Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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 Kleberg County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Kleberg County.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (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.
How are trials conducted?
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). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Kleberg County hears small claims court cases for Kleberg County.
Kleberg County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Kingsville
This courthouse is located at:2599 E Kenedy Kingsville, TX 78363
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Kingsville
This courthouse is located at:620 N 3rd Kingsville, TX 78363
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Riviera
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 214 Riviera, TX 78379-0214
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Kingsville
This courthouse is located at:622 N 14th St Kingsville, TX 78363