Types of 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.
Small claims cases in Erath County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Erath County. Erath County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 2 courthouses in Erath County.
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. 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.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Erath 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.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Can I file my small claims case in Erath County?
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).
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (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.
Do I need A Lawyer?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Erath County Court Locations
Precinct 1, 3 & 4 Courthouse in the City of Stephenville
This courthouse is located at:112 W College St Stephenville, TX 76401
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Dublin
This courthouse is located at:219 S Grafton Dublin, TX 76446