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. It will likely be pretty quick. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours. Small Claims actions are heard in 1 courthouses throughout Dickens County.
Small claims cases in Dickens County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Dickens County.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
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). The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled 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.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Can I hire an attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Dickens County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. 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.
Dickens County Court Locations
The precinct map for Dickens County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Dickens
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 70 Dickens, TX 79229-0070
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The phone number for the court is (806)623-5233. And you can email the court by clicking here.