Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Small Claims actions are heard in 3 courthouses throughout Fannin County.
Can I file my small claims case in Fannin County?
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).
A Justice of the Peace for Fannin County hears small claims court cases for Fannin County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Fannin County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. 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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. 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.
Fannin County Court Locations
The precinct map for Fannin County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Bonham
This courthouse is located at:210 S Main St Bonham, TX 75418-4850
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Leonard
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1163 Leonard, TX 75452-1163
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Honey Grove
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 86 Honey Grove, TX 75446-0086