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(or that she will never enforce the judgment) and file it with the Justice of the Peace Court, the landlord can evict you anytime without another hearing or any grace period (as long as it is the sixth day or longer after the hearing and you have not appealed the decision of the judge). The landlord will not need any reason and could conceivably evict you even if you pay back rent. Therefore, if the landlord will not sign an agreement to dissolve the judgment (or promise never to enforce it), it might be better to move.

[Note that if you are a tenant renting a lot for your mobile home, the court must give you 30 days to move your mobile home so long as you pay the rent for 30 days to the landlord. This is true even if you owe rent for previous months. This law was designed with the recognition that it is difficult to move a mobile home in a short time. If you do pay the landlord, be sure to get a receipt and provide a copy to the court to confirm that the court will not issue the eviction writ until after the 30 days expire. You should do this soon after the judge rules against you and certainly by the fifth day after the date the judgment was issued.]

Appealing an Eviction Case The party that loses in a Justice of the Peace Court may appeal for a new trial in the County Court. Although it is possible to represent yourself at the County Court level, the rules are much more complicated. It is best to obtain legal representation. The party wishing to appeal has only five days after the judge signs the judgment to file an appeal with the Justice of the Peace Court. To determine the deadline: Begin counting on the day after the trial (or date the judgment is signed if that is later). Count weekends and holidays, but the deadline will be extended to the next day the court is open if the fifth day falls on a weekend or holiday. For example, if the trial is Thursda , the deadline to file is Tuesday. If the judgment is signed on Monday, the deadline to file is the next Monday. Ask the court clerk, a lawyer, or tenant asso- ciation to get information on the deadlines and the necessary papers.

To appeal a case to County Court, you must either put up a bond (a bond is a promise to pay a certain amount) or file a pauper’s affidavit of inability to pay the bond. If it is the tenant who is appealing, the Justice of the Peace will commonly set the bond at two to three times the amount of your rent. A bond must be signed by you and two others who have real estate in Texas (that no one lives on) or other sufficient assets (e.g., savings accounts, stocks). The judge must approve the bond. A bond guarantees that the other party's costs for the appeal will be paid in case you lose. A tenant can also deposit cash into the court in the place of a bond. The appealing party must also pay court costs for filing the appeal in County Court. If you win in County Court, you will receive the bond back and will be entitled to the court costs from the landlord. If you lose, the landlord will be able to apply for some of the bond money, depending on her costs for obtaining possession and any lost rent.

If you have very little money, low income, and limited personal prop- erty, you can appeal by filing a pauper's affidavit instead of posting a

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