Frequently Asked Questions
General questions

Which Precinct am I in?
Burnet County Precinct Map Please use map to locate your JP precinct for filing or contact 9-1-1 Addressing office for assistance at 512-756-5445.

Criminal Court

After I get a traffic ticket, how long should I wait to pay it?
If you come to the JP office before the date shown on your citation, it is possible the that the officer who gave you the citation has not yet filed it with the court. Please allow 10 days for the court to receive the citation. You may call to check or mail any correspondence.

Is a phone call equal to an appearance? Can I make arrangements by phone?
No. You must either come to the JP office in person or enter your plea and pay your fine by mail.

What happens if I miss an appearance date?
Appear as soon as possible otherwise a warrant may be issued for your arrest on added charges.

Can I get an extension on the date to appear in court?
Yes, but you must come to the court to sign the form requesting an extension.

Small Claims or Justice Civil Court
How do I file a Small Claims (or Justice Civil) suit?
It is suggested that a notice of intent to file suit be mailed to the person to be filed against by certified mail prior to the filing. The court has an Original Petition to be filled out and filed with the court. The fees for filing and service are to be paid at the time of filing ($127.00). You must have the correct name and physical address of the person you are filing against so that they can be served with the citation. After the citation has been served, the defendant has until Monday following the 10th day after service to answer the law suit. If there is no answer, a default hearing is set and the person filing is notified to appear and present their case. If there is an answer, a court date is set and both parties are notified to appear and present their cases. Neither the court clerk nor the judge can give legal advice. If the address for service is located outside Burnet County, you will be responsible for the proper office to provide service. In this case, payment for the service will be made payable to that office, and the filing fee of $41.00 will be due to the court.

Where do I get forms for filing civil suits?
The court can furnish sample petition forms for various types of civil suits. These forms can be mailed out. These are sample forms only and not intended to cover every type of case. You may use them if you choose, but the court does not bear responsibility for any deficiencies.

What is the difference between the Small Claims and Justice Civil Courts?
In Small Claims Court, only a suit for the recovery of money up to the $10,000.00 jurisdictional limit amount is permitted. It is an informal court and does not require the hiring of an attorney by any party. In Justice Civil Court, suits may be for the recovery of money and/or other items, (for example, the return of personal property), within the $10,000.00 jurisdiction of the court. It is a formal court and all legal rules of evidence and procedure apply.

What happens if I file a suit and the defendant does not answer?
Court will notify you when the defendant(s) have been served. If the defendant does not answer within the time allowed by law, you may contact the court and request placement of your case on the earliest default docket.

Once filed, when will case come to trial?
At least 45 days after date defendant has answered. The court will contact you about a court date.

How do I evict someone?
Contact the court for any procedural handout available and filing forms.
Follow the legal requirements set out in the Texas Property Code, Texas Rules of Court, Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, or other applicable laws.
The property must be located in Burnet County and in the precinct where the case is filed.
A suit for rent owed can be included in the eviction suit up to the $10,000.00 jurisdictional limit of the Justice Court. Only past due rent amounts may be awarded, although attorney fees may be awarded if allowed by contract. Damages and late fees can not be awarded in an eviction suit.
Once the citation is served by the constable, the court clerk will set a court date and notify both parties by mail.
If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, the tenant has five days to appeal or move before a Writ of Possession can be issued.

What must plaintiff bring to Court?
It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to prove the case was filed. Bring any documents or witnesses you believe are necessary to prove your case. Court is not responsible for copying your documents. Please provide a copy for the court and the other parties in the suit at the time of trial.

How do I know where to file a suit?
Generally, defendant must be served in precinct in which they live. There are special rules allowing exceptions in the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Texas Property Code, and the Texas Rule of Court.

What is the judge's role during the trial?
The judge is an important person responsible for listening to facts, reviewing evidence, and making a decision based on law. The judge does not present your case for the plaintiff or the defendant. You must be prepared to present your side of the case.