Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
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.
Types of Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. 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. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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. 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 Venue
The action is generally filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside (where they live) or where location where the Defendants contracted themselves to perform. (Texas Government Code Section 28.011).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Denton County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Denton County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice. Small Claims Court cases for Denton are heard in 6 LOCATIONS throughout Denton County.
How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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. It will likely be pretty quick. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Denton County hears small claims court cases for Denton County.
Denton County Court Locations
The precinct map for Denton County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Denton
This courthouse is located at:401 W Hickory, Ste 227 Denton, TX 76201-9006
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (940)349-3170.
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of The Colony
This courthouse is located at:6301 Main St, Ste 100 The Colony, TX 75056-1634
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Lewisville
This courthouse is located at:190 N Valley Pkwy, #100 Lewisville, TX 75067-3466
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Roanoke
This courthouse is located at:816 N Hwy 377 Roanoke, TX 76262
Precinct 5 Courthouse in the City of Cross Roads
This courthouse is located at:1400 FM 424, Ste 124 Cross Roads, TX 76227
Precinct 6 Courthouse in the City of Carrollton
This courthouse is located at:1029 W Rosemeade Pkwy Carrollton, TX 75007-6251