Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Brewster County presides over small claims court actions for Brewster County. Small Claims Court cases for Brewster are heard in 3 LOCATIONS throughout Brewster County.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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. 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.
Can I hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally 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).
Can I file my small claims case in Brewster 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). 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. This would be called injunctive relief.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. There are no rules of evidence. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. It will likely be pretty quick. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Brewster County Court Locations
The precinct map for Brewster County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Alpine
This courthouse is located at:107 West 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.