Texas Courts Essay

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In 1822, Stephen F. Austin established one of the first courts in Texas and appointed a provisional justice of peace. Since Texas was a part of Mexico at the time, the Mexican governor replaced the justice of peace with three elected officials. (Utexas) Soon after Independence, the republic of Texas under the 1836 Constitution, established a supreme court and allowed Congress to create inferior courts. Judges in such courts were to be elected by Congress. Counties, at the time, had County and Justice of Peace courts, whose judges were popularly elected. With the entrance of Texas into the Union and the adoption of numerous constitutions during the period, Texas retained a similar judicial structure. The current 1876 Constitution created a…show more content…
In addition, each precinct is required to have one to two Justice of Peace Courts, depending on the precincts population. Such courts have very little original jurisdiction over criminal matters limited to Class C misdemeanor and some jurisdiction over civil matters, including small claims. Other functions for Justice of Peace Courts include issuing search and arrest warrants and serving as coroner in counties that have no provision for medical examiners. Municipal Courts were created by the State Legislature and incorporated in each of the states’ cities. Larger cities have multiple Municipal Courts, the number depending on the city’s population and needs. Such courts have original jurisdiction over the enforcement of city ordinances. Moreover, Municipal Courts have concurrent jurisdiction, along with Justice of Peace Courts, in Class C misdemeanor cases originating within city limits. Municipal Courts have no jurisdiction over most civil matters and other functions include issuing search and arrest warrants. At the County level, three types of courts exist, the first of them being Constitutional County Courts. The state constitution creates one Constitutional County Court in each of the 254 Texas Counties. Constitutional County Courts have concurrent jurisdiction with Justice of Peace Courts and State District Courts in small civil matters. Constitutional County Courts
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