Can I 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. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. You cannot seek injunctive relief. For example, you could sue a dry cleaner for ruining your clothes and ask for money to replace the clothes, but you cannot ask the judge for an order for the dry cleaner to repair your clothes. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Can I file my small claims case in Palo Pinto County?
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).
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. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice. Palo Pinto County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 5 courthouses in Palo Pinto County.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Palo Pinto County
The justice of the peace for Palo Pinto County presides over small claims court actions for Palo Pinto County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Palo Pinto County Court Locations
The precinct map for Palo Pinto County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Palo Pinto
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 129 Palo Pinto, TX 76484-0129
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Graford
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 183 Graford, TX 76449
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Graford
This courthouse is located at:328 FM 2353 N, Unit 2 Graford, TX 76449-3106
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Strawn
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 367 Strawn, TX 76475-0367
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (254)672-5381.
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Mineral Wells
This courthouse is located at:109 N Oak Mineral Wells, TX 76067