Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. 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.
How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. 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. Washington County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Washington County.
The justice of the peace for Washington County presides over small claims court actions for Washington County.
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. 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).
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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).
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.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. 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.
Washington County Court Locations
The precinct map for Washington County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Brenham
This courthouse is located at:1305 E Blue Bell, Ste 114 Brenham, TX 77833
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Chappell Hill
This courthouse is located at:4260 Sausage Ln Chappell Hill, TX 77426-9621
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Brenham
This courthouse is located at:100 E Main, Ste 202 Brenham, TX 77833-3734
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Burton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 120 Burton, TX 77835