The Amos Law Firm


So you received the dreaded appeal notice. Typically this notice is sent to you if your tenant disagrees with the judgment issued by the Justice of Peace. Some even use it to buy extra time in the rental home or unit. Either way, during this period you may not be receiving rent. In addition, you are dealing with a tenant who knows the system really well. We’ve got you covered, as Houston Eviction Attorneys we have been successful in prosecuting appeals in a timely manner.  This can typically result in a procedural lost to your tenant, entitling you to your property quicker.

Typically, tenants appeal using two methods. The documents commonly used to appeal the decision of the Justice of Peace Judgment are the Appeal Bond and the Statement or Affidavit of Inability to Pay. You may sometimes hear the Appeal Bond also called a surety bond.  These are commonly seen in eviction courts throughout Houston, Texas. Each method of appealing has strict rules that apply to the procedure of appealing. Once the case is appealed and appeal is perfected the case moves from the Justice of Peace level and lands in one of the County Courts of Law. In Harris County, there are four County Courts of Law. In other Counties there may be more or less. Surrounding counties such as Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, and Brazoria County tend to have fewer County Courts. These courts not only have stricter rules but may also require you to “prove up” you case in a certain manner. Proving each element may be difficult if you do not know what the judge is looking for in regard to your forcible detainer action. If you don’t have representation, evicting a tenant at this level becomes a little more difficult.

Here are five facts about appeals and the court procedure on the County Court Level:

  •  Once your tenants appeal is perfected the trial on the County Court level is what is called a trial de novo. What this means is that the tenant is granted a fresh trial. Any rulings, arguments, or evidence is not admissible until made admissible by the judge presiding over the case. 

  •  There are many methods to get evict your tenant quicker. Procedure is key to these tactics. Schedule your consultation with an Eviction Attorney to find out how you can evict your tenant quicker.

  • You are in control. Ensure that you receive your rent during the pending of the appeal. Many tenants use the appeal system to reside in your rental home or rental unit during the duration of the appeal. Know your rights!

  • The tenant has five days to appeal his or her case. This period begins on the day that the judgment is rendered. In some Justice of Peace courts there are extended periods. See if your eviction was filed in one of these precincts.

  •  If you lose your case on the appeal level the judge will typically allow you the right to re-file your case. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Judges can rule in the tenants favor and issue a judgment with prejudice. This means not only can you not file the case again based on the same merits, but that also your only remedy on those merits may be to file an appeal to a superior court.