Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Do I need to 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 largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
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.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Fayette County
A Justice of the Peace for Fayette County hears small claims court cases for Fayette County.
What can I expect at trial?
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. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover 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. This type of relief would be injunctive relief. Small Claims Court cases for Fayette are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout Fayette County.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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 Fayette 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.
Fayette County Court Locations
The precinct map for Fayette County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of La Grange
This courthouse is located at:1646 N Jefferson St La Grange, TX 78945
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Fayetteville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 458 Fayetteville, TX 78940-0458
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Flatonia
This courthouse is located at:P O Box A Flatonia, TX 78941
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Schulenburg
This courthouse is located at:312 Paulus Schulenburg, TX 78956
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (979)743-4041.