FAQs | August 01, 2023
Continuing Education for County Judges
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 "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
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. (When calculating total, round to nearest whole number.)
The judicial reporting period for continuing education is the Texas state fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2022, through Aug. 31, 2023.
The 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.
Government Code, Section 74.025 (effective Sept. 1, 1987)
County Judges Education Committee
Texas Association of Counties
1210 San Antonio
Austin, TX 78701
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
The Texas Association of Counties serves as the umbrella organization for various independent county official organizations in Texas. These organizations serve as an important resource for county officials for information, networking and advocacy.
The affiliate associations for this office:
County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas
Far West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
North and East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
Panhandle County Judges & Commissioners Association
South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
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Designed and guided by county officials, our professionally planned educational activities also offer great opportunities to network with your peers.