Texas State Court SystemAlexander NixAmerican Military UniversityTexas State Court SystemThe Texas court system composes of both the state and federal courts. The state courts consist of three court levels, the trial, appellate and the supreme court. The trial courts form the significant part of the judicial system, and they handle most of the cases in Texas. They consist of about 450 district courts, 500 county courts, over 800 peace justice courts and 900 municipal courts.
The justice and municipal courts have limited jurisdiction, and thus in most cases, petitioners and defendants represent themselves although there is permission for attorneys to represent the parties involved. Justice courts hear civil cases costing 10,000 dollars and below and other criminal cases that require fines to settle. The municipal courts preside over criminal cases that involve fines and civilian rule violations. The county courts have constitutional, statutory and statutory probate trial courtsCITATION Wom04 l 1033 (Womack, 2014). The legal and regulatory courts have more workload with specific limits of civil actions than the probate courts that deal specifically with issues under probation.
The constitutional county courts hear appeals from lower courts, cases involving juveniles and other matters that require fines exceeding 500 dollars or jail terms, other probate issues as well as other civil complaints valued between 200 to 1000 dollars. On the other hand, the statutory court handles a range of scenarios uses ranging from civil, criminal and appellate cases with a maximum jurisdictional limit of 1,000,000 dollars. The district courts provide the first trial setting and cover a large geographical area thus these courts hear all instances unless directed otherwise by the statutes. For example, felony criminal, land, divorce and election-related case hearings occur here, especially where there is attorney representations and any appeals from the courts go to the appellate stage.
Where the case is a death sentence, it proceeds to the court of criminal appeals (McCammon & McGrath, 2015). The appellate courts consisting of 14 courts is the second level justice level in Texas handling the appealed cases from the trial cases. The appeal courts review and determine the merit of the claims. However, where a person fails to feel satisfied, they can make further appeals to one of the supreme courts. Ordinarily, there is no evidence or testimonies at the intermediate court.
Instead, the judges make their determinations based on the records brought forward from the lower trial courts within the district. Nevertheless, there are oral arguments on critical matters before the courts. The establishment of these courts aimed to limit civil cases from going to supreme courts and reduce the cost of appealing the claims of the citizens. The supreme court is the third and highest court in Texas judicial system primarily constituted to hear arguments from the courts and make a determination CITATION Reb13 l 1033 (Rebe, 2013). There are two types of supreme courts, the Texas Supreme court that handles the civil appeals and the Texas court of criminal appeals that handles related criminal appeals including the death penalty cases. The supreme court makes final pronouncements on matters regarding minors and civil actions.
The criminal appeals courts relieve the supreme court from the burden of the caseload.Nonetheless, regarding the composition of the various Texas state courts, the Supreme court has a chief justice and eight judges. In the 14 courts of appeal located in each district in Texas has a chief justice and at least two other judges with the state statute determining the number of judges in each court ranging from three to thirteen. Three judges usually hear the appeal cases unless there is an order for a banc hearing that necessitates all the 13 justices to hear and determine the matter. The Constitutional county courts exist in each of the 254 counties in Texas. The statutory county courts consist of 236 courts and administrative probate courts 18 in number operating in ten counties. Nevertheless, the federal courts exist in Texas with three courts, the trial, appellate and supreme court within the state of Texas.
Under the trial courts, four federal government district courts include the northern, Southern, Eastern and Western district of Texas. Similarly, there is the appellate court in Texas because Texas is part of the fifth circuit court of appeals that presides over the hearing of all the appeal case from the federal district courts. At the apex is the supreme court that hears appeals resulting from decisions of the fifth circuit courts and in some scenarios those from the supreme court of Texas or courts of criminal appeals. The federal courts serve the US government by applying and interpreting the federal laws CITATION Tho13 l 1033 (Thompsom & Knight, 2013). In sum, there are 508 county-level courts with 508 judges each making case determination in each of the courts. Below the county courts, there are 815 justice and 926 municipal courtrooms with 815 and 1559 judges respectively. Furthermore, there are 456 district courts with 456 judges presiding over the various cases. In a nutshell, Texas represents one of the states with the well-established and complicated legal systems in the united states.
The states balance the litigation of the cases depending on the magnitude and kind. Similarly, the state court effectively cooperates with the federal courts respecting their jurisdictions to ensure the citizens get justice for their complaints.ReferencesMcCammon, H. J., & McGrath, A. R. (2015).
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(2013). Texas Supreme Court: Decisions Of Interest To Business. Corporate Counsel Business Journal, 14:14.Womack, P. (2014). Handbook of Texas.
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