Can I appeal my case?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Types of Small Claims 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. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
Can I hire an attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
What is the trial like?
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. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours. Small Claims Court cases for Sabine are heard in 2 LOCATIONS throughout Sabine County.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of money). 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. This would be called injunctive relief.
Sabine County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Sabine County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Sabine County
The justice of the peace for Sabine County presides over small claims court actions for Sabine County.
Sabine County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Hemphill
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 219 Hemphill, TX 75948
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Hemphill
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 910 Hemphill, TX 75948
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (409)787-5248.