Texas Wedding Records

Texas wedding records
Small claims court issue in Texas – can anyone offer tips or advice?

The jist of the situation is that we paid in full for wedding photos, we have a copy of the contract, I have kept records of contacts and any receipts or confirmations of certified mailing, etc. The photographer won’t respond to e-mails or phone calls and we haven’t received our pictures. This photographer is now 2 hours away and has established their business in a new city. It’s looking more and more like we will have to end up in small claims court.

My question is this, I looked up some basic Texas small claims info. and came across this:

“Where To Sue: County where defendant resides. For contract suits, where performance is expected.”

What do they mean by “contract suits” ? Would our situation apply to this? Or do we have to travel 2 hours away to open up a suit as it says that it needs to be done in the defendant’s county?

Also, do lawyers ever help out with small suit cases? Is there any advice someone could offer regarding this situation?

You have a “contract suit” because you have a contract for service with the photographer.
Lawyers can assist but can not represent you in small claims. What kind of advice do you need?

Many counties allow you to file small claims complaints online. If not, go to your county courthouse and get the forms “Summons” and “Complaint”. (Sometimes this is one form). These forms come with instructions. Read them carefully and fill them out. You are allowed to include “costs” in the complaint, in addition to your actual damages. Your costs are filing fees and service on the photographer. The photographer will have 21 days (plus seven if you sent it regular mail) to answer the Complaint. If he doesn’t bother to answer you will file a Default Judgment and all you have left to do is collect (which can be done at a Discovery Hearing). If he does answer and you do not agree with that answer you will schedule a hearing. At the hearing you will present your case and proofs and the photographer will present his defense. The Judge will make the decision and you will make arrangements to collect (or schedule a Discovery Hearing).
The Discovery Hearing: Schedule a hearing date for 14-21 days from the date you call. On the subpoena for the Discovery Hearing you will ask the defendant to bring certain financial records (like a copy of all vehicle titles, checking accounts, previous two years income tax returns, etc.). Have the subpoena for discovery hearing served on the defendant (small claims court clerk will have a list of process servers). At the hearing get the info that you asked be provided. You can then garnish his bank accounts and state income tax credit, repossess his vehicle and sell it, whatever it takes to get your judgment. You are also entitled to interest from the date you filed if you win. Ask the clerk for the judgment interest rates – they’re small but you are entitled to it.
good luck.

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