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Jurisdiction of the Justice of the Peace Court
The Texas constitution provides that the justice of the peace courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters of Class 'C' Misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only, and civil matters involving not more than $10,000.
The Justice of the Peace Courts Civil Cases
The Justice Courts in Texas are created under Chapter 27 of the Texas Government Code. Justice courts have jurisdiction of civil matters in which the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000. Justice courts also have jurisdiction of suits relating to enforcement of a deed restriction of a residential subdivision that does not concern a structural change to a dwelling.
  • The Justice Court has jurisdiction of Small Claims, Debt Claims, Eviction, and Repair and Remedy cases.
  • Justice Courts do NOT have jurisdiction of suits for divorce, suits to recover damages for slander or defamation, suits for title to land, or suits to enforce a lien on land.
  • Jurisdiction is the power of the court to entertain an action, consider the merits, and render a valid judgment.
The Justice of the Peace Courts Criminal Cases
Justices of the Peace have original jurisdiction in criminal cases punishable by fine only, or punishable by a fine and a sanction not consisting of confinement or imprisonment. Criminal procedures for cases that are within the criminal jurisdiction of the Smith County Justice Courts are found in Chapter 45 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.The Rules of Evidence governing the trials of criminal actions in the District Courts apply to a criminal proceeding in the Justice Courts. The Smith County District Attorney prosecutes traffic cases filed in the Smith County Justice Courts.
Smith County Texas
100 N. Broadway Tyler, Texas
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