Are Appeals Allowed?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
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. 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. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard 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.
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Small Claims Court Venue
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). Walker County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Walker County.
How are trials conducted?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. 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. However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
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. 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.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Walker County
A Justice of the Peace for Walker County hears small claims court cases for Walker County.
Walker County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Huntsville
This courthouse is located at:717 FM 2821 W, Ste 300 Huntsville, TX 77320
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Huntsville
This courthouse is located at:102 Tam Rd, Ste A Huntsville, TX 77320
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Huntsville
This courthouse is located at:2986A SH 19 Huntsville, TX 77320-0450
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 3 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (936)436-4988.
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of New Waverly
This courthouse is located at:9360 SH 75 S New Waverly, TX 77358-4224