Texas counties play a critical role in supporting the state’s judicial system. In fact, support for the judicial system is one of the most significant components of county budgets.
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Watch: How does the Texas county court system work?
- County governments fund and support much of the judicial system statewide, including district courts, county-level courts, and justice courts. They also provide funding for court staff, prosecutors, and court-appointed attorneys.
- In FY 2018, counties spent an estimated $1.787 billion statewide to support the judicial system.
- State law stipulates the jurisdiction of the district, county and justice courts, which can include felonies, misdemeanors, civil cases and juvenile cases, among many other matters.
- Statewide, civil caseloads are growing across all trial court levels. In 2019, new civil cases filed in district courts increased by 12%, and increased by 14% in county courts, and increased by 18% in justice courts.
Community Impact Newspaper, Jan. 27, 2021
THarris County officials said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to staffing challenges for both the sheriff's and district attorney's offices, creating a perfect storm of more than 90,000 backlogged cases and subsequent overcrowding in the Harris County Jail—already the second largest county jail population in the U.S.