Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Small Claims Court Venue
The action is generally filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside (where they live) or where location where the Defendants contracted themselves to perform. (Texas Government Code Section 28.011).
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas 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 type of relief would be injunctive relief. Small Claims Court cases for Franklin are heard in 1 LOCATIONS throughout Franklin County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
How are trials conducted?
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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Small claims cases in Franklin County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Franklin County.
Small Claims Court Case Types
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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
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