Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250. San Patricio County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 6 courthouses in San Patricio County.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
What can I expect at trial?
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. 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. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
Small claims cases in San Patricio County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for San Patricio 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).
Small Claims Court Case Types
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle 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.
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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the San Patricio County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for San Patricio 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.
San Patricio County Court Locations
The precinct map for San Patricio County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Sinton
This courthouse is located at:300 N Rachal Ave Sinton, TX 78387-2602
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Odem
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 73 Odem, TX 78370-0073
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Portland
This courthouse is located at:900 Austin St Portland, TX 78374
Precinct 5 Courthouse in the City of Mathis
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 640 Mathis, TX 78368
Precinct 6 Courthouse in the City of Aransas Pass
This courthouse is located at:911 Commercial Aransas Pass, TX 78336-5303
Precinct 8 Courthouse in the City of Taft
This courthouse is located at:120 Green Ave Taft, TX 78390