What can I expect at trial?
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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Small Claims Court Case Types
A variety of cases are handled 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.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Franklin County
A Justice of the Peace for Franklin County hears small claims court cases for Franklin County.
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). 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.
Can I hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Franklin County Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Franklin County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. 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. Franklin County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 1 courthouses in Franklin County.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Franklin County Court Locations
The precinct map for Franklin County can be found here.
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Mount Vernon
This courthouse is located at:200 N Kaufman St Mount Vernon, TX 75457-0223