Small Claims Court Venue
The action is generally filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside (where they live) or where location where the Defendants contracted themselves to perform. (Texas Government Code Section 28.011).
How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Types of Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. This could be an action to get your security deposit back, or an action to recover money for damage done to your vehicle after a car accident. The only types of cases that are prohibited are an assignment of a claim (whereby you transfer your interest in a case for someone else to collect), a divorce, or a case filed by a collection agency or agents.
Bastrop County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
The justice of the peace for Bastrop County presides over small claims court actions for Bastrop County.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003). Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Bastrop County.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
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, if you pay a painter $1,000 to paint your house and the painter does not even begin, you cannot ask the court to issue an order for the painter to paint your house. This would be called injunctive relief.
Bastrop County Court Locations
The precinct map for Bastrop County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Bastrop
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 336 Bastrop, TX 78602-0336
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (512)581-4258.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Smithville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 5 Smithville, TX 78957
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Cedar Creek
This courthouse is located at:5785 FM 535 Cedar Creek, TX 78612
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Elgin
This courthouse is located at:704 Bull Run Rd Elgin, TX 78621