Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of money). You cannot seek injunctive relief. For example, you could sue a dry cleaner for ruining your clothes and ask for money to replace the clothes, but you cannot ask the judge for an order for the dry cleaner to repair your clothes. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
What is the trial like?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. There are no rules of evidence. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. It will likely be pretty quick. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
In order to follow correct procedure, a small claims case needs to be filed in the proper county and precinct. In Texas, the action is filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside or where a contract was to be performed. (Government Code Section 28.011). Small Claims actions are heard in 5 courthouses throughout Angelina County.
Do I need A Lawyer?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Angelina County Court Clerk
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. While the clerk can help you with procedural issues, the clerk is not able to give legal advice. They will direct you to an attorney if answering your question would require that.
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Angelina County
A Justice of the Peace for Angelina County hears small claims court cases for Angelina County.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Angelina County Court Locations
The precinct map for Angelina County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Lufkin
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 43 Lufkin, TX 75901-0043
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Lufkin
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 150423 Lufkin, TX 75915-0423
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Huntington
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 311 Huntington, TX 75949
Precinct 3 Place 1 (At large) Courthouse in the City of Zavalla
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 31 Zavalla, TX 75980
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Diboll
This courthouse is located at:211 N Temple Dr Diboll, TX 75941-1701