Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Zavala County.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Can I hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally 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).
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.
Zavala County Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. 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. 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (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 are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. 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.
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).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Zavala County hears small claims court cases for Zavala County.
What can I expect at trial?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Zavala County Court Locations
The precinct map for Zavala County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Batesville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 508 Batesville, TX 78829-4747
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 1 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (830)376-4609.
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Crystal City
This courthouse is located at:319 N 1st Ave, Ste 4 Crystal City, TX 78839
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 2 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (830)374-2116.
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Crystal City
This courthouse is located at:319 N 1st Ave, Ste 5 Crystal City, TX 78839
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of La Pryor
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 326 La Pryor, TX 78872
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (830)365-4494.