<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Justice of the Peace OptionalRegion1

Justice of the Peace

Justice of the Peace courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters of misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only and such other jurisdiction as may be provided by law (Texas Constitution, Section 19, Article 5).

  • Original jurisdiction is the authority to accept a case at its inception, try it and pass judgment based upon the laws and facts.
  • Original jurisdiction is distinguished from appellate jurisdiction, which is jurisdiction to review a court's action.

Performs the functions of a magistrate.

Conducts inquests.

May issue warrants for search and arrest.

May conduct preliminary hearings.

May administer oaths.

May perform marriages.

May serve as a coroner in counties where there is no provision for a medical examiner.

Justice court functions as small claims court in civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in district or county court and the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000.

May deal with matters concerning foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property.

Information provided by Texas Association of Counties