About the Texas Courts

Each court in the Texas court system has a specific jurisdiction. At the local level, there are both municipal courts and justice courts (justices of the peace). At the county level, there are constitutional county courts and statutory county courts. Some larger counties also have dedicated probate courts. At the state level, there are district trial courts.

Cases on appeal from county and district courts are heard in one of 14 courts of appeal. At the level above the courts of appeal are Texas's two highest courts: the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Supreme Court has final appellate jurisdiction in civil matters while the Court of Criminal Appeals has final appellate jurisdiction for criminal matters.

For information on court proceedings and procedural rules, see our Texas court rules page. Or read about the federal court system.

Obtaining Court Records

Texas courts are open to the public. Court records are made available through the court clerk's office. If you are wishing to obtain copies of case records, contact the court clerk for information on how to proceed. If you have questions, please Ask a Librarian for assistance.

The State Law Library can facilitate access to court records filed in the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, or in the 3rd Court of Appeals (criminal cases only). Through our fee-based document delivery service, we can provide you with copies of available court records at a cost of $0.25 per page (plus other fees). This service is also available for inmates in TDCJ facilities through our inmate copy service.

page last updated: 18 Nov 2020 4:36 PM