Types of Small Claims Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard 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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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 Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. 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.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
What is the trial like?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. There are no rules of evidence. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
Small claims cases in Reeves County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Reeves County.
Do I need to 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 actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Reeves County.
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 are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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 would be called injunctive relief.
Reeves County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Pecos
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 913 Pecos, TX 79772-0913
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Pecos
This courthouse is located at:700 Daggett Pecos, TX 79772
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Balmorhea
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 193 Balmorhea, TX 79718-0104
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)375-2663.
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Pecos
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1894 Pecos, TX 79772-1894