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. 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.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
The justice of the peace for Hutchinson County presides over small claims court actions for Hutchinson County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Hutchinson 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.
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. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003). Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Hutchinson County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (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. 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.
Hutchinson County Court Locations
The precinct map for Hutchinson County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Stinnett
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 640 Stinnett, TX 79083-0640
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Borger
This courthouse is located at:1400 Veta St, Rm 105 Borger, TX 79007