Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00. Small Claims Court cases for Hockley are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout Hockley County.
Do I need to 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. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 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).
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). The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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.
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. 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.
A Justice of the Peace for Hockley County hears small claims court cases for Hockley County.
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. 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.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their 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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Hockley County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hockley County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Ropesville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 203 Ropesville, TX 79358
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (806)562-2205.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Sundown
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 746 Sundown, TX 79372-0746
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Anton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 556 Anton, TX 79313-0556
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (806)997-2290.
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Levelland
This courthouse is located at:802 Houston St, Ste 105 Levelland, TX 79336-4545