Do I need A Lawyer?
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).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Marion County
A Justice of the Peace for Marion County hears small claims court cases for Marion County.
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. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Marion County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Marion 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
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money. Marion County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 2 courthouses in Marion County.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Marion County Court Locations
The precinct map for Marion County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Jefferson
This courthouse is located at:114 W Austin St, Rm 204 Jefferson, TX 75657
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (903)665-2392.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Jefferson
This courthouse is located at:8249 State Hwy 49 Jefferson, TX 75657
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (903)665-3581.