 1, 2021. Please check an individual court’s page (using the drop-down menu above) for further information.

Also in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Twenty-Ninth and Thirty-Third Emergency Orders, dockets in the Brazos County Justice Courts will be conducted virtually. If a party is unable to appear remotely (via Zoom), the party must notify the court for alternatives or a determination to arrangements in-person. Any proceedings conducted in-person will be conducted in compliance with the Emergency Orders issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and according to the guidance issued by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size, and other restrictions and precautions.

UPDATE ON EVICTION CASES (as of January 1, 2021)

Sworn Petitions for Residential Eviction

In accordance with the Supreme Court’s Thirty-Second Emergency Order (viewable here) for any RESIDENTIAL eviction proceeding filed from January 1, 2021 through January 31, 2021, the sworn petition for eviction must state whether or not:

  1. the premises are a “covered dwelling” subject to Section 4024 of the CARES Act;
  2. the plaintiff has provided the defendant with 30 days’ notice to vacate under Section 4024(c) of the CARES Act;
  3. the defendant has provided the plaintiff with a declaration under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s agency order, titled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (“CDC Order”) that took effect on September 4, 2020 and is extended by Section 502 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act; and
  4. the premises are a property securing an FHA-insured Single Family mortgage.

Furthermore, under the Supreme Court’s Thirty-First Emergency Order (viewable here) for any RESIDENTIAL eviction based in whole or part on the nonpayment of rent, filed from December 22, 2020 through March 15, 2021, the sworn petition for eviction must state that the plaintiff has reviewed the information about the Texas Eviction Diversion Program available at www.txcourts.gov/eviction-diversion/.

The required statements can be included in the original sworn petition for eviction, in an amended or supplemental sworn petition, or in a separate affidavit. Click here for a sample affidavit, or click here for an updated Petition for Eviction Based on Nonpayment of Rent.

CDC Moratorium

Supreme Court's Thirty-Second Emergency Order

In order to invoke the CDC’s temporary halt in residential nonpayment of rent evictions, a tenant who otherwise qualifies as a covered person must provide a sworn statement or declaration signed under penalty of perjury to the tenant’s landlord, owner of the residential property in which the tenant resides, or other person who has the right to have the tenant evicted or removed. Click here for a Declaration form to submit to your landlord. The National Low Income Housing Coalition also provides the Declaration form in 13 languages (including Spanish and Vietnamese) available here.

If you are submitting the Declaration after an eviction suit has been filed against you, you must also submit the Declaration to the Court in which your eviction case is pending.

A tenant can submit a Declaration form if the following are true:

  • The tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  • The tenant expects to earn no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in annual income for calendar year 2020, was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS, or received a stimulus check under the CARES Act;
  • The tenant is unable to pay his full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income, hours or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • The tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to full payment as the tenant’s circumstances permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
  • If evicted, the tenant would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters.

Following the filing of a Declaration in a residential eviction case based on nonpayment of rent, the Court will abate the eviction matter until at least February 1, 2021. However, note that a landlord does have the ability to contest the Declaration under the Supreme Court’s Order, and if the Declaration is held to be invalid, the eviction case can and will proceed. Also note that all rent and fee obligations continue to accrue during the abatement period.

Furthermore, be aware that under the CDC’s order, there are serious consequences against landlords who proceed with a nonpayment of rent eviction against a covered person after receiving a declaration. Likewise, a tenant availing himself of the moratorium protection does so under penalty of criminal prosecution for perjury.