Originally published by Roger G Jain & Associates, P.C..
The existing Texas court system was established by an amendment to the state Constitution in 1891. Below is a description of the basic hierarchal structure of the court system.
- Supreme Court: The Texas Supreme Court is the highest state appellate court for civil cases. The Supreme Court is made up of nine judges, referred to as “justices,” who review the decisions of lower courts.
- Court of Criminal Appeals: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest state appellate court for criminal cases. The Court of Criminal Appeals consist of nine justices who review criminal decisions made by lower courts, post-conviction habeas corpus petitions, and criminal cases involving the death penalty.
- Courts of Appeals: Texas has 14 Courts of Appeals that hear both civil and criminal cases on appeal from the trial courts. Each of the Court of Appeals has at least three justices. There is currently a Court of Appeals in each of the following cities: Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Corpus Christi/Edinburg, Dallas, Eastland, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Texarkana, Tyler, Waco, and two courts in Houston.
- Trial Courts: There are several levels of trial courts in Texas that have jurisdiction over different types of cases. The Government Code provides for courts in different counties to have slightly different jurisdiction, but each type of court generally hears the items listed below.
- District Courts: There are 507 Districts Courts that serve as the trial courts of general jurisdiction. Generally speaking, District Courts hear felony criminal cases and misdemeanors involving official misconduct; divorces; slander or defamation; contested elections; disputes over land titles or enforcement of liens on land; and suits on behalf of the State for penalties, forfeitures and escheat.
- Constitutional County Courts: The state Constitution provides for a county court in each of the 254 counties in Texas. Constitutional County Courts have jurisdiction over civil cases not exceeding $10,000 in damages, as well as uncontested probate matters.
- Statutory County Courts: Statutory County Courts were created by the Texas Legislature to increase judicial efficiency. These courts have overlapping concurrent jurisdiction with Constitutional County Courts and District Courts where the amount in controversy does not exceed $200,000. More specifically, Statutory County Courts hear workers’ compensation appeals, eminent domain cases, probate and family law matters.
- Probate Courts: Probate Courts were also created by the Texas Legislature to specifically handle probate proceedings. Not all counties utilize statutory Probate Courts, however, this court will have original jurisdiction of probate matters if such a court does exist in that county.
from Texas Bar Today http://ift.tt/2jSgrQe
via Abogado Aly Website