Small Claims Court Case Types
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.
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 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 type of relief would be injunctive relief.
The justice of the peace for De Witt County presides over small claims court actions for De Witt County.
What is the trial like?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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 hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Small Claims Court cases for De Witt are heard in 2 LOCATIONS throughout De Witt 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).
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
De Witt County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
De Witt County Court Locations
The precinct map for De Witt County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Cuero
This courthouse is located at:208 E Live Oak, Ste D Cuero, TX 77954
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Yorktown
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 336 Yorktown, TX 78164-0336