Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. For example, if you pay a painter $1,000 to paint your house and the painter does not even begin, you cannot ask the court to issue an order for the painter to paint your house. 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.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your 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.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
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?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Small claims cases in Wilbarger County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Wilbarger County. Wilbarger County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 2 courthouses in Wilbarger County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. This could be an action to get your security deposit back, or an action to recover money for damage done to your vehicle after a car 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?
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).
Wilbarger County Court Locations
The precinct map for Wilbarger County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Vernon
This courthouse is located at:1700 Wilbarger St, Rm 25 Vernon, TX 76384-4747
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Vernon
This courthouse is located at:1700 Wilbarger St, Rm 22 Vernon, TX 76384-4747
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (940)553-2307.