Types of Small Claims Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Upton County hears small claims court cases for Upton County.
Upton County Court Clerk
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 Upton 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.
How are trials conducted?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250. Small Claims Court cases for Upton are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout Upton County.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Can I 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).
Upton County Court Locations
The precinct map for Upton County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Rankin
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 232 Rankin, TX 79778
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)693-2473.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Rankin
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 255 Rankin, TX 79778
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)693-2919.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of McCamey
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 634 McCamey, TX 79752
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of McCamey
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 967 McCamey, TX 79752
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)652-3536.