Texas Small Claims Courts are courts in which parties can settle small money disputes in a speedy, informal setting. To ensure that Texas Small Claims Courts can be used without the help of an attorney, the Legislature established less formal procedures for these courts. The purpose of this pamphlet is to help you understand the basic procedures in these courts, but is not intended to present complete coverage of them.
In Texas, Small Claims Court is a judicial forum to hear and decide civil cases involving claims for MONEY ONLY, for $10,000 or less. The court cannot require a party to return, replace, or repair property; to do something; or, to refrain from doing something. For example, you could sue a car mechanic in Small Claims Court to get back money you paid for repairs that were not made. However, you could not sue in Texas Small Claims Court to force the mechanic to make the repairs. There are other courts with the power to force the mechanic to make the repairs. Remember, the petition must not ask for anything except money.
Any person over the age of 18 years can sue in Texas Small Claims Court. The party filing the suit is the "PLAINTIFF." A minor can use the Court if accompanied by a parent, relative, or "next friend" over the age of 18 to file a claim and later go with the minor to the trial. An association, partnership, or corporation may also file a claim in Texas Small Claims Court. However, a partnership, association, corporation, or person engaged in the business of lending money at interest or functioning as a collection agency may not file a claim in this Court.
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