Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Cooke County
A Justice of the Peace for Cooke County hears small claims court cases for Cooke County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. This could be an action to get your security deposit back, or an action to recover money for damage done to your vehicle after a car accident. However, small claims court cannot handle assignments of claims (where one person transfers their interest in an action to another), a divorce proceedings, and cases filed by collection agencies or agents.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
The plaintiff’s demand for money cannot exceed $10,000. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You cannot seek injunctive relief. For example, if you pay a painter $1,000 to paint your house and the painter does not even begin, you cannot ask the court to issue an order for the painter to paint your house. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Can I appeal my case?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
What can I expect at trial?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Furthermore, the judge is allowed and often ask questions of witnesses and parties to help understand the facts of a case. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours. Small Claims actions are heard in 2 courthouses throughout Cooke County.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. This will ensure the courthouse is open and someone is available to assist with the filing of your claim. Also, while the clerk can answer questions about procedures, the clerk cannot give legal advice.
Small Claims Court Venue
You should file your action in the County and specific Precinct where the defendants reside or where the defendant has contracted to perform. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Cooke County Court Locations
The precinct map for Cooke County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Gainesville
This courthouse is located at:320 CR 451 Gainesville, TX 76240
Precinct 4 Courthouse in the City of Valley View
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 337 Valley View, TX 76272-0337