Thursday, July 3, 2008

First appeal from Small Claims Court is also last appeal

Judgments rendered by small claims court may be appealed to county court, but that court's final judgment is indeed final. Because no further appeal to a court of appeals is authorized, the attempted appeal is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

Dadi v. Atlas Rehab Group, Inc.
(Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] July 3, 2008)(Alcala)(no further appeal from de novo review of small claims court judgment in county court)
Opinion by Justice Elsa Alcala

Panel composition: Before Justices Nuchia, Alcala and Hanks
01-06-00922-CV Roghiyeh Dadi v. Atlas Rehab Group, Inc.
Appeal from County Civil Court at Law No 3 of Harris County (Judge Bradshaw-Hull)



Dadi asserts that this Court has jurisdiction to consider the appeal. An appeal from a small claims court final judgment is to the county court or county court at law. Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 28.052(a) (Vernon Supp. 2007). The county court or county court at law hears the appeal de novo, and judgment on the appeal is final. Id. at § 28.053(b), (d) (Vernon 2004).

The word "final" as used in section 28.053(d) means that there is no further appeal to any other court. Sultan v. Mathew, 178 S.W.3d 747, 749-50 (Tex. 2005); Davis v. Covert, 983 S.W.2d 301, 302 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1998, pet. dism'd w.o.j.) (en banc).

Here, Dadi is appealing a final judgment from a county court at law on an appeal from a judgment from a small claims court. We hold that courts of appeals do not have jurisdiction over judgments of county courts or county courts at law following a de novo appeal from small claims court.

We dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

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