Lavaca County Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Lavaca 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.
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. 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.
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.
Can I file my small claims case in Lavaca County?
The action is generally filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside (where they live) or where location where the Defendants contracted themselves to perform. (Texas Government Code Section 28.011).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Lavaca County
Small claims cases in Lavaca County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Lavaca County.
Do I need to 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.
Types of Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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. Small Claims Court cases for Lavaca are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout Lavaca County.
What is the trial like?
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. 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Lavaca County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Hallettsville
This courthouse is located at:
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Moulton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 328 Moulton, TX 77975
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The phone number for the court is (361)596-8308.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Shiner
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1479 Shiner, TX 77984-1479
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Yoakum
This courthouse is located at:113 Nelson St Yoakum, TX 77995-2736