What is the trial like?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last 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. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Types of Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle 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.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Potter County
The justice of the peace for Potter County presides over small claims court actions for Potter County.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Do I need to 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). Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Potter County.
Can I file my small claims case in Potter County?
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).
Potter County Court Clerk
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. While the clerk can help you with procedural issues, the clerk is not able to give legal advice. They will direct you to an attorney if answering your question would require that.
Potter County Court Locations
The precinct map for Potter County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Amarillo
This courthouse is located at:900 S Polk, Ste 418 Amarillo, TX 79101-3412
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Amarillo
This courthouse is located at:500 S Fillmore St, Ste 502 Amarillo, TX 79101-2437
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Amarillo
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 50487 Amarillo, TX 79159-0487
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Amarillo
This courthouse is located at:500 S Fillmore St, Ste 302A Amarillo, TX 79101-2437