Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Donley County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of 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.
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).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
Small claims cases in Donley County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Donley County.
How are trials conducted?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a 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.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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 Donley 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.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Donley County Court Locations
The precinct map for Donley County can be found here.
Precincts 1 & 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Clarendon
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 828 Clarendon, TX 79226-0828
This courthouse handles cases for Precincts 1 & 2 Place 1. The phone number for the court is (806)874-2016. And you can email the court by clicking here.
Pcts 3 & 4 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Hedley
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 62 Hedley, TX 79237-0062
This courthouse handles cases for Pcts 3 & 4 Place 2. The phone number for the court is (806)856-5914. And you can email the court by clicking here.