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I want to move (transfer) my case to another court.

Court Basics

How to ask a judge to transfer your civil case to a court in a different county. Not for family law cases, criminal cases, or cases in Justice Court.
Overview

Guide Overview

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This guide tells you how to ask a judge to move (transfer) your civil case to a court in a different county. Note, this guide only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in the district court or county court at law. This guide also does not apply to justice court.

Common questions about Court How-Tos (Civil Procedure)

Note: This FAQ only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in a district court or county court at law. It also does not apply to justice court.

When a judge transfers venue, your case is moved to a court in a different county. You can ask a judge to transfer venue by filing a Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing.

Note: This FAQ only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in a district court or county court at law. It also does not apply to justice court.

Yes. You must file the Motion to Transfer Venue before you file any other document in a case except for a “special appearance.” If you file anything other than a special appearance before filing a Motion to Transfer Venue, you will give up your right to have the case moved. It’s important to talk with a lawyer if you have questions.

Note: There are exceptions to this rule. You may file a Motion to Transfer Venue after the deadline if:

  1. All of the parties sign the Motion to Transfer Venue that they agree to the case being moved, or
  2. You file a Motion to Transfer Venue due to prejudice. However, the law says that you should file the Motion as soon as you become aware of the prejudice.

Important: If your case is in the justice court (and not in a district or county court at law), a different exception applies:

  • The defendant in a justice court may challenge venue up to 21 days after the answer is filed, if the plaintiff files a case in an improper venue.

Note: This FAQ only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in a district court or county court at law. It also does not apply to justice court.

It depends. First, it is important that you are the right party to file the Motion to Transfer Venue (depending on the reason for the request) and that you file it before the deadline (if applicable). Then:

  • If you show venue is not proper in the current court, and mandatory in another court, the judge should transfer the case. 
  • If you show venue is not proper in the current court and proper in another court either under the general or permissive venue rules, the judge will likely transfer the case.
  • If you show venue is more convenient in another court, the judge may transfer your case for the convenience of the parties, the witnesses and in the interest of justice.
  • If you show you are likely to be prejudiced in the current court, and support the Motion with the required affidavits, the judge should transfer the case unless the credibility of the people that provide the affidavits is successfully challenged.
    • Remember: Either party may ask for the case to be moved to a different court because of prejudice. In this case, the general deadline rule does not apply, but the law says you should file the Motion as soon as you become aware of the prejudice.
  • If the parties agree to transfer the case to another court of proper venue, it is highly likely the judge will transfer the case. 
    • Remember: Either party may file the Motion at any time if it is by agreement, so long as the other side files its agreement to the transfer with the court in writing.
  • It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer in the county where the case was filed. The lawyer can tell you whether or not the judge is likely to transfer your case. 

Instructions & Forms

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This checklist tells you how to ask a judge to move (transfer) your civil case to a court in a different county if both sides do agree. 

Note: This checklist only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in a district court or county court at law. Do not use these forms for any cases in a justice court.

Checklist Steps

Agreed Motion to Transfer Venue- Click Here for the FORM

  • This form tells the judge that you need your case moved to a court in a different county and the other side has agreed.
  • Fill it out completely in blue or black ink and sign it.
  • Note: This Agreed Motion to Transfer Venue form applies to an agreed Motion where no hearing is required. Ask the clerk of the court if a hearing is required on your agreed Motion. You may need to include a Notice of Hearing if required for an agreed Motion in your court.

Section 3 tells the judge why you are asking to transfer venue. Neatly write why you need to transfer venue.

This is important. You must show that: 
1. Venue is not proper in the current court and venue is:

  • mandatory in another court, or
  • proper in another court under the general venue rules, or
  • proper in another court under the permissive venue rules, or

Important: Write in your Motion form the specific reason that the Plaintiff (or Petitioner) filed in the wrong county, and exactly why the county you are asking the court to transfer the case to is a proper county with mandatory, general or permissive venue.


2. Venue is more convenient in another court for the parties, the witnesses, and in the interest of justice, or 

3. A change of venue is supported by your affidavit and the affidavit of at least 3 other credible (believable) people that live in that county, showing local prejudice, that:

  • you cannot get a fair and impartial trial in the current county, or
  • any other sufficient (necessary) reason as determined by the court, or

4. The parties agree to change venue. 

 Order on Motion to Transfer Venue (called Order for short) - Click here for the FORM

  • Fill out this form completely in blue or black ink (except for the judge’s signature). 
  • You will ask the judge to sign this form to grant the motion and transfer your case

Guided Form Option

You may also choose to use the guided form to walk you through the motion and order. It will give you a completed documents ready for download and filing.

If the other side has a lawyer, ask the lawyer to sign.

Note: If the other side (or the other side’s lawyer) will not sign both forms, the venue transfer is not agreed

Turn in your completed Agreed Motion to Transfer Venue form at the clerk’s office and get a file-stamped copy. Ask the clerk when and how you can present your Order on Motion to Transfer Venue to a judge. Tell the clerk the venue transfer is agreed.

Send a file-stamped copy of the Motion to Transfer Venue to the other side. If the other side has a lawyer, send it to the lawyer instead of directly to the other side. Send it: 

  • by fax, or 
  • by email, or 
  • by commercial delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS), or
  • by personal delivery, or
  • by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail. (This way may take too long.)

Keep proof that you sent the Motion to Transfer Venue to the other side
 

Follow the clerk’s instructions on how to present your Order on Motion to Transfer Venue to a judge.    

If the judge signs your Order on Motion to Transfer Venue, take the signed order back to the clerk’s office. Turn it in and ask for a file-stamped copy. Tell the clerk that you need to have the case file transferred to the new court. 

Send a file-stamped copy of the signed Order on Motion to Transfer Venue to the other side by email, fax or commercial delivery. Keep proof that you sent it. 

Forms Required

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This checklist tells you how to ask a judge to move (transfer) your civil case to a court in a different county if both sides do not agree. 

Note: This checklist only applies to civil (not family law) cases that are in a district court or county court at law. Do not use these forms for any cases in a justice court.

Checklist Steps

Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing- Click here for the FORM

  • This form tells the judge that you need your case moved to a court in a different county.  
  • Fill it out completely in blue or black ink and sign it.

Section 3 tells the judge why you are asking to transfer venue. Neatly write why you need to transfer venue.

This is important. You must show that: 

1. Venue is not proper in the current court and venue is:

  • mandatory in another court, or
  • proper in another court under the general venue rules, or
  • proper in another court under the permissive venue rules, or

2. Venue is more convenient in another court for the parties, witnesses and in the interest of justice, or 

  • Important: Remember to include the facts in your Motion showing why venue is more convenient in another county for the parties, the witnesses and in the interest of justice. You can also (but you do not have to) attach a sworn affidavit or unsworn declaration with the facts supporting convenience.

3. A change of venue is supported by your affidavit and the affidavits of at least 3 other credible (believable) people that live in that county, showing local prejudice, that:

  • you cannot get a fair and impartial trial in the current county, or
  • any other sufficient (necessary) reason as determined by the court, or

4. the parties agree to change venue. 

Note: Only the defendant (or the respondent) may file a Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing because venue is not proper in the current court or due to convenience. Either the plaintiff (or the petitioner) or the defendant (or the respondent) may file a Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing due to reasons supported by affidavits (local prejudice) or by agreement of all of the parties.

  • Call the court clerk to get a hearing date for your Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing. Get a date that is at least 55 days away. 

Note: The other side must receive a copy of the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing at least 45 days before the hearing. See Texas Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 87.

  • Write the date and time of the hearing on the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing form.

Order on Motion to Transfer Venue (called Order for short). - Click Here for the form

  • Fill out this form completely in blue or black ink (except for the judge’s signature). 
  • You will ask the judge to sign this form to grant the motion and transfer your case.

Guided Form Option

You may also choose to use the guided form to walk you through the motion and order. It will give you a completed documents ready for download and filing.

Turn in the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing at the clerk’s office and get a copy for both you and the other side. The clerk will “file-stamp” your forms with the date and time and return the copies to you. 

Send a file-stamped copy of the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing to the other side on the same day you get the hearing date. If the other side has a lawyer, send it to the lawyer instead of directly to the other side. Send it: 

  • by fax, or 
  • by email, or 
  • by commercial delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS), or
  • by personal delivery, or
  • by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail. (This way may take too long.)

Keep proof that you sent the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing to the other side. You must bring proof to your hearing.   

Be ready to explain to the judge why you need to transfer venue. Bring proof that you sent the Motion to Transfer Venue and Notice of Hearing to the other side. Bring the Order on Motion to Transfer Venue for the judge to sign. Remember, the judge may or may not transfer your case.

If the judge signs your Order on Motion to Transfer Venue, take the signed order back to the clerk’s office. Turn it in and ask for a file-stamped copy. Tell the clerk that you need to have the case file transferred to the new court. 

Send a file-stamped copy of the signed Order on Motion to Transfer Venue to the other side by email, fax or commercial delivery. Keep proof that you sent it. 

Forms Required

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