Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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 1 courthouses throughout Kent County.
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.
Small claims cases in Kent County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Kent County.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Can I file my small claims case in Kent 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).
Kent County Court Locations
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Jayton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 462 Jayton, TX 79528-0462
This courthouse handles cases for Countywide. The phone number for the court is (806)237-3646. And you can email the court by clicking here.