Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
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 because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Small Claims actions are heard in 5 courthouses throughout Travis 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).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Travis County
Small claims cases in Travis County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Travis County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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, 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.
What is the trial like?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil 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. It will likely be pretty quick. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
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. 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.
Travis County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Austin
This courthouse is located at:4717 Heflin Ln, #107 Austin, TX 78721
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Austin
This courthouse is located at:10409 Burnet Rd, Ste 180 Austin, TX 78758-4427
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Austin
This courthouse is located at:8656B W Hwy 71, Ste 100 Austin, TX 78735-8004
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Austin
This courthouse is located at:4011 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Ste 1200 Austin, TX 78744
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Austin
This courthouse is located at:1000 Guadalupe, Rms 112 Austin, TX 78701