Can I file my small claims case in Taylor County?
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).
Small Claims Court Case Types
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
A Justice of the Peace for Taylor County hears small claims court cases for Taylor County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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 are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
What is the trial like?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. It will likely be pretty quick. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
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 Taylor 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.
Can I hire an attorney?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose. Small Claims Court cases for Taylor are heard in 5 LOCATIONS throughout Taylor County.
Taylor County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Abilene
This courthouse is located at:301 Oak St, Ste 611 Abilene, TX 79602-1526
Precinct 1 Place 2 Courthouse in the City of Abilene
This courthouse is located at:301 Oak St, Ste 612 Abilene, TX 79602-1698
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Merkel
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 225 Merkel, TX 79536
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Tuscola
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 361 Tuscola, TX 79562-0361
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (325)554-7893.
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Lawn
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 5 Lawn, TX 79530-0005