Can I file my small claims case in Winkler 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).
Can I appeal my case?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
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 cannot seek injunctive relief. 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.
Do I need A Lawyer?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003). Winkler County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 2 courthouses in Winkler County.
Small claims cases in Winkler County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Winkler County.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Winkler County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Winkler County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
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. 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 Case Types
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard 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. 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.
Winkler County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Kermit
This courthouse is located at:100 E Winkler Kermit, TX 79745
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)586-2671.
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Wink
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 35 Wink, TX 79789
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (432)527-3450.