Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Do I need to 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 because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Cherokee County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Cherokee County.
Can I file my small claims case in Cherokee 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).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Cherokee County
The justice of the peace for Cherokee County presides over small claims court actions for Cherokee County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. This could be an action to get your security deposit back, or an action to recover money for damage done to your vehicle after a car accident. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Cherokee 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.
What can I expect at trial?
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. Additionally, the judge is allowed to ask questions of the parties and witnesses, and generally takes a more proactive role in determining the facts of a case. Trials generally are pretty short (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?
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 are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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 type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Cherokee County Court Locations
The precinct map for Cherokee County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Rusk
This courthouse is located at:272 Underwood St Rusk, TX 75785
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Alto
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 553 Alto, TX 75925-0553
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Jacksonville
This courthouse is located at:207 S Patton St Jacksonville, TX 75766
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of New Summerfield
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 247 New Summerfield, TX 75780