Removing Discriminatory Deed Provisions: Steps and Paperwork

Follow these steps to ask the court to remove discriminatory provisions from your deed.

Checklist Steps

If you own real property, look at your deed. The deed should be among the documents that you keep in your personal files. The documents might come from the purchase or sale of a property. Or, the documents may be among documents you have because you have inherited property.

If you don't have these documents, go to your county clerk's office to get a copy of the deed. Some counties have ways to search for documents online. You might also be able to request a certified copy of the deed online.

Or you may have to go to the office in person. The Bexar County Clerk's Real Property/Land Records website explains a way to get a copy of your deed (but methods may vary by county).

Look to see if there is discriminatory language in the documents. The language will simply look discriminatory. For example, it might say that the property's use, sale, or lease may be restricted just because of the buyer's or tenant's race, color, religion, or national origin.

You will need a certified copy of the deed. This is because the court needs to know where it is on file in the public records, and that the document you want corrected is authentic.

Write down where the language is found in the deed: for example, what page and what paragraph number it is on. Include this information on the Petition.

Fill out the Petition for Judicial Review of Conveyance Instrument Alleged to Contain a Discriminatory Provision.

A legal property description should always be obtained from an existing deed, not just the tax records on the county appraisal district's website. 

On Page 2 of the Petition, before the “Prayer” section (a “prayer” is what you are asking the court to do), there is a space where you must fill in where in the deed the discriminatory provision can be found—for example, the page number and paragraph number.

Before you file the Petition, attach a copy of the deed or conveyance instrument that contains the discriminatory provision to the motion. Write “Exhibit A” on the deed or conveyance instrument.

When you sign the Petition’s “Acknowledgement” section, you are signing it under penalty of perjury. It must be 100% true and correct.

Fill in the Order to Remove the Discriminatory Provision with as much information as you have. At this stage in the process, you probably do not have the case number yet. But you will already have other information, such as the county; the place in the county clerk's office where the deed is filed; and the section of the deed where the discriminatory language is found.

There is no filing fee for this petition. See Texas Property Code 5.0261.

File (turn in) the completed, signed petition and order at the clerk’s office in the county where the property is located.

You may also be able to file the petition electronically, although you will need an electronic copy of your deed. Learn about e-filing here. Unless a more on-point option becomes available, your case category will likely be “Civil – Real Property” and the case type code will likely be “other property.”

  • To file your forms online, go to E-File Texas and follow the instructions.
  • To file your forms in person, take your motion and additional starting forms (and copies) to the clerk’s office in the county where the property is. 

At the clerk’s office:

  • Turn in your motion and other starting forms (and copies).
  • There is no filing fee for a Petition to Remove Discriminatory Covenant.
  • Ask the clerk if there is a local standing order that you need to follow or attach to any of your documents.
  • Ask the clerk if there are local rules or procedures related to real property lawsuits.
  • The clerk will write your “Cause Number” and “Court Number” at the top of the first page of your Petition. Write these numbers at the top of any document you file in this case, such as the Order.
  • The clerk will “file stamp” your copies with the date and time. The clerk will keep the original and give you back your copies.

You do not have to appear in court. The judge reviews the petition and deed in their chambers (office). The judge will make a ruling based on what you filed.

The petition is considered automatically granted if 15 days pass and the court does not sign the order.

You should follow up with the court and clerk’s office to confirm, however. If the court has not signed the order in a timely manner, contact a lawyer for advice. Use TexasLawHelp’s Legal Help Directory to help you find a lawyer in your area.

After the judge signs the order, court staff transfer it to the county clerk for recording and indexing not later than the 10th day after the date the judge either signs it or after it is automatically admitted.

If the finding is not entered into the index in a timely manner, contact a lawyer for advice. Use TexasLawHelp’s Legal Help Directory to help you find a lawyer in your area.

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