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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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536 views   |   1   |   Last updated on Oct 16, 2023    Small Claims

The total amount of your small claim lawsuit cannot exceed $20,000. The limit is set by Section 27.031 of the Texas Government Code. This statute gives the justice courts jurisdiction over civil matters in disputes of less than $20,000.  

Additionally, Rule 500.3(a) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) governs what may be included and excluded from this amount: 

(a)  Small Claims Case.  A small claims case is a lawsuit brought for the recovery of money damages, civil penalties, personal property, or other relief allowed by law.  The claim can be for no more than $20,000, excluding statutory interest and court costs but including attorney fees, if any.  Small claims cases are governed by Rules 500-507 of Part V of the Rules of Civil Procedure. 

If you want to recover more than $20,000, you will need to file your suit in a different court. You cannot agree to accept less money just so you can file in a small claims court. 

If you want the court to order another person to do something—instead of asking for money—you may also have to file your lawsuit in a different court. Judges in small claims cases can only award financial compensation.

The law can be complex, so you may wish to talk to an attorney before taking any action. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page. 

You may also want to review the library’s Small Claims Cases guide for general information about the filing process, links to sample forms, and additional resources to learn about small claims. 

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