DISCLAIMER: This is general information only concerning uncontested procedural matters. It does not purport to cover substantive law or address the merits of your lawsuit and is not a substitute for sound legal advice from an attorney. The Court Clerks are not attorneys and are prohibited from discussing the facts of your case or answering any legal questions.

Within the limitation of certain legislation and rules, the Plaintiff (the person filing the suit) has the option to file suit against the Defendant (the person being sued) in either the Justice Court or Small Claims Court.
The filing and service fee in Small Claims for a lawsuit against one Defendant in Travis County is $101.00. The filing and service fee in Justice Court for a lawsuit against one Defendant is $106.00. The filling and service fee for an eviction case is $101.00.
Below is a list of differences between the courts. Please read this information carefully before making your decision regarding the court in which to file.

 

Justice Court

Monetary Jurisdiction $0 - $10,000
(excluding interest and attorney fees)

The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Texas Rules of Evidence apply

A party primarily engaged in the business of lending money at interest or a collection agent or agency must file in justice court. Failure to comply with this rule may result in the case being dismissed and the Plaintiff forfeiting all costs.

An individual or an individual doing business under an assumed name may represent themselves or may be represented by an attorney.

Small Claims Court

Monetary Jurisdiction $0 - $10,000
(including interest and attorney fees at time of filing)

The Court can grant a judgment only for money damages in Small Claims Court

Formal pleading is not required. Discovery is limited as permitted by the Judge. The Judge hears evidence from the parties and witnesses in an informal hearing.

A party primarily engaged in the business of lending money at interest or a collection agent may not file in Small Claims Court.

Either party may be represented by an attorney, but an attorney is not required. A non-attorney agent may file the lawsuit but may not represent either party at trial.

texfile-sub

Notice - If the filing fees (including copies for e-filing) are not sufficient to continue with the case filing, JP1 reserves the right to adjust the payment and/or fees to cover all court costs