Can I hire an attorney?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. 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).
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. 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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Small Claims 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 Live Oak 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.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Live Oak County hears small claims court cases for Live Oak County.
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. Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Live Oak County.
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. 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 would be called injunctive relief.
What can I expect at trial?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. It will likely be pretty quick. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Live Oak County Court Locations
The precinct map for Live Oak County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of George West
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1405 George West, TX 78022
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of George West
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 255 George West, TX 78022
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (361)449-2733 – ext. 1062 .
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of George West
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1826 George West, TX 78022
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of George West
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 535 George West, TX 78022-0535
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (361)449-2733 – ext. 1022 . And you can email the court by clicking here.