Justice of the Peace Court

The Justice Courts

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.

At least one justice court must be established in each precinct. In counties with a population of 150,000 or greater, more than one justice court can be established in each precinct.

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 over 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.

Number: 1 judge per court.

Selection: Partisan, precinct-wide election.

Qualifications: No specific statutory or constitutional provisions apply.

Term: 4 years.