Justice of the Peace #1 - Juror Instructions

The Texas Judicial System has three levels of trial court – district, county, and justice or municipal and two appellate courts. The justice of the peace falls into the justice court. This court has the most uniform court in the state.

Each county is required to have a justice of the peace, and generally there is one for each precinct. The precincts are based on population. These precincts can be changed through redistricting by the commissioners court.

The justice court has jurisdiction over civil, small claims, and eviction suits up to $10,000 exclusive of interest. Because the justice court is not a court of record, any appeal to county court is trial de novo, or a new trial.

New Rules for Justice Court Cases

Make Online Payments (You will need code: (8616833) for JP1 payments

Fill out Summons Card Online

Jury Duty Report Schedule

Juveniles: If you are under the age of 17 and have any type of violation, you must appear in court with your parent or guardian. The court will notify you of your appearance date.

Minors: If you are under the age of 21 and you have an alcohol related violation, you must appear in open court to enter your plea. The court will notify you of your appearance date.

 

Juror Instructions:

The instructions below will give information to people called for jury service. Please read all the instructions. If you received a summons in the mail:

1. Fill out the questionnaire. If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, call the jury information number for assistance.

2. You may file for an exemption on the affidavit supplied. The exemptions listed are the only ones for which an individual can be excused. Business reasons are not a reason for excuse. If a medical exemption is desired, a written excuse from a doctor must accompany the affidavit.

3. Return attached business reply card within five (5) days or submit card online

JUROR'S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Right to Reemployment: A private employer may not terminate the employment of a permanent employee because the employee serves as a juror.  An employee whose employment is terminated in violation of this section is entitled to return to the same employment that the employee held when summoned for jury service, as soon as practical after release from jury service, gives the employer actual notice that the employee intends to return. (Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 122.001)

Failure to Answer Summons and Penalties: A person who fails to comply with this summons is subject to contempt action punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000 (Government code, Section 62.0141). Additionally, a person shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 if the person (1) fails to attend court in obedience to the notice without reasonable excuse; or (2) files a false claim of exemption from jury service (Government Code, Section 62.111).

Proper Clothing Required: All persons entering the courtroom should be dressed in clothing reasonably befitting the dignity and solemnity of the court proceedings.

Example of Disqualified:  You do not need to appear in person if you are exempt or not qualified for jury service. To claim an exemption or report your disqualification you must complete the form on the back, sign it and mail or personally bring it immediately to the address printed to the left of this summons.