About Texas Courts
There are close to two thousand courts in Texas. This includes district courts, county courts, county courts at law, municipal courts, and probate courts.
Texas District Courts
District courts are the highest level trial court in Texas. Texas district courts hear a wide variety of cases. This can include family law and divorce cases, civil disputes, and criminal cases.
The Texas legislature assigns every county in Texas a district court. More populous counties typically have more than one district court located in the county. Less populous counties may share a district court located in an adjoining county.
Texas County Courts
There are 254 counties in Texas. Each county has its own county court.
Texas county courts hear significant criminal cases, other than felonies. They also hear civil cases where the amount in controversy is less than certain dollar limits. These limits are not uniform. They vary from one county court court to another county court.
These courts often specialize in hearing certain types of cases in the more populous areas.
The county courts are located in the county they serve.
Texas County Courts at Law
Unlike Texas county courts that are established by the Texas Constitution, many counties have one or more county courts at law.
Texas county courts at law handle the same types of cases that county courts handle. The jurisdictional dollar amounts vary from one court to another.
Texas Justice of the Peace Courts
Texas justice of the peace courts are authorized by the Texas Constitution.
JP courts handle minor criminal infractions and civil disputes, such as landlord-eviction proceedings. The JP may also serve arrest warrants and assist local law enforcement.
JP courts are located in the counties in which they serve. Less populated counties may only have one JP; whereas, more populous counties may have upwards of ten JPs.
Texas Municipal Courts
Texas municipal courts are created by cities. They focus on minor traffic and criminal infractions and matters involving city ordinances.
Texas municipal courts are located in the cities in which they serve. The number of municipal courts in a city varies widely. More populous cities often have more than one municipal court.