De Novo – Defined – When a party in a case appeals a decision made by one court, they have the option of requesting that another court try the case again. This is called a de novo hearing, which is Latin for “anew” or “beginning again.”
A de novo hearing occurs when a District Court judge has referred a case to an Associate Court judge. Many times, parties to a case may want to appeal a judge’s ruling if they believe the court failed to make the proper judgment in a manner dictated by law. Of course, this does not guarantee that the new court won’t make a similar ruling, but the great part about a de novo trial is that whoever is hearing the new case is tasked with making a ruling based on facts and without referring to the conclusions of the original case.
If you want to appeal the associate judge’s ruling, you have three business days to do so. Per the Texas Family Code, a party may request a de novo hearing by filing a written request with the clerk of the new court no later than the third working day after the date the party receives notice of:
- The substance of the associate judge’s report, or
- The rendering of the temporary order, if the request concerns a temporary order rendered by an associate judge.
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