Small Claims Court cases for Cooke are heard in 2 LOCATIONS throughout Cooke County.
Types of Cases
A variety of cases are handled 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. The only types of cases that are prohibited are an assignment of a claim (whereby you transfer your interest in a case for someone else to collect), a divorce, or a case filed by a collection agency or agents.
Can I file my case in small claims court?
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Additionally, a small claims court plaintiff can only ask the court for monetary relief. You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. For example, you could sue a dry cleaner for ruining your clothes and ask for money to replace the clothes, but you cannot ask the judge for an order for the dry cleaner to repair your clothes. You could only ask the court for an award of money.
Where do I file my small claims court case?
In order to follow correct procedure, a small claims case needs to be filed in the proper county and precinct. In Texas, the action is filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside or where a contract was to be performed. (Government Code Section 28.011).
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. The clerk is knowledgeable at all of the procedures and will be able to inform you of any specific local procedures for Cooke County. We recommend calling the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
In Texas, small claims parties generally represent themselves without an attorney. The reasoning behind this is because the amount is $10,000 or less, hiring an attorney becomes cost prohibitive. Nevertheless, you are allowed to retain one if you desire. (Texas Government Code Section 28.003).
Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
A Justice of the Peace for Cooke County hears small claims court cases for Cooke County.
What can I expect at trial?
Unlike regular civil trials, small claims court rules do not follow the Rules of Evidence. There are no rules of evidence. 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). However, if a party wishes for a jury trial, it will likely last a few hours.
Cooke County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Gainesville
This courthouse is located at:320 CR 451 Gainesville, TX 76240
Precinct 2 Courthouse in the City of Gainesville
This courthouse is located at:112 S Dixon St, Ste 130 Gainesville, TX 76240