Correcting a Clerical Error in Texas : General Steps to follow
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.
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.
Find the mistake in your order.
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.
Contact the other party in your matter as soon as possible, and ask if they’ll agree to the motion.
Draft (write) or fill in the blanks in your motion.
Draft a corrected judgment/order.
Draft or fill out an order granting the motion for judgment nunc pro tunc.
- the motion,
- the corrected judgment/order
- the order granting the motion for judgment nunc pro tunc
Send copies of everything to the other party or their attorney
Set hearing (if the other party does not agree to the motion) by talking to the court coordinator.
Go to your hearing and ask the judge to enter a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc.