Do I need to hire an Attorney?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. There are no rules of evidence. Additionally, the judge is allowed to ask questions of the parties and witnesses, and generally takes a more proactive role in determining the facts of a case. It will likely be pretty quick. If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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 Venue
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 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 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 would be called injunctive relief.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. 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. Small Claims Court cases for Wood are heard in 4 LOCATIONS throughout Wood County.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Wood County
A Justice of the Peace for Wood County hears small claims court cases for Wood County.
Wood County Court Locations
The precinct map for Wood County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Quitman
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 172 Quitman, TX 75783-0172
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Mineola
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 325 Mineola, TX 75773-0325
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Hawkins
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 470 Hawkins, TX 75765-0470
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Winnsboro
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 134 Winnsboro, TX 75494-0134
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (903)342-3079.