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County Court at Law

100 N. Broadway, Room 209
s Tyler, Texas 75702

Judge Thomas A. Dunn


The County Court at Law was created in 1963, as a Statutory County Court by the legislature under the Texas Constitution. This Court has expanded jurisdiction which means, this Court hears the following types of cases: Misdemeanor criminal offenses, Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Appeals, Third Degree Felonies, State Jail Felonies, Divorces, Adoptions, Custody, Civil suits, and Probate cases.

Previous Presiding Judges of the County Court at Law are The Honorable R. M. Hutchins (in office 1963-1968), The Honorable Melton G. Mell (in office 1969-1989), The Honorable Joe D. Clayton (in office 1989-1993), The Honorable Richard B. Patteson ( in office 1993-1994), The Honorable Diane V. DeVasto (in office 1994-1995) and The Honorable Thomas A. Dunn (in office 1996 to present).

The Honorable Thomas A. Dunn, the Presiding Judge of the County Court at Law has been practicing law since 1976. Judge Dunn graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1972 and went on to graduate from South Texas College of Law in 1975. In 1983 he was Board Certified in Criminal by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in 1985 he was Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Out of some 65,614 Texas attorneys, Judge Dunn is one of 23 attorney's dually certified in Criminal Law and Family Law. In 1994 he became a Trained Mediator in Civil and Family Law. 

Judge Dunn's experience includes: 1976 to 1977- Private Practice, Family and Criminal Law, 1977-1979- Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Smith County, Texas, 1979-1996- Private Practice, Family and Criminal Law, Mediator, and 1996-Present- Judge of the County Court at Law, Smith County, Texas. Further, Judge Dunn has been a frequent lecturer in the fields of Criminal and Family Law in various Continuing Legal Education courses in the State of Texas. 

Judge Dunn has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 1976 and is a member of the State Bar of Texas-Criminal Law, Family Law, and Judicial Sections, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Texas Association of County Court at Law Judges, and the Texas Center for the Judiciary. 



Smith County Courthouse
100 N. Broadway, Room 209
Tyler, Texas 75702

Honorable Thomas A. Dunn Presiding Judge
Paul Clarkston Criminal Court coordinator (903) 590-1654
Susan Gradick Court Administrator - Civil Court Coordinator (903) 590-1653
Kim Christopher, CSR, RPR Official Court Reporter (903) 590-1655
Deputy India Samuels Bailiff (903) 590-1651
John Goss Court Probation Officer
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Smith County Texas
100 N. Broadway Tyler, Texas
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