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.
Can I file my small claims case in Fort Bend 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). Small Claims Court cases for Fort Bend are heard in 5 LOCATIONS throughout Fort Bend County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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 would be called injunctive relief.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Fort Bend 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. While the clerk can help you with procedural issues, the clerk is not able to give legal advice. They will direct you to an attorney if answering your question would require that.
Small claims cases in Fort Bend County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Fort Bend 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. 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). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. 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).
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.
Fort Bend County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Needville
This courthouse is located at:3114 Rosenberg St Needville, TX 77461-8167
Precinct 1 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Richmond
This courthouse is located at:1517 Eugene Heimann Cir, Ste 100 Richmond, TX 77469-3620
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 2. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (281)341-3742.
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Missouri City
This courthouse is located at:303 Texas Pkwy #107 Missouri City, TX 77489
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (281)403-8080.
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Katy
This courthouse is located at:22333 Grand Corner Dr, Ste 3 Katy, TX 77494
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (281)238-1460.
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Sugar Land
This courthouse is located at:12919 Dairy Ashford, Ste 100 Sugar Land, TX 77478