Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover 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.
Duval County Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Duval 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 Duval 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.
What is the trial like?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
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).
Can I hire an attorney?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. 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).
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250. Duval County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Duval County.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Duval County
Small claims cases in Duval County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Duval County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. The only types of cases that are prohibited are an assignment of a claim (whereby you transfer your interest in a case for someone else to collect), a divorce, or a case filed by a collection agency or agents.
Duval County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Diego
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 429 San Diego, TX 78384
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of San Diego
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1065 San Diego, TX 78384
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (361)279-6245.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Benavides
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 756 Benavides, TX 78341
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Freer
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 841 Freer, TX 78357
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (361)394-6011.