County Judge

Description of Office

The Texas Constitution vests broad judicial and administrative powers in the position of county judge, who presides over a five-member commissioners court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.

The county judge handles such widely varying matters as hearings for beer and wine license applications, hearing on admittance to state hospitals for the mentally ill and mentally retarded, juvenile work permits and temporary guardianships for special purposes. The judge is also responsible for calling elections, posting election notices and for receiving and canvassing the election returns. The county judge may perform marriages.

A county judge in Texas may have judicial responsibility for certain criminal, civil and probate matters - responsibility for these functions vary from county to county. In those counties in which the judge has judicial responsibilities, the judge has appellate jurisdiction over matters arising from the justice courts. The county judge is also head of civil defense and disaster relief, county welfare and in counties under 225,000 population, the judge prepares the county budget along with the county auditor or county clerk.

Coordinating Body

County Judges Education Committee
Texas Association of Counties
1210 San Antonio
Austin, Texas 78701

Maurice Whitfield
(512) 478-8753
Toll Free: (800) 456-5974
Fax: (512) 477-1324

Texas Association of Counties is the official registrar and permanent contact for county judges hours.

Programs that qualify
Any judicial education program that meets the requirements of Rule 2 of the Rules of Judicial Education as promulgated by the Court of Criminal Appeals and approved by the County Judges Education Committee.

Filing for credit
A judge's Certification for Credit form must be completed by the judge and returned to the Texas Association of Counties upon completion of an approved program. Forms are available from the program sponsor.

Continuing education requirements
Judges are required to attain 30 hours for their first year in office and 16 hours each 12-month reporting period thereafter.

For more information on upcoming events, visit the Judicial Education Calendar.

Legal source
Government Code, Section 74.025 (effective Sept. 1, 1987)

For more information, visit the Judicial Education Center.

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