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Texas Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Arbitration / Mediation Law, Business Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Late fee and unpaid sales commissions

Hi. As a freelancer in TX, client in AZ was chronically late needing numerous reminders for every invoice(12mo consecutively - except for the first)

For one invoice I added a 10%/mo late fee. Client eventually paid the invoice late, yet now months later he is ignoring the late fee. By... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 6, 2024

The act of paying the principle amount of an invoice, but not the late fee, when you unilaterally added a late fee to the invoice without the client's agreement does not create a contract pursuant to which the client agreed to pay a 10% late fee. Under the Texas Finance Code, an unpaid amount... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Texas on
Q: How do I answer a suit against me by a CC co. when the debt is mine but I don't have income? Do I lose automatically?

I want to know how to write an appropriate answer for the petition for which I was summoned and I would like to know what possibilities to expect. I read online that not having income to pay your debt is not a defense but it is the only true explanation I have. All the online advice is about... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 22, 2024

You can file a general denial. Lots of things can happen to derail a lawsuit even in such a case. For example, the plaintiff may not be able to prove that you owe the money or how much. Debt collection cases by credit card companies in small claims courts are frequently handled by young,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Collections, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Can a storage manager remove any of my items before auctioning my unit off?

I’m behind on my payments . The letter I got telling me about the auction stated that I had until January 10th to pay or my storage would be auctioned on January 11th online . I randomly checked the auction website on January 6th and my storage was already posted as being up for sale . They also... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

In Texas, self-storage facilities typically have the right to auction off a tenant's storage unit contents if the tenant falls behind on payments. However, there are legal procedures and timelines that must be followed. If the storage manager has removed items from your unit before the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Will I be liable for other party's legal fees if I win only the same or less amount as first offered by the adjuster

I am going to sue the at-fault driver and owner for car accident in small claims court since settlement offered by the adjuster is too low. If the other party is represented by a lawyer from their insurance company, is it likely that I will be required to pay the fees for the lawyer if I win only... View More

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
answered on Jan 10, 2024

Here's my 2 cents----whether you hire a lawyer to represent you is your decision, however if you are considering litigation--filing a lawsuit----then I recommend that you at least consult with a lawyer about this and get an opinion from him if he recommends that you pursue this matter, as well... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Will I be liable for other party's legal fees if I win only the same or less amount as first offered by the adjuster

I am going to sue the at-fault driver and owner for car accident in small claims court since settlement offered by the adjuster is too low. If the other party is represented by a lawyer from their insurance company, is it likely that I will be required to pay the fees for the lawyer if I win only... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 8, 2024

If the settlement offer was made before a suit was filed, you cannot be held liable for the attorney's fees. However, after a suit is filed, there is a specific statute which allows a defendant to make a settlement offer during a lawsuit which could result in you being held liable for... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims and Civil Litigation for Texas on
Q: Civil suit for car repairs, where do I turn?

Put my car in a repair shop I never used before, They threw unnecessary parts into, just for my car's engine light to turn on 3 mins into getting it home, the car was driving rough and making weird buzzing noise. Tire pressure light was on as well. 3 days of having the car sit until the next... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 6, 2024

In Texas, if you believe a repair shop has performed inadequate or unnecessary repairs on your vehicle, you have the right to seek legal recourse. The first step is often to try and resolve the issue directly with the repair shop. If they are unresponsive or unwilling to rectify the situation, you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: I am planning to sue the at-fault driver in small claims court for damages related to a leased car accident.

I need to file by March for statute of limitations reasons. But can I postpone the trial till May when I will be ending the lease? I will know the final charges from the leasing company only then. I am not able to get an official response from them and I need to know that amount for the trial.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 5, 2024

If you file in Feb, it is extremely unlikely that you will receive a trial setting in or before May. Civil cases filed in December were set for trial in June. I would expect that civil cases filed in Feb will have their first trial settings sometime Jul-Sep.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: My dad passed away 12-26-22 Me and my sisters are co- executives now and my dad had will stating me and her 50/50

My question is I guess would be the ex girlfriend took everything out of house and vandalized his house they went as far as taking plug in the walls and cut and took wires and copper. They took ac unit and the central ac unit inside cleaned out the barn and garage. In the will it stated that she... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

You have been wronged, for certain, and for most wrongs there is a remedy. The remedy in this case is the executors of your dad's estate can sue the girlfriend for theft and conversion. You can require her to either return the stolen items or pay the estate for the value of them. The... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: The fence shared with neighbor fixed. Agreed to pay half then refused to pay in full. Need legal help

Do u provide small claims legal help

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Dec 28, 2023

I hope you got the agreement for your neighbor to pay half in writing. If so, you should send them a letter demanding payment within 30 days. If they don't pay after that, you can sue them in small claims court. There is probably no other way to get paid.

You could try to file a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: The fence shared with neighbor fixed. Agreed to pay half then refused to pay in full. Need legal help

Do u provide small claims legal help

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Dec 28, 2023

If there was an agreement, including a verbal agreement, you can sue to enforce the agreement. Emails, text messages, eyewitnesses, etc. may all be helpful in establishing the existence of such an agreement.

In the absence of an agreement, Declarations, Deed Restrictions, and City...
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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Consumer Law for Texas on
Q: I sold item online. I shipped, has receipt, package lost, customer doesn't want to wait for claim but want to sue me

I shipped, has receipt, tracking updated I dropped off. On expected delivery date tracking said will delivery by 7pm but never delivered and no more update. Customer doesn't want to wait for me to claim with ups but want to sue me. Tricked me when call talk about issued took picture of me and... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 29, 2023

The answer to your question depends on the terms and conditions of the sale, the terms and conditions of the delivery service you used, and, if applicable, the terms and conditions of any platform you may have used to market and sell the product online.

For example, the US Postal Service...
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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Can I hold liable and sue the company of a security guard that robbed and assaulted me?

I was robbed, extorted, beaten up, and threatened by a security guard and his group at a night club and I'm looking to sue the company or agency that hired the security guard as well as negligence on behalf of another security guard that stood by and did nothing about the incident. I have... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 17, 2023

Given the small amount of damages, you should file a small claim in justice of peace court for the precinct where the assault happened. Our JP courts have jurisdiction of such small claims up to $20,000. You do not need an attorney to file such a claim. While their are attorneys who accept... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims and Gov & Administrative Law for Texas on
Q: On fm 812 1 mile east of Elroy Texas. The 2 bridges are sinking and there is 2 huge dips.

My truck has been damaged from them. And I drive 5 under. I took my truck to the shop and there is damage to the front steering ball joints and tie rods every day it gets worse. Can I make the state pay the $1800 to repair my truck?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 8, 2023

A Texas attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. It's unlikely on a contingency basis. You may get firms to handle it hourly. But that's only an individual opinion. The only way to find out is to reach out to law firms to ask. Good luck

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2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims and Gov & Administrative Law for Texas on
Q: On fm 812 1 mile east of Elroy Texas. The 2 bridges are sinking and there is 2 huge dips.

My truck has been damaged from them. And I drive 5 under. I took my truck to the shop and there is damage to the front steering ball joints and tie rods every day it gets worse. Can I make the state pay the $1800 to repair my truck?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 8, 2023

Addendum - a minute ago, I should have mentioned - these types of cases can involve notice of claim requirements. In other words, they can require filing certain notices (where applicable) to initiate and validate the claim. Nationwide, these deadlines can be short (in the order of days). That is... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Can I sue my ex for his retirement if he violated an agreement on it with me years ago.

I filed for divorce in 2012. It was finalized 1 1/2 years later in 2013. His lawyers and I had negotiated in writing that I would agree to give up my portion of his retirement in exchange for him not seeking child support for any of our kids living with him. When 2 of my kids moved back with me... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 5, 2023

It would be unusual for a court to approve an agreed decree that provides giving up any rights to his retirement is expressly conditioned on him never seeking child support from you. Usually, the parties’ division of their marital estate is independent of any agreement involving child support... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Employment Law and Contracts for Texas on
Q: Can an employer legally keep product that I paid for?

1099 sales person for Window World. Measured windows incorrectly by accident. The company makes me pay for the windows, they keep the windows, and they give the windows away to Habitat for Humanity for a tax break for themselves. There is not work agreement that explains this. The company claims... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 30, 2023

If you receive a 1099, you are not an employee but an independent contractor. As such, you control the manner, means, methods, and details of your work and set your own policies and procedures. Your relationship with any company that hires you is governed strictly by the terms of your contract... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Do I have a case in small claims court? Bought a puppy with AKC papers and breeder won't give them and is ignoring me

Breeder has been ignoring me for 8 months because I am asking for my dogs registration paperwork that she said he has. I paid $1500 for him under the assumption he had AKC papers and I have been lied to

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 24, 2023

Yes, you have a valid small claims case. You should ask for either specific performance (i.e. give me the dog's registration papers) or the difference in value between an AKC registered dog (which most likely is the price you paid) and the value of an unregistered dog of the same breed (which... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims, Divorce and Family Law for Texas on
Q: Common law yes or no?

I bought half an acre while married to an ex and in a relationship with my new girl.

i then divorced my ex 3 yrs later.the lot is only under my name.while being in a the relationship with my new girl i started building a house with only my money and money my dad gave to me.10 yrs later we... View More

Elisa  Reiter
Elisa Reiter
answered on Aug 23, 2023

Under the Texas Family Code, an informal or “common law” marriage may be proved with evidence that:

a declaration of marriage has been signed; or the parties:

agreed to be married, and

after the agreement they cohabitated (lived) together, in Texas, as a married couple,...
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3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims, Divorce and Family Law for Texas on
Q: Common law yes or no?

I bought half an acre while married to an ex and in a relationship with my new girl.

i then divorced my ex 3 yrs later.the lot is only under my name.while being in a the relationship with my new girl i started building a house with only my money and money my dad gave to me.10 yrs later we... View More

Sharita Blacknall
Sharita Blacknall
answered on Aug 24, 2023

Alright, considering what you've shared and the nuances of the Texas Family Code, here's some general information:

Legally Married vs. Common-Law: If you were legally married to your ex when you began your relationship with your new girlfriend, then you couldn't have...
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3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims, Divorce and Family Law for Texas on
Q: Common law yes or no?

I bought half an acre while married to an ex and in a relationship with my new girl.

i then divorced my ex 3 yrs later.the lot is only under my name.while being in a the relationship with my new girl i started building a house with only my money and money my dad gave to me.10 yrs later we... View More

Melissa O'Neal
Melissa O'Neal pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Aug 23, 2023

This question is not specific enough for a yes or no answer but I would offer that you could not have been married to the girlfriend while still married to the ex wife. (I would be interested to know if you received the property in your divorce from her?) So even if a court found common law... View More

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