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Correcting a Clerical Error in Texas : General Steps to follow

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Step 1 - Is the Judgment Final?

Find out if the court order is Final. A judgment is final when the court’s order resolves all the claims (issues in dispute) for all involved parties. There is only one final judgment in a lawsuit.

Step 2 - Does the court still have the ability to change the orders?

Figure out if the court still has power to change their orders. A court loses “plenary power” when it no longer has the authority to change its own orders. A court has plenary power over its judgment until the order is final. And a judgment is final when the court’s order resolves all the claims (issues in dispute) for all involved parties. There is only one final judgment in a lawsuit.

Step 3 - Review

Find the mistake in your order.

Step 4 - Evaluate

Evalutate the mistake. Is it a clerical error or a judicial error?

A clerical error is a simple mistake like a typographical error. However, that is not always the case. Appeals courts have determined that a “clerical error” occurs when the written document is different from what the judge ordered in court.

 Some examples of clerical errors:

  • Incorrect dates
  • Differences between the judgment signed and the judgment the court intended to sign.
  • Mathematical errors

What is a judicial error?

Ask yourself whether the judge had to apply legal or judicial reasoning when making their decision in court. If they did, and you believe there is a mistake about the outcome, or the law, talk to an appellate (appeals) attorney. A motion for judgment nunc pro tunc is not intended to correct a judicial error. Click here for information on appealing a judgment. 

Step 6 - Contact

Contact the other party in your matter as soon as possible, and ask if they’ll agree to the motion.

Step 7: Fill out the Motion

Draft (write) or fill in the blanks in your motion.

Step 8: Corrected Order

Draft a corrected judgment/order.

Step 9: Fill out Order

Draft or fill out an order granting the motion for judgment nunc pro tunc.

Step 10: File

File everything:

  • the motion,
  • the corrected judgment/order
  • the order granting the motion for judgment nunc pro tunc
Step 11: Send

Send copies of everything to the other party or their attorney

Step 12: Set Hearing

Set hearing (if the other party does not agree to the motion) by talking to the court coordinator.

Step 13: Go to Court

Go to your hearing and ask the judge to enter a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc.