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 is the trial like?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil 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. 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.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00. Chambers County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 6 courthouses in Chambers County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Chambers County
A Justice of the Peace for Chambers County hears small claims court cases for Chambers County.
Chambers County Court Locations
The precinct map for Chambers County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Winnie
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 332 Winnie, TX 77665
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Anahuac
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 971 Anahuac, TX 77514
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Anahuac
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1407 Anahuac, TX 77514
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (409)252-4212.
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Mont Belvieu
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 827 Mont Belvieu, TX 77580
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Wallisville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 2 Wallisville, TX 77597-0002
Precinct 6 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Baytown
This courthouse is located at:7711 Hwy 146 Baytown, TX 77523