people's Lawyer


How to Sue for a small claim in Justice Court
by Professor Richard M. Alderman
The People's Lawyer

What Is Justice Court?

Knowing your legal rights is just the beginning. To make this knowledge work for you, you must be able to assert your rights. Justice courts fill this need. Justice courts are inexpensive and simple to use and can promptly settle small disputes. Justice court is where you put your knowledge to work.

Since 2013, there is no longer a separate "small claims court" in Texas. Small claims, previously filed in "small claims court" are now filed in justice court. As a practical matter, filing a small claims case in justice court is almost identical to filing in what was know as the small claims court. There are a few significant differences, however—some of which provide additional rights for individuals and expand the power of the justice of the peace hearing the small claims case. For example, with the court's consent, you can have someone who is not an attorney, such as a relative, assist you in court.

If you believe someone owes you money or has taken advantage of you and you cannot get them to pay, do not try to take the law into your own hands. Do not start a fight. If you cannot resolve the problem any other way, you may settle your differences by taking them to court.