Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. 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.
The justice of the peace for Eastland County presides over small claims court actions for Eastland County.
How are trials conducted?
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. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a 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. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Eastland County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice. Small Claims Court cases for Eastland are heard in 3 LOCATIONS throughout Eastland County.
Small Claims Court Venue
You should file your action in the County and specific Precinct where the defendants reside or where the defendant has contracted to perform. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Do I need A Lawyer?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Eastland County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Eastland
This courthouse is located at:100 W Main, Bsmt 2 Eastland, TX 76448-0702
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Eastland
This courthouse is located at:100 W Main, Bsmt 2 Eastland, TX 76448
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Eastland
This courthouse is located at:100 W Main, Bsmt 2 Eastland, TX 76448-2751
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (254)629-1088.