​Texas Justice of the Peace

What is a Justice of the Peace?

The justice of the peace presides over the justice court in cases involving misdemeanors, small civil disputes, landlord/tenant disputes and more. They also conduct inquests and may perform marriage ceremonies.

What Does a Justice of the Peace Do in Texas?

A justice of the peace in Texas has the following duties:

  • Hears traffic and other Class C misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only
  • Hears civil cases with up to $20,000 in controversy
  • Hears landlord and tenant disputes
  • Hears truancy cases
  • Performs magistrate duties
  • Conducts inquests

For more complete information about the responsibilities of a justice of the peace 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.

Justice of the Peace Requirements

Justices of the peace are required to obtain 80 hours of continuing education during their first year in office and 20 hours annually thereafter.

See the full continuing education requirements and more.

Legal source: Government Code, Section 27.005