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, you could sue a dry cleaner for ruining your clothes and ask for money to replace the clothes, but you cannot ask the judge for an order for the dry cleaner to repair your clothes. This type of relief would be injunctive relief. Ellis County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Ellis County.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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.
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).
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Ellis County
The justice of the peace for Ellis County presides over small claims court actions for Ellis County.
Can I appeal my case?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. 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. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Ellis County Court Locations
The precinct map for Ellis County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Ennis
This courthouse is located at:207 S Sonoma Trail Ennis, TX 75119
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (972)825-5319.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Waxahachie
This courthouse is located at:701 S I-35 E, Ste 1 Waxahachie, TX 75165
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (972)825-5022.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Waxahachie
This courthouse is located at:101 W Main St Ste 106 Waxahachie, TX 75165
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Midlothian
This courthouse is located at:1150 N Hwy 67, Ste 100 Midlothian, TX 76065-2308