Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Hill County presides over small claims court actions for Hill County.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Hill County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. 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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
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). 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, 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 would be called injunctive relief.
How are trials conducted?
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. It will likely be pretty quick. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Small Claims Court Venue
In order to follow correct procedure, a small claims case needs to be filed in the proper county and precinct. In Texas, the action is filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside or where a contract was to be performed. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Types of Cases
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. Hill County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Hill County.
Hill County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hill County can be found here.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Hillsboro
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 316 Hillsboro, TX 76645-0316
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Itasca
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 206 Itasca, TX 76055-0561
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Malone
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 193 Malone, TX 76660
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Whitney
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1853 Whitney, TX 76692-1853