Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Cochran County presides over small claims court actions for Cochran County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
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 Cochran 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. Cochran County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 1 courthouses in Cochran County.
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. 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 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).
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. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Cochran County Court Locations
The precinct map for Cochran County can be found here.
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Morton
This courthouse is located at:100 N Main, Rm B-4 Morton, TX 79346-2598