Can I file my small claims case in Kaufman County?
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?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle 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.
What is the trial like?
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. 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. It will likely be pretty quick. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Can I hire an attorney?
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose. Kaufman County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Kaufman County.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Kaufman County
A Justice of the Peace for Kaufman County hears small claims court cases for Kaufman County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover 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.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Kaufman 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. 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.
Kaufman County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Kaufman
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 457 Kaufman, TX 75142
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Forney
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1324 Forney, TX 75126
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Terrell
This courthouse is located at:408 E College Terrell, TX 75160
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (972)563-9723.
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Kemp
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 191 Kemp, TX 75143