How can I...

Judges:

Travis H. Ernst
County Court at Law 1
(361) 575-4550

Daniel Gilliam
County Court at Law 2
(361) 575-7195


Court Coordinator:

Becky Wade
(361) 580-5761

County Courts at Law
County Court at Law

Jurisdiction over the following matters:

  • Criminal misdemeanors (class A and B)
  • Appeals from Municipal and Justice Courts
  • Civil Cases where the amount in controversy exceeds $500.00 but does not exceed $250,000.00
  • Probate Cases
  • Juvenile Cases

Copies of filed documents may be obtained by contacting the Victoria County Clerk’s Office at (361) 575-1478

  • Trial by jury is one of the most important basic constitutional rights in our country. Participating in a trial by jury is a duty which only free people have the privilege to perform. Jurors are an essential part of the justice system and without your participation, our system of justice could not operate. Thank you for your time and your service. Listed below is some general information about jury service.

    If you have any other questions, please contact the Victoria County District Clerk at (361) 575-0581 or to access District Clerk web information.

    Juror Qualification
    If you are called for jury duty, you should appear at the courthouse located at 115 N. Bridge St. on the date and time listed on your juror summons. Juror qualification takes place in the courtroom located in the 1892 courthouse on the second floor.

    Parking Parking is available in the lot at the Bridge Street Annex, 205 N. Bridge St. If that lot is full, there is additional parking available at Moody and Forrest behind the law offices of Cole, Cole and Easley. There is no charge for parking.

    Courthouse Security You are required to pass through a metal detector and security checkpoint to enter the Victoria County Courthouse complex. It is unlawful to carry a firearm, edged weapon, explosive device, club, chemical weapon or any hazardous material into the complex. All persons and any items carried into the complex are subject to search.

    Juror Compensation Jurors are compensated for the time they spend on jury duty. That compensation is set by the Victoria County Commissioners’ Court. The current rate is $6.00 for the first day of service and $40.00 for each day thereafter.

    Your employer is not required to pay you during the time you are absent from work due to jury service. However, you cannot be terminated from your employment for absences due to jury service.

    Courtroom Locations
    County Court at Law 1 is located on the second floor of the 1967 courthouse.

    County Court at Law 2 is located on the second floor of the 1967 courthouse.

    If you are unsure which courtroom you need to report to, stop at the Victoria County Clerk’s Office on the first floor of the 1967 courthouse and they will be happy to help you. Helpful Tips The temperature in the courthouse varies, please bring a sweater or jacket. You may wish to bring a book or magazine to read during breaks. You may bring your cell phone and use it during recesses, but please be sure it is set on silent or vibrate. You are prohibited from using your cell phone while court is in session and during jury deliberations. There are snack and soft drink machines in the basement of the 1967 courthouse. The Courthouse complex is a non-smoking area. You must go outside of the courthouse to smoke.
  • Filing
    All documents for both courts at law must be filed with the Victoria County Clerk’s office.

    Filing may be made by mail, e-filing or in person. Faxed filings are not authorized.

    Cases are randomly assigned to each court.

    For more information, please contact the Victoria County Clerk’s office at (361) 575-1478.

    Scheduling Information
    To schedule a case for a hearing or for a trial, please contact the court coordinator, Becky Wade, at (361) 580-5761.

    Local Rules
    The Courts at Law do not have formal local rules.

    Helpful Information
    Court dockets are usually held on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning at 9:00 AM. Motions are heard on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM on non-jury weeks.

    If you need a special setting, please contact the court coordinator.

    If you are scheduled for court in another county and will be late attending court in Victoria, please contact the clerk of the court at (361) 575-1478 and let them know approximately what time you expect to appear. You cannot call on the date of the hearing and ask for a continuance. Such request will be denied. You may not fax a motion for continuance as Victoria County does not have an authorized fax filing procedure.

    The Courts at Law do have a dress code. Please review the requirements with your clients.

    Information about Criminal Cases
    All fines and court costs assessed in criminal cases are payable instanter to the Victoria County Collections Department. Any questions concerning payment of fines and costs should be directed to that department at (361) 582-5834.
    All jury trials should be scheduled by requesting a jury trial scheduling order. Each case set for jury trial will be set for a mandatory pre-trial hearing.

    All pre-trial motions including motions in limine must be filed seven days prior to the pre-trial hearing. Once an announcement of ready is made, no plea bargains will be accepted. Cases will not be continued from the jury trial setting without a hearing on a motion for continuance filed prior to the pre-trial hearing deadline.
     
    Compensation for the court appointed attorneys is currently set at $250.00 flat rate for misdemeanor cases or an hourly rate of $75.00 per hour. You must submit your voucher via the TechShare System for approval by the presiding judge. Questions regarding court appointments should be directed to Nora Kucera, the indigent Defense Coordinator at (361) 580-5746.

    Information about Civil Cases
    For information regarding filing fees, please contact the County Clerk at (361) 575-1478.
    Requests for a jury trial setting must be made in writing and the jury fee must be paid. Once that request is received, a civil trial scheduling order will be issued. A mandatory pre-trial hearing will be scheduled. All pre-trial motions including motions in limine must be filed at least seven days before the date of the pre-trial hearing. Cases set for jury trial will not be continued from that setting without a hearing on a motion for continuance filed prior to the pre-trial hearing deadline
  • 1. How will I be notified of my court date?
    Your first court date is for arraignment. That is when the Judge will explain your constitutional rights, make sure your name is correct and inform you of the charge pending against you. If you did not bond out immediately, you will be arraigned while you are still in custody. A notice of your court date will be mailed to the address listed on your bond. If you bond out before seeing a judge, you will receive a notice to appear for arraignment on the date listed on the notice at 9:00 AM in County Court at Law 2 on the second floor of the 1967 courthouse.

    2. What if I move or change my address?
    It is your responsibility to notify the Victoria County Clerk of your new address. You may notify them by telephone at (361) 575-1478 or you may mail a Change of Defendant Address on Bond to the Victoria County Clerk’s Office at 115 N. Bridge Room 103, Victoria, Texas 77901.

    3. Where are the courtrooms located?
    The courtrooms are located in the 1967 courthouse at 115 N. Bridge St.
    County Court at Law 1 is on the second floor of the 1967 courthouse
    County Court at Law 2 is on the second floor of the 1967 courthouse

    4. What am I supposed to wear to court?
    The Victoria County Courts at Law do have a dress code. You will receive a copy of the dress code with your court date notice. You may also access it by clicking on the words "dress code" above.

    5. I can’t afford to hire a lawyer, what do I do?
    If you are indigent, you may apply to the court for a court appointed attorney. You may ask the judge for this request on your court date, or fill out an application with the Indigent Defense Coordinator, 115 N. Bridge St. Rm. 318, Victoria, TX. Phone: (361) 580-5746

    6. Can I bring my family with me?
    Criminal Court proceedings are open to the public. You may want to arrange child care for babies and young children as court proceedings often take several hours and everyone is required to sit quietly while court is in session.

    7. I can’t appear on my scheduled court date. What do I do?
    Failing to appear in the County Courts at Law is a criminal offense titled "Failure to Appear", a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4000.00, a jail sentence of up to 365 days in jail or both.

    The only acceptable reasons for changing your court date are:
    • You are scheduled for court in another county-this requires that you submit a copy of your notice to appear from the other court
    • Illness-this requires a verification from a doctor or hospital that you are too ill to appear
    • Illness of a minor child (this requires the same verification as above)
    • Death in your immediate family-requires a copy of the obituary naming you as a surviving relative

    Work schedules, school conflicts or transportation issues are not reasons for changing or missing your court date. You must notify the court BEFORE your court date. If you are represented by attorney, please notify him/her immediately and they can follow the correct procedure to request a continuance. If you are not represented by an attorney and one of the reasons listed above apply, you may call the County Clerk’s office at (361) 575-1478 and supply the required verification to them by fax at (361) 575-6276. Only the Judge may grant a continuance, so they will pass that information to the Judge and let you know the outcome.