Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
What is the trial like?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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. 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.
Small Claims Court Case Types
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?
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (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. This would be called injunctive relief.
A Justice of the Peace for Howard County hears small claims court cases for Howard County.
Can I file my small claims case in Howard County?
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).
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. 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).
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Howard 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 Howard 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. Howard County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 3 courthouses in Howard County.
Howard County Court Locations
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
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)394-4000.