Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Washington County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. 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. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Do I need A Lawyer?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose. Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Washington County.
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). Small claims parties can only recover money. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable 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.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Washington County hears small claims court cases for Washington County.
Types of Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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 file my small claims case in Washington County?
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).
What is the trial like?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Washington County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Brenham
This courthouse is located at:
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