Chapter 27: Evictions

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Section 1: Provisions

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Overview

Property Code, §24.005 provides for evicting persons occupying property acquired by the State but who, after being notified, refuse to vacate this property. Submit district requests for eviction proceedings to ROW Division HQ, and coordinate these requests with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Follow this procedure only after all other attempts to move the occupants are exhausted. Develop a factual evidence documentary file to send with the submission to the ROW Division requesting eviction proceedings. In this file, include copies of prior letters and correspondence (including 90-day and 30-day notices given under the relocation program) to persons occupying the property and a history of personal contacts.

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Information to be Included

In the submission, also include specific information about whether the parcel was acquired by negotiated deed or by condemnation. If the parcel is being condemned, include the following information regarding the status of the proceedings:

Specifically identify each party (person or other legal entity) to be evicted by name and service of process address (registered agent and address if a corporation or other legal entity with a registered agent) in the same manner as for condemnation proceedings.

Use caution when parties being evicted (1) occupy the property under a written lease agreement from prior fee owners and, as tenants, (2) were not joined as parties in the condemnation proceedings. Under such a lease agreement the tenant may require more days to vacate in a notice.

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Attorney Fees

If attorney’s fees will be requested from the party being evicted, include the following in a written demand to vacate:

“This is a formal notice and demand that you vacate the above identified and described property within ten (10) days after this notice was sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. If you do not vacate the premises before the 11th day after the date you receive this notice, the State may institute a forcible-detainer action against you. If such action is filed, Section 24.006 of V.T.C.A. Property Code provides that the State of Texas may recover reasonable attorney’s fees from you.”

If attorney’s fees will not be requested, a shorter time period demand letter may be sent as follows:

“This is a formal notice and demand that you vacate the above identified and described property within three (3) days after receipt of this notice. If you do not vacate the premises before the 4th day after the date you receive this notice, the State may institute a forcible-detainer action against you.”

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