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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
What can I expect at trial?
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. It will likely be pretty quick. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Small claims cases in Sabine County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Sabine County.
Small Claims Court Case Types
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Small Claims 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 Sabine County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
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). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. You cannot seek injunctive relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. You could only ask the court for an award of money. Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Sabine County.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
Sabine County Court Locations
The precinct map for Sabine County can be found here.
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.