What can I expect at trial?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil 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.
Matagorda County Court Clerk
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. 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.
Limit (or Jurisdiction) of Small Claims Court
You cannot demand or ask for more than $10,000 in a small claims court case. (Government Code 28.093). Small claims parties can only recover money. You cannot seek injunctive relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Small Claims Court Case Types
Most cases for the recovery of money can be heard in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. 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.
Are there appeals in small claims court?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
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.
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).
Can I file my small claims case in Matagorda County?
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). Small Claims Court cases for Matagorda are heard in 5 LOCATIONS throughout Matagorda County.
Matagorda County Court Locations
The precinct map for Matagorda County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Bay City
This courthouse is located at:1700 7th St, Rm 201 Bay City, TX 77414-5034
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 Bay City
This courthouse is located at:22001 FM 457 Bay City, TX 77414
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 6 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (979)245-0358.