Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sworn Account Claim under Rule 185

TRCP 185 SWORN ACCOUNT CLAIM – SWORN DENIAL DESTROYS PRIMA FACIE CASE 

Under Rule 185, a suit on a sworn account must contain a systematic record of the goods sold or services rendered and be supported by an affidavit stating that the “claim is, within the knowledge of affiant, just and true, that it is due, and that all just and lawful offsets, payments and credits have been allowed.” Tex. R. Civ. P. 185. A petition that complies with the Rule establishes a prima facie case entitling the plaintiff to summary judgment. See Whiteside v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 220 S.W.3d 191, 194 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2007, no pet.); Powers v. Adams, 2 S.W.3d 496, 498 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, no pet.).

If the sworn petition contains any deficiency, however, the account will not constitute prima facie evidence of the debt. Panditi v. Apostle, 180 S.W.3d 924, 927 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2006, no pet.). A party resisting a claim on a sworn account must submit a sworn denial supported by affidavit. Tex. R. Civ. P. 93(10). The filing of a sworn denial destroys the evidentiary effect of the itemized account, requiring the plaintiff to produce proof of the claim. Rizk v. Fin. Guardian Ins. Agency, Inc., 584 S.W.2d 860, 862 (Tex. 1979); Thorp v. Adair & Myers, 809 S.W.2d 306, 307 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1991, no writ). 
 
SOURCE: Houston Court of Appeals 14-08-00691-CV 5/5/11

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