The Structure of the Texas Court System

Introduction

Picture of Old Cora courthouse
Figure 5.1 Built in 1856, the Old Cora Courthouse is a split-log, one-room courthouse that also served as a post office when it was built. It is the oldest courthouse in Texas still standing, though it now only stands as a historic landmark. Image Credit: Nicolas Henderson License: CC BY

Even before Texas became its own Republic, Texas had a system of courts. As citizens of Mexico, Texans were given access to state and local courts created by the Mexican constitutions of 1824 and 1827. Appeals, however, were handled only in Saltillo, over 600 miles from the northern parts of the state.

Accordingly, the Republic of Texas and, later, the State of Texas established a judiciary with local access to both trial and appeals courts. Texas has more courts than any other state, creating more access to courts, but also additional costs.

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