As of March 1, 2013, new rules went into effect regarding the civil procedure in Texas. The Texas Supreme Court revised the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which will push small cases to trial and provide quick dismissals of unsupportable claims.
Now under Rule 47, plaintiffs are required to state the type of relief they seek. They could seek monetary, non-monetary, or a combination of both kinds of relief. If the monetary relief desired is under $100,000 and is subject to the Expedited Action rules, then the recovery will be capped at $100,000.
Also, the party can proceed to trial quickly (Rule 169), and the length of the trial is capped along with a limiting time for depositions and ability to challenge witnesses. A trial can be requested within 90 days of the end of discovery under this rule. Also, a court cannot order cases under Rule 169 to mediate.
Another new rule is Rule 91a where a party may move to dismiss a cause of action that has “no basis in law or fact.” This means that if the allegations plus reasonable inferences “do not entitle the claimant to relief,” then a claim has no basis in law. Cases that fall under this title will be dismissed.
For more information regarding the rule changes to the civil procedure process go to http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/rules/trcphome.asp.