Small Claims actions are heard in 4 courthouses throughout Newton County.
How are trials conducted?
The trial is relatively informal compared to a normal trial. 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. Trials generally are pretty short (15-20 minutes). A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
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). Small claims parties can only recover money. The court has no authority to issue an injunctive or equitable award. 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 would be called injunctive relief.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
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. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
Who is the judge in a Small Claims Court case?
A Justice of the Peace for Newton County hears small claims court cases for Newton County.
Are Appeals Allowed?
A party can appeal a ruling if the amount of the judge’s award is in excess of $250.00.
Small Claims Court Venue
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).
Types of 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. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Clerk’s Role in Small Claims Court Actions
The clerk at the courthouse can be an excellent resource for your 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. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
Newton County Court Locations
The precinct map for Newton County can be found here.
Precinct 1 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Newton
This courthouse is located at:4382 FM 363 Newton, TX 75966-9514
Precinct 2 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Wiergate
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 178 Wiergate, TX 75977-0178
Precinct 3 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Newton
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 452 Newton, TX 75966
Precinct 4 Place 1 Courthouse in the City of Deweyville
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 319 Deweyville, TX 77614-0319
This courthouse handles cases for Precinct 4 Place 1. The court’s website can be found here. The phone number for the court is (409)746-7190.