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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.