Can I file my small claims case in Briscoe County?
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).
Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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.
How are trials conducted?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas 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. This would be called injunctive relief.
Small claims cases in Briscoe County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Briscoe County. Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Briscoe County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Briscoe County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
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).
Briscoe County Court Locations
The precinct map for Briscoe County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Silverton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 67 Silverton, TX 79257-0067
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Quitaque
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 427 Quitaque, TX 79255
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (806)455-1456.