Small Claims 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. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice. Small Claims actions are heard in 6 courthouses throughout Bell County.
Can I appeal my case?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Can I file my small claims case in Bell County?
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).
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. 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 can I expect at trial?
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. 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Bell County presides over small claims court actions for Bell County.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. 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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Bell County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Belton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 88 Belton, TX 76513
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Salado
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 415 Salado, TX 76571-0415
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Temple
This courthouse is located at:205 E Central Ave Temple, TX 76501-4303
Precinct 3 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Temple
This courthouse is located at:205 E Central Ave Temple, TX 76501
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Killeen
This courthouse is located at:301 Priest Dr Killeen, TX 76541
Precinct 4 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Killeen
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 517 Killeen, TX 76540-0517