Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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 cases for Hardin are heard in 6 LOCATIONS throughout Hardin County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. 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.
What can I expect at trial?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. 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). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. 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.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
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. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. For example, you could sue a dry cleaner for ruining your clothes and ask for money to replace the clothes, but you cannot ask the judge for an order for the dry cleaner to repair your clothes. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Hardin County hears small claims court cases for Hardin County.
Hardin County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hardin County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Silsbee
This courthouse is located at:1290 Hwy 327 W Silsbee, TX 77656
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Silsbee
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1612 Silsbee, TX 77656
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Kountze
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1360 Kountze, TX 77625
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Sour Lake
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 2014 Sour Lake, TX 77659
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Lumberton
This courthouse is located at:160 E Chance Lumberton, TX 77657
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 5 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (409)755-2862.
Precinct 6 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Batson
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 503 Batson, TX 77519-0503