Texas map illustrations BW

The judiciary system in Texas is an intricate network of courts that function to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice. Understanding the structure, roles, and responsibilities of each court and the individuals involved is essential for anyone seeking to navigate the legal landscape in Texas.

Texas Court Structure

Supreme Court of Texas

The Supreme Court of Texas is the highest court for civil matters in the state. It has one chief justice and eight associate justices who hear cases involving constitutional matters, contested elections, and other civil cases.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

This court is the highest appellate court for criminal cases in Texas. It consists of one presiding judge and eight judges, and it has the final say on matters of criminal law in the state.

Texas Courts of Appeals

Texas has 14 Courts of Appeals, which hear both civil and criminal cases appealed from the lower courts. Each court has a varying number of justices, ranging from three to 13, depending on the population of the region they serve.

Texas District Courts

These are the primary trial courts for the state and have general jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters. Texas has 508 district courts, each with a single judge who presides over cases in a specific geographic area.

Texas County Courts

County courts in Texas handle more limited types of civil and criminal matters, such as misdemeanors and probate cases. The structure and jurisdiction of these courts can vary from county to county.

Texas Justice Courts

Also known as justice of the peace courts, these courts have jurisdiction over minor civil matters, traffic violations, and small claims cases. There is at least one justice court in each of Texas’s 254 counties.

Texas Municipal Courts

Municipal courts are established by individual cities and handle violations of city ordinances, traffic offenses, and some misdemeanors.

The Role of Judges Appointment and Election of Judges

The selection of judges in Texas combines both appointment and election processes. For the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Courts of Appeals, the governor appoints vacancies, but these judges must stand for election at the next general election. Judges for district courts, county courts, and justice courts are elected in partisan elections.

Judicial Qualifications

Each court has specific qualifications for those who serve as judges. For example, a Texas Supreme Court justice must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Texas, and must have been a practicing lawyer or judge for at least 10 years.

Judicial Tenure and Removal

Judges in Texas hold office for four to six years, depending on the court. Judges can be removed from office through impeachment by the Texas House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate.

The Jury System in Texas

Grand Juries

Grand juries in Texas are composed of 12 citizens who determine whether there is enough evidence to indict a person for a felony. They serve a crucial role in the criminal justice system.

Trial Juries

Trial juries, also known as petit juries, are used in both civil and criminal cases. They are responsible for deciding the facts of a case and rendering a verdict.

The Role of Lawyers in Texas Courts

Becoming a Lawyer in Texas

Becoming a lawyer in Texas involves several steps, including earning a law degree, passing the Texas Bar Exam, and meeting other character and fitness requirements.

Roles and Responsibilities

Lawyers, or attorneys, represent individuals, businesses, and government entities in legal proceedings. They advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, represent them in court, and prepare legal documents.

Texas Court Processes and Procedures

Civil Procedure

Civil procedure in Texas courts governs the process for civil lawsuits. This includes rules for filing a case, serving notice to defendants, discovery, trial, and appeal.

Criminal Procedure

Criminal procedure outlines the process for criminal prosecutions. It includes rules for arrest, indictment, arraignment, pre-trial motions, trial, and sentencing.

Family Law Procedure

Family law procedure covers cases related to divorce, child custody, child support, and other family-related matters.

Probate Procedure

Probate procedure governs the process of settling a deceased person’s estate, including validating wills, appointing executors, and distributing assets.

Technology and Texas Courts

Electronic Filing

Electronic filing, or e-filing, has become increasingly common in Texas courts. This allows for more efficient and convenient submission of court documents.

Online Dispute Resolution

Some Texas courts have started using online dispute resolution (ODR) for certain types of cases. ODR can provide a faster, more accessible option for resolving disputes.


The courts and judiciary system in Texas are complex but designed to ensure fair and just outcomes for all involved. From the Supreme Court to the municipal courts, each plays a vital role in upholding the rule of law. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the Texas judiciary system, adapting to provide justice in the most efficient and accessible ways possible.


  1. What is the highest court in Texas for civil cases? The Supreme Court of Texas is the highest court for civil cases in the state.
  2. How are judges chosen in Texas? Judges in Texas are chosen through a combination of appointments by the governor and general elections.
  3. What is the role of a grand jury in Texas? A grand jury in Texas determines whether there is enough evidence to indict a person for a felony.
  4. What steps are involved in becoming a lawyer in Texas? To become a lawyer in Texas, one must earn a law degree, pass the Texas Bar Exam, and meet other character and fitness requirements.
  5. What is electronic filing in Texas courts? Electronic filing, or e-filing, is a method that allows for the submission of court documents in a more efficient and convenient way through online systems.

Counties is Texas

Anderson | Andrews | Angelina | Aransas | Archer | Armstrong | Atascosa | Austin | Bailey | Bandera | Bastrop | Baylor | Bee | Bell | Bexar | Blanco | Borden | Bosque | Bowie | Brazoria | Brazos | Brewster | Briscoe | Brooks | Brown | Burleson | Burnet | Caldwell | Calhoun | Callahan | Cameron | Camp | Carson | Cass | Castro | Chambers | Cherokee | Childress | Clay | Cochran | Coke | Coleman | Collin | Collingsworth | Colorado | Comal | Comanche | Concho | Cooke | Coryell | Cottle | Crane | Crockett | Crosby | Culberson | Dallam | Dallas | Dawson | Deaf Smith | Delta | Denton | DeWitt | Dickens | Dimmit | Donley | Duval | Eastland | Ector | Edwards | El Paso | Ellis | Erath | Falls | Fannin | Fayette | Fisher | Floyd | Foard | Fort Bend | Franklin | Freestone | Frio | Gaines | Galveston | Garza | Gillespie | Glasscock | Goliad | Gonzales | Gray | Grayson | Gregg | Grimes | Guadalupe | Hale | Hall | Hamilton | Hansford | Hardeman | Hardin | Harris | Harrison | Hartley | Haskell | Hays | Hemphill | Henderson | Hidalgo | Hill | Hockley | Hood | Hopkins | Houston | Howard | Hudspeth | Hunt | Hutchinson | Irion | Jack | Jackson | Jasper | Jeff Davis | Jefferson | Jim Hogg | Jim Wells | Johnson | Jones | Karnes | Kaufman | Kendall | Kenedy | Kent | Kerr | Kimble | King | Kinney | Kleberg | Knox | Lamar | Lamar | Lampasas | La Salle | Lavaca | Lee | Leon | Liberty | Limestone | Lipscomb | Live Oak | Llano | Loving | Lubbock | Lynn | McCulloch | McLennan | McMullen | Madison | Marion | Martin | Mason | Matagorda | Maverick | Medina | Menard | Midland | Milam | Mills | Mitchell | Montague | Montgomery | Moore | Morris | Motley | Nacogdoches | Navarro | Newton | Nolan | Nueces | Ochiltree | Oldham | Orange | Palo Pinto | Panola | Parker | Parmer | Pecos | Polk | Potter | Presidio | Rains | Randall | Reagan | Real | Red River | Reeves | Refugio | Roberts | Robertson | Rockwall | Runnels | Rusk | Sabine | San Augustine | San Jacinto | San Patricio | San Saba | Schleicher | Scurry | Shackelford | Shelby | Sherman | Smith | Somervell | Starr | Stephens | Sterling | Stonewall | Sutton | Swisher | Tarrant | Taylor | Terrell | Terry | Throckmorton | Titus | Tom Green | Travis | Trinity | Tyler | Upshur | Upton | Uvalde | Val Verde | Van Zandt | Victoria | Walker | Waller | Ward | Washington | Webb | Wharton | Wheeler | Wichita | Wilbarger | Willacy | Williamson | Wilson | Winkler | Wise | Wood | Yoakum | Young | Zapata | Zavala

Federal courts:

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals | U.S. District Court: Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas | U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas

State courts:

Texas Supreme Court | Texas Court of Appeals | Texas Court of Criminal Appeals | Texas District Courts | Texas County Courts | Texas County Courts at Law | Texas Statutory Probate Courts | Texas Justice of the Peace Courts

State resources:

Courts in Texas | Texas judicial elections | Judicial selection in Texas

Counties in Texas


Circuit court

Here are all of the Counties located in the Texas Estate.