Small Claims Court Case Types
Small claims courts handle a wide variety of cases. From a security deposit on a rental to a motor vehicle accident. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
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 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. Small Claims Court cases for Matagorda are heard in 5 LOCATIONS throughout Matagorda County.
Do I need A Lawyer?
Small claims court litigants in Texas normally 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.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
We recommend contacting the Matagorda 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.
How are trials conducted?
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. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
Appeals are allowed if the amount of the award exceeds $250.00.
Can I file my small claims case in Matagorda County?
The action is generally filed in the County and Precinct where the defendants reside (where they live) or where location where the Defendants contracted themselves to perform. (Texas Government Code Section 28.011).
Judges for Small Claims Court Cases in Matagorda County
Small claims cases in Matagorda County are heard in front of the justice of the peace for Matagorda County.
Matagorda County Court Locations
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Bay City
This courthouse is located at:
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Matagorda
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 656 Matagorda, TX 77457-0656
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Palacios
This courthouse is located at:405 Commerce St Palacios, TX 77465-5443
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Markham
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 508 Markham, TX 77456-0508
Precinct 6 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Sargent
This courthouse is located at:22001 FM 457 Sargent, TX 77414