Essay on The Texas Judicial System

1414 Words Jan 26th, 2015 6 Pages
The Texas Judicial System

The Texas Judicial System

The Texas judicial system has been called one of the most complex in the United States, if not the world. It features five layers of courts, several instances of overlapping jurisdiction, and a bifurcated appellate system at the top level. The structure of the system is laid out in Article 5 of the Texas Constitution.

The Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Appeals has a bifurcated appellate system at the highest level. Civil case appeals by the Texas Supreme Court, which also maintains the responsibility for licensing attorneys. For appeals on criminal cases those got to The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In times where the Death Penalty is in question cases are
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There are 14 courts of appeal and two of them are located in Houston the 1st and 14th Courts, both having concurrent jurisdiction over the same counties cases are to be assigned on a random selection basis but may be moved in order to equalize the docket. Also the 6th and 12th courts in East Texas, appellate districts overlap in four counties Gregg, Rusk, Upshur, and Wood. The set up in the East Texas districts has been heavily criticized as being friendly to "forum shopping."

The following the districts and cities they are located:

1st Houston, 2nd Fort Worth, 3rd Austin. 4th San Antonio, 5th Dallas, 6th Texarkana, 7th Amarillo, 8th El Paso, 9th Beaumont, 10th Waco, 11th Eastland, 12th Tyler, 13th Corpus Christi/Edinburgh, 14th Houston.
The state trial courts of general jurisdiction are the district courts. The district court has exclusive jurisdiction on felony cases, as well as divorce cases, cases involving title to land, and election contest cases. It shares jurisdiction with the county courts, and in some case justice of the peace courts, for civil cases the lowest limit for hearing a case is a mere $200 in controversy, while in Justice of the Peace courts can hear cases up to $5,000. In a "catchall" provision it hears all cases in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court.