You essentially have four options for filing a lawsuit in Texas. For purposes of this blog, we will not focus on the intricacies of filing a lawsuit in Federal District Court. Instead, let’s look at your options for filing in one of the three Texas state courts.

If your lawsuit is for less than $10,000 in damages (including any attorney’s fees you seek to collect), the Justice Court may be the place for you. This court also has “exclusive jurisdiction” over “forcible detainer” cases. This means that all eviction matters must first be brought to the Justice of the Peace, even if the rent owed exceeds $10,000. Court costs are low, but these courts are not bound by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence, which can make litigation feel a bit like the wild, wild west.

If your damages are less than $200,000, or at least $200, the County Courts at Law may be the place for you. This is also where appeals from the Justice Court are heard after a JP has had a swing at a case first. The plus about these courts is the use of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and the Texas Rules of Evidence. Such rules can be used to streamline cases with specific motions and can be used to exclude evidence from a trial that simply wastes time.

For all other matters, Texas has established District Courts. These courts hear disputes ranging from $200 to infinity (but not beyond). Divorce matters, title disputes, and election lawsuit are heard here. These courts also follow the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence. Lengths of cases can run long, routinely for years. However, dockets are not overcrowded, and the judges generally have more time to thoroughly understand the facts and the law involving your legal dispute.

Of course, there are numerous other factors to consider. Which one is best for you? Call an experienced professional and find out. (832) 305-7694.