What is the trial like?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. In fact, the judge in small claims court is charged with developing facts of the case and may question or summon witnesses. 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). If a jury trial is required, the trial could last a few hours.
Types of Small Claims Cases
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. 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.
Do I need A Lawyer?
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. However, you are allowed to retain one if you choose. Guadalupe County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 4 courthouses in Guadalupe County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
The clerk is often the first person small claims court litigants interact with in their case. 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.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
The justice of the peace for Guadalupe County presides over small claims court actions for Guadalupe County.
Can I file my case in 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 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. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Guadalupe County Court Locations
The precinct map for Guadalupe County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Seguin
This courthouse is located at:2405 E US 90 Seguin, TX 78155
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Seguin
This courthouse is located at:2611 N Guadalupe St Seguin, TX 78155-7396
Precinct 3 Courthouse in the City of Schertz
This courthouse is located at:1101 Elbel Rd, Ste 6 Schertz, TX 78154
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Seguin
This courthouse is located at:11144 FM 725 Seguin, TX 78155-3503
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (830)372-8916.