What is the trial like?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Can I file my case in 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. 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money. Palo Pinto County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 5 courthouses in Palo Pinto County.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
Small claims cases in Palo Pinto County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Palo Pinto County.
Do I need A Lawyer?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Types of Cases
A variety of cases are handled 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. 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.
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.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
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).
Palo Pinto County Court Locations
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