What is a suit on sworn account? A suit on a sworn account is effective in cases where one party is owed money on an account. It is typically seen in an open account or other claim for goods including any claim for a liquidated money demand based upon written contract or founded on business dealings between the parties or is for personal service rendered.
A suit on a sworn account is different than a simple breach of contract in that there is a separate method of proving that the defendant has breached the contract.
Just like a traditional breach of contract claim, a plaintiff must prove that
- A valid contract existed between the plaintiff and the defendant,
- The plaintiff tendered performance or was excused from doing so
- The defendant breached the terms of the contract
- The plaintiff sustained damages because of the defendant’s breach
The plaintiff is obligated to prove that a contract existed through traditional methods, such as evidence and testimony. By doing so, they may then present prima facie evidence of the contract.
A suit on sworn account must include an action founded upon an open account or other claim for goods or services on which a systematic record has been kept supported by an affidavit where such claim is just and true and all lawful credits and offsets have been allowed and the damages are liquidated.
When filing a suit of sworn account, the goal of the plaintiff is to establish a right of recovery with “prima facie evidence” of the amount due, requiring no further proof of damages. The defendant must file a sworn denial according to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure to dispute the case. A sworn denial is when the defendant submits, along with his answer, an affidavit swearing to claims that negate the sworn account of the plaintiff. It must
A defendant who does not file a proper sworn denial to a properly filed suit on sworn account cannot dispute the accuracy of the stated charges. If this is the case, the defendant may amend the file to include a verified denial. The Supreme Court of Texas holds that a trial court’s refusal to allow a defendant a verified denial was an abuse of discretion.
If you feel that you have a potential collection case or have any questions regarding payment you may owe or owed to you, please contact us for an experienced collection attorney. Our number is 713-572-4900.