law-answer-to-lawsuit | appearance | general denial | specific denial | sworn denial | affirmative defenses |
special appearance challenging personal jurisdiction | motion to transfer venue if improper venue |
TRCP RULE 85. ORIGINAL ANSWER; CONTENTS
The original answer may consist of motions to transfer venue, pleas to the jurisdiction, in abatement,
or any other dilatory pleas; of special exceptions, of general denial, and any defense by way of
avoidance or estoppel, and it may present a cross-action, which to that extent will place defendant
in the attitude of a plaintiff. Matters in avoidance and estoppel may be stated together, or in several
special pleas, each presenting a distinct defense, and numbered so as to admit of separate issues to
be formed on them.
TRCP RULE 121. ANSWER IS APPEARANCE
An answer shall constitute an appearance of the defendant so as to dispense with the necessity for
the issuance or service of citation upon him.
TRCP RULE 120. ENTERING APPEARANCE
The defendant may, in person, or by attorney, or by his duly authorized agent, enter an appearance
in open court. Such appearance shall be noted by the judge upon his docket and entered in the
minutes, and shall have the same force and effect as if the citation had been duly issued and served
as provided by law.
CASES FROM HOUSTON COURTS OF APPEALS
Jackson v. Textron Fin. Corp. (Tex.App. – Houston [14th Dist.] Apr. 14, 2009)(Boyce)
(no answer default judgment reversed, answer was on file, general vs. sworn denial and counterclaim)
REVERSED AND REMANDED: Opinion by Justice Boyce
Before Justices Frost, Brown and Boyce
14-07-01011-CV Robert W. Jackson v. Textron Financial Corporation and Longagribusiness LLC N/K/A
Farmtrac North America
Appeal from 80th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Lynn M. Bradshaw-Hull
A defendant waives any defect in service by filing an answer. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 121 (“An
answer shall constitute an appearance of the defendant so as to dispense with the necessity for the issuance
or service of citation upon him.”); Burrow v. Arce, 997 S.W.2d 229, 246 (Tex. 1999) (“The filing of an answer
dispenses with the necessity of service of citation.”); Dawson-Austin v. Austin, 968 S.W.2d 319, 322 (Tex.
1998); In re $475,001.16, 96 S.W.3d 625, 628–29 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2002, no pet.).
Whitmire v. Greenridge Place Apartments (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 4, 2007)(Bland)(forcible detainer)
Here, Whitmire appealed the default judgment of the justice court and answered Greenridge’s petition in the
county court. Whitmire’s appeal and answer to Greenridge’s petition constitutes an appearance, and he
therefore waived any complaint regarding defects in service of process. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 121; Burrow, 997
S.W.2d at 246; Dawson-Austin, 968 S.W.2d at 322; In re $475,001.16, 96 S.W.3d at 628–29.
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