What can I expect at trial?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Small claims cases in Hill County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Hill County.
Can I file my small claims case in Hill 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).
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 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.
Types of Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. 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. Hill County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Hill County.
Can I hire an attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Hill County Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Hill 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.
Hill County Court Locations
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Hillsboro
This courthouse is located at:
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Itasca
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 206 Itasca, TX 76055-0561
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Malone
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 193 Malone, TX 76660
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Whitney
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 1853 Whitney, TX 76692-1853