What is the trial like?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Can I 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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
A Justice of the Peace for Upshur County hears small claims court cases for Upshur County. Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Upshur County.
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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of 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 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 Court Venue
You should file your action in the County and specific Precinct where the defendants reside or where the defendant has contracted to perform. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Upshur County 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 Upshur 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.
Upshur County Court Locations
The precinct map for Upshur County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Gilmer
This courthouse is located at:301 East Butler Gilmer, TX 75644
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Gilmer
This courthouse is located at:405 N Titus Gilmer, TX 75644
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Gladewater
This courthouse is located at:2498 W Upshur Gladewater, TX 75647
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Gilmer
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 730 Gilmer, TX 75644