Do I need A Lawyer?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally 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).
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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Howard County hears small claims court cases for Howard County.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money. Small Claims actions are heard in 3 courthouses throughout Howard County.
Howard County Court Locations
The precinct map for Howard County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Big Spring
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1648 Big Spring, TX 79721
Precinct 1 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Big Spring
This courthouse is located at:300 S Main, Rm 200 Big Spring, TX 79720
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Coahoma
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 346 Coahoma, TX 79511-0346