Do I need A Lawyer?
In Texas, small claims parties generally 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). Small Claims Court cases for San Jacinto are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout San Jacinto County.
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.
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. 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in San Jacinto County
Small claims cases in San Jacinto County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for San Jacinto County.
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).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your 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. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
San Jacinto County Court Locations
The precinct map for San Jacinto County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Coldspring
This courthouse is located at:111 State Hwy 150, Rm A-2 Coldspring, TX 77331
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Shepherd
This courthouse is located at:1000 N Byrd Ave, Ste 5 Shepherd, TX 77371-6332
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Coldspring
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 341 Coldspring, TX 77331
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Point Blank
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 63 Point Blank, TX 77364