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Justice of the Peace

Description of Office

The justice of the peace presides over the court that is most accessible to the average citizen. Justices of the peace hear misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only and can hear most civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $10,000.
The justice of the peace also performs the functions of a magistrate and conducts inquests. In addition, a justice of the peace may issue warrants for search and arrest. Justices of the peace also issue civil process, conduct preliminary hearings, administer oaths,  perform marriages and serve as a coroner in counties where there is no medical examiner. The justice of the peace may also conduct inquests.
As with all elected county officials, the justice of the peace  has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire personnel and direct their daily activities.  The justice of the peace also has authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process.
For more complete information about the duties of a justice of the peace and other county officials, click here.

Education Requirements

Coordinating body
Texas Justice Center Courts Training Center
701 Brazos Street, Suite 710
Austin, Texas 78701
Roger Rountree, Executive Director
(512) 347-9927
(512) 347-9921 (fax)
The Texas Justice Center is the permanent contact for justices of the peace hours.
Programs that qualify
Any approved by the Justice Court Education Committee.
Filing for credit
Justices of the peace may either send a letter requesting continuing education approval prior to or immediately following a seminar or program for which they wish to receive credits to the Texas Justice Courts Training Center (TJCTC). The Justice Court Education Committee will then decide if credits will be granted and the number of hours that may be earned.
Continuing education requirements
Justices of the peace are required to obtain 80 hours during their first year in office and 20 hours annually thereafter.
Legal source
Government Code, Section 27.005

Open Government Training Information

Elected and appointed public officials are required by a state law to receive training in Texas open government laws. For more information on this training including free video training courses, check out The Office of the Attorney General website.

County Official Organizations

The Texas Association of Counties serves as the umbrella organization for various independent county official organizations in Texas. These organizations serve as an important resource for county officials for information, networking and advocacy.
Here you will find links to these organizations' websites which provide information on annual conference dates, leadership information and more.