Texas Justice of the Peace Courts
Authored By: Office of Court Administration
The Texas Constitution requires that each county in the State establish between one and eight justice of the peace precincts, depending upon the population of the county. Also, depending on the population of the precinct, either one or two justice of the peace courts are to be established in each precinct. There are approximately 840 justice of the peace courts in Texas. Justice of the peace courts have original jurisdiction in Class C misdemeanor criminal cases, which are less serious minor offenses. These courts also have jurisdiction of minor civil matters. A justice of the peace may issue search or arrest warrants, and may serve as the coroner in counties where there is no provision for a medical examiner. These courts also function as small claims courts.