Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
The justice of the peace for Montgomery County presides over small claims court actions for Montgomery County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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 type of relief would be injunctive relief.
What can I expect at trial?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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.
Small Claims Court Venue
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). Small Claims actions are heard in 5 courthouses throughout Montgomery 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.
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.
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).
Montgomery County Court Locations
The precinct map for Montgomery County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Willis
This courthouse is located at:300 S Danville Willis, TX 77378
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Conroe
This courthouse is located at:2241 N 1st Conroe, TX 77301-1490
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of The Woodlands
This courthouse is located at:1520 Lake Front Circle, Ste 100 The Woodlands, TX 77380-3664
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of New Caney
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 159 New Caney, TX 77357-0159
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Magnolia
This courthouse is located at:19100 Unity Park Dr Magnolia, TX 77355