Skip to Main Content
my account

Small Claims Cases

This legal research guide provides information about small claims cases in justice court and provides links to filing information for select Texas counties.

Collecting a Judgment

Collecting a Money Judgment

A court judgment awarding money in Texas is referred to as a "money judgment." If the plaintiff in a small claims case was awarded a money judgment, they are referred to as the "judgment creditor." 

If the defendant in a small claims case was ordered to pay in a money judgment, they are now referred to as the "judgment debtor."

Being awarded a money judgment in a small claims case does not automatically mean the judgment creditor will get the money owed to them. Certain legal action may need to be taken by the judgment creditor to try and collect the debt owed to them. Check out the following subpages to learn more about the different options available.

For those who were ordered to pay in a money judgment, check out our Debt Collection research guide for resources on your rights as a debtor.

Texas Law

Court Rules

Understanding the Law

Post-Judgment Discovery

Post-judgment discovery is a way for the winning party to find out what assets the losing party owns and where they are located. Post-judgment discovery does not require the justice court's approval.

Court rules state the losing party must be given at least 30 days to respond to a request. The losing party may file a written objection with the court within 30 days of receiving the request. If an objection is filed, the judge must hold a hearing to determine if the request is valid.

Court Rules

Understanding the Law


Chapter 26 from this resource contains forms related to post-judgment discovery.

Foreign Judgments

Judgments that are issued outside of Texas by other states or foreign countries are referred to as "foreign" judgments. To try and collect on a foreign judgment here in Texas, the winning party must file their foreign judgment with a Texas court in order to have it "domesticated." Once domesticated, they may then try to collect the debt owed to them here in Texas. 

Texas Law

Understanding the Law

Do Judgments Expire in Texas?

Judgments awarded in Texas to a non-government creditor are generally valid for ten years but can be renewed for longer. If a judgment is not renewed, it will become dormant.

A creditor can request to revive a dormant judgment to continue to try and collect the debt. However, you generally only have two years in which to try and revive a dormant judgment.

Texas Law

Understanding the Law

E-Books from the Texas State Law Library

You can borrow the e-books below with your library account. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account online! Learn more about how to register online.

Books at the Texas State Law Library

These print books are not available online. They are available at the Texas State Law Library in Austin. If you can't visit the library in person, these books might be available at a law library near you or a public library near you.