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). Small Claims actions are heard in 3 courthouses throughout Brewster 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). Small claims parties can only recover 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.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle 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
You should file your action in the County and specific Precinct where the defendants reside or where the defendant has contracted to perform. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Brewster County hears small claims court cases for Brewster County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Brewster County Court Clerk
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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. 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. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Brewster County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Alpine
This courthouse is located at:107 W Ave E, #9 Alpine, TX 79830
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Terlingua
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 496 Terlingua, TX 79852-0496
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Marathon
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 401 Marathon, TX 79842-0401
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)386-4530.