Special Appearance Texas

Texas Special Appearance

Special Appearance In Court

Texas attracts businesses from all across the nation and even from other countries. While this brings economic prosperity in Texas, it can cause a lot of issues if there happens to be a dispute involving out-of-state parties. It is in this situation where questions regarding court jurisdiction start to emerge. 

If you are an out-of-state defendant facing legal action in Texas, you must consider two options. First, you can pursue the option where you question whether the Texas court has jurisdiction over your person or property. Another option is to push for transferring the case to the federal district court. 

You don’t have to worry about which option is suitable in your situation because you can always hire an experienced business lawyer in Texas to guide you and explain more details about special appearance Texas.

Laws That Determine The Reach Of Texas Courts

Motion To Prove Jurisdiction

Special Appearance TexasTo find out whether a Texas court has jurisdiction in your case, you have to look at Chapter 17, Subsection C of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. It is often called the “Texas Long-Arm Statute”.  Plaintiffs must show that a case should be decided by a Texas court based on the statuses codified under the Texas Long-Arm Statute.

A Texas court may have jurisdiction if the Texas resident (plaintiff):

  • Engaged in a contract with the defendant, and that a part of or the whole of the contract was performed in Texas
  • Proves that the defendant broke the law partly or fully in Texas
  • Proves that the defendant directly or indirectly recruited Texas residents as employees

But for these bases for jurisdiction to apply, there are certain requirements that must be met.

Challenging Jurisdiction

Special Appearance

While it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to provide evidence to show that a Texas court has jurisdiction, the defendant has to challenge every basis the plaintiff raises. Every argument from the defendant must be supported by evidence. Another option is for the defendant to point out a law that shows that the court does not have jurisdiction.

Or the defendant can use both strategies. An out-of-state defendant has to file a “special appearance” (or motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction) to challenge jurisdiction. Special appearances are unique appearances because they are only filed to challenge jurisdiction.  But you must file it with a motion to transfer venue, hearing, plea, or motion. 

People that file it with that motion are assumed to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court over their case and may lose the right to challenge the court’s jurisdiction.

Parties That Can Challenge Jurisdiction

How To Make A Special Appearance In Court

The following parties can challenge a court’s jurisdiction:

  • Parties that have not placed themselves under the protection of Texas courts
  • Parties that do not own property in Texas
  • Parties that have not signed contracts in Texas
  • Parties that have not solicited business in the state of Texas
  • Parties with no bank account in Texas

Online advertising is not considered as soliciting business in Texas unless the ad specifically targets Texas residents or businesses. Talk to an experienced Texas lawyer if you believe that a Texas court does not have jurisdiction over your case.

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