Do I need to hire an Attorney?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. 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).
A Justice of the Peace for Wilbarger County hears small claims court cases for Wilbarger County. Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Wilbarger County.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Can I file my small claims case in Wilbarger 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).
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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 would be called injunctive relief.
Wilbarger County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Wilbarger County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
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. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
Wilbarger County Court Locations
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.