Effective litigators in Texas State courts need to be familiar with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (“the Rules”) and need to follow them. The consequences of being ignorant or indifferent to the Rules can be harsh.
In 2013, Rule 47 was changed, requiring a party seeking affirmative relief to provide certain information before being entitled to seek discovery in the suit. The Rule has been reproduced in its entirety, along with its published comments, at the bottom of this page.
Discovery is essential to advancing most suits. Parties to the lawsuit are given the opportunity, if they are in compliance with the Rules, to have the other side make general disclosures about the case, to answer questions (interrogatories) under oath, to be deposed, to produce documents and other materials, and to make admissions, among other things. Discovery also allows a Party to seek much of this information from third parties, who are not a part of the suit.
However, if a Party fails to comply with Rule 47 then all of these tools become unavailable. Upon making a proper objection, a responding Party may refuse to comply with the discovery requests until the requirements of Rule 47 have been met.
Bower PLLC clients trust us to properly advance offensive claims and to defend them from opposing Parties who refuse to adhere to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. In the past we have used our knowledge of the Rules to avoid subjecting our clients to the burdens of discovery for months or years when the other side has not shown itself to be entitled to discovery due to their non-compliance with Rule 47.
“RULE 47. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
An original pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original petition, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third party claim, shall contain
(a) a short statement of the cause of action sufficient to give fair notice of the claim involved;
(b) a statement that the damages sought are within the jurisdictional limits of the court;
(c) except in suits governed by the Family Code, a statement that the party seeks:
(1) only monetary relief of $100,000 or less, including damages of any kind, penalties, costs, expenses, pre-judgment interest, and attorney fees; or
(2) monetary relief of $100,000 or less and non-monetary relief; or
(3) monetary relief over $100,000 but not more than $200,000; or
(4) monetary relief over $200,000 but not more than $1,000,000; or
(5) monetary relief over $1,000,000; and
(d) a demand for judgment for all the other relief to which the party deems himself entitled.
Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded; provided, further, that upon special exception the court shall require the pleader to amend so as to specify the maximum amount claimed. A party that fails to comply with (c) may not conduct discovery until the party’s pleading is amended to comply.
Comment to 2013 change:
Rule 47 is amended to require a more specific statement of the relief sought by a party. The amendment requires parties to plead into or out of the expedited actions process governed by Rule 169, added to implement section 22.004(h) of the Texas Government Code. Except in a suit governed by the Family Code, the Property Code, the Tax Code, or Chapter 74 of the Civil Practice & Remedies Code, a suit in which the original petition contains the statement in paragraph (c)(1) is governed by the expedited actions process. The further specificity in paragraphs (c)(2)-(5) is to provide information regarding the nature of cases filed and does not affect a party’s substantive rights.”
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This page was originally posted on 5/8/2018.