Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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.
Can I file my small claims case in Delta 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).
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
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 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. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice. Small Claims actions are heard in 1 courthouses throughout Delta County.
What is the trial like?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. There are no rules of evidence. 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). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
The justice of the peace for Delta County presides over small claims court actions for Delta County.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
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.
Delta County Court Locations
Precinct 5 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Cooper
This courthouse is located at:200 W Dallas Ave Cooper, TX 75432-0008