Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. The only types of cases that are prohibited are an assignment of a claim (whereby you transfer your interest in a case for someone else to collect), a divorce, or a case filed by a collection agency or agents.
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. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the 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.
Small Claims 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. 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?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
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. Callahan County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 3 courthouses in Callahan County.
A Justice of the Peace for Callahan County hears small claims court cases for Callahan County.
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).
Callahan County Court Locations
The precinct map for Callahan County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Clyde
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 86 Clyde, TX 79510-0086
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Baird
This courthouse is located at:100 W 4th St, Ste 209 Baird, TX 79504-5323
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Cross Plains
This courthouse is located at:424 S Main, P O Box 273 Cross Plains, TX 76443-0273