How Taken / Time
A party may appeal a judgment by filing a bond, making a cash deposit, or filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs with the justice court within 21 days after the judgment is signed or the motion to reinstate, motion to set aside, or motion for new trial, if any, is denied.
Amount of Bond / Sureties / Terms
A plaintiff must file a $500 bond. A defendant must file a bond in an amount equal to twice the amount of the judgment. The bond must be supported by a surety or sureties approved by the judge. The bond must be payable to the appellee and must be conditioned on the appellant’s prosecution of its appeal to effect and payment of any judgment and all costs rendered against it on appeal.
Cash Deposit in Lieu of Bond
In lieu of filing a bond, an appellant may deposit with the clerk of the court cash in the amount required of the bond. The deposit must be payable to the appellee and must be conditioned on the appellant’s prosecution of its appeal to effect and payment of any judgment and all costs rendered against it on appeal.
Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs
An appellant who cannot furnish a bond or pay a cash deposit in the amount required may instead file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs. The Statement must be on the form approved by the Supreme Court or include the information required by the Court-approved form and may be the same one that was filed with the petition.
The Statement may be contested as provided in Rule 502.3(d) within 7 days after the opposing party receives notice that the Statement was filed.
Appeal If Contest Sustained
If the contest is sustained, the appellant may appeal that decision by filing notice with the justice court within 7 days of that court’s written order. The justice court must then forward all related documents to the county court for resolution. The county court must set the matter for hearing within 14 days and hear the contest de novo, as if there had been no previous hearing, and if the appeal is granted, must direct the justice court to transmit to the clerk of the county court the transcript, records, and papers of the case, as provided in these rules.
If No Appeal or If Appeal Overruled
If the appellant does not appeal the ruling sustaining the contest, or if the county court denies the appeal, the appellant may, within five days, post an appeal bond or make a cash deposit in compliance with this rule.
Notice to Other Parties Required
If a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs is filed, the court must provide notice to all other parties that the Statement was filed no later than the next business day. Within 7 days of filing a bond or making a cash deposit, an appellant must serve written notice of the appeal on all other parties using a method approved under Rule 501.4.
No Default on Appeal Without Compliance With Rule
The county court to which an appeal is taken must not render default judgment against any party without first determining that the appellant has fully complied with this rule.
No Dismissal of Appeal Without Opportunity for Correction
An appeal must not be dismissed for defects or irregularities in procedure, either of form or substance, without allowing the appellant, after 7 days’ notice from the court, the opportunity to correct such defect.
An appeal is perfected when a bond, cash deposit, or Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs is filed in accordance with this rule.
The appellant must pay the costs on appeal to a county court in accordance with Rule 143a.