Are Appeals Allowed?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Types of Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle 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.
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Gonzales County
A Justice of the Peace for Gonzales County hears small claims court cases for Gonzales County.
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. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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. This would be called injunctive relief.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. There are no rules of evidence. Additionally, the judge is allowed to ask questions of the parties and witnesses, and generally takes a more proactive role in determining the facts of a case. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours. Small Claims actions are heard in 3 courthouses throughout Gonzales County.
Can I file my small claims case in Gonzales County?
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).
Do I need A Lawyer?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally represent themselves without an attorney. This is because cases involving $10,000 or less usually do not justify the cost of an attorney. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Gonzales County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. While the clerk can help you with procedural issues, the clerk is not able to give legal advice. They will direct you to an attorney if answering your question would require that.
Gonzales County Court Locations
The precinct map for Gonzales County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Courthouse in the City of Gonzales
This courthouse is located at:414 St. Joseph St, Ste 202 Gonzales, TX 78629
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Waelder
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 127 Waelder, TX 78959
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Nixon
This courthouse is located at:306 E Central Ave Nixon, TX 78140-0366