Runnels County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 2 courthouses in Runnels County.
Runnels County Court Clerk
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Runnels County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Runnels County presides over small claims court actions for Runnels County.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Small Claims Court Case Types
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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. 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. 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.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. 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 Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of money). The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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.
Runnels County Court Locations
The precinct map for Runnels County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Ballinger
This courthouse is located at:613 Hutchings Ave, Rm 303 Ballinger, TX 76821-5727
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Winters
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 657 Winters, TX 79567