Limit (or Jurisdiction) of 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. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Hidalgo County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Hidalgo County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. 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 A Lawyer?
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). Hidalgo County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 9 courthouses in Hidalgo County.
How are trials conducted?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. There are no rules of evidence. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Hidalgo County presides over small claims court actions for Hidalgo County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard 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.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Hidalgo County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Weslaco
This courthouse is located at:1902 Joe Stephens, Ste 301 Weslaco, TX 78596
Precinct 1 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Weslaco
This courthouse is located at:1902 Joe Stephens, Ste 302 Weslaco, TX 78599
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Pharr
This courthouse is located at:300 W Hall Acres Rd, Ste F Pharr, TX 78577-2563
Precinct 2 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Pharr
This courthouse is located at:300 W Hall Acres Rd, Ste D Pharr, TX 78577
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Mission
This courthouse is located at:730 N Breyfogle Rd, Ste C Mission, TX 78574
Precinct 3 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Mission
This courthouse is located at:730 N Breyfogle Rd, Ste A Mission, TX 78574
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Edinburg
This courthouse is located at:212 N 12th Ave Edinburg, TX 78541
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (956)380-4473.
Precinct 4 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Edinburg
This courthouse is located at:224 N 12th Ave Edinburg, TX 78541
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Elsa
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 238 Elsa, TX 78543
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 5 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (956)292-7015.