In justice courts, judges are not necessarily lawyers, and the rules of evidence may not apply. Most debt collectors have lawyers representing them; defendants in debt claim cases often do not have the benefit of a lawyer. Many Texans fall into a “justice gap” where they are not poor enough to qualify for free legal services, but also cannot afford to pay for legal services on their own. Because more and more Texans are trapped in this situation, many litigants are left arguing their cases on their own or “pro se,” without the help of a skilled advocate. Key Findings: 1: Court website information is more helpful to plaintiffs than to defendants. 2: Most courts provide plaintiffs with forms to file debt claim cases. 3: No court provided defendants with answer forms specific to debt claim cases. 4: Links to applicable rules of civil procedure are available on most, but not all court websites.
Fair Defense Act
Immigrant Banking
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Criminal Discovery
Debt Collection
Debtors' Prisons
Disaster Recovery & Fair Housing
Foster Care & Courts
Homeless Youth
Immigrant Children & Families
International Remittances
Juvenile Justice
Mental Health
Payday & Auto Title Lending Reform
Protecting Seniors from Financial Abuse
School-to-Prison Pipeline
Amicus briefs