​Texas County Judge

What is a County Judge?

Depending on the size of the county, the county judge has a wide range of judicial and administrative duties and is the presiding officer of the commissioners court.

What Does a County Judge Do in Texas?

  • Presiding officer of the commissioners court
  • Represents the county in many administrative functions
  • Serves as budget officer in counties with fewer than 225,000 residents
  • Most have broad judicial duties, such as presiding over misdemeanor criminal and small civil cases, probate matters and appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court
  • Serves as head of emergency management

For more complete information about the responsibilities of a county judge and other county officials see the “2018 Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials."

Please note: Some duties performed by officials may vary within individual counties.

County Judge Requirements

New judges must obtain 30 credit hours in their first 12 months and 1.33 hours (16 hours/12 months) for each month afterward until the end of the current reporting period.

See the full continuing education requirements and more.

County Judge Qualifications1

The County Judge must meet the following qualifications at the time of appointment or election:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Resident of Texas for at least 12 consecutive months
  • Resident of the county for at least six consecutive months
  • Registered to vote in the county
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Not have been finally convicted of a felony from which they have not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities
  • Not have been determined by a court with probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote

Candidates for this office generally must meet the above qualifications at the time of filing.

For more information, see the Secretary of State Elections Division website.

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


1Vernon’s Ann. Texas Const. Art. 5, §15; V.T.C.A., Election Code §141.001