Do I need to hire an Attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Can I file my small claims case in Leon 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). Leon County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 3 courthouses in Leon County.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You cannot seek injunctive relief. 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 would be called injunctive relief.
What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
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. 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.
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 Leon 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.
A Justice of the Peace for Leon County hears small claims court cases for Leon County.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Leon County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Buffalo
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 609 Buffalo, TX 75831-9804
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Centerville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 69 Centerville, TX 75833-0069
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Marquez
This courthouse is located at:320 S Austin St Marquez, TX 77865