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Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4
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Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4

 

SMALL CLAIMS and JUSTICE CIVIL COURT occur in the same court room, are presided over by the same judge, have the same limits ($10,000) and are, in fact VERY different

SMALL CLAIMS and JUSTICE CIVIL COURT occur in the same court room, are presided over by the same judge, have the same limits ($10,000) and are, in fact VERY different.

 

SMALL CLAIMS is a court where you sue for money damages ONLY. The rules for this court are mainly found in the Government Code Sections 27.031(a) and 28.003 (a) and are considered less formal than other courts. [to see Texas Government Code on line, click here].

 Discovery rules are very limited and the judge may develop the case by asking questions. Lawyers are not required at trial by either party to a suit. Entities that primarily loan money, collection agencies or are the assignee of a claim are excluded from Small Claims. No judgment in Small Claims can require the return of property or make any other ruling except an award of MONEY.

 

JUSTICE CIVIL COURTS are governed mainly by the Rules of Civil Procedure Sections 523-591 and 738-751 with many more additions from the Texas Property Code and Texas Civil Practice and Remedy Code among others. Discovery rules (requiring parties to produce documents or knowledge under their control) are often not used or tend to be informal but may be required under Rules 190.2 or 190.3.

 

Judgments in JUSTICE CIVIL COURTS are likely to be for the return of property, personal injury, landlord-tenant disputes, performance under a contract, damages sought by the assignee of a claim, debt collector or strictly monetary. Attorneys are not REQUIRED but only the parties or their attorney may ask witnesses questions to develop the case so often lawyers are involved.

 

While SMALL CLAIMS and JUSTICE CIVIL COURTS have distinct differences they have similarities. Anyone may have a jury trial or bench trial in either court and appeal of either is to the Kerr County Court at Law de novo, which means having a new trial as if none had occurred.

 

Basically, SMALL CLAIMS has been created for ordinary people to have simple, speedy and inexpensive remedies without the formality of other courts while JUSTICE COURTS allows a wider range of conclusions through more formalized procedures.

 

The following forms in this section may or may not be best for your needs. You are welcome to download for your use. If you need legal advice, you should seek an attorney you are comfortable with. If you do not have an attorney, you are welcome to use this link. [Texas Bar Association].

 

No judge or clerk of any court can ethically talk to you about any case that is pending or could be pending in their court. Please do not ask for legal advice.

 

 

 
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