Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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.
Small Claims Court Case Types
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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
How are trials conducted?
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. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for De Witt County hears small claims court cases for De Witt County.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. 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).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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. 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.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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). Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout De Witt County.
De Witt County Court Locations
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