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Small Claims Courts are courts in which our citizens can settle small money disputes in a speedy, informal setting. The State Legislature established less formal procedures for these courts to ensure that Small Claims Courts can be used without the help of an attorney although the use of an attorney by either party in a suit is optional. This section is to help you understand the basic procedures in these courts, but is not intended to present complete coverage of them. You are encouraged to seek competent legal advice from an attorney at any stage of the process, particularly in reference to collections on a judgment.
For those planning to file in Small Claims Court it is very important to read through this section carefully before you proceed to fill out the Statement of Claim Form.
Filing Days, Filing Fees, Methods of Payment and Court Setting information is listed in the General Information section.
Our Court Staff cannot give you legal advice, but they can offer procedural guidance.
A Small Claims Court can only award a judgment for money.
Where to File a Suit
A Small Claims case is normally filed in the precinct where the Defendant lives.
When to File a Suit
A suit must be filed within time limits set by the Legislature.
Who May Sue
Any person over the age of 18 years can sue in the Small Claims Court.
Whom May Sue You
Any natural person, association, partnership, or corporation may be sued.
A witness, along with any documents in his/her possession, can be ordered to appear at the trial of a case by the issuance of a subpoena.
A Defendant may file a counterclaim against the Plaintiff by paying a filing fee.
Small Claims Procedures
Step by step instructions of the Small Claims Process are listed.
A request for reset must be in the form of a notarized statement and should be received by the Court no later than one week prior to the trial date.
The Plaintiff can either personally appear at the court, show I.D., and sign a Motion to Dismiss, or forward to the Court a notarized statement which details the case number, the names of the parties involved, the fact that a dismissal is requested, and the reason why.
The Judge will conduct a trial of the case on the scheduled dated.
The party that lost may appeal the decision within 10 calendar days of the signing of the judgment by filing an Appeal Bond with the court and paying a transcript fee.
Difficult to Collect on Judgements
The Judge has no power to collect on a judgment other than by the issuance of writs.
Post Judgement Remedies
Abstract of Judgement and Writ of Execution are post judgement remedies that may be requested by mail.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4
2711 S.E. Loop 410 South
San Antonio, Texas 78222
Questions? Email JP 4 here