Texas Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in Texas.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in Texas?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $10,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Texas?

Small claims cases in Texas are heard in the Small Claims Court (Justice Court).

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in Texas?

For information on Texas's statute of limitations periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In Texas, the defendant must file a written answer with the court and serve a copy on the plaintiff. If the defendant was not served by publication, the answer is due by the end of the 14th day after the day the defendant was served with the citation. If the defendant was served by publication, the answer is due by the end of the 42nd day after the citation was issued. In either case, there are exceptions for weekends, holidays, and days the court is closed before 5:00 p.m.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Texas?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Texas.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in Texas?

Separate small claims courts have been abolished as of August 2013; both small claims cases and evictions are heard in Justice Court. Evictions cases are governed by Rules 500-507 and 510 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in Texas?

In Texas, either party may demand a jury trial by filing a request at no later than 14 days before the hearing.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in Texas?

For more information about Texas small claims court, see http://texaslawhelp.org/issues/consumer/small-claims-court.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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