Small Claims

The small claims court clerks do not give legal advice.


FILING FEES:

  • Small claims $111.00
  • Writ of execution $111.00 ($31.00 filing fee, $80.00 service)
  • Abstract $11.00

SMALL CLAIMS DESCRIPTION:
Small claims are suits in which our citizens can settle small money disputes in a peaceful manner.  This court can only award a judgment and will not guarantee that we will collect if you “win” your case.  “IT IS NOT A COLLECTION AGENCY”.  Small claims jurisdiction is $10,000.00 dollars or less.    

VENUE:
SMALL CLAIMS NORMALLY MUST BE FILED IN THE COURT OF THE PRECINCT WHERE THE DEFENDANT LIVES: Under some circumstances you may have a choice of courts in which to file a claim.  For example, if the Defendant resides in one precinct but contracted to perform services in another precinct, either the precinct where the defendant lives or the precinct where the work was performed can be selected as the place to bring suit.
    
REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING A SMALL CLAIM:

  • Correct information: Complete name spelled accurately and have the exact address in where the Defendant can be located.
  • Filing for car accident damages: A police report, two certified auto shops estimates, any sufficient evidence such as pictures, receipts, hospital bills that will equal the amount you are suing for.
  • Filing on money disputes: Money loans, back pay rent, unfinished jobs, etc. All must have sufficient evidence, for instance, copy of receipts, any written notation signed by both parties.

ALTERNATIVES TO TRY TO COLLECT ON A JUDGMENT:

  • Writ of Execution:  After the ten days that judgment was final, the party who (judgment was granted) can request a WRIT OF EXECUTION for an additional cost of $111.00 to enforce the judgment.  THERE IS NO GURANTEE THAT JUDGMENT WILL BE COLLECTED BY A WRIT OF EXECUTION.  For further details on a Writ of Execution please call the Constable’s Office at (956) 523-4780.
  • Abstract of Judgment: Ten days after judgment is final, another alternative is to try to collect on a judgment of abstract for an additional cost of $11.00.  When the Abstract is filed the court prepares the document and the winning party files it to the County Clerk’s Records Department at the Courthouse.  When properly filed, an Abstract places a lien against any non-exempt, real property of the losing party.  When requesting an Abstract of Judgment, you should, whenever possible, provide the court the date of birth, Texas driver’s license or Social Security Number from the losing party.
  • Release of Judgment:  Once the judgment is paid off the Civil Department shall provide you with a Release form and will be removed from the record.

Download a copy of the Statement of Claim with Instructions

Forcible Detainers

The clerks of the court are prohibited by state law to assist in the preparation or completion of these forms and/or petitions.  They are prohibited by state law from providing and legal advice or assistance.

FILING FEES:

  • Evictions $131.00 ($31.00 filing fee, $100.00 service)
  • Writ of Possession $111.00 ($31.00 Filing Fee, $80.00 Service)

EVICTIONS DESCRIPTION:

  • Evictions suits include forcible entry and detainer and forcible detainer suits.  This is when tenants pay their rent late or non-payment of rent and must get evicted from the premises. The landlord must file a eviction in order to evict tenant from the premises.

JURISDICTION:

  • A justice court in the precinct in which the real property is located has jurisdiction in eviction suits.  Only issue to be determined is the right of actual possession.  Merits of title cannot be determined.

REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING A FORCIBLE DETAINER:

  • Correct information: Full name and address must be accurate so Defendant can be located.  Make sure to check on correct amount of rent you are suing for.
  • A three day written notice:  This must be given to the tenant and to court prior to filing an eviction suit. The notice must be given for non-payment of rent or vacating the premises.  It can either be regular/certified mail, hand delivered to tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older, or post on door.  Always keep a copy of the notice for yourself and for the court.
  • Filing an eviction:  After notice is given and tenant does not vacate the premises, a complaint for eviction would need to be filed in the precinct where the property is located.  The complaint will describe the lands, tenements, or premises.  The possession of which is claimed, with sufficient certainty to identify the same and shall also state the facts which entitle the complainant to the possession.  At the time of filing the complaint, the landlord will be given a date and time to appear in court.  Also at the time a citation will be prepared notifying the tenant of the hearing.

ALTERNATIVE FOR EVICTING A TENANT:

  • WRIT OF POSSESSION:  If tenant fails to vacate the property after the expiration of 5 days from the day of judgment was entered which is required by law, on the 6th day the landlord may request a writ of possession.  A writ of possession allows the constable to oversee the move-out of the defendant(s) from the leased premises, and insure no breach of peace is violated.  Officer may post warning on front door that writ will be executed at future date and time.  They may engage services of warehousemen to remove and store property.  Officer may not require landlord to store property, and if necessary, use reasonable force in executing writ.

Download a copy of Sworn Complaint for Forcible Detainer with Instructions

 

Webb County Footer