Small Claims vs. Justice Court

What are the Differences Between the 2 Courts?
Category Justice Court
Small Claims Court
Jurisdiction Amount $10,000 exclusive of interest $10,000 including interest
Type of Case Authorized Justice Court
  • Civil matters within jurisdictional amount
  • Eviction suits
  • Foreclosure of mortgage and enforce lien on personal property
Authorized Small Claims
  • Actions for the recover of money only
Filing Fee $56 plus costs of service
$56 plus costs of service
Venue (for more information, view our detailed explanation of where to file) Generally county and precinct where one or more defendants reside Generally county and precinct where one or more defendants reside
Writ of Execution Yes Yes
Writ of Attachment Yes No
Writ of Sequestration Yes No
Attorneys
  • Not required for an individual
  • Required for a corporation
  • May appear for an individual
  • May appear for a corporation
Trials and Hearings Formal - must follow the Rules of Civil Procedure Informal
Rules of Evidence Apply Do not apply
Appeal If in excess of $20 If in excess of $20
Prohibited Lawsuits
  • Suit by state to recover penalty, forfeiture, or escheat
  • Divorce
  • Slander and defamation suits
  • Suit for trial of title to land
  • Foreclosure lien on land
  • By assignee of claim
  • By assignee of claim
  • Person primarily engaged in the business of loaning money at interest
  • Collection agency or agent