Can I file my case in small claims court?
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 cannot seek injunctive 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.
Types of 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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Can I 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. 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).
How are trials conducted?
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. Additionally, the judge is allowed to ask questions of the parties and witnesses, and generally takes a more proactive role in determining the facts of a case. It will likely be pretty quick. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Can I file my small claims case in Hale County?
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). Small Claims Court cases for Hale are heard in 2 LOCATIONS throughout Hale County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Hale County presides over small claims court actions for Hale County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Hale County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hale County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Plainview
This courthouse is located at:500 Broadway, Rm 10 Plainview, TX 79072-8050
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The phone number for the court is (806)291-5201. And you can email the court by clicking here.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Abernathy
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 217 Abernathy, TX 79311-0217
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The phone number for the court is (806)757-2476. And you can email the court by clicking here.