Do I need A Lawyer?
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. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
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 Victoria County
Small claims cases in Victoria County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Victoria County.
Types of Cases
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. 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
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. Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Victoria County.
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. 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of 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 type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Victoria County Court Locations
The precinct map for Victoria County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Victoria
This courthouse is located at:3506 N Ben Wilson, Ste E Victoria, TX 77901-7227
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Victoria
This courthouse is located at:6605-C N Navarro St Victoria, TX 77904-1545
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Victoria
This courthouse is located at:111-A N Glass Victoria, TX 77901-6544
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Victoria
This courthouse is located at:2604 E Mockingbird, Ste C Victoria, TX 77904