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 the two highest courts in the state: 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 the Texas court rules page.

Obtaining Court Records

Court records are made available through the court clerk's office. Contact the court clerk for information on how to obtain copies of court documents. Depending on the court, you may need to contact the district clerk, county clerk, or city clerk.

Some counties have online search options for court records from the county, district, or probate courts. Some municipalities offer online access to court records for cases heard in municipal courts. Visit your county's or city's website to see if they offer online access.

For the courts of appeal, including the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, online access is available on the Texas Judicial Branch website.

If you have questions, you can Ask a Librarian for assistance.

Document Delivery Service

The State Law Library facilitates 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 provide 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: 3 Feb 2021 3:30 PM