Publications

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.
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