Running head: FINAL ESSAY
Punishment and Sentencing�
After researching the National Center for State Courts of Texas the system structures are as follows. Municipal court consists of 917 cities 1,414 judges. In this court you have local trial courts of limited jurisdiction. The Municipal Courts consists of Criminal misdemeanors punishable by fine only (no confinement). Such as traffic cases non-criminal traffic violations, ordinance violations and parking violations. There is exclusive original jurisdiction over municipal ordinance criminal cases. You have limited civil jurisdiction in cases involving dangerous dogs.
Justice Courts 821 Courts, and 821 Judges. Such as Landlord/Tenant unlawful detainer. You also have Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction. These courts consist of civil actions of not more than $10,000. In these courts you can bring forth a small claim.
Next we have County level Courts 494 Courts and 494 Judges these courts are county trial courts of limited jurisdiction. The following consists of Constitutional County Courts, County Courts at Law and Statutory Probate Court. The Constitutional County Courts has 254 courts original jurisdiction in civil actions between $200 and $10,000. Cases of these matters can consist of Automobile tort, Mental Health, tax cases, marriage dissolution, other domestic relations, Probate (contested matters) may be transferred to District Court. In this court you have exclusive original jurisdiction over misdemeanors with fines greater than $500 or jail sentence. Such cases as Person, property, drug, Motor vehicle DWI/DUI. Juvenile matters are also handled in this court. Appeals de novo from lower courts or on the record from municipal courts of record are also heard here. These juvenile cases consist of juvenile status offense and juvenile non-criminal traffic violations.
County Courts at Law consist of 222 courts. All civil, criminal, original and appellate actions prescribed by law for constitutional county courts. In addition, jurisdiction over civil matters between $200 and $100,000 (some courts may have higher maximum jurisdiction amount). Statutory Probate Courts consists of 18 courts. This court is limited primarily to probate matters.
State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction consist of District Courts 444 courts and 444 judges. In these courts we have original jurisdiction in civil actions of $200 or $500, divorce, title to land, contested elections. These courts have original jurisdiction in felony criminal matters. The 13 district courts are designated criminal district courts; some others are directed to give preference to certain specialized areas. There are 347 districts containing one county & 97 districts containing more than one county. These courts handle case similar to those in the county level courts.
Courts of Appeals consist of 14 courts and 80...