Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your 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. 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Types of Small Claims 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. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
Small claims cases in Bexar County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Bexar County. Small Claims actions are heard in 5 courthouses throughout Bexar County.
Can I hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Bexar County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Antonio
This courthouse is located at:
Precinct 1 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of San Antonio
This courthouse is located at:3505 Pleasanton Rd San Antonio, TX 78221
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 2. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (210)335-4500.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Antonio
This courthouse is located at:7723 Guilbeau Rd, Ste 105 San Antonio, TX 78250-3216
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Antonio
This courthouse is located at:320 Interpark Blvd San Antonio, TX 78217
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Antonio
This courthouse is located at:2711 SE Loop 410, Ste 200 San Antonio, TX 78222