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General Legal Information

  • Constitutional County Courts

    Each county in Texas has a single county court presided over by a county judge. The constitutional county courts generally hear the probate cases filed in the county. They have original jurisdiction over all Class A and Class B misdemeanor criminal cases, which are the more serious minor offenses. These courts usually have appellate jurisdiction in cases appealed from justice of the peace and municipal courts, except in counties where county courts at law have been established. These courts share jurisdiction with justice of the peace and district courts in civil cases in which the amount in controversy is small. Content Detail

  • Court of Criminal Appeals

    The Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest state court for appeals resulting from criminal cases. The Court holds sessions throughout the year in Austin, Texas. The Court is comprised of 9 members, a Presiding Judge and eight Judges. Decisions of the Courts of Appeals in criminal cases may be appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals by petition for discretionary review, filed either by the state, or the defendant, or both. In addition, the Court may review a decision on its own motion. All cases which result in the Death Penalty are automatically directed to the Court of Criminal Appeals from the trial court level. Content Detail

  • How to Select a Lawyer

    This publication can give you good tips on how to select a lawyer to help you. Content Detail

  • 2013 Referral Directory Legal Services and Other Resources

    Legal services and other resources for low-income Texans. Read More

  • Texas Probate Passport: Wills, Estates, Power of Attorney, and Probate

    “Texas Probate Passport” has been prepared to inform the public regarding: (1) what happens legally to the property of a person when he or she dies with a will or without a will and (2) how the probate process works. Read More

  • Limited Scope Representation

    A way for people with limited money to afford an attorney. Read More

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  • Statutory County Courts

    Because the Constitution limits each county to a single county court, the Legislature has created statutory county courts at law in the larger counties to aid the single county court in its judicial functions. The legal jurisdiction of the special county-level trial courts varies considerably and is established by the statute which creates the particular court. The jurisdiction of statutorily-created county courts at law is usually concurrent with the jurisdiction of the county and district courts in the county. The civil jurisdiction of most county courts at law varies, but is usually more than that of the justice of the peace courts and less than that of the district courts. County courts at law usually have appellate jurisdiction in cases appealed from justice of the peace and municipal courts. Content Detail

  • Statutory Probate Courts

    The Statutory Probate Courts of Texas are located in the state's six largest metropolitan areas and have original and exclusive jurisdiction over their counties' probate matters, guardianship cases, and mental health commitments. In most counties, the constitutional county court has original probate jurisdiction. In some counties, the Legislature has authorized certain statutorily created county courts to share this original jurisdiction. The original probate jurisdiction of district courts is limited to those situations in which a contested probate matter is transferred from a constitutional county court and when the Legislature has granted the district court original control and jurisdiction over personal representatives. In the more populated counties, the Legislature has created specialized probate courts (entitled statutory probate courts) to hear probate matters exclusively. Thus, depending on the jurisdictional grant by the Legislature, probate matters might be heard in the county court, county court at law, statutory probate court, or district court of a particular county. Content Detail