How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Can I file my small claims case in Hartley County?
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 Hartley are heard in 1 LOCATIONS throughout Hartley County.
A Justice of the Peace for Hartley County hears small claims court cases for Hartley County.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Hartley 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.
Do I need to 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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Types of Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. This could be an action to get your security deposit back, or an action to recover money for damage done to your vehicle after a car accident. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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). 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Hartley County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hartley County can be found here.
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Dalhart
This courthouse is located at:701 Texas Blvd Dalhart, TX 79022-4526