Structure of the Texas Court System  Texas Judicial System – Flow Chart

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Texas Supreme Court

One Court, 9 Justices

Statewide Jurisdiction

Final appellate jurisdiction in civil cases. The Supreme Court chooses which cases it will hear.

Texas Courts of Appeals

14 Courts, 80 Justices

Regional Jurisdiction

The Courts of Appeals hear all intermediate appeals of civil and criminal cases from trial courts in their respective courts of appeals districts. This is where 95% of all cases end because at the next level the courts determine which cases they will hear. Appellants are guaranteed a hearing in the Courts of Appeals, which is why the functions of these courts are so critical.

Role of The 3rd Court of Appeals In Texas

There are 14 intermediate appellate courts with each court covering a different geographic area of Texas. The 3rd Court is considered the most powerful appellate court of its type in the State. Besides controlling the justice system in 24 Central and West Texas counties, all decisions – both civil and criminal – from the trial courts of these counties are subject to review by this Court.

Additionally, all cases involving state government come before this Court for review. As such, the legislative process cannot be considered final until this Court has acted.

As this chart demonstrates, the 3rd Court of Appeals is a unique and critically important court in our state’s legal structure. As a practical matter, the Court of Appeals represents the “court of last resort” for the vast majority of litigants, the place where their cases are ultimately concluded. That’s why we need experienced, seasoned judges who have demonstrated their legal ability to serve on this important court.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

One Court, 9 Justices

Statewide Jurisdiction

Final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases. The Court of Criminal Appeals chooses which cases it will hear.

District Courts

424 District Courts Containing One or More Counties, 424 Judges

District Jurisdiction

District courts serve as “trial level courts” where the vast majority of civil and felony criminal trials are held.

County-level Courts

482 Courts, 482 Judges

Constitutional County Courts

254 Courts, One in Each County

County Jurisdiction

  • Civil Actions between $200 and $5,000.
  • Misdemeanors with fines greater than $500 or a jail sentence.
County Courts at Law

211 Courts in 81 Counties

County Jurisdiction

  • Civil Matters, most under $100,000.
  • Some jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal matters.
Probate Courts

17 Courts in 10 Populous Counties

County Jurisdiction

  • Limited primarily to probate matters.