What can I expect at trial?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Can I file my case in small claims court?
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of money). You cannot seek injunctive relief. For example, if you pay a painter $1,000 to paint your house and the painter does not even begin, you cannot ask the court to issue an order for the painter to paint your house. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
King County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for King County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Types of Cases
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. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
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 cases for King are heard in 1 LOCATIONS throughout King County.
The justice of the peace for King County presides over small claims court actions for King County.
King County Court Locations
The precinct map for King County can be found here.
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Guthrie
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 67 Guthrie, TX 79236-0067
This courthouse handles cases for Countywide. The phone number for the court is (806)596-4481. And you can email the court by clicking here.